Get the most out of Amsterdam in lockdown!
About the author: Laura Danielle is co-founder of Comedy Walks: discover the city with a professional comedian. The most unique and fun way to experience a city!
Last Friday the Dutch government announced an evening lockdown in the Netherlands starting from Sunday 28 November. The lockdown basically means that all the fun stops at 5pm sharp! (click here for more information about the Dutch corona rules). So all you have to day is squeeze all the fun things you would like to do in between 9am-5pm. As a local, I am happy to give you some tips so that you can get the most out of Amsterdam in lockdown!
My two favorite breakfast spots are Lavinia Good Food (opens at 9am) and Adesso Espresso (opens at 7.30-8am). Lavinia Good Food serves delicious pancakes and Adesso Espresso is one of the best places in town for coffee and incredibly fresh Italian sandwiches that I could eat every day. I also heard good stories about all day breakfast at Factory Girl but haven’t been to that place yet. Lavinia Good Food has two venues, one in the centre and one behind the Vondelpark. The Factory Girl is in the famous area called the Pijp.
2. After breakfast morning walk
If you have your breakfast in the city centre I recommend your take a walk around one of the canals (Singel, Herengracht, Keizergracht or Prinsengracht). Particularly on Sunday it can be awkwardly quiet as if Thanos’ Snap has taken place. The Blip, so to speak, usually takes place after 10.30am. If you have your breakfast close to the Vondelpark, well obviously you take a stroll around this world-famous park. For those who end up in the Pijp check out the Sarphatipark, walk along the river Amstel or check out the nearby Albert Cuyp market (Monday – Saturday).
3. The Holy Trinity of museums
The Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House or the Van Gogh Museum are like the holy trinity of museums in Amsterdam. I highly recommend you pick at least one of these world famous museums, either out of interest, or to avoid FOMO feelings on your way back home. These museums are very popular so make sure you book your spot weeks, if not months, before departure.
4. Big, I mean really big lunch
Given that dinners can no longer take place at a reasonable hour I recommend that you indulge in a really big lunch. It is impossible to leave the Foodhallen with an empty stomach. At this trendy foodcourt you will find Dim Sum, fried chicken, famous Dutch bitterballen, Spanish hams at the Bar Iberico, Mediterranean, Mexican, sushi, vegetarian dishes, vietnamese street food, pizzas, hamburgers, Indian food, etc, etc. In any case, you should get your desert from Yoghurt Barn and don’t hold back at the number of toppings! Other favorite happy the peppy hangouts are Café Cook in West, Pllek in North and Benji’s in East Amsterdam.
5. Comedy Walks
If you don’t have a sense of humor, just don’t bother, you can skip this part! Normal people like yourself (as you are still reading this bit) always appreciate a good laugh during any time of the day. Especially for those people Amsterdam offers Comedy Walks. Comedy Walks are comedy shows with the historic city of Amsterdam as the stage: a professional comedian shows you his favorite spots in town and uses these as a springboard to his comedy. A little history, a lot of fun! No dark theaters with cramped leg space but the entire city of Amsterdam as the stage in broad daylight! This is by far the most unique and fun way to experience a city!
6. Royal Palace, Canal House museum & Rembrandt House
If you have time to squeeze in a few more attractions, here are a few lesser known museums that are definitely worth a visit. The Royal Palace on the Dam houses the largest collection of empire style furniture outside France that once belonged to King Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon Bonapartes’s brother. Check out in which guest room Churchill once spend the night. At the Grachtenmuseum (Canal House museum) Amsterdam you can explore the history of the canals of Amsterdam. At the Rembrandt House you step inside the world of the famous Dutch painter from the 17th century. He used to live here and complete his world-famous painting: the Night Watch.
7. Indulge in patisserie
I reckon most Dutch people have a sweet tooth so there are plenty of places where you can satisfy your sugar cravings. My number one tea room is Chocolaterie Pampadour with home-made chocolates and pastries, in the city centre. When you enter this place you will notice that most pastries have your name written on them. The Hortus Botanicus is another one of my favorite hangouts in town. It is a great place for coffee, lunch and pastries. I love how their big round glass showcase filled with pastries always lurks my attention. All cat people should indulge in the apple pie at Kattencafe Kopjes where about 6-7 cats accompany your during opening hours.
8. Take away or room service
I suppose this doesn’t require any further elaboration; after 5pm you can choose between take away or roomservice. Don’t forget to take an evening walk and discover Amsterdam by night; it looks like a true fairytale with all the lights!
For more inspiration also see my blogpost on 10 Fun things to do in winter in Amsterdam.
On my Facebook page @funtipsamsterdam I regularly post tips on all the fun things locals do in Amsterdam!