An Instagram Traveller's Guide to: Amsterdam
I've been to Amsterdam once before on a school trip when I was in sixth form. I remember being 18 and thinking how great it was going to be to sneak out at night, go drinking in the red light district during our free time and generally cause chaos around the city with my school friends.
Six years later and I'm back with my mum, but I've grown up a lot since then. I love the occasional drink, but I'm more on the search for an alternative city tour, searching for hip cold pressed juice bars, the best place to grab an awesome lunch from, or quirky little shops that we just won't find in London.
In fact, Instagram and the internet have allowed me to be quite the anti-tourist searching out not where the other tourists are, but to find out where the locals are hanging - and to join them.
Best place to brunch - Bakers and Roasters
This lively brunch spot run by Kiwis caters for all. It feels like a more chilled out Granger's and Co with a quirkiness to it that welcomes everyone - from kids to serious Champagne brunchers.
Go for the Sweetcorn fritters with poached eggs, or the green shakshuka with feta, followed by a jasmine iced tea or iced coffee if you're trying to be healthy. Other signature dishes include pancakes (obvs.) along with an espresso martini and they have an awesome array of cakes too!
Best cold juice - The Cold Pressed Juicery
Obvious name, but a very cool place indeed. Grab a fresh smoothie or one of their signature juices. I went for 'The Glow' which Google translate tells me is pineapple, beetroot, strawberry and ginger. An awesome combo for a hip, cool shop that even has a tree inside...yes a real living tree. If you're after that cool Insta-worthy juice bar then this is the place.
Best Hotel - The Hoxton
If you've been to either of The Hoxton Hotel's in London you'll know that they ooze "cool" and it's just as cool in Amsterdam. Decidedly less busy - but with an open roof that somehow reminded me of Cecconi's in Miami's Soho Beach House you'll be pleased to be seen here. Dine at Lotti's restaurant with plenty of healthy options. The Tuna Carpaccio and Beetroot salad for starter are oh-so insta-worthy, and although not so healthy - the burgers come with truffle fries. Perfect after a morning of walking the canals.
Best way to get around - a bike!
If you're feeling brave, hire a bike. The bikes are not like the British bike and you'll actually want to be seen on one in Holland. Where there is a road, there is also a bike lane - something I personally think London should adopt! The best way to see a city is by avoiding the Tube, and although Amsterdam may seem quite big it really doesn't take much time to walk from place to place - it's beautiful along the canals.