6 X KARAOKE BARS IN AMSTERDAM

If you don’t feel like grabbing your dusty Singstar equipment out of the garage, there is no need!

These 6 Karaoke Bars in Amsterdam are HOT and best of all, you can grab your friends and take them on a fun night out.

Duke of Tokyo, Reguliersdwarsstraat 37

Since the opening of Duke of Tokyo, the place is regularly fully booked with groups of friends that want to show off their singing skills, combined with a bit of fun. So why does this place top our list? First of all, you can enjoy private Karaoke sessions without feeling embarrassed (we get that you might not feel too comfortable if the whole bar is looking at you when you try to imitate Whitney Houston). Secondly, all the rooms have flashy lights and comes closes to a traditional Japanese Karaoke bar. Good news for those living in Utrecht; they will be opening a Duke of Tokyo there too!

Best Karaoke bars Amsterdam, Duke of Tokyo
Photo by Janneke Nooij

Bar Karakter, De Clercqstraat 75 H

At Karakter they sell 3 different Karaoke packages; Bronze, Silver or Gold. And these all have individual extra options so you can make it as extended or simple as you want. The cheapest one offers unlimited drinks (beer, wine and softdrinks) and you can sing for 1,5 hours. The most expensive package will cost you 67 euro but included a 3-course meal (dimsum!) in the restaurant also. There are 2 private Karaoke Booths available to rent that offer more than 3000 songs!

Ginger Amsterdam, Ferdinantbolstraat 13-15

We first came here to enjoy some delicious Asian food, when we found out this place is famous for their Karaoke! Located in the heart of the “Pijp” in Amsterdam, you can’t miss this one. Combine it with Asian snacks and cocktails to complete your evening.

The End, Nieuwebrugsteeg 32

It sounds very dramatic, but The End is literally the place where to start and to end your evening. In the same token as Duke, they also offer private rooms so you can go all out. It’s the perfect spot to book if you are with a bunch of colleagues or celebrating a birthday party.

Karaoke bar

Casablanca, Zeedijk

This Jazz and Karaoke bar is located in China Town Amsterdam, so you can combine your evening with Asian food before heading to Casablanca. They offer a special deal for groups of at least 25 people, for 25 euro p.p you get a drink included, plus Dutch snacks. That being said, besides Karaoke they also offer live music and bands. Keep an eye out for the agenda!

Chin Chin Club, Rozengracht 133

Previously, this venue was a dodgy club but since the Chin Chin Club has entered the building, they’ve had nothing but success. Their main objective is dinner, games and dancing, but they also offer a Karaoke room with space for 35 people, yasss! At 11pm the doors open and you continue the party with the rest of the club. Come on a Friday or Saturday and you don’t have to pay extra for the clubnight at Chin Chin! More info here.

Karaoke in Amsterdam, Chin Chin Club

Have fun singing!

Do you love Korean Fod, find the best Korean Restaurants in Amsterdam!

Wander-Lust

 

Amsterdam Event Calendar March 2020

Oh boy, it’s been a while since we published our monthly event guide. Our reason? We have been writing our first travel book! But we’re back, and hopefully we can get back into the same routine.

This month is filled with cool events and Amsterdam NEVER disappoints.

Amsterdam Event Calendar March

Japan Winter Festival
When? 28th of Feb – 1st of March, DOK

This brand new festival is celebrating everything Japanese! Think about Japanese food (sushi galore!), cherry blossom, lights, tea gardens, Arcades and Japanese goodies! Tickets are €8,50 and available here.

Amsterdam Event Calendar March, Japanse festival

Spring is in the air Sunday Market
When? 1st of March, Westergas

As you may know, this is one of our favourite markets in Amsterdam! This March they are back with the Spring edition filled with local goods, foods and activities for young and old!

Kloffie Market
When? 7th of March, De Hallen from 12pm

Shopping in Amsterdam? We got you covered with Amsterdam’s finest clothing market. Once a month De KLOFFIE Markt takes place at De Hallen Amsterdam. Each edition you can find the finest second-hand designer clothing, vintage treasures and rare collector’s items. 

Women’s March 2020 in Amsterdam
When? 8th of March, Dam Square

If you all about feminism or you just want to stand for women rights in every sense of the word, you should join this years Woman March on international Women’s Day! Staring from the Dam Square and walking through the city with powerful women, you go girl! have you heard of these badass women?

Women March AMsterdam

Bottomless Brunch at INK
When? 8th of March, INK Hotel

For €35,- p.p. you can drown yourself in bubbles (they serve free refills!) pancakes and savory dishes. And all that on a Sunday! In the end the best weeks starts with a hangover. Read more about their restaurant Pressroom.

Dinner at Pressroom

Het Grote Bierdiner
When? 11th of March, Danzigerkade 8

This one is for beerlovers! The zero-waste-restaurant Instock is launching a brand new beer. And to celebrate, they are hosting a beer dinner on the 11th of March at the newly opened Chez Miné in Amsterdam. For 35 euro you will get a 3-course dinner paired with beers. There is space for 100 people so hurry up and book your table!

