Exploring Amsterdam

Being back in Holland for the first time since January has inspired me to write a post about all the great places I visited last time I was here. For those of you who don’t know, my family live in The Hague, which is a city south of Amsterdam that is often referred to as the cultural capital of Holland.

In January, before I had a blog, Edd and I spent a couple days exploring Amsterdam after visiting my family in The Hague. It is such a cool city that I really think it takes more than just a couple days to even get a taste for the amount of great offerings they have. Now apart from the obvious thing you have to do, which is walking into every single cheese shop you want past and eating as much Gouda as possible before they kick you out, here are some of my favourite things we did/saw/ate/drink throughout the trip.


Let’s start with how we got to Holland. Instead of flying to Holland, we decided to get the ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland using Stenaline. Is this the cheapest way to get to Holland you ask? No, absolutely not. However, if you are happy to travel during the day on the ferry it is around £35 each way without a vehicle. Similarly if you are bringing a car to Holland, it is a great alternative to the crazy busy Eurotunnel.

We travelled overnight which means you have to rent a room too. We upgraded (as most of the options said ‘bunk beds’ which are not really ideal) and our room was right in the centre of the boat with an incredible view. It also came with a mini bottle of bubbly and 2 bottles of red wine. We may have been incredibly lucky, but I really enjoyed it!

We didn’t try out the restaurants or the cinema as we did basically just drink our free alcohol and go to bed, but I would love to travel again and try them out.


The Eurostar is now running trains from London to Amsterdam (not the other way yet due to the crazy security for coming into the UK vs. going to Europe). I’d also love to try out that alternative route too.

The bars

Now once we were in Amsterdam, the first place we visited was a bar called Brouwerij’t Pub. This is pretty easy to spot as it’s a brewery inside a windmill.


The fact that all their beer is brewed onsite is incredible and every single beer we had was absolutely delicious. They also sell sausages and cheese, the cheese is presumably gouda and comes with celery salt which is amazing and definitely worth a try. The only thing I would say is that is is SO BUSY. There’s no way you will find a seat unless you know the right time to go as it is full of locals, but if you’re content standing in your 1m squared box and drinking delicious beer then it’s totally worth the visit.


Our bar is located in the same former bathhouse that also houses our first brewery, right under Amsterdam’s biggest windmill. It opens at 2pm and closes at 8pm every day of the year, including holidays.

The majority of beers that we brew are available on tap in our pub. It’s self-service only so order your drink at the bar and find yourself a suitable spot. In summer there’s also long tables outside on our terrace, and in winter you’ll find shelter between the old bathhouse walls.

Of course this place is mainly about the beer but for those who don’t appreciate that beautiful style of drink there are a few wine, juice and soda options.

Food wise we offer a basic menu of tasty beer snacks. We selected a few cheeses, sausages and other bites we think go down very well with our beer. It’s self-service here again. You’ll find all the options on the menu at the kitchen.

Since stag parties are, more often than not, detrimental to an atmosphere in which everyone can joyfully sample our beers, we do no longer serve them.

There is no table reservation, so come early or make friends and squeeze in.

Opening hours: 14:00 hrs and closes at 20:00 hrs every day of the year, including holidays.

Address: Funenkade 7 1018 AL Amsterdam
Phone: +31 (0)20 261 9801
Email: info@brouwerijhetij.nl |

The next day we went “over the edge” at the A’DAM Lookout. This involves swinging on a giant swing over the edge of the tallest building in Amsterdam and looking out onto the city below. Once you get to the top it is an extra €5 for this experience and it was definitely worth it, though we did this in the freezing cold in January so I can imagine it is even better when the wind isn’t threatening to knock you over where you stand.


Once we had queued and had our swing, we made our way back inside to the warmth and had a pink of Heineken in the bar just below. You’re in Amsterdam so you obviously have to drink Heineken…


A’DAM LOOKOUT is an observation deck with an unrivalled panoramic view of Amsterdam. You’ll see the city’s historical centre, its pulsating port, the unique Dutch polder landscape and you’ll spot the famous canals which belong to the UNESCO world heritage list. Complementing the experience is a state-of-the-art interactive exhibition about Amsterdam’s history and culture. A’DAM LOOKOUT is located on top of the A’DAM Tower in Amsterdam North.

One of our other favourite places we discovered in Amsterdam was actually inside Amsterdam Centraal train station called The Chocolate Company. They have a hot chocolate bar where you pick the flavour hot chocolate you want and then this give you a glass of hot milk and you stir your chocolate inside it until it melts completely. They had a huge selection of delicious flavours to choose from and we were gutted we forgot to take any home to England with us.


To eat

Now we didn’t really eat out that much whilst we were in Amsterdam. Trying to keep to a relatively cheap budget we went for a lot of street food and fast dining options and as we were only there for a few days this wasn’t really a problem. The obvious food item we had to have was chips and mayonnaise. We had a bit of an argument about mayonnaise on our way over as Edd doesn’t really like it, which is crazy to me because it’s the best thing ever to have with chips, clearly visiting my family so often in Holland is rubbing off on me. But anyway, we had frites MET mayo at Smullers in Amsterdam, which is my favourite place to buy chips though there are loads of great places. One in particular just by the station boasts as being the best chips in Holland, but there was a long queue and it was cold, and I personally love Smullers. Perhaps when it’s not January I will go back and check it out myself!

Smullers have also now started offering vegan mayonnaise with their chips, they also have a fast food vending machine so if that’s not worth a look then I don’t know what is (apart from all the great museums and that).


The second place we ate at was a super cheap Chinese place called Asian Kitchen it’s super cheap and really tasty – the portions are absolutely huge! It’s quite difficult to eat in central Amsterdam on a budget, so this place is a good find for those days when you just want something cheap and quick without breaking the bank.


I actually end up visiting Amsterdam quite a lot because my family are based so close, so your recommendations for places to go are very welcome!




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