The Lit Woman's Weekend Guide to Amsterdam
It only takes a couple of days to spark an international incident you'll remember for a lifetime.
The officially sanctioned tour guides celebrate Amsterdam for its beautiful canals and priceless Museum District, and for having a “little town, bicycle-friendly feel,” even though it’s the capital of the Netherlands and home to nearly three-quarters of a million people. It goes without saying, if you are reading this, Amsterdam is probably better known for its red-light district and cannabis-friendly coffeeshops.
With that focus in mind, Amsterdam—as a slightly decadent, highly cultured, and relatively safe getaway for ladies with an elevated taste for escapades and limited amount of time—can be done in a weekend. Read on for the spots you’ll want to have on your itinerary.
This guide is for the girls that don’t want to smoke in a dark, crowded back-alley coffeeshop or sit at a Brown café all day. We’re skipping right over the obvious tourist attractions. This guide is for the girls who want to shop, drink, smoke, and be chic AF doing it.
If you’re like us, you arrive in Amsterdam in the morning and have the whole day to explore. You’ll want to check into The Hoxton. Formerly the Mayor’s home, this place has it all; an incredible location, reasonably priced accommodations, and a killer bar and restaurant. Sit at the bar downstairs and grab an espresso from Lotti’s to start your day.
Image via The Huxton Hotel
Friday’s are the perfect time to check out the art scene because, let’s face it, you hate crowds and long lines. Amsterdam has some of the best museums and galleries in the world. You have to experience at least one. You can find a list of museums here. Pick a few, and don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path. This city was meant for exploring by foot (or bike).
Last stop on your art list should be FOAM, an internationally renowned museum that exhibits all genres of photography. After that, walk a few blocks to Barney’s Lounge. They have four locations, but we’re partial to the Lounge. Very few places have Volcano Vaporizers, a wide variety of strains, and delicious milkshakes.
Speaking of milkshakes, you’ll probably have worked up an appetite at this point. Most Dutch people eat an early dinner; so keep the snack light and hit up places (all near Barney’s) like Caffe Restaurant Panini, Zuivere Koffie, and Vleminckx Sausmeesters for the best frites of your life.
After that inevitable nap you’ll want to take, get all dolled up and head out to Momo. This modern Pan-Asian small plates restaurant is always our first stop when we’re in town. Things to order: a Tokyo Rose cocktail, sushi and ceviche to share, and the seared Wagyu beef.
You’ll be stuffed; so a quick stroll to Super Skunk is the perfect way to end the night. Order a mint tea and a gram of—you guessed it—Super Skunk.
Start the day with brunch at the Hoxton, since it’s one of the best brunches in town. Order the Lotti’s Benny, and wash it down with a Bloody Mary Classic. For around 25 euros, you can’t beat it.
The Hoxton is located in the heart of De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets), nine quaint, quirky streets filled with all sorts of shops. Want to dress like a chic Dutch girl and buy clothes no one will have? Then hit up spots like Project Amator, Vanilia, Zoe Karssen, and Pelican Studio. Grab a glass of rosé at Jansz and then head across town to P.C. Hooftstraat.
P.C. Hooftstraat is the 5th Avenue of Amsterdam. Glittering stores like Gucci, Prada, and Hermès crowd this tiny street. Whether or not you have the coin to spend at any of the shops, it’s worth the visit. Be sure to stop by the Chanel store, not to check out their handbags, but the building itself. The facade is made of glass bricks that are held in place with a transparent, high-strength glue.
Take a 20 min walk over to Foodhallen for lunch. Located in the De Hallen, Foodhallen is Amsterdam’s answer to the indoor food market. Indulge in the plethora of food stands, or if you’re exhausted from all that shopping, take a seat and have a fabulous lunch at Kanarie Club. On your way home, grab a seat at Best Friends Coffeeshop in Centrum and order an espresso and some Lemon Haze Hash to give you that kick you’ll need to start the night off on the right foot.
For the perfect Dutch meal, Restaurant Breda is hands down the spot. This is the type of place that’s unassumingly cool, so you’ll need to make a reservation in advance. Opt for the four-course meal, but you have the option to do three or five courses. With superb staff, wine list, and creative dishes, you will not go wrong. Ask to be seated at one of their front tables, which make for great people watching.
Your later evening will involve heading over to Tales and Spirits for a nightcap. Reminiscent of the quintessential speakeasy, T&S serves some of the best cocktails in Amsterdam. Most of the drinks come in unique serving vessels and usually involve a stunning presentation. For example, if you order the General Lee, which you should, you’ll get a delicious tasting cocktail with your own Dukes of Hazzard toy car on the side.
End the night at De Tweede Kamer since it’s one of the few coffeeshops open late in the area and a best-kept secret. Locals will tell you that this is the place for some outstanding strains. Order a gram of the C5 Pioneer to keep on partying through the night or opt for the G13 and hit the hay.
If you have time before your flight, spend the day exploring the upscale neighborhood of Jordaan. Enjoy a breakfast at Winkel 43 or the Pancake Bakery then head over to famous Green House on Haarlemmerstraat. Grab a spot in the back and enjoy one of their famous strains. Before heading out, order a hybrid, indica-dominant (which will get you through the majority of the plane ride), ham and cheese toastie, and a cold soda. You will feel like a million bucks and totally ready to conquer that flight that you’d rather avoid, because let’s face it, Amsterdam is fucking majestic and the only bummer about it is that you have to leave.