On Valentine’s day Rob and I caught a train and then another and then another and then another to find ourselves in Amsterdam. We went to meet Rob’s parents there to enjoy some time together in the country they once called home. It was a lovely week with surprisingly warm and sunny weather for being the middle of winter and we enjoyed many strolls in the light. The city was beautiful and almost fairy tale like in my humble opinion. In this post I share all the things I enjoyed eating and doing as a vegan in Amsterdam but whoever you are and whatever you normally eat I hope you can get some insight into the city through my post.
At the top of this post you find a video we made with highlights from our trip. We hope you’ll enjoy it. You can also find lots more pictures and anecdotes from our trip in my saved story highlight on instagram as well, check it out!
Now with further ado here are all our tips and stories from our trip to the Netherlands including a little lowdown on how we got there travelling sustainably by train. x
TRAVELING BY TRAIN IN EUROPE
Before I share all about the fabulous places we visited in the Netherlands I want to tell you a little bit about how we got there. A month or so ago I shared this video where I talk about my impact on the climate and my terrible gas emission calculator score. The score was bad much due to how much I travel by plane and I made a pledge this year to cut down by a lot. My aim is to do one flight this year to visit Rob’s family by plane and the rest of the time I will find alternate travelling methods.
So this trip Rob and I journeyed our way to Amsterdam by train. Okay, we did drive our car to Malmö but from there it was trains all the way. It took us roughly 13 hours to travel from Malmö to Amsterdam central station. It was a rather uneventful and calm journey with three changes. The first train we took is the super easy and quick commuter train from Malmö to Copenhagen central station, it takes about 20-30 minutes and runs several times an hour. For this journey we used our Jojokort, a regional travel card but possibly we could have booked this journey into our over all ticket. Next time I will definitely check this.
Onwards from Copenhagen we booked a single ticket which allowed us on three different trains in Denmark and Germany taking us into Amsterdam. Our first train took us from Denmark to Germany and was the longest ride. This train rolls onto a ferry which crosses between Dansih Rødby and German Putgarten. Very easy to travel between these countries like this and ferry ride is enjoyable, I especially like that we could go outside on the deck and breathe some fresh air.
We then changed in Hamburg which has a