This weekend I went on a whistle-stop trip to Amsterdam, mainly for work reasons to see the new Philips Wing of the Rijksmuseum. As many of you may know, I was only in the city a couple of weeks ago for my birthday (for which I wrote a travel guide and included a handy, printable and downloadable map, you can see it here) so it felt a little bit like returning to a home away from home. Once the rain had died away and the sun came out, the city looked beautiful in the changing season, the leaves on the trees tinged with oranges and browns. I had the Saturday completely to myself, so decided to put the map away and spend the day exploring some of the things we missed last time. I went to Rembrandt’s house, Hotel Droog for lunch and a walk around the Jordaan in the afternoon. So here’s another travel guide of sorts, this time with just 24 hours to spare…
First up, the new Philips Wing of the Rijksmuseum, a mini-version of the main museum with those recognisable white grates. Newly renovated by Spanish architects Cruz y Ortiz, it will open to the public on 1 November with an exhibition on 20th century photography titled Modern Times. It’s the Rijksmuseum’s first ever exhibition of photography and includes over 400 images by the likes of Brassaï, László Moholy-Nagy, Eadweard Muybridge and Man Ray.
Then on for some more exploring…
Above, this pretty florist caught my eye, while below, Stach is the perfect place to pick up a healthy juice or coffee.
Then on to Hotel Droog for lunch (it’s not actually a hotel, I wrote a post about the design/concept shop before, see it here). They have delicious open sandwiches, such as the wild smoked salmon and asparagus one below, all served in their quirky cafe.
Rembrandt’s house is well worth seeing, not so much for his paintings (there’s an exhibition on Rembrandt at the moment in London, moving onto the Rijksmuseum on February 12) but to see where he lived and learn a bit more about his painting process. They have live demonstrations showing how he ground up and mixed pigments or how he created his famous etchings.
I then meandered up Herengracht, peering into windows, wondering what life might be like in those high-ceilinged apartments, and onto the canals of the Jordaan. I got snap happy with all the handwritten door numbers and brightly coloured tiles.
The Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes) and Prinsenstraat/Herenstraat have some really cool boutiques and independent shops, the one below was calling my name, literally…
Frame publishers has just opened a new shop, which is perfectly minimal and monochrome. Go for the latest magazines, a black uniform and beautifully wrapped chocolate bars.
Like Stationery on Prinsenstraat is a stationery-lovers heaven: pretty notepads, Japanese pens and paper lanterns.
Black Sheep Road sells men and womens fashion in a cool, relaxed space.
I came across a lovely food market on Westerstraat. One stall was selling these pumpkins and gourds, while others were serving dinky portions of sautéed mushrooms or freshly cracked open oysters alongside a glass of champagne.
Six & Sons, below, is another great place for a caffeine fix.
Restored has a great selection of cool ceramics, magazines and fashion. The shop is impeccably designed with cute brass number signs for all the products.
And lastly, more caffeine fuel at Vinnie’s Deli. Until next time Amsterdam!