I was in Amsterdam this rainful weekend and on my way there I contacted a guy I met in Beirut in June. We were at the same bar, apparantly the only Western Europeans around, and he came up to me with a cold drink in his hand and said:
“Hi, can I talk to you? I am all by myself.”

A somewhat weird approach I remember thinking, but hey, original at least.

We spoke and exchanged numbers before I left – which I was happy to have done as I on my way to the capital of Heineken was lucky to receive a dozen insider tips that made my Amsterdam-weekend great!

However, two days was far from sufficient to discover all the hot spots recommended, so I guess another visit should be planned.

I am sharing some of the insiders with you and would like to say thanks or dankjewel –
Unfortunately I don´t know your name, on my iPhone you are saved as Beirut Dutch Guy working in Cairo


EAT @

– Restaurant Envy on Prinsengracht – 6 course surprise dinner
– Pasta e Basta on Nieuwe Spiegeldwarsstraat – singing dinner
– Sama Sebo or Blue Pepper or Tempo Doeloe – Indonesian cuisine (book tables in advance!)
– MOMOs – stylish place loaded with design, where far east meets west
– Lion Noir on Reguliersdwarsstraat – fancy schmansy
– Burgermeester – high quality burgers

ENJOY NIGHTLIFE @

– AIR – clubbing on Amstelstraat – went there and went mad! The entrance gives you an immediate feeling as if your part of the Matrix (falling numbers) Expensive though..
– Odeon club
– Paradiso – old church converted into concert hall/club/bar – best spot in whole of Amsterdam
– Escape – club on Rembrandtplein – went there, had a Sambucca or two, live DJs and a cool location
– Panama – gigantic club near the central station
– Melkweg – club/concert hall housed in a former diary, hence the name. Variety of line ups and concerts – recommendable!
– Sugar Factory – opposite of Melkweg – not the best spot in town, maybe better with a different line-up than the bozza-jazza-soul-nova-ish thing we had..
– Bastille XL or Players for the afterparty

After the afterparty you can get a bike taxi home or a regular taxi.
Two experiences:

1. Getting the bike taxi (rickshaw) home
If you do not know the way home, you might be taken on a ride just anywhere but to the hotel when jumping in the back of this 3-wheeled human powered transportation mean. My advice: discuss the route and price in advance – one guy demanded €10 for a 400 meter long ride. We gave him 5 and both parties perceived a so-called lose-lose situation.

2. I followed my own advice: Getting a bike taxi home and agreeing on the route and price in advance: The biker wanted € 7 per person. Not acceptable and we found that way too expensive (although we had no clue where we were, but always pretend like you know..) We jumped into a regular taxi and told him to take us to the hotel..whereupon he immediately stopped the car and turned around with a look on his face that clearly, without words, expressed: Are you f*ckin kidding me?

He suggested we got out of the car and walked just around the building to find our hotel..

A 150 metres walk (at no cost) – shame shame on you Mr taxi biker!

SLEEP @

– Hotel V – cool design hotel
– Hotel Piet Hein
– Hotel Roemer
– Hotel de Filosoof
– Art Gallery Hotel
– Hotel
Vondel
– Boutique Hotel Patou
– or the new Notting Hill Hotel


Vagablond – out&about