For all those who love cobbled streets, narrow clusters of houses with archaic gabled facades and tangles of canals and shops, Amsterdam is your spiritual home.
Spend your days wondering the pavements of this instantly lovable city, its beautiful streets and vibrant international culture. Amsterdam’s liberal counter-culture and maze of chic shops and bars make it one of our favourite ever city breaks.
The perfect melting pot of cool shops, galleries and restaurants, we asked blogger Chloë Alyshea Emily to give us a rundown of her five top hangout spots. Over to you Chloë…
What started with stealing her boyfriend’s clothes, ended up in opening their own shop supplying girls with a fine selection of streetwear. Founded by the Amsterdam couple Saskia van Hofwegen & Dian Iskandar, Maha stocks brands like Vans, Stüssy, Harmony Paris, This is Welcome, Neige Tees and Grenson. They just opened their doors two months ago, but have already received a lot of attention and positive reactions from shoppers. It’s so cool to see they’re highlighting women in streetwear to help the scene grow. So ladies, you know what to do!
￼ ￼MINI GALERIE
If you’re interested in promising talents in the art scene, you should definitely keep track of the exhibitions hosted by the Mini Galerie. Founded by Julia van der Meer in 2011, she used to transform her own living room into a temporary exhibition several times a year (hence the name ‘Mini Galerie’). After three years she decided to take it to the next step and moved the galerie to a new location on the Kinkerstraat. Here you can find a wide range of up-and-comers, both national and international. My boyfriend (who’s also an illustrating artist – @bienphilty) and I, visited the solo exhibition by Dutch artist Jeroen Erosie, titled ‘Genius Loci’, which runs until the 10th of October, definitely worth visiting!
Meet the new kid in town: Toki! ~時 [~とき] Toki is Japanese for ‘time’ or ‘opportunity’ and forms a new morning-to-afternoon hangout in Amsterdam. Set up by Jeff Flink, the place is located in a cool part of the Jordaan, right behind the Haarlemmerdijk. This is a spot where you can take it easy, a feeling you can’t ignore the minute you walk in. Order a coffee from Berlin’s Bonanza or a cup of tea from Brooklyn’s tea atelier BelloCQ or just enjoy a beer from Hackney in London. There’s no such thing as a menu, they serve a plate of pastries from Petit Gateau (try the chocolate cake!) while street food-inspired options are also added if you’re lucky. Other than the food, the interior is also a good reason to visit this place. It has that clean Japanese meets Scandinavia vibe, with design choices from around the world.
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Next to my personal blog, I also run my own online magazine called THRLD, inspired by urban youth & street culture. People always ask where I find my inspiration and most of it comes from print, ironically. However cool and never-ending the online source is, nothing beats a printed magazine filled with beautiful editorial and content. One of my fave reading places is the Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum, located next to their bookshop. The magazine specialist offers a selection of quality lifestyle, history, art, music, fashion, design and architecture zines. It’s a place where I always forget about time while browsing through the collection. Also, they’re always kind enough to help you out if you’re looking for a special cover or issue, and are even willing to order it in for you.
Founded in 2008, David & Marijke Hukema created the Restored platform, including a concept store located on the populair Haarlemmerdijk. They work together with young designers and emerging brands to showcase a unique collection with products who have an interesting story to tell. From jewelry to interior design, garments, magazines and any essentials you can think of, they all have that typical Restored aesthetic. What’s also cool to know is that they collaborate on a regular base with talented creatives. Previous artists include Marta Veludo (big fan over here), J.C. Hermann and STRIETMAN. Hopefully many more will follow!
@restored Haarlemmerdijk 39