With my hectic schedule of flying from country to country for work, I rarely have leisure time to really explore and enjoy a city at my own pace. So on a recent trip back from France, I decided to see if it was doable, that instead of spending my five-hour layover in Amsterdam in the airport, but rather venture out into the city and see what was on offer!
Arriving in the centre of the city at 10 in the morning, the first port of call was coffee, and Amsterdam most definitely delivers the goods, with a wealth of gorgeous little coffee shops (not the smoking kind) dotted along the vibrant and colourful canals. Although I really wanted to try the coffee at the newly founded Dignita, staffed by rescued girls who were victims of sex-trafficing, it was a bit out of the way so instead I went to the chic urban Screaming Beans on Hartenstraat 12
After a stroll around the canals, past the Anne Frank museum, I started to feel hungry, so stopped of for a yummy salad at Amsterdam’s most popular lunch break joint, Singel 404. It was heavenly!
With time ticking away quickly and my return to the airport on my mind, I had time for a quick spot of vintage shopping at Salon Heleen Hulsman, which only carriescarefully handpicked couture pieces from top designers like Stella McCartney, Saint Laurant and Missoni.
I also made sure I had time to pop into the recently opened L’Etoile de Saint Honore where the shelves are stocked with vintage Chanel, Hermes and Gucci.
Last stop was Hannekes Boom in Dijksgracht 4, a hip place made of upcycled material, where I was told I would find the most stylish crowd and the best craft beer, ( Ummm!). They weren’t wrong. The place was heaving with alternative fashionistas and the quirky décor made the people watching even more interesting.
Now I just have to find the time to return and do all the things I didn’t manage in this whirlwind visit.