Like every other person you know, we at The Social Vampire are quite fond of traveling. If only we'd been JSAs (junior semester abroad, for the uninitiated) we would have eloquent travel blogs proclaiming how amaaaaaazing the colosseum was and how increeeeedible the tapas were in Barcelona.
Unfortunately, neither of us were #blessed enough to slip away from the sorority house for a whirlwind three months spent Instagramming the Lennon Wall in 'Praha.' We are unable to tell our gal pals about that time we fell in love with a super hot European with an undistinguishable accent in a club in Innsbruck, and we can't wax rhapsodic about how very British we felt when we visited the house from the Parent Trap.
However, lucky for you guys, we did take copious notes any time we managed to steal away from the UK for a hot minute. No one wants to rely on the Lonely Planet Guide for a weekend jaunt, so we are going to bring you suggestions of our favorite haunts in cities across the world. Because no one wants to spend their Friday night at the Hard Rock Café.
Amsterdam City Guide
JL No. 76- This hotel is at the center of the city, right behind the PC Hoofstraat, the 5th Avenue of Amsterdam. It's awash in bright colors, Oriental rugs, and kooky details that only the Dutch could bring together. It has a garden in the back that's lovely when the weather is good.
Conservatorium Hotel- If you want to splurge, this is the place to be. This design hotel is extra luxe and incredibly well-located. The spa, straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, alone is worth the stay.
Izakaya- Sleek Japanese that turns into a bumping bar on Friday and Saturday nights. Opt for the tasting menu for the full experience.
Boca's- Good for sharing plates.
Bar Spek- If you're away from home but still aching for a brunch to cure a hangover, head to Bar Spek.
de Wasserette- If you want a relaxed weekday breakfast, de Wasserette is a smart choice for tasty coffee and eggs.
George W.P.A.- Nice for wine and comfort food in the evening, or a leisurely sunny lunch outside to people-watch. They don't do cocktails though, so don't be surprised if you're greeted with a few raised eyebrows when you ask for an Amaretto Sour.
Mazzo- Sweeping ceilings, blonde wood, and industrial touches rule at this Neapolitan-style pizzeria.
RED- Steak. Lobster. Caviar. Enough said.
Buffet van Odette- A local, buzzy lunch spot on the Prinsengracht that is as perfect for an afternoon spent languishing over a truffle cheese omelet as it is for a drink with friends before heading out.
The Butcher- What starts as a juicy burger joint (get the Truffle Burger or the Silence of the Lamb) turns into a hidden speakeasy at night, if you're lucky enough to know the secret password. If you have dinner at Izakaya right down the street, they can put you on the list if you're not used to rubbing elbows with Amsterdammers.
Momo- A good place to see and be seen.
Paradiso- There's usually a good show on here, but check the schedule to see what's happening.
De Kring- Members only and very chichi, but if you can go, it's definitely worth it.
Foam- A photography museum that puts on interesting and innovative shows. Go for the art, stay for the hipsters.
Stedelijk Museum- The best of modern art housed in what looks like a giant bathtub. It's in the Museumplein, so it's easy walking distance from the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijks Museum if you're hitting the traditional spots.
Noordermarkt- Quite a small market, but a great place to pick up interesting trinkets. Another benefit is it's usually not overrun by tourists.
The Nine Streets- The best area for shopping. Lots of boutiques and cute places to grab a bite.
Best Friends- The only coffee shop I ever go to. It's got a prime location in the Nine Streets and has the coolest logo.