Amsterdam event calendar March, Beer

Coffee Festival CANCELLED!
When? 13 – 15th of March at Gashouder

Coffee takes the centre stage at this festival. Top coffee roasters, barista competitions, coffee cocktail workshops, mindful coffee tasting, live latte art and more. Of course there is a food village, a chance to buy various coffee and music. Tickets cost €15,-. amsterdamcoffeefestival.com

Amsterdam Wine Festival
When? 20 – 22nd of March, Gashouder

If you are more into wine than coffee, this festival is worth looking into! Whether you are a beginner or a real wine connoisseur, Amsterdam Wine Festival is a day out for everyone who loves wine. So enjoy all the beauty that the Northern Hemisphere has to offer! amsterdamwinefestival.nl

Extra for Expats:

Renting in Amsterdam Talk
When? 4th of March, Zoku (6.30pm – 7.30pm)

During this presentation, organised by Expats Republic, you will gain a comprehensive overview of the Amsterdam rental market. They will explain the headaches of this heated market and explain why Amsterdam appears to have a bad reputation. More importantly, it will guide you through the typical process of renting an apartment, what to look out for and what to avoid, as well as top tips for finding your perfect home. Tickets are free!

Café Cómodo brings latin flavours to Amsterdam!

Café Cómodo has been around for 2 years but we had never tried their food, until now. The café/restaurant has entered into a partnership with a talented, Argentinian chef that has been cooking at a high level for years at the Hyatt in Mendoza. Expect honest dishes, straight from the heart, with a good dose of Argentinian creativity!

Located in Amsterdam Old West district, near the Kinkerstraat, you’ll find Café Cómodo, a cozy looking café where people come to socialise. With their brand new menu and all star chef, they offer South American dishes with a twist!

The new chef at Café Cómodo

Exiting news because Café Cómodo have a brand new chef by the name of Emiliano Gurrera. Originally from Argentina, Emiliano is combining South American cuisine with the inspiration he has gained on his travels. Previously, he has been the appointed chef at the Hyatt Hotel in Mendoza for many years, before moving to Amsterdam.

At Café Cómodo I get the freedom to cook food that makes me happy. My cooking style is a lot easier than before, but I hope the guests will enjoy the taste even more!


Chef Emiliano Gurrera at Café Cómodo

The brand new menu

On the menu are dishes such as Cómodo’s Octopus (baked in breadcrumbs – red pepper jam – pickled beets – fruit vinegar, our favourite!), Sea bass ceviche (marinated in spicy sweet and sour sauce – avocado mousse – roasted corn), Belly Malbec, Tamales de Humita (corn – red pepper – onion – roasted red cabbage), Poulet Noir (chicken marinated in salmuera – lime – spicy sauce), Côte de Boeuf and Brownie (with dulce de leche and coffee crumble). The perfect South American comfort food.

Café Comodo pancakes

Café Comodo salad

Octopus Cafe1 Comodo

Catch up with cocktails

As you may know, Amsterdam is full of tasty hotspots but not all of them offer a place that is nice enough to stay around after the food is finished. At Café Cómodo you can stick around because they offer a lovely cocktail menu, plus I personally like the atmosphere. When you enter, Cómodo looks a lot like a typical café in Amsterdam, but walk ahead and you will find a seating area and the open kitchen.

cocktails

Thank you for inviting us, we will be back!

Café Cómodo
Jan Pieter Heijestraat 110, Amsterdam
Wesbite

Love,

Elke

6 x Amazing Gyms in Amsterdam to suit Everyone’s need!

Working out is different for each person. Most of us don’t always enjoy it, and some of us love to sweat for hours in the gym. Even if sport is not one of your favourite hobby’s, there are many options to stay in shape with a smile on your face. You just need to find a gym that suits you!

We’ve lined up 6 completely different gyms in Amsterdam, to suit everyone’s need.

Gustav – The luxurious one

Looking for luxury? Gustav Gym is the place to be. They just opened a brand-new second gym in the city center of Amsterdam. Their first gym is located in the Zuidas and both of them carry out a high-end appearance. This premium gym offers you the best fitness devices of Technogym. But what we really love is the tranquil vibe and personal attention. The coaches are kind, motivating and make you feel comfortable in the training. The most lessons take about one hour of your time: boxing, yoga and the Zuidas location also offers a rowing class. Especially after a warm sauna, refreshing shower with Rituals soap and provided soft towels by the gym itself. Looking for more personal attention with intensive coaching in training, nutrition and lifestyle? www.gustavgym.nl

Gustav Gym Amsterdam
Gustav Gym

BBB Health Boutique – Women Only

It can feel quite intimidating to step into a gym where you can feel the testosterone hanging in the air. For some women, this can be an uncomfortable experience, so it’s good that there are some women-only gyms in Amsterdam. Basic Fit and Fitness365 offer ladies zones or ladies only gyms, but the one that stands out is without doubt the BBB Health Boutique. This gym is especially designed for women and offers an unique gym system. Whether you want to shape, lose weight, are pregnant, have just given birth, currently in the menopause or just want to feel fit; BBB will coach you.The work-outs are performed in hot cabins which might feel a bit strange at first, but they stimulate the metabolism and the burning of fat. They also offer yoga, Pilates, HIIT, outdoor work-outs, food and lifestyle coaching. www.bbbhealthboutique.nl

