Netherlands

NetherlandsYes, you read that correctly. For our next stop on our healthy days tour, we’re visiting a small city in the Netherlands that has a big reputation around the world: Amsterdam. Now despite what you may have heard, there’s more to the city than untraditional “coffee shops” and the red-light district—and we’re going to prove it to you.

As modern and edgy as the city might be, you’ll also find that a majority of Amsterdam features the traditional European charm. From quaint canals that wind throughout the city to its diverse cuisine to being able to bike or walk from one side to the other, it’s hard not to fall in love with its multifaceted culture.

Since Amsterdam is small, the best way to get around is by walking or bicycling. However if you purchase an “I Am Amsterdam” card, you’ll gain free access to the city’s public transportation, as well as free entrance to over 40 museums and other attractions.

So here you have it, your healthy itinerary for Amsterdam!

DAY 1

  • Breakfast: Welcome the day with a delicious breakfast at Greenwoods. Try the veggie breakfast, which comes with eggs, seasonal veggies, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and wheat toast.
  • Workout: Head over to Rembrandtpark and go for a jog.
  • Lunch: Enjoy a sandwich and maybe even a small taste of locally made Dutch cheese at Café Luxembourg.
  • Mind/Body Balance: Rejuvenate your body and soul with a massage treatment at Sauna Deco, which is decorated with historic Art Deco pieces.
  • Must-See Attraction: Visit the building where Anne Frank, the 15-year old girl whose journal posthumously became a bestselling book, lived in secrecy for two years during World War II. Many travelers also suggest going to the Anne Frank House early or late in the day to avoid long lines.
  • Dinner: Although the dinners at Bordewijk often take longer than normal since every meal is prepared to order, this French/Mediterranean restaurant is a favorite among locals. We recommend trying the risotto with shaved black truffles or the roasted sea bass.

DAY 2

  • Breakfast: For a contemporary French breakfast, kick off the day at Brasserie Amsterdam. Enjoy a croissant (it’s okay – you’re doing a lot of cycling this week) or an egg breakfast and a freshly brewed cup of coffee.
  • Workout: Amsterdam may be popular for its canals and laid-back lifestyle, but not many people know about its beaches. Go for a swim at the Strand IJburg or head over to the Surfcenter IJburg to rent windsurfing equipment or take a class at the beach.
  • Lunch: Spending time in the water and out in the sun often works up an appetite, so stop by the Blijburg beach restaurant and refuel with some lunch.
  • Mind/Body Balance: The Hortus Botanicus was founded in 1638 and is one of the oldest Botanical Gardens in the world. Observe over 6,000 different types of trees and plants, as well as hothouses that simulate three different tropical environments, and even hundreds of butterflies at the Butterfly Greenhouse. You’ll also have to check out the garden’s giant water lily, Victoria, which is 154 years old!
  • Must-See Attraction: The Amsterdams Verzetsmuseum, also known as The Resistance Museum, is an important spot to visit during your trip, as it details Amsterdam’s history when it was under Nazi occupation during World War II.
  • Dinner: De Kas, which is located in a converted greenhouse, grows most of its ingredients in a garden adjacent to the restaurant. Enjoy the fresh produce in Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

DAY 3

  • Breakfast: Try the eggs and smoked halibut or dive into a fruit salad and Greek yogurt with honey for breakfast at Letting.
  • Workout: You probably noticed biking is the preferred mode of transportation in Amsterdam, so rent a bike and go for a ride around the charming city. You can rent one for a few hours or for the rest of the week if you’d like.
  • Lunch: Head over to the Albert Cuyp Markt, which is the largest market in the Netherlands. Check out the goods and pick up some fresh food for a picnic lunch at Sarphatipark.
  • Mind/Body Balance: Sit back, relax, and let your lunch digest during a ride along one of the beautiful canals of Amsterdam.
  • Must-See Attraction: Take a tour through the old Heineken Brouwerij and see the history of the beloved beer. Just go easy on the samples.
  • Dinner: Dine at the elegant French restaurant Beddington’s, which fuses traditional French and Japanese cuisine.

DAY 4

  • Breakfast: Sit outside, people-watch, and enjoy a filling breakfast at Café Krull.
  • Workout: Attend a yoga class at Amsterdam Yoga Centre.
  • Lunch: For a refreshing meal at Café Nielsen, opt for the vegetarian club sandwich, which features avocados, Dutch cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, or go for the organic turkey or salmon club sandwiches.
  • Mind/Body Balance: The aptly-named Nine Little Streets run between the Prinsengracht and Singel canals, and are filled with all kinds of shops and boutiques—so enjoy a little souvenir shopping for yourself… err, your family and friends!
  • Must-See Attraction: The Rijksmuseum, also known as the State Museum, is one of the best in Amsterdam. Filled with a vast collection of Dutch work from artists including Rembrandt and Vermeer, this recently renovated museum should definitely be on your to-do list.
  • Dinner: Envy is a Michelin Red Guide-rated restaurant that serves a variety of dishes, including baked duck, steak, and oysters.

DAY 5

  • Breakfast: Sip on an espresso and break your fast with some scrambled eggs at Valerius. Or, if you’re daring, indulge for the day and try one of Amsterdam’s famous pancake dishes.
  • Workout: Walk over to Vondelpark and rent some rollerblades for a couple hours. You can tour the park’s ponds, fields, and sculptures.
  • Lunch: Located in the park you’ll find ‘t Blauwe Theehuis, which offers freshly made sandwiches, such as hummus with veggies, or goat cheese with walnuts and honey.
  • Mind/Body Balance: The Concertgebouw is one of the most well-known concert venues in the world and has been hosting performances since it was built in 1888. Choose from a variety of music genres and see a show in this famous concert hall.
  • Must-See Attraction: Although the troubled artist only sold one of his paintings during his lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh has become one of the most famous artists in the world. From paintings to prints to etchings, you can view his work at the Van Gogh Museum.
  • Dinner: Located in a former tobacco warehouse, the Brasserie Harkema is one of the more modernized restaurants in Amsterdam. While the menu changes every three months, former dishes have included grilled tuna, vegetable lasagna, and Indian-style catfish.
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About The Author

Monica Montesa is a writer at Scribewise. An explorer and foodie at heart, she loves traveling to new places and discovering exotic cultures and cuisines. Visit www.scribewise.com.

2 Comments

  1. Now, I have an idea what to do when I visit Amsterdam for 3 days. This helped me figure out the best things to do. Thanks for the share. Glad you had fun there.

  2. Nicely drafted article Monica – Apart from the espresso coffees in the morning (cannot deal with caffeine) I will follow most of the lines 😉
    Best,
    Katy

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