Tired of Van Gogh queues, ubiquitous Rembrandt souvenirs and Red Lantern District's disgusting objectification? I so understand you. My escapes:
Theater Tuschinski | Art, Architecture
And now for something completely different! Art nouveau, Art Deco, plushy psychedelics, Steiner’s Goetheanum Hogwarts-ey vibe: step through the cinema entrance on busy downtown street and you’re in different times. A sumptuous shrine to the golden age of cinema, commissioned by the eponymous Polish-born taylor in 1921 (architect Hijman Louis de Jong). My treat would be to pop some LSD, sink in one of the comfy velvet sofas in the lobby and just stare at the incredibly lavish carpet, wall and ceiling patterns for good couple of hours. But you can also go see a movie. Or take an audio tour of the building, every morning. Your call.
Eye | Art, Food, Architecture
Amazing in both its form and contents, the white futuristic building of Netherlands film museum (2012, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects) is a at least half-day endeavour; you won’t want to leave neither the engaging film history and technology exhibitions, nor the beautiful, light-flooded café overlooking the IJ river (especially the stairs/terrace outside on a sunny day, munching on a fried something). Bonus: free ferry ride from the center, allowing you to admire different facets of this architectural/cinematographic gem while approaching. (P. S. Don’t go anywhere near the souvenir shop. No, really. I warned you.)
ADE | Clubbing
Yes, the Amsterdam Dance Event makes the city even fuller of people and hotel prices soar even higher. But it’s such a treat to see how - supported by the city government - this 5-day mid-October music festival and conference paints the city yellow and fills it with the creme de la creme of all electronic genres, celebrating the rave culture. Beautiful statement of the importance of electronic music in Dutch culture and Amsterdam life - pick your vice in their extensive schedule of clubs, museums, cinemas, warehouses or other pop-up spaces and go.
(Need one more layer of persuasion? This account of De School booker shows heavy seas of love through the eye of an industry insider.)
Stedelijk Museum | Art, Food, Architecture, shopping
Obvious choice, I know - but this bathtub (2012, Benthem Crouwel Architects) never ceases to amaze me by both its outside and inside. Permanent collection scores just as high as the temporary shows and museum's visual identity is just awesome in its totally stripped-down simplicity. Can’t imagine being in Amsterdam without visiting it, this is a serious long-term relationship. Love-hate one thanks to its souvenir shop - you may want to rob it, too. (But don’t worry, you won’t; spending half your salary on simplist stationery and colourful kids games will do.)
Door74 | Cocktails
No more a secret but still worth playing the speakeasy game. This small, well-regarded prohibition-style bar is just coupla steps from the aforementioned Tuschinski - hence a well recommended liquid extension of this 1920’s voyage. The menu is playful, staff sweet, cocktails expert and well served, décor dim as should be - true professionals. Be one yourself and book in advance.
De School | Art, Food, Architecture, Clubbing
Institution whose mission, DJs and atmosphere make it well worth the trip to the western outskirts. While the former school building might induce nostalgia, its current animation certainly does not: parties and concerts with top-notch names, art exhibitions, great café and restaurant, gym with yoga classes and more.. You’ll want to go back to school. (I do.)
Haarlemmerstraat | Art, Food, Shopping
Running through the hip Jordaan district, this street is a beautiful shopping / dining / leisure area. Just take a casual stroll west-bound from the busy Centraal, lick some local designer’s shopping windows (lot of eye candy everywhere), stop by The Movies cinema, cute art deco movie theater with good bar, or choose one of many restaurants along.
Westergasfabriek | Food, Architecture, Clubbing, Shopping
You can also finish in the soothing Westerpark and Gashouder area, greeted by its wonderful red-brick industrial architecture and multitude of good restaurants and other passtimes. We chose the Troost brewery for its no-brainer combination of good burgers and 10+ on-site brewed beers, but maybe you prefer sth else; such as petting dwarf goats, clubbing in the former gasholder with 3500 other people (home of the famous Awakenings club events) or contemplating the neighbouring community gardens.