BBB Health

Crossfit Flames – A family feeling

If you’re a family person, you’ll love this place. Everybody is welcome and you’ll also feel welcome here. The coaches will bring out the best in you and everybody in this gym is supportive and kind. Crossfit stands for constant variety, functional training at high intensity. There are about 10 physical skills you’ll be training at the box: cardio, endurance, power, flexibility, speed, coordination, balance, speed power, agility and accuracy. Get burning with Marcha van Glaanen Weijgel, owner and trainer at Crossfit Flames. She became 5th at The CrossFit Games 2018. www.crossfitflames.nl

crossfit gym Amsterdam

Fysio Buitenveldert – Hot Stuff
Feeling cold? Fysio Buitenveldert is the perfect place for us chilly ones. This place offers classes where the room temperature will be heated up to 40 degrees. Sweat guaranteed. In this temperature you’ll be able to do a Bikram Yoga Class. This one contains about 26 classic yoga poses and two breathing exercises. Pilates will be given in a less hot room, about 25 to 30 degrees. Due to the higher temperature the muscles will move easier and feel more flexible. You can also choose to do pilates, yin yoga or barre fitness without this room temperature. www.fysiobuitenveldert.nl

Shape All In – For more variety

Working out can bore some of us easily. Especially if you always do the same class or routine. Not only is this not optimal for your body (you have to keep surprising the muscles), it’s also not much fun. Shape All In offers you various classes, you won’t get bored here. Of course, you can also enjoy the regular gym with amazing devices to train your own body, but you can also try out a group lesson. Ever tried an Aerial yoga class (with hammocks), kinesis circuit, pole fitness, shape M.A.D. Viking fit, HIIT yoga or spin & strength? You can do all of this and much more at Shape All In. www.shape-all-in.nl

In Shape Gym
Me, hanging in there!

Chassé Dance Studios – Just Dance

Dancing off your calories is just a really fun way to stay in shape. Chassé Dance Studios is not an average dancing school. You can take regular dancing lessons like hip hop, ballet, zumba, modern dancing and Jazz. But you can also choose to do a HIIT & core workout, barre burn, twerking sessions and afro fit. The twerking class is challenging but fun. Side note: you do need to bring some knee protection. Some girls are very serious about their twerking skills but overall the class is just about having fun, dancing together and staying in shape. You don’t even notice you’re doing a plank because you’ll be focused on shaking that booty up and down. www.chasse-dancestudios.nl

http://chasse-dancestudios.nl/

So which gym is for you?

Love,

Larissa

Top 10 Asian restaurants in Amsterdam

We can’t deny that Asian food is extremely popular in the Netherlands. Time for a list.

With Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, Japanese and upcoming Korean cuisines, Amsterdam is a melting pot of Asian flavours. We’ve lined up 10 amazing Asian restaurants in Amsterdam that we think you should try.

Bo Nam

Apparently, all the cool people go here. We went and boy, the food and atmosphere was certainly cool enough to keep coming back! Located in the lively district in Amsterdam near Leidse square, it somehow still attracts the locals and hasn’t become a place full of tourists that want to eat quickly and leave. With R&B and Hiphop playing though the speakers, it makes Bo Nam the perfect place to eat, drink and socialize for hours. Even though the food concept is Vietnamese, Bo Nam offers a lot of different flavours on the menu but you can find 5 different spring rolls variations, bao’s, tasty prawns, salads and noodle dishes. 

Asian restaurants in Amsterdam Bo Nam
Source: Bo Nam

Ron Gastrobar Indonesian Downtown, Rokin 49

Firstly, we think this restaurant looks amazing inside. If you want to go all out and leave with an experience of food, ambience and entertainment, you should definitely visit Ron Gastrobar Indonesian Downtown. Honestly, the food isn’t just a pretty sight. It’s well spiced, carefully thought of and defines the Indonesian flavours very well. The wine and cocktail menu is also impressive. We will be back.

Ron Gastrobar Downtown Indonesia

Branie, Ten Katestraat 26

This tiny restaurant is one of Amsterdam’s best kept secrets when it comes to Asian restaurants. So what does Branie stand for? In fact, the name means daredevil, but in a cheeky way. It totally reflects the menu and a-ma-zing cocktails. They serve innovating Indonesian style food such as tea salad, soft shell crab bao and sweet desserts. Come to Branie with friends or a lover. You’ll have a good night.

Branie KFC bucket

Full Moon Garden, Leidsestraat 94

If you say DimSum, we are there in a heartbeat. This was by far the best DimSum we ate in Amsterdam. Relatively new, they invited us in their opening month and we couldn’t stop eating. The dumplings tasted exactly like they are suppose to taste, and if you are vegetarian, try the Chinese broccoli or eggplant with peppers. Yum! Read our full review!

Full Moon Garden Amsterdam

Umani by Han, Ovetoom

Located on the always busy Overtoom in Amsterdam, Umani opened about 3 years ago. This concept was founder by renowned Chinese chef Han Ji. restaurant is large and feels homely with a Asian style bar at the entrance. The open kitchen looks amazing and the Asian accessories and wall art completes the look & feel. They also open during the day for a quick business lunch or à la card meal, but you can also walk in for a coffee or glass of wine. A three course menu costs €27,50 which we think is very reasonable. Read more about Umami by Han.

Best Asian restaurants in Amsterdam, Umami

A-Fusion, Zeedijk 130

This place is Sarah’s favourite Asian restaurant in Amsterdam! It’s a family run restaurant where they serve amazing tasteful dishes from California rolls, steamed oysters and dumplings to beef in black pepper and chicken in curry sauce. It’s a combination of Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean dishes. Besides that all the products they use are fresh and there’s a very pleasant up-tempo and excellent service. Reserve your table here.

Kyoto Sushi, Central Station

Go where the locals eat. The advise that is actually true. Good news, because at Kyoto Sushi you will find a lot of Japanese people eating. Even though they offer an all you can eat concept, it surely is the best one we’ve had in this category. Their prawns, good gawd, try them. We usually stop at round 4, but at Kyoto we push till round 5! Add Kyoto to your favourite Asian restaurant list.

Best Asian restaurants, Kyoto Café

Chin Chin Club, Rozengracht 133

Dimsum and karaoke is always a great combination and the owners of the ChinChin Club must have noticed because the Asian trend is growing in Europe. Expect confusion Chinese food, fun cocktails, nostalgic games and late-night dancing. Chin Chin Club is the place where that one last drink turned into one too many. Go here with friends and sing while you eat! 

Restaurant Blauw, Amstelveenseweg 158-160

Surely you want to get fancy now and then. At Restaurant Blauw you can go all out on fancy Indonesian food. If you want, you can also order a la carte but we definitely recommend what restaurant Blauw is famous for. The traditional “rijsttafel” which is translated to rice table, is brought to another level here. Beautiful small plates are set around the table, filled with delicious Indonesian food. restaurantblauw.nl

best Asian restaurants in Amsterdam. Blauw

New King, Zeedijk 115

This list wouldn’t be complete without the infamous New King right? Located in China Town in Amsterdam, it’s a crime if you haven’t tried this Chinese restaurant. Unfortunately, it’s always busy so you must reserve a spot to avoid disappointment at the door. The food portions are large so be wise what to order. newking.nl

All things considered, there are many many more Asian restaurants in Amsterdam, but we can guarantee that these are the ones you will love.

Also, find out where our favourite lunch restaurants are!

Enjoy!

Wander-Lust

LALO & COCO | TWO NEW MEXICAN HOTSPOTS IN AMSTERDAM

This spring, two Mexican hotspots are launching simultaneously on the 24th floor of the iconic NH tower next to the RAI Amsterdam.

LALO Contemporary Mexican Kitchen & Bar and COCO Lounge & Bar will be inspired by the colourful cultural and culinary traditions of Mexico. It will be the latest project by the Entourage Group, who are also behind Mr. Porter, The Duchess and Izakaya.

LALO

Notably, LALO translates the essence of Mexico into an unparalleled dining experience. Sparkling, lively and energetic. And of course, with dishes that will resemble that. In the kitchen & bar, fine dining merges with a sexy lounge, where DJs add flavour to the evening with their beats. Together it creates an energetic atmosphere of drinking, eating and socialising that is revolutionary within Amsterdam. Both concepts cover the entire 24th floor of the tower and therefore have a 360 ° view of the city.

Find out which lunch spots in Amsterdam made it to our top 10!

LALO Mexican restaurant Amsterdam

Globetrotters and local townspeople relax in the leather saddles with woven backrests that are handmade by Mexican artisans.

Interior

Despite the modern architecture of the building, LALO represents the bustling and uncontrolled energy of Central America. The renowned designers of Studio MU Architecture & Design translated the essence of the country into a design full of characteristic materials such as antique iron, rough concrete, lush plants, rustic wood and unique terrazzo. As an illustration, golden and brass elements in the design symbolise historical art objects. But no matter which place guests choose to spend their time, LALO offers fantastic views of Amsterdam everywhere. From the seats directly at the window to the high bar stools, large tables and the intimate booths.

COCO Bar & Lounge

With its energetic lounge atmosphere and colourful dishes, COCO, as a long-awaited sky lounge, gives Amsterdam hospitality a refreshing boost as a long-awaited sky lounge. The lounge & bar menu captures the grand dynamics of Mexico. Small dishes are combined with one of the 100 tequila options or the tropical cocktails full of Mexican and South American influences. COCO looks out over Amsterdam at a staggering 91 meters. In that exciting and cosmopolitan setting, it bustles all day long. From lunch to after work drinks, to an informal dinner with live DJ music.

COCO Amsterdam

In either case, we can’t wait for these two new hotspots to open!

LALO Mexican Kitchen & Bar
COCO Bar & Lounge

Europaboulevard 2b, Amsterdam
Website

Our top 10 favourite lunch spots in Amsterdam

To be fair, there are too many great lunch and brunch possibilities in Amsterdam, but a few standout! 

We’ve handpicked our favourite 10 lunch spots in Amsterdam because they have that extra little thing. More importantly, we have also selected our choices by these important pillars:

  • They serve topnotch food
  • Provide excellent and friendly service
  • Good quality at reasonable prices
  • Great vibe
  • Inspirational or unique design

1. COTTONCAKE, 1e van der Helstraat 76-hs

This Concept store in the Pijp has it all! No need to travel to Paris,  Berlin, Melbourne or New York – Cottoncake brings all influences together in their store and café. They put all their love in fine organic food & smoothies. Besides food & drinks you will find a mix of fashion, design & lifestyle. From lovely handmade jewelries of Mimi et Toi & Monocraft, organic creams of La Bruket, to lovely basic shirts of Samsoe & Samoe and beautiful knits of Sita Murt.. I really fell in love with this concept store; you can sit down and relax, enjoy their organic healthy food and find that special item that you have to try on and you will keep for ever. cottoncake.nl

CottonCake
source: www.cottoncake.nl

2. BAKERS & ROASTERS, Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 54

Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland are known for their great coffee shops and these two friendly owners of New Zealand & Brasil brought the caffé culture to Amsterdam. This New Zealand style café is a very nice place where they serve fresh fruit salads, healthy juices, hot pies fresh from the oven, eggs, granola and is packed every day and we totally understand why! They do not except reservations, but it’s worth to wait.
Don’t forget to take a coffee, since their crafted coffee is a selection of Roasts from Ozone Coffee. They establish relationships with all their growers, batch roast & dispatch daily to ensure maximum taste & freshness. http://bakersandroasters.com

Lunch spots Amsterdam

3. VINNIES DELI, Haarlemmerstraat 46 | Nieuwezijds Kolk 33

Are you looking for tasty & healthy lunch where they use organic, fair-trade and sustainable products? Then Vinnies Deli is definitely the place to be for you! It’s no surprise this is one of our favourite lunch spots in Amsterdam. It’s a small cozy lunch/coffee room where you can eat your hart out! I have two favorites on the menu: eggplant with buttermilk sauce and pomegranate, and smoked mackerel with grapefruit chutney. But they also serve delicious cakes & coffees. Vinnies Deli is open from 7.30m in the morning and does take a killer take away and delivery. Do you like what you see inside? All the designer furniture is for sale! vinnieshomepage.com

10919191_335940293264300_1291648530_n

4. GARTINE, Taksteeg 7

In the hectic city you will find this secret’ place in Amsterdam, Gartine, a cute, cozy and lovely restaurant that is known for it’s high tea! From the garden to your plate: The special thing about Gartine is that they produce vegetables, fruits and herbs from its own garden. Almost all products are produced locally and everything is organic. They serve high quality breakfast, lunch & high tea dishes on flower-printed china plates. You need to make a reservation upfront since they only have 7 tables in total. gartine.nl

gartinesource: www.gartine.nl

5. CANTINA, Joris van Den Berghweg 107

In case you were looking to escape the city, Café Cantina is one of our favourite all time spots in Amsterdam. It’s not close to the city center and you can only reach it by car and bicycle. Therefore it’s never crowded and popular with locals. The organic café is also part of “Het Rijk van de Keizer” which is a location that can be used for weddings, parties and special dinners. You chill in the sundeck on a fatboy, hammock or even sit in an old car wreck. Find a spot in the shade under umbrella’s tucked away in between the trees. Don’t be surprised if you see chickens walking around, this is normal! Read more about this amazing spot.

Favourite lunch spots in Amsterdam, Cantina

6. SLA

If you want to eat something healthy and nutritious and organic, SLA is the place to do it. Currently, they own x locations in Amsterdam and they are still growing. Our favourite location is the one on the Amstelveenseweg because it’s large and next to the famous Vondelpark in Amsterdam. Every season they change their salad options, so you won’t get bored and they have more than 12 choices! It’s also one of our favourite workspots in Amsterdam, and furthermore, they offer free tea refills! ilovesla.com

Lunch spots in Amsterdam, SLA
Source: SLA

7. KARAVAAN, Kwakersplein 2h

To begin with, this place is brand new. It’s large, warm and the staff is extremely friendly which can be rare these days. In terms of people, you will find it all here. Couples, friends, freelancers, you name it. Find out more about this favourite lunch spot in Amsterdam.

Karavaan, lunch spot Amsterdam

8. BENJI’S

One of us has Indonesian roots, so we especially love Benji’s Toko. That being said, all of their locations are magnificent!  Best of all, all locations are full of plants and greenery, making you feel like you are in a tropical location.

Benji's

9. DROVERS DOG, Heemstedestraat 25 | Eerste Atjehstraat 62

This Australian café/restaurant has been around for many years now, but is still popular with locals and visitors till this day. To be fair, their service is excellent and the kitchen produces delicious comfort Aussi style food. In fact, two Australians and a Dutchman set up this great spot. In addition to the fact that a Drover is a well-known dog breed, the name has more to do with what these dogs do. They bring large herds of cattle together in Australia and bringing them together is what is important at  Drovers Dog. It is always cozy and full of friends, couples and families. Everyone who works there speaks English fluently and often with a strong Australian accent. (Oh, how we love it). 

10. BAR LELY, Cornelis Lelyplein 4

It’s one of Elke’s favorite workspots in Amsterdam at the moment, and situated at a brilliant location in Amsterdam West. Bar Restaurant Lely is so much more than just a restaurant next to Lelylaan train station. The restaurant opens at 8am, so early birds can drink a quick coffee and have some simple breakfast such as granola & yoghurt or a croissant. For lunch they serve simple but very tasty options and I must say that the avo on toast with a poached egg. 

Bar Restaurant Lely Amsterdam

Happy eating!

Wander-Lust

14 x Valentine’s Day idea’s in Amsterdam

Whether you’re in love, in a romantic relationship, or still wondering where your big love is wandering around, Valentine’s Day should or could be for everyone! We’ve selected 10 romantic things you can do on Valentines Day!

Some for singles, some for lovers, some for all! These are our top things to do on Valentine’s Day in Amsterdam.

1. Get Married for 1 Day!

At Wed and Walk you can get married for one day! Ok, it’s just for fun but you get a dress, suit and a picture to prove it! Maybe this is a good try out with your love to hence the feeling before the real big deal.. Prices start from €75,- which includes a wedding picture and rings to remember the big day! www.wed-and-walk.com

Wed and walk Valentine's Day Ideas in Amsterdam

2. Valentines Movie Classics at the Concert Hall

You don’t need to be a huge fan of classical music to go here because everybody loves a good romantic movie soundtrack! On This special night, the Concert Hall in Amsterdam will play the film music such as Romeo & Westside story, Carmen and more. Tickets are available from €35,-.

3. Valentine diner at Rijk van de Keizer

Imagine. While enjoying love flowing through the heart, Het Rijk van de Keizer brings you love flowing through the mouth. On this beautiful day of love the pop-restaurant located in Amsterdam New (find our where the best lunch spots are!) West serves a special Valentine’s Dinner dinner in Amsterdam for you and your love. They were fully booked last year so make sure to reserve your table! The menu will be organic, fresh and local and cost €37,50 per head.

Mr & mrs Watson

4. Fly over Holland

Forget all of the old-fashioned Valentine’s Day stuff and fly over the Netherlands with your lover! Okok, not in a place but in front of a massive screen with stunning images that will make you feel like you are actually in the air due to all the technology. Receive 2 glasses of bubbles and a flight over the Dutch landscape for 17,50 per person. For tickets and more info check www.thisisholland.com

5. Jazzy Valentine’s dinner at In-Stock

Save a dinner for two! At In-Stock they only use ingredients that would otherwise be wasted. They want to break the food waste cycle by turning food surplus into an appetising breakfast, lunch and dinner. Think of fruits and veggies with some beauty flaws, one-day old bread, and fish and meat leftovers. They are planning to turn their restaurant into a lovers cave with candles and live music while you enjoy a 4-course dinner for two. Reserve your spot at www.instock.nl/restaurant/restaurant-amsterdam 

6. Valentines Day underneath the stars at Artis

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with you love under the stars. Come with your loved one or invite your Valentine at ARTIS Zoo. In the Planetarium you are introduced to cosmic couples, such as tight double stars and clashing galaxies and you explore the attraction between earth and moon. Once back on earth, you look up at the galaxy. Listen to mythical stories about the male and female hunt of Jupiter and the sneaky relationship between Mars and Venus. It starts at 7:30 pm and ends at 9pm. Regular tickets cost €25 for 2 persons, €20 with a membership and include a drink.

Starts at Artis

7. Valentine’s Boat Cruise

Imagine the romantic canals of Amsterdam, twinkling lights everywhere, in the background a romantic music is on, in your hand you have a glass of cold prosecco and outside the romantic views of Amsterdam pass you by. Can it be more romantic?? Enjoy a 90 minutes boat cruise while enjoying a drink on the heated blue boat during valentine. Book it here from just 19,50.

8. Eat in the Dark at CTaste

Test your taste buds and eat in the dark! Upon arrival, diners are instructed to leave any light sources in lockers, so they can feel and taste their way through a three-course menu served by highly-trained blind (or partially-sighted) servers. We think this is an extra nice touch! The chef will offer foods that will make you talk about it so no need to worry about those awkward silence moments if it’s your first date! For more info visit www.ctaste.nl

9. Enjoy a Luxury High Tea

For all the best high tea spots, you’re good in Amsterdam. We’ve selected 6 of our favourite places that you can visit with your loved one, your family or friends!

high tea in Amsterdam

10. Valentine’s Movie Screening

Valentine’s day is not just for romantic lovers, it’s for all your pretty faces. Calling all lonely hearts, hopeless romantics and lovesick souls. Join Cinema of the Dam’d, a non-profit foundation that curates and presents unconventional film programs in Amsterdam, on Valentine’s Day for a special screening of Wong Kar-wai’s ravishing, bittersweet classic: IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. Bring a date (or don’t). There will be chocolate for all! Tickets cost €6,50 and the bar opens at 7pm.

11.VSPA Gala at Pllek

If we need to believe the hype, it will be an evening full of love and dreamy gardens. This year the prom will take place on valentine’s day. How romantic! Take a chance and ask your crush to the gala. The party ‪starts at 22:00‬, so make sure to be there on time! So, don’t forget to buy a beautiful dress or suit, get a fresh haircut, buy the perfect heels, and we’ll see you at the Prom! Ticket sales will start on the 27th of January. www.pllek.nl/pllek-agenda

12. Ice-Skating 

There is nothing more romantic than holding each others hand and skate in front of the Rijksmuseum. With the lights and hot chocolate on tap, you are in for some romance on skates! Amsterdam also offers ice-skating rings at Rembrantsplein and Jaap Edenbaan (the largest ice-ring), but the ice-skating ring at museum square has the be the most romantic one. They are open till 9pm until the 3rd of February.

13. Cuddle With Cats at Kopjes

Single and not ready to mingle but do you have enough cuddles to give? Then head down to the cat café in Amsterdam West. Kopjes is the first cat café in Amsterdam and was funded by a crowdfunding started on the internet. It has cats in all shapes and sizes that are rescued and looking for some love. Order a ‘catuccino’ or enjoy some of the sweet delights that they are serving. Valentine’s Day in Amsterdam has never been so cute. www.kattencafekopjes.nl

kattencafe Amsterdam

14. Talk at Lab 111; is Monogamy still a thing?

If we believe Hollywood, we should live happily ever after and preferably as romantic and monogamous as possible. In the new film program The More The Merrier: Moving Beyond Monogamy, we challenge this ideal through stimulating films, talks and art. On Valentine’s Day Lab 111 starts the program with a conversation about the self-evidence of monogamy and the stigmas surrounding non-monogamy. Is monogamous still normal if 40 percent of marriages fail? Moderator: Dorien van Linge, writer of Feminist Fataal (2019), journalist at de Volkskrant and known as DJ Dorien.

We wish you a year full of (self)love this Valentines Day!

Wander-Lust

These are the Best Spa’s in Amsterdam

Time for some YOU-time. Luckily, Amsterdam has a wide variety in Spa’s where you can pamper yourself.

These are some of the best spa’s in Amsterdam that are worth your while.

Akasha Spa, Conservatorium Hotel

This one is considered as one of the best spa’s in Amsterdam. located in the middle of the museum district inside the Conservatorium Hotel. Complete with a swimming pool, sauna and amazing treatments, this is a place where you walk out as a new you. I enjoyed an aromatherapy massage for 75 minutes and it was heaven. Prices are what you expect of a top notch hotel like this but let’s be real, everybody deserves a treatment like this once in a while!

Akasha Spa
Van Baerlestraat 27
www.conservatoriumhotel.com

Akasha-Moderne-Hippies-winactie2
Total zen at the Akasha Spa

Skins Institute at Hotel De L’Europe

This amazing Spa is located at the 5 star Hotel De L’Europe in the heart of Amsterdam. They used to have 2 locations, but they’ve now put everything under one roof. They do body, face, waxing, beauty and even hair treatments. I tried and tested one of their signature facial treatments and wow…heaven! Seriously, I should do this more often! You can even create your own exclusive oil base by getting your skin analyzed. A full day at the spa will cost you 30 euro’s and you can use the swimming pool (pictured), sauna’s, steam room and relax area where you can read. They serve lunch from the hotel and during spring and summer, you can enjoy the patio outside overlooking the Amstel.

Skins Institute
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-14
www.skinsinstitute.nl

PicMonkey Collage
Also on top of our list as one of the best spa’s in Amsterdam 

Sauna Deco

This Sauna and wellness Spa has been settled in Amsterdam  for 30 years already! The art decor is what you call, somewhat special. Sauna Deco is a household name in Amsterdam and many of our friends love going here. Their massages are reasonably priced and the sauna wellness area is available from 19 euro’s per person.

Sauna Deco

Herengracht 115
www.saunadeco.nl

Sauna Deco Spa
Source: Sauna Deco Spa

Spa Sport Hotel Zuiver (Spa Zuiver)

It’s where you will find mothers & daughters, couples, friends and business people. Spa Zuiver is for everyone. Sarah loves this place and returns here a couple of times a year.

Spa Sport Hotel Zuiver
Koenenkade 8

Spa_Baden_Zwembad35A3903
The pool area in Spa Zuiver. Photo by Karen Steenwinkel

These are without doubt the best spa’s in Amsterdam

The City Street Spa

Lucky for us, this Spa has 2 locations in Amsterdam! One flagship and one smaller which is called “Le Petit Spa”. From facials, pedicures, killer eyebrow and body treatments to Acupuncture and reflexology, you can find it all in one place. This popular spa also offers special face, hand and feet treatments for men so if you ever want to surprise your boyfriend, this is the place! 

The City Street Spa
Prinsengracht 764bg
Centre neuf Utrechtsestraat 120
www.thecitystreetspa.com

one of the best spa's in Amsterdam
Source: hethaartheater.nl

Cowshed at the Soho House

Cowshed
Spuistraat 210, Amsterdam
www.sohohouseamsterdam.com/en/spa

Cowshed is located on the ground floor of the relatively new Soho House Amsterdam. The Soho House is a members club but the spa is open to everyone. The Spa has six treatment rooms and four mani-pedi chairs which are divine. Men can also enjoy a traditional barber and hair treatment here, but we tested the massage. The Cowshed relaxing moody massage is wonderful and you can choose between different oils. After the treatment you can enjoy a free herbal tea and on Thursdays they serve bubbles and chocolate! Good to know: All skin products are free from parabens, petrochemicals, sulphates, and artificial fragrances. 

Cowshed spa in Amsterdam

Human Beauty

This spa is not huge but smaller and cozy than the above mentioned. This makes your spa experience more personal and customers keep returning. The interior is light and bright with a small boutique where you can buy ceramics and Jewellery from the like of Mimi et Toi.

Human Beauty
Eerste Tuindwarsstraat 1
www.humanbeauty.nl

Best spas in Amsterdam
Photographs by Lisan Timp  &  Marijn Wijs

Floatcenter Amsterdam

Floating is one of the most relaxing things you can experience. It’s weightless, silent and you and your mind is all there is. A little difficult for some of us as doing “nothing” is somewhat out of the ordinary when you have a busy schedule like us but nevertheless, very needed. This spa also offers massages, a hamam (scrub),spa capsules, beauty treatments and sauna.

Floatcenter Amsterdam
Nieuwe Kerkstraat 5k
www.floatcenteramsterdam.com

PicMonkey Collage
Me floating at the float center Amsterdam. 

Spa 1001

Most hotspots are in the city centre of Amsterdam, at least that’s what most people think. I live outside the centre so I know better. Spa 1001 is located in Amsterdam New West in Osdorp and close to the upcoming Tuinen van West area. The spa is also popular with Dutch celebrities like actrice Victoria Koblenko, footballer Justin Kluivert, vlogger Sisi Bolatini and other top sporters and well known vloggers. You can either book 2,5 or 5 hours and enjoy your private sauna, steam room with a optic star-ceiling, spacious jacuzzi or unwind in the luxurious (and large) lounge area that includes a fireplace. 

Spa 1001
Meer en Vaart 4, Amsterdam

WebsiteFacebookInstagram

Spa 1001, best spas in Amsterdam

Love,

Elke

ELLIS GOURMET BURGER AMSTERDAM

It is years ago now, but when I lived in London and I found out that an Ellis Gourmet Burger restaurant was opening near my place, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life, so why do I dig this burger place you ask?

In comparison, Ellis Gourmet Burger is a little different to other burger joints. And in recent years, they’ve made an even bigger transition when it comes to their menu. Surprisingly, vegan and vegetarian dishes are well established on the menu so when Wander-Lust was asked to test the new latest venue in central Amsterdam, we said yes in a heartbeat.

Ellis Gourmet Burger

With restaurants in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Breda, Ellis Gourmet Burger is doing something right in the Netherlands. It has been a while since I ate at a burger restaurant, so I invited Sarah to join at their location on the Gravenstraat so we could pick and mix. 

Wander-Lust at Ellis Gourmet Burger

The Menu at Ellis Gourmet Burger

Honestly, everyone can eat here. But oh boy, those sticky flower wings. Basically, these are deliciously disguised cauliflower parts, glazed with sweet sriracha and panko-crumbed. Still licking my fingers as we speak. They are the latest edition on the menu plus they’re 100% vegan!

Vegetarian Burger Ellis Gourmet Burger

For mains you have plenty of choice between 11 burgers, sides and salads. Sarah tried the Quinoa & goat cheese salad (it was January, so healthy orders were made), and I opted for the vegetarian burger. By the way, the buns at Ellis Gourmet Burger are crunchy and not to be compared with the soft dry burger buns you get at Mac D’s. We all have our preferences, but I prefer this. If you still like the taste of meat but you want to save the planet, you can order the revolutionary and sustainable plant-based Beyond burger!

The Interior

It has to be said, this wasn’t my favourite location I’ve seen. However, the location is perfect for visitors, as it’s located right in the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam’s shopping district, near the Dam Square. If you are looking for a more local experience, try their other locations the Prinsengracht or Singel.

All in all, I filled my tummy with some good comfort food!  Vegetarian or not, I can assure you, Ellis surely knows how to serve a tasty burger!

Ellis Gourmet Burger
Gravenstraat 20, Amsterdam
Website

Elke