Art and design in Amsterdam in 3 days: If you follow me on Instagram or have read any of my other blog posts you will know by now that there's nothing I love more than parading myself around a new city and soaking up as much of the local art, design and culture as I can.
I've summarised my trip so you can enjoy the creme de la creme of Amsterdam without having to do any of the laborious research.
First things first, where to stay? I stayed in the Volkshotel which is just a short metro ride out of the city centre. Volkshotel was once a newspaper headquarters but is now a bustling hotel which boasts 172 rooms, 9 of which are boutique themed. The rooms vary in size depending on your party and your taste.
There is a lively rooftop bar which will give you a rare perspective of the famously horizontal landscape.
The hotel has a very artsy feel throughout and is pretty reasonably priced with rooms starting at around £128 per night. There's also a quirky little wooden sauna and hot tub if you're in need of warming your cockles after a long day traipsing around in the Dutch winter.
Stederlijk museum - A large modern art/contemporary art museum. Entry will set you back around 19 Euros but for the square meter-age I would say it's worth the hit. The 19th century building was designed by Adriaan Willem Weissman and the 21st century wing with the current entrance was designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects. The gallery looks a little bit like a ginormous bath tub in it's design, probably some of the only modern architecture I saw during my stay in Amsterdam. You can expect to see pieces from artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Karel Appel, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Marlene Dumas, Lucio Fontana, and Gilbert & George.
Van Gogh - I actually didn't make it here, devastatingly it was closing when I arrived so I missed out. Alas I thought I would include it on my list non the less so you can still drink from the fountain of Van Gogh's mystic. It assume it is what it says on the tin, so no lengthy descriptions needed. Tickets are 19 Euro once again, but can you really put a price on Van Gogh's influence? Also it's just across the road from the Stederlijk so you can kill two beautiful birds with one stone.
Gerhard Hofland - This is about an hour walk out of the centre to get to, it's free to get in and curated by Gerhard Hofland who I met during my visit.
Galerie Bart - This was my favourite gallery in Amsterdam, a lovely quaint space spread across two floors with two artists series featured; 'Enter the Zone' by Sjaak Kooij and 'flatFOLDfoil' by Jochem Rotteveel. It's a small but beaitufully curated gallery with free admission based in the popular Joordan area.
Galerie Rob Koudijs - This gallery was a couple of shops down from Galerie Bart and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The gallery is a bit different to the others, specialising in contemporary autonomous jewellery where a sculptural approach, substantive ideas and innovative use of materials are paramount. The gallery represents a group of artists who make jewellery at the interface between applied and free visual art.
The frozen fountain - The best design shop I went to in Amsterdam and potentially ever. You MUST go. The most stunningly curated space absolutely brimming with contemporary design. The Frozen Fountain maintains close contact with designers emerging from the various art academies both in the Netherlands and abroad. And the result is a completely unique, dynamic collection.
Droog Hotel - Droog is a conceptual design company with a gallery/design shop/cafe spread across the funky two story outlet. Would definitely recommend popping in for a peruse and a cuppa.
Hutspot - A beautiful store showcasing some local emerging designers and artists.
I have to say I wasn't *blown away* by the food in Amsterdam. The food I ate was tasty enough and the places mentioned below were all recommended to me by a local so I think I was in the right places, but it's hard to compare against a city like London.
Pekelharing - Modern dutch cuisine with a boujee feel. One of the more expensive places I went, but good quality grub.
Ivy and Bros - Great little brunch cafe with a simple but well executed menu. A very chic, fresh atmosphere quite reasonably priced.
Wilde Zwigen - similar to Pekelharing in that it was modern Dutch cuisine at quite a steep price point, if you were going to pick one I would choose Pekelharing purley because more vegetarian options.
The seafood bar - We stumbled upon this place to get out of the rain and oh my god it was Oyster happy hour all oysters 1 Euro. Need I say more.