Amsterdam is probably one of the places in the world I have visited the most over the past five to ten years and easily one of my favourite European cities too. Thanks to the flight time of under an hour from the UK and my best friend having moved there a few years back I have been multiple times over the past few years and love it more each and every time. 

This time around I went to celebrate my friend who lives in Amsterdam's 30th Birthday with a gig as I did with my trip to Brighton a few weeks back with another friend. Arriving late on a Saturday afternoon she hosted a house party that evening before her birthday on the Sunday. To celebrate we made brunch with mimosa's at home and then headed out for the day. Our first stop was the De Pijp area for a drink and ice cream before we mooched over to the weekend market at Musemplein and had dinner ahead of seeing Foals at Paradiso that evening. It was the perfect weekend and gave me plenty of inspiration for this post which has all my recommendations for the best places to stay, shop, eat and drink while visiting Amsterdam.


Accommodation

As with any major city the options for where to stay in Amsterdam are seemingly endless and can often be somewhat confusing. I am very fortunate that now I have a friend who lives there with a sofa bed this issue is always resolved for me, that's not to say I don't have a list of places as long as my arm that I would love to stay at in Amsterdam! Here is three of my top picks arranged by price point:

Via Amsterdam Hostel
Diermerhof 20, 1112 XN
Budget: From €50 per night for a double room

Citizen M
Sarahatistraat 47, 1018 EW
Budget: From €89 per night for a double room

The Hoxton
Herengracht 225, 1016 BJ
Budget: From €190 per night for a double room



Shopping

Amsterdam is possibly one of the greatest places in Europe to go shopping, with plenty of my favourite high street brands having stores in the city there is also lots of unique boutiques, vintage shops and markets to browse through to find a souvenir to take home with you. I have found myself trying to ram my finds into my hand luggage and cursing at my cases zip on more than one occasion after buying one too many gems I just simply couldn't leave behind. 

Shops

Free People
Keizergracht 359-361, 1016 EJ

Monki
Kalverstraat 176, 1012 XG

& Other Stories
Heiligeweg 26-28, 1012 XR

Weekday
Rokin 84, 1012 KX

Vintage 

Episode
Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 37H, 1017 DC

Rumours Vintage
Haarllemstraat 99, 1013 EM

Bij Ons Vintage
Reestraat 13, 1016 DM

Kilo Shop
Jodenbreestraat 158, 1011 NS

Marbles
Ferdinand Bolstraat 28, 1072 LK

Markets

Flower Market - Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 11am-5.30pm
Blomenmarkt, Singel, 1012 DH

Flea Market - Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun closed
Waterlooplein, 1011 PG

Vintage Market - Every Monday 9am-1pm
Lapjemarkt, Breedstraat, 3512 AZ



Food & Drink

When it comes to food and drink in Amsterdam the choices are seemingly endless, from waffles to vegan food and all the canal side cafes you could ever dream of there is something for everyone. Below is a little list of places I've either been to and loved, or are on my list for my next visit to Amsterdam. All of the places below have vegetarian options with several being completely vegan, those with vegan options are marked (v). 

Vegan Junk Food (v)
Multiple Amsterdam locations, see website

Foodhallen (v)
Bellamhplein 51, 1053 AT

Waterkant
Marnixstraat 246, 1016 TL

Mama Kelly
Olympisch Stadion 35, 1076 DE

Upstairs Pannenkoeken Huis
Gromburgwal 2, 1012 GA

VanVeg (v)
Zijstraat 21A, 2011 TJ, Haarlem

Golden Temple (v)
Utrachetsestraat 126, 1017 VT 




Things To Do 

The options of things to do in Amsterdam are pretty much endless, one of my favourites days ever was spent hiring out a boat and cruising around the canals with wine and snacks checking out various landmarks on our way to a variety of waterside pubs. If going on a day long booze cruise isn't your thing, and you've had your shopping blow out and fancy a little culture there are plenty of other options too. 

Amongst the most popular and well known are paying a visit to Anne Frank's House, the Van Gogh Museum or taking a walk around Vondelpark. One thing I really want to do is go to Best Kept Secret Music Festival just outside of Amsterdam, or see the beautiful tulip fields. 

Whatever you decide to do in Amsterdam you will be sure to have an amazing time, just walking around the streets is a beautiful change from home for me and I can't wait for the next time I get to visit.