Bart’s Amsterdam

Hello, city-lovers! Today we’re exploring to Amsterdam. Local expert Bart van Poll, founder of the fabulous blog Spotted By Locals, explains that the city is so much more than its coffee shops and red light district.

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Amsterdam is My City

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is the Vondelpark – the liveliest park in the world!

When I crave for Surinamese food I always go to the Dappermarkt – the most multi-cultural market in Amsterdam.

To escape the hustle and bustle I head to Blijdorp beach.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at a bench at the Brouwersgrach next to the canals.

If you come to my city, get your picture taken with the guy in the “organ-boat.”

If you have to order one thing off the menu from Bern it has to be cheese fondue.

Locals know to skip the Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein and check out the Nieuwmarkt instead.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go to the AUB Last Minute ticketshop for last-minute cheap tickets for a concert.
For a huge splurge I go Balthazar’s keuken.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Charles Bukowski.

In my city, an active day outdoors involves a boat ride in the canals – not in a canal boat!

My city’s best museum is Foam museum.

My favorite jogging/walking route is in the Vondelpark!

For a night of dancing, go to Canvas. Or, for live music, check out THE pop-temple of Amsterdam – the Paradiso.

Burgermeester – Master of Burgers is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read NL20.

You can tell a lot about my city from walking around in the Jordaan area.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they almost run over tourists and refuse to stop at any red light on their bike.

In the spring you should take a boat ride.

In the summer you should buy a bottle of wine in the Supermarket, and chill in the Vondelpark.

In the fall you should have a beer in Cafe Schuim Amsterdam (Spuistraat 239).

In the winter you should skate at the Museumplein.

A hidden gem in my city is the De Bazel city archive.

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For a great breakfast joint try cafe de Balie.

Don’t miss the Roots Festival in Oosterpark.

Just outside my city, you can visit the beach – Bloemendaal!

The best way to see my city is by bike.

If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live in Paramaribo, Suriname.

The best book about my city is Geert Mak’s Geschiedenis van Amsterdam (unfortunately, it’s in Dutch…).

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is “Een beetje verliefd” by Andre Hazes.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because it’s so much more than the red light district, coffee shops and canal tours that most guidebooks and magazines talk about. It’s historic, yet very modern!

Photos: Above, of canals, Ripani Massimo/SIME; Center, of Organ Man, LatvianGG; Bottom, of boats in a canal, Bart van Poll.

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