Amsterdam Style: 5 Design-led detours in The Dam
Written by Jaillan Yehia
The reputation of Dutch design precedes it, so what better way to truly connect with everyone’s favourite canal-laden city than to seek out some of that Amsterdam style during your holiday to Holland...
To get to the heart of a city like Amsterdam you’ll need to go beyond the obvious and travel to places that may not be marked on every tourist-friendly map – here are 5 places that make it onto my own personal map of Dutch design…
The Droogstore is an Amsterdam-based designer furnishing store that’s been around since the early ’90s when the brand rose to fame with well-known pieces like ‘A chest of drawers’ and ’85 lamps,’ which put a whole new spin on classic ideas. All their projects showcase the brand’s purposeful yet cool style, with each item made with a brief to ‘enhance daily life’ while telling a story all its own.
Whether you’re up for shopping or just browsing it’s well worth visiting the store if you’re in the area (it’s in the city centre close to the Rembrandt Museum so you really can’t miss it) as they have everything from smaller affordable options, to luxurious special edition pieces.
There’s a lot more to check out in the Droog building—including the gallery and recently opened hotel.
If you’re interested in taking in some modern and contemporary art while in Amsterdam, the collections at the Stedelijk Museum could be right up your canal. From furniture and sculptures, to paintings and movies, if it’s artistic, you can find it here.
The nearby Rijksmuseum is one of the major draws for art lovers visiting Amsterdam, and this designer spot is just a short walk away.
You can enhance your trip to the Stedelijik by dining at the on-site restaurant, taking one of the guided tours, attending one of the events or talks or spending some time browsing in the studio library – there’s always something happening at what’s billed at Amsterdam’s must-see museum for art and design fans.
3. Openbare Biblioteek
As British Airways writes here the weather in Amsterdam can be highly unpredictable – it may be sunny one minute, you could get caught in a downpour the next – in fact the last time I visited it rained non-stop.
So on the days when the weather thwarts your plans, visiting the Openbare Biblioteek, also known as The Amsterdam Public Library, can serve as a great backup activity.
In addition to finding comfort in the pages of a good book, they excel in visitor exhibitions for visitors to explore, for example the current show, Poems & Pictures, highlights sculptures, poems, and text.
In short this is the trendiest library you’ll ever visit.
If you’re looking for a unique place to eat, how about somewhere with organic ingredients, that takes advantage of local cuisine? Not only does Pllek have high quality, locally sourced food, but it also serves as much more than an eatery.
Created using disused shipping containers piled on top of one another, Pllek is about balance in more ways than one; on the weekends, they regularly host group yoga sessions in addition to offering massages, and they even support immune and digestive health with their menu items, which include detox cocktails and raw pies – this is all on offer overlooking the water for the ultimate in relaxation.
5. The Eye Film Institute
The EYE Film Institute is worth checking out for the building’s amazing architecture alone, but what’s inside is just as exciting. Here visitors can enjoy the panoramic views of the river from the onsite cafe, along with the extensive collection dedicated to the technological development of film, all completely free of charge. Eye also screens artistic and independent movies and hosts exhibitions and festivals celebrating art and cinematography.
You may not find some of these design-led delights on a typical tourist itinerary, but if you’ve got an interest in art and culture each will be well worth your time. Check a few of these hot spots during your next trip, and get a one-of-a-kind look at Amsterdam, all through the eyes of an adventurous local.
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