If you're looking to immerse yourself in the local culture of Amsterdam and stay away from typical tourist attractions, read the itinerary ahead!
Explore the Oud-West and Jordaan neighbourhoods and enjoy a movie at an old school cinema
We decided to stay off the central beaten path in the neighbourhood of Oud-West. The neighbourhood is just on the outside of the central canal and filled with local hotspots. We stayed at the hip Hotel De Hallen, which is part of the De Hallen indoor market and food hall. The complex is a must-see with cafes, design boutiques, bars, and top-grade street food! We found the location convenient to other parts of Amsterdam as its in walking distance from the central canals and Vondelpark.
From Oud-West, we took a leisurely stroll along the narrow canals to the Jordaan neighbourhood. The quiet streets were enjoyable and there were trendy eateries, cozy pubs, coffeeshops and cafes along the way. A coffeeshop in Amsterdam is code for a weed cafe, where as a place labelled as a “café” you’ll find your typical morning beverages.
There’s something enticing about going to the cinema in another country, especially when it’s an old school theatre with a laid back atmosphere. The Movies, which is located on the border of the Jordaan district is the oldest movie theatre in Amsterdam with an art deco interior. It showcases award winning and independent films. Lucky for us there was a movie in English with Dutch subtitles!
Before the movie we enjoyed the Indonesian restaurant inside the theatre that is run by an Indonesian chef. It was tasty! After dinner we ordered a few drinks and treats to bring into the theatre with us.
Shop and eat at the De Hallen food hall and market, view the Moco Art Gallery, and hangout in a party bunker
The next day we spent time exploring the De Hallen food hall and market. There are a variety of food stations and it’s hard to pick which to go to! We settled on tacos and they did not disappoint. I wanted to get more, but decided not to overdo it. The design boutiques are also unique and I bought a pair of tortoiseshell hooped earrings which I love.
After a late morning of brunch and shopping, we headed over to the contemporary Moco Art Gallery where we saw an excellent exhibition showcasing Icy & Sot, Banksy and Roy Lichstenstein's works. You can see which exhibitions are currently being showcased online here.
When we were at The Movies the night before we noticed an Indian restaurant across the street called Balraj filled with people. Turns out it is the oldest Indian restaurant in Amsterdam. We decided to go the next night and are we ever glad we did. It was so good!! If you love Indian food.. go!
Afterwards we went to a party in a bunker underneath the Vondelpark bridge called Vondelbunker. Inside there were friendly locals, travellers, drinks, and groovy tunes to dance to! They have different types of events going on each week, so check out their event calendar in advance here.
If you happen to be in Amsterdam during Awakenings, a techno festival, you don’t want to miss partying at Gashouder, a huge round silo turned nightclub. It’s a giant techno event with lasers, hard techno, and a huge disco ball in the middle of the dance floor. Warning: it gets really sweaty in there!
Have breakfast at a quirky café, rent bikes, and enjoy a picnic in Vondelpark
The next morning, we recuperated with a healthy breakfast at one of the quirky cafes in the Oud-West area. We then rented bikes from our hotel and rode to Vondelpark to lay in the sun. Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam at 47 hectares and is filled with grassy places to sprawl out on and enjoy a picnic.
We hope you enjoy your trip to Amsterdam!