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City Guide: Amsterdam

City Guide: Amsterdam

With our team heading to Europe this month, travel is on our mind. But then again, when is travel not on our minds?  We thought it was about time to do another city guide.  Here's a round up of our favorites from Amsterdam.

City Guide: Amsterdam

| all images from members of the Elsie Team during our travels |

scene from the Hotel Arena bar


Where to Stay

Hotel Arena

Hotel Arena is a former girls' school that's been renovated into a chic and comfortable hotel that's built around a beautiful park.

Lloyd Hotel

Classic Amsterdarm.  Grand in structure featuring some quirky design details.

City Guide: Amsterdam

breakfast consisting of coffee, bread, and hummus at Hotel Arena


Where to Eat

Hotel Arena

It's a favorite of ours, if you can't tell.  Don't miss out on at least one breakfast at Hotel Arena, and one evening aperitif around their free-standing fireplace.  Order the bitterballen. Yum.


Vintage black candlesticks, black trim and a Moroccan menu with tagine and couscous galore.  What more could one need.


The perfect spot to plan your day with a morning cup of tea and a travel guide.


Give it a try.  It's a dutch version of the old Automat concept.  Just make your food choice from the windows, pay, and lift the door to retrieve your treats.

City Guide: Amsterdam

the infamous free-standing fireplace at Hotel Arena


What to Do

Rent a Bike

Amsterdam is a very bike friendly city, so it's a great way to cover lots of ground quickly.

Museums and Monuments

Of course you want to see the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum Buy your tickets in advance, or you may miss out.


When you're ready to see something different, visit MOCO for some really great examples of European street and modern art.

Canal Cruise

We know it seems like a cliché, but we really enjoy a canal cruise in Amsterdam.  Our favorite is the dinner cruise at about 5pm so we can soak up the view and enjoy the sunset all in one go.

*Leave plenty of time to roam about the little neighborhoods and canals.  The best way to discover Amsterdam is to wander and keep your eyes open.  Ask your server at the coffee shop where they like to go for lunch, dinner, shopping, etc.  That's where we get some of our best ideas.*

City Guide: Amsterdam

oh hello there
City Guide: Amsterdam
found this little gem while walking the streets of Amsterdam with no real direction


Where to Shop

Our favorite shops are those that are more about innovative visual merchandising and display than about buying.  Think Concept Stores.

Atelier Sukha

A melange of fashion, gifts, home goods and children's items.

Raw Materials

Far and away our favorite home goods shop.  It's a beautiful study in how choice of materials makes a design.

Maison Rika

A petite fashion shop in a classic Amsterdam row house.  You have to be a mountain goat to get up and down the stairs to the top floor, but it's worth it for the curated collection in the attic and the view of the canals.

The Nine Streets

A neighborhood of buildings built in the 1600s that has been brought back to life with unique boutiques and shops.  Our favorites are King Louie, Who's That Girl, Pure Brands and The Darling.  It's a great capsule of Dutch design and fashion.

Nieuwe Spieglstraat

A well preserved part of the city filled with pretty antique stores.  While you're there, pop into Episode, Amsterdam's largest second hand store, filled with dutch fashion looking for new homes.

City Guide: Amsterdam

pretty little corners at Maison Rika
City Guide: Amsterdam 
simple and chic display at Maison Rika

City Guide: Amsterdam

rainy days in Amsterdam


On that note, who's ready to take a trip?


The Elsie Team