The city guide with everything you need to know about Amsterdam

Amsterdam City Guide | In Whirl of Inspiration

Now that I'm really starting to get this city, to learn its ins and outs and to confidently call it mine(cause it. is. mine), I thought that it would be nice to collect all my favorite places for eating, drinking (coffee & drinks), shopping and entertaining.  This guide will be found at the sidebar, so that you would find it quickly in case of searching something. And it will be renewed often, really often (aka after going out). 

If you live in Amsterdam or are willing to visit, feel free to take a look or two. So...

For lunch and coffee:

  • Cannibale Royale (Center, near Spui Square): Heavy wooden tables, atmosphere that gives you the chills (starting from the saws and the creepy portraits that hang from the wall) and greeeeat food. Serves until late (3am), but if you want to go in the rush hour  you should reserve a table.
  • Cafe de Jaren (Center, near Spui Square): Exquisitely bright thanks to its huge windows. It has tables outside by the river, for the good days too. A high ceiling, open and chic space for coffee, snacks and lunch.
  • CREA cafe (Center, East): The student cultural center's cafe is like it popped out of the "Murder in Orient Express", so perfectly cozy and buzzing and alive.
  • Coffee & Coconuts (De Pijp): An incredibly stylish shop by wood and ropes, 3 floors that contact with another, nice people, unbearably light and welcoming atmosphere. Such a favorite.
  • Ivy & Bros (Center, Red Lights): The Red District is full of  wonderful places for everything and this shop is no exception. Admire the huge (fake) shark jaws that hang from the wall and the granny's0house atmosphere and order a latte with your salmon and avocado sandwich.
  • Oba's coffee (Center, Central Station): East of the central station is the public Amsterdam's library. On the top floor, they have a loft bar-restaurant (buffet style). Portions big enough and value for money (don't forget that you live in the expensive Amsterdam). Let aside the perfect view.
  • Schinkelhaven Cafe (West, at the exit of Vondelpark): Having colored lights it can't go unnoticed. Even better when it gets dark for a drink, but also for food. Really cozy. Plus the cute waiters. :)
  • Sumo (center, Leidseplein): If you like Japanese cuisine, go there. The price for eating is fixed and you eat as much as you can. The best sushi I have ever eaten.

To drink:

  • Waterkant (Center, near Leidseplein): the perfect bar with picnic tables to drink our beer next to an Amstel's (never remember their names) tributary.
  • Bloemen bar (Center, near Spui Square): What a nice bar. Let me tell it again, what a nice bar. Reminiscent of the flower children and the hippie Woodstock. PLUS the have a huge disco balls and the organize the best parties.
  • De Biertuin (Center, East): Which the beer garden. So go to this beer garden, made by old bricks on the walls and a golden palm tree and drink your beer. (say beer one more time)
  • Casablanca Cafe (Center, Central Station): Come here for karaoke nights and go crazy. It is a really small bar, so it gets packed very quick. So, come early if you want to show this perfect(!) voice of yours.
  • Roest (East of the Central Station, in the world's end): It is a bit off center, but its great industrial style of this cafe will reward you. So effortlessly cool.
  • Tree Sisters Pub (Center, Rembrandtplein): Among all the touristy & kitchy places in Rembrandtplein there is this little gem. Seats to be lost in them (sooooo comfortable) and heavy wooden decoration. Order the "De Konnick" beer, it smells like caramel.
  • Club NYX (Center, Rembrandtplein): The most colorful gay bar (straight friendly too) with different music in every room (even in the toilets floor they have a DJ). See the best dressed guys and dance carefree as no Dutch casanovas will approach you every 10'. Unless you are a gay which changes a lot of course. 

For sweets:

  • Urban Cacao (Center, Rozengracht): The largest selection of chocolate bars from around the world, packed with the most impressive wrappers. And macarons and truffles and mind. blown. I sold my soul to the sugar god in there.
  • Petit Gateau (Center, Haarlemmerstraat): A petit space with petit sweet treats and petit confectionery workshops. Toooso sweet!

For shopping:

  • Klevering (Center, 2 stores): Whatever this store touches is turned in gold. Office supplies, books, kitchen equipment, selected furniture, jewelry and gadget, all bathed in the light of inspired designers.
  • Waterstones (Center, Spui Square): The bookstore that "stinks" UK. Go in there and stay there. No guilt. Plus I think I like the covers of the British publications more than the American ones. Just me being shallow and giving so much attention to the book covers. :) 
  • American Book Center (Center, Spui Square): Or the Amazon. Seriously this bookshop has everything written in English from the beginning of time. Everything.

TBA shops for DIY supplies, other places to have fun (apart from bars of course) and artsy fartsy situations. If you live in Amsterdam or you visited lately aand you have place to suggest I will be more than happy to hear (write them in the comments below). Have fun in Amsterdam, love that city and you will love it too.

Credits | Text & Image: Debbie Kortes


Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!