Amsterdam: Our latest finds

Boat trips through the canals, indie shops, and restaurants galore. Here is our latest finds in the dutch capital.

We have had a few features about the city of Amsterdam on Galerie de Aims. Today’s shows our latest finds in the city with some familiar faces from our trips previously.

Amsterdam is a city that has a big piece of my heart. Each time we visit we find different areas we love. We were lucky enough to visit the city for New Years Eve which was an experience I will never forget. The city is beautiful all year around but there is something special about it around December time where the Christmas lights are out and the famous Amsterdam Light Festival is on the canals.

For our next visit to the city we plan on visiting during the summer months to experience the different vibe the city has during the summer.

For now our latest finds in the city are below, We loved each of them for different reasons and would definitely re-visit when we are next in the city.

Those Dam Boat Guys:

Board at Keizersgracht 102 (In front of the Rode Hoed)

On our first night in rainy Amsterdam we had a lovely boat trip around the canals with Those Dam Boat Guys. After looking for the perfect non-crowded boat trip for my boyfriend for Christmas. Currently, the Amsterdam Light Festival is on in the city and for me, the perfect way to see all the beautiful creations is via boat. You can truly immerse yourself in the installations and have the best view of them.

The boat trip with Those Dam Boat Guys was so interesting. The guided tour boat seated comfortably 8 people. We met 6 other people from different areas of the world and were introduced by the amazing tour guide Dom who encouraged us all to introduce ourselves and talk to each other which is a great idea as the boat is cosy and breaks any level of awkwardness before we set off.

On the day of the tour, the weather was not the greatest and it was windy and slightly rainy but Dom ensured the boat was warm and covered by providing hot water bottles and blankets for the 2-hour trip. The boat is completely covered and the windows are clear to fully see the city. However, one window is left open for taking clear photos, allowing ventilation and for smoking. (If you are not comfortable with smoking the guide is able to work around this to keep the trip as comfortable as possible.)

Dom, our tour guide was really knowledgable of all things Amsterdam, it’s history and what it is like to live there nowadays. If you had any question regarding

The tour with Those Dam Boat Guys is something I would recommend to anyone visiting the city for the first time or as a regular visitor to Amsterdam. The views of the city from boat never gets old.

Heineken Experience:

Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE

We visited the Heineken experience in the De Pijp area of Amsterdam. It was a really good experience and did not feel like a tourist trap as you would expect. We visited during an afternoon slot which was busy with people from all over the world but there was no queues and flowed easily. I would obviously recommend visiting this if you are a beer lover but it also caters for non-beer drinkers alike and non-alcoholic Heineken is available too.

The tour begins with one of the tour guides, showing the group the original Heineken brewery room and explaining the process behind the original process of Heineken, but then you are allowed to visit around the experience alone, and you do not have to stick to the group. It is a self guided tour with many tour guides around to answer any questions that you may have on the makings of Heineken who can talk to you about different aspects of the process whilst around the tour.

The tour shows the past of Heineken and also the present of Heineken using digital and immersive elements. The experience shows Heineken collaborations with football’s Champions League and Formula One with games to play whilst coming to the end of the tour. There is also a few photo opportunities around with the Champions League Trophies etc.

Rembrandts Amsterdam Experience:

Weteringschans 2 1017 SG, Amsterdam

On our way to De Pijp we came across the Rembrandts Experience. An interactive experience where you learn about the life of Rembrandt and his family in the later years of his life.

The experience is less than 30 minutes long and does not throw excessive amounts of information at you at once. It gradually informs you of the life and work of Rembrandt through a very modern lens. The experience was really interesting and it showed how life was back in the 1600s. The experience also shows life in Amsterdam back in the 17th century. Back then the city was a real metropolis and Amsterdam itself was a huge part of Rembrandts life as an Artist in the Dutch capital.

The experience is a good place to visit for history buffs and also non-history lovers too. The experience shows the past in a really modern form. I would recommend visiting the experience for a quick, informative and inexpensive thing to do.

An area to visit: De Pijp

We visited the De Pijp which is full of bars, restaurants and places to hang out. The De Pijp area of the city that is near museum quarter. Also it is also home to some well loved food places such as famous Moak Pancakes (there is often a queue outside the one in De Pijp). One of my favourite places to hangout in the area is Aire it’s a intimate and cosy bar that also does really lovely food. The food looks so good but every time we visited we’ve always just had drinks but that gives us a reason to go back.  

Each time we have visited I always drag my boyfriend to Gerardoustraat there is many lovely shops such as Verse, All The Luck in The World and Anna and Nina. These stores are all independently owned and it is so important to support your independent businesses now more than ever.

Places to Eat:

Lila Restaurant

Haarlemmerstraat 117h, 1013 EM Amsterdam

Lila Restaurant in Amsterdam was the perfect spot for a quick and easy lunch. That was also super filling we visited Leela was looking for a place to get out of the rain and also have a bite to eat at. 

Lila was a lovely small and cosy restaurant that was the perfect lunch spot and even had some great vegan and vegetarian options. The staff were also really friendly and suggested different options for us to try. We decided on the mixed shawarma wrap with Lamb, chicken and vegetables. 

We decided not to get any sides as we just wanted a quick bite to eat and the shawarma wraps are also really filling as they are loaded with the meat and veggies. I would recommend Lila as a good lunch or dinner spot.

Cafe Nobo

A lovely café we stumbled across on Haarlemmerstraat was Cafe Nobo.

We popped into Cafe Nobo whilst exploring the city and we needed somewhere to gather our thoughts of where to go next whilst it was raining and we are so glad we did. At a first glance it looks fairly small and cosy but once you enter it has a lovely upstairs area where they have a lovely wall of lights and photos which make for the perfect Instagram shot.

Café Nobo has fresh cakes and pastries on the counter whilst you can also order food from the kitchen. The table next to us ordered three salads that looks amazing. If we hadn’t have already eaten at the lovely Lila restaurant down the road we would’ve definitely enjoyed some food at Café Nobo. When we revisit the city in the summer a trip back to Cafe Nobo is already on the cards. The hot chocolate and cappuccino we had made for the perfect Instagram picture with the lovely lights and photographs in the background. The service was really good. The staff are lovely and I would love to revisit when we go back to the city.

The Duchess

We visited the Duchess in Amsterdam last year during our first ever trip to the city and since then we have dreamed of going back. We visited The Duchess this time in the evening instead of the afternoon like previously. Again we were amazed at how beautiful it is. The service is immaculate. The food is beautiful, and the cocktails are a lovely start to the experience. We personally love the concept of the Duchess which is all about sharing meals. Alternatively you can order individual plates for yourself too. 

We ordered the Oysters, the Potato Rosti which is to die for and is my biggest recommendation if you do visit. Also we had the braised short rib pasta and the Whole Roasted Spring Chicken Marinated in Lemon & Herbs. Hands down the juiciest Chicken I have had. If we hadn’t have eaten enough already and had the biggest food babies we shared the most incredible chocolate explosion dessert. The dessert is presented with dry ice poured over it to reveal the delicious treats underneath. 

Visiting the Duchess is definitely a luxury, but something I suggest everybody does at one point on their trip to Amsterdam.

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