Probably the country’s most nostalgic stables are hidden in the Oud-West area. You may have smelled the horses when biking down the Overtoom. From this street you can see the back of the stables. The entrance of De Hollandsche Manege (1882) is in the stately residential Vondelstraat along the Vondelpark.
Cultural park Westergasfabriek has often been mentioned on this blog. So often that it deserves a solid place on this bucket list. The culture and adjacent nature park has a unique history and boasts seemingly conflicting views mixing industrial sights with nature and relaxation.
So I’m getting a bit nostalgic towards the end of the bucketlist. But if you have lived in Amsterdam and not have been near a wind mill is a bit odd.
There are still 8 wind mills in Amsterdam. The Molen van Sloten (1847) is one of the few that is still actually used. Its function? Two-fold:
- to keep the polders nearby dry.
- to entertain tourists (and fill my bucketlist).
Another noteworthy mill is the Riekermolen (1636), located along the Amstel river and still used to keep the area of Buitenveldert dry. Close to the mill, also along the river, is the local hot spot bar-restaurant ‘t Kalfje and the stunning Amstelpark.
Between the Oudezijds Achterburgwal and Kloveniersburgwal and behind large, heavy doors you can enter a most unique (and unofficial) book market. The doors used to guarantee safety to the gold and silver smiths who each had a ‘shop closet’ in the arcade back in the 18th century. Since 1879 the Oudemanhuispoort is home to a daily book market.
For book lovers, also see:
> best English book shops in Amsterdam
> visit design book heaven Mendo (bucketlist #26)
> enjoy a tea at the English bookshop (bucketlist #70).
>meet the Amsterdam elite at the Schuttersgalerij (bucketlist #88)
This tip comes from a 100% Amsterdam couple I met at the i am not a Tourist Fair. What this couple was doing at this expat fair, still beats me! But I'm glad they did as they tipped me about De Prael, which offers much more than just beers!
Superbly located on ‘t IJ, the Bimhuis provides a “perspective on Dutch and international music”. With over 300 concerts per year, the program focuses mainly on jazz and improvised music. The focus is on new developments, but the Bimhuis also offers a significant selection of more mainstream music.
The Bimhuis also stands out for its contemporary design you can imagine that the view at the back, facing ‘t IJ is just spectacular. The ambiance in the bar-restaurant always easy-going and vibrant -quite like the music played. On concert nights the Bimhuis Café and Restaurant are only accessible for concert visitors. After the concert the Café is also open for non-concert visitors.
When in 1881 the Museumplein and surroundings were nothing but marshlands, 2.186 poles of 12-13 meter were drilled in the ground, giving rise to the foundation of Het Concertgebouw. The building opened in 1888, substituting the concert venue Parkzaal in the Wertheim park (bucketlist #82).
first a little confession
Ever had such a ‘fresh looking’ apple that was a brownish mush on the inside? Well, that’s me: I may look young and energetic, but I feel like the opposite.
Thankfully, Deshana Boo is in town to managed to get my body to feel ‘young and fit’ in one session!
All Life in Amsterdam readers receive a free SPA day pass worth E50 with any facial booked; meaning, swimming pool, jacuzzi, hammam, dry sauna, lounging and light snacking.... (read conditions below)
Concerts, dance events, theatrical and dance productions, films, media art presentations and photo exhibitions are staged in five halls and several small rooms.
Unlike other souvenir shops, with mass productions from China and uninspiring items you don’t know what to do with, Saskya’s products are both esthetically appealing, original and remind you of our lovely life in The Netherlands.
Originally this small hallway-gallery exhibits portraits of wealthy Amsterdam citizens who belonged to the Civic Guard. Hence it is called the Civic Guard’s Gallery (in Dutch). However, most of the men portrayed were amateur shooters who combined their hobby with networking and having a drink with other riches. The ‘guards’ had to pay to be portrayed in the main Civic Guard’s painting. Consequently, the Civic Guard’s gallery introduces you more to the faces of Amsterdam elite of the 17th century, than to the squat that actually protected the city.
A true bucketlist item during your stay in Amsterdam is to support the legendary Amsterdam football club, Ajax. After all, football is the national obsession. Johan Cruijff, Marco van Bastan, Edwin van der Sar, Frank Rijkaard - they all debuted in the infamous red & white shirt. Get the shirt of your favourite Ajacied (pronounciation: ah-jahk-seat), as we call the Ajax players.
The “Normaal Amsterdams Peil”, NAP, is the Dutch reference point of the height measurements. Particularly the water levels of rivers is indicated with ‘meters above/below NAP’. It is commonly regarded that the NAP is equal to the sea level, however the original NAP location is under Dam Square.
The Rozengracht is an ugly, busy, car-filled street. It has wide car lanes and a tram line running through it, and there is an overall general lack of ‘ambiance’.
So why visit Rozengracht?
The Rozengrachts has a bustling interior design scene, with no less than 15 interior-related shops on a stretch of 200 meters!
Since 2007, the central library of Amsterdam is located in a new building designed by Jo Coenen on Oosterdokseiland, east of Central Station. The public library of Amsterdam, abbreviated in Dutch to OBA, serves more than providing Amsterdam with literature. The foundation aims to provide all Amsterdammers free access to information, knowledge and culture, as well as bringing people together for educational and cultural purposes. Of the ten floors, only half a floor is reserved for Dutch fiction literature.
Opened to the public in 1812, the Wertheim park is the oldest park in Amsterdam. It remains the only park located in the city center. The Park, as it was called in the olden days, was a remnant of the Plantage area’s original purpose: providing ground for wealthy Amsterdammers to let gardens.
Served in the world’s most exclusive restaurants, including the former legend restaurant El Buli in Spain, Reypenaer cheese is a true icon. For over a century, the cheese is made by the family van den Wijngaard in Woerden, 40 km south of Amsterdam. Using age-old traditional maturing techniques, the cheeses are given as long as they need to develop their richness and full flavour.
The internationally-acclaimed Conservatorium van Amsterdam offers courses ranging from classical music, jazz and early music to opera, latin and popular music. To give the students stage experience, they often perform at the school or other Amsterdam venues. Enjoy the talents before they become ‘great names’!
View concert agenda of Conservatorium students. The venue of the performance is indicated per concert. Other musts for music-lovers are these (jazz) music bars and a living room concert at a chic canal house (bucketlist #37).