For me there’s nothing better than spending the day exploring new places. Of course there’s one simple rule to stick by: avoid the usual spots. You have to see it as a challenge where you try to be the local who knows about all the cool places a tourist probably would never find out about.
So when Urban Outfitters Europe asked me to share my fave hangout spots in Amsterdam I didn’t have to think twice about it. I’ve spent many days in the capital as I went to school there, did my internships, even lived there and got myself a job for quite a while. Now when I visit the city it’s mostly for business meetings, special events or catching up with likeminded people. But when I have some time left, I can’t resist to (re)discover Amsterdam’s finest places, from old to the new.
As you might already know, Amsterdam is the perfect area for combining a shopping spree with some cultural art sessions and yummy food tastings. But I can imagine it can be a bit difficult finding out on where to go, so that’s why I’m sharing this list of my five favorite current hangouts. As a lady in streetwear you can expect a good selection of urban clothes, design, art and street food. Enjoy!
What started with stealing her boyfriend’s clothes, ended up in opening their own shop supplying girls with a fine selection of streetwear. Founded by the Amsterdam couple Saskia van Hofwegen & Dian Iskandar, Maha stocks brands like Vans, Stüssy, Harmony Paris, This is Welcome, Neige Tees and Grenson. They just opened their doors two months ago, but already received a lot of attention and positive reactions from the crowd, resulting in a steady fanbase. It’s so cool to see they’re highlighting women in streetwear and help the scene grow. So ladies, you know what to do :)!
If you’re interested in promising talents in the art scene, you should definitely keep track on the exhibitions hosted by the Mini Galerie. Founded by Julia van der Meer in 2011, she used to transform her own living room into a temporary exhibition several times a year (that explains the name ‘Mini Galerie’). After three years she decided to take it to the next step, and moved the galerie to a new location on the Kinkerstraat. Here you can find a wide range of up-and-comers, both national and international. My boyfriend (who’s also an illustrating artist – @bienphilty) and me visited the solo exhibition by Dutch artist Jeroen Erosie, titled ‘Genius Loci’, which runs until the 10th of October, definitely worth visiting!
Meet the new kid in town: Toki! ~時 [~とき] or Toki is Japanese for ‘time’ or ‘opportunity’ and forms a new morning-to-afternoon hangout in Amsterdam. Set up by Jeff Flink, the place is located in a cool part of the Jordaan, right behind the Haarlemmerdijk. This is a place where you can take it easy, a feeling you can’t ignore the minute you walk in. Order a coffee from Berlin’s Bonanza or a cup of tea from Brooklyn’s tea atelier BelloCQ or just enjoy a beer from Hackney in London. There’s no such thing as a menu, they serve a plate of pastries from Petit Gateau (try the chocolate cake!) while street food-inspired options are also added if you’re lucky. Other than the food, the interior is also a good reason to visit this place. It has that clean Japanese meets Scandinavia vibe, with design choices from around the world.
Binnen Dommersstraat 15
Next to my personal blog, I also run my own online magazine called THRLD, inspired by the urban youth & street culture. People always ask where I find my inspiration and most of it comes from print, ironically. How cool and neverending the online source is, nothing beats a printed magazine filled with beautiful editorials and content. One of my fave reading places is the Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum, located next to their bookshop. The magazine specialist offers a selection of quality zines in the fields of lifestyle, history, art, music, fashion, design and architecture. It’s a place where I always forget about time while browsing through the collection. Also, they’re always kind enough to help you out if you’re looking for a special cover or issue, and are even willing to order it for you when possible.
Founded in 2008, David & Marijke Hukema created the Restored platform, including a concept store located on the populair Haarlemmerdijk. They work together with young designers and emerging brands to showcase an unique collection with products who have an interesting story to tell. From jewelry to interior design, garments, magazines and any essentials you can think of, they all have that typical Restored aesthetic. What’s also cool to know is that they collaborate on a regular base with talented creatives. Previous artists include Marta Veludo (big fan over here), J.C. Hermann and STRIETMAN. Hopefully many more will follow!