We started our last full day wandering in the direction of the Van Gogh Museum (definitely visit - no photos allowed, sorry!) and en route found a delicious deli-cum-bakery where we of course had to collect coffee (real good) and pastries (the perfect crispy-soft kind). You can find Stach here.
Our second day meant breakfast by the river as we made our way bright and early to the famous Rijksmuseum. We'd spent time debating which of the many museums on offer we'd make it too, and this one is not to be missed if you visit Amsterdam. It contains far too much do in one day, the range is just astounding and we enjoyed locating works by some of our favourite, or well-known, artists as well as stumbling across others we fell in love with but had previously never heard of. I decided not to share many of the photographs I took of the artwork - it's just so much better in person, so you'll just have to visit yourselves!
Van Gogh - Self Portrait
So many people have an incredibly one-sided view of Amsterdam as a city. Those people, in my opinion at least, can only be missing out on an incredible place with so much to offer culturally, gastronomically, historically - the list goes on. We spent four days exploring the place, staying on Amstel, and it was the area to the West of Singel which became my absolute favourite. The streets Herengracht and Keizersgracht, and those that link them (more specifically the Jordaan District and Nine Streets). This is where we found all sorts of incredible design stores (check out 360volt), independent clothing brands, perfect bakeries to pick up morning treats, and delicious restaurants to spend our evenings in.
I found this beautiful place for my 21st birthday meal with my sister, during my year in the city. Perched at the top of Valencia Street in the Mission District where I spent so much of my time it had rave reviews and the menu looked decadent without being over the top. Not only did it live up to my (pretty high) expectations, but it surpassed them.
To dine at this little gem you can only call an hour ahead to pop your name on the wait list, no reservations.
So we arrived and were told there was a 15-20 minute wait for the table. There was really only one thing for it, cocktails at the bar. The place was already bustling and we stood taking in the dark wood surfaces, hanging line of bulbs and high, open ceilings while we sipped on apple/gin/lemon/basil/honey concoctions.