Eat Do Sleep Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city that TLE holds close to its heart, known for its rich artistic heritage and Golden Age canal system from the 19th century lined by tilting gabled buildings it is picture perfect. Mix this with world class museums holding works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk, award-winning dining and a hedonistic nightlife and you have the perfect city break destination! There are so many things to do in Amsterdam you are spoilt for choice, so here is a selection of our favourite places to eat, things to do and places to stay, that will help you have the perfect visit to what is one of our favourite European city break destinations.



Located on the Oosterdokskade next to Central Station, two Michelin Starred &moshik takes the fine dining concept to a whole new level. The restaurant is brainchild of Michelin starred chef Moshik Roth who uses his talents to take diners on a gastronomic journey. Eating here is nothing short of a theatrical display with many dishes even created at your table. There is an A La Carte menu, but go for the tasting menu which comes in découverte and grand sized with  meat/fish and vegetarian options and multiple amuse bouche to whet the palate! This is our favourite restaurant in Amsterdam, while the price is high, it’s an experience you won’t ever forget, expect the experience to last at least  three to four hours and you’ll leave full and more knowledgeable about food.


Lovers of steak will want to make sure that they take the time to dine in style at MR PORTER. Located on the top floor of the super cool W Hotel on Spuistraat 175, the restaurant blends a modern steakhouse with a contemporary lounge and tops it off with one of the best terraces in the whole of the city. Although steak plays the starring role here, and with ten to choose from you are spoilt for choice, there are plenty of other dishes to enjoy such as roasted potato Carpaccio with beluga caviar, grilled lobster and grilled octopus salad. The restaurant also excels when it comes to side dishes and diners can enjoy pearl pasta with caramelised onions, black truffle polenta, broccoli with black garlic and a whole host of other imaginative options along with their steak.


Set in the NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace Hotel close to Central Station, Michelin Starred Vermeer boasts rustic charm and an elegant yet laid back setting. The restaurant menu is simple, instead of dishes to choose from there is a list of ingredients that you choose along with whether you’d like to opt for a four, five and six course menu. The dishes that are included in these menus change often as they are inspired by the seasonal ingredients and the focus is on vegetarian and simple unprocessed dishes much of which is grown in the restaurant’s garden. British chef Christopher Naylor can always be depended on to impress and there is always something new to discover as diners embark on an eclectic culinary journey.

Read our guide to the best restaurants in Amsterdam


Van Gogh Museum Private Tour

It’s no surprise the largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh paintings reside in the Dutch capital. Encased in a strikingly modern building at Museumplein, the incredible collection is worth going to see regardless of whether you are an art-history buff or not. From his first break-through piece ‘The Potato Eaters’, to the renowned ‘Sunflowers’, alongside a vast collection of self-portraits, the museum is a fitting tribute to the Netherland’s most famous artist.  But for those who have a particular interest, a private tour offers something extra special. The private tour gives you a much more in depth look into the artists’ life and how his journey really influenced his work. The gallery itself is beautifully set up in a way that guides you through Vincent’s life, but we couldn’t recommend a private tour enough, purely for the extra tit-bits of knowledge and trivia the guides pass on, which truly brings the artist to life.

Rijksmuseum private tour

How can any visit to the Dutch capital be complete without a visit to the Rijksmueum? It can’t! We suggest taking the time to book a private tour to fully understand and experience the artwork within these esteemed walls. With over 8000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, pieces of furniture, sculptures and objects from all throughout Dutch history, the museum can at first seem overwhelming in the depth and variety of its content. Booking a private tour with an expert allows you to fully immerse yourself in the galleries and garner a fuller understanding of the incredible story of Dutch art history throughout the ages (Did you know that many of the Dutch still-life paintings from the 17th century included a half-peeled lemon as a moralistic message about the brevity of life and to remind families of their servitude to God?). Of course, no visit would be complete without viewing The Night Watch, Rembrandt’s greatest masterpiece, but the building itself is also quite the marvel!

The Royal Concertgebouw

Built in 1886, The Royal Concertgebouw is one of the most famous concert halls in the world. Known for its unparalleled acoustics and stunning interior, the Concertgebouw offers visitors a chance to experience the highest level of artistic programming from classical music to jazz. The concert hall has seen the likes of Richard Strauss, Vladimir Horowitz, Gustav Mahler, Louis Armstrong and even Sting take to its famed stage. With over 900 events a year, there is sure to be something to suit all tastes when you visit the city. Whilst in the city I had the chance to attend a seasonal concert by the renowned jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux and the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw. It was a truly special evening that got us right into the festive spirit!

De Bijenkorf

De Bijenkorf, which literally translates as ‘the beehive’, is a chain of luxury Dutch department stores, the flagship of which stands pride of place on Dam Square in Amsterdam. It would be hard to miss the imposing store right at the centre of the city, especially during the festive period when it is adorned with holiday lights! What once started as a family-run haberdashery and employing just a staff of four, this mighty brand has expanded across the country to be at the forefront of luxury lifestyle and fashion in the Netherlands. From luxe leather goods that make the perfect (and easily transportable) gifts, to top contemporary European fashion designers for both ladies and men, De Bijenkorf is a must visit for us on any visit to Amsterdam.

Private boat hire with Cruise with Us

When in Amsterdam you may notice the preferred mode of transport to get around the city is the humble bicycle. It’s a wonderfully active way of getting around but misses that extra unique element we look for in a trip. My suggestion? Hire a private boat tour for you and your party! Cruise With Us offer a selection of three bespoke canal boats, each suitable for parties of different sizes. Whilst in the city I was on board the Soeverein for one lovely evening, cruising along the canals and enjoying an exceptional view of the city! Not only was the boat beautifully fitted out (dark wood and polished metal fixtures, rich and detailed furnishings, and an intricately painted ceiling), there is a kitchen and bar on board and staff who are knowledgeable and seem genuinely concerned with making your trip with them pleasurable.  Not only will you learn about the city, you will also enjoy it amongst great company and with refreshment in hand!


The Tivoli Doelen Amsterdam Hotel

Housed in a historic 17th-century building, The Tivoli Doelen has played an important role in Amsterdam’s history. It’s the oldest hotel in the city, with a rich heritage, having welcomed many illustrious guests, including Queen Victoria and Napoleon Bonaparte. Overlooking the Amstel River and close to Dam Square, it’s but a short stroll away from many of the city’s top attractions, such as the Hermitage Museum and the Rembrandt House Museum. A fitness centre, a restaurant serving Dutch and French cuisine and a bar with a riverside terrace are among the NH Collection hotel’s amenities.

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Pillows Maurits at the Park

Built at the dawn of the 20th century, this gabled hotel contains many stunning features, including an atrium that’s home to its VanOost fine dining venue. 88 bedrooms are elegant, with clean lines, neutral colours and mod cons such as Bluetooth speakers, smart TVs and Nespresso machines. Pillow Maurits’ spa takes the form of a treatment room and a sauna, there’s a city garden filled with birdsong to find a pocket of urban peace, an alfresco rooftop bar, and an all-day brasserie complementing the evening-only main destination restaurant. The hotel enjoys a leafy location beside Amsterdam’s Oosterpark.

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The Dylan

This used to be the HQ of a charity and an almshouse, but post-millennium took on new life as a boutique hotel. It’s set back from the street, and entered via a peaceful courtyard, so guests instantly feel a sense of calm, exclusivity and elegance on arrival. The design is contemporary but fused with old-world charm, peppered with international antiques and oriental accents. Its 40 bedrooms are contained in two canalside buildings within the city’s shopping quarter. Meals are served in the Vinkeles restaurant (previously the house’s bakery) or the more relaxed Occo Brasserie. The vibe here is very grown-up, so best suited to adult travellers. 

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Seven One Seven

A converted canal-house, Seven One Seven sits at the heart of Amsterdam’s action. And it offers a distinctly homely experience, akin to being hosted as an aristocratic house guest, rather than a tourist. You won’t see a reception desk, restaurant or bartender here, rather a discreet domestic staff who’ll cater to your every need (including food and drinks) in a more bespoke fashion. Public areas come in the form of a drawing-room, library and breakfast room, in addition to the nine bedrooms. The back of the mansion dates all the way to the 17th century, with the frontage having been added in the early 19th. 

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W Amsterdam

If you prefer large scale fashionable luxury, the 238 bedroom W will suit you. One of its buildings is a former telephone exchange, the other a bank. But in contrast to many of the city’s competitors, it eschews vintage in favour of contemporary furnishings. Bright rooms include espresso machines and funky Marshall sound systems. Its rooftop lounge is a defining feature, the place to party and sip cocktails with a view. Or descend to the moodily lit, subterranean spa, hidden behind a large vaulted door. W has three restaurants, Mr Porter, The Butcher and The (Michelin-starred) Duchess. 

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Read our guide to the best hotels in Amsterdam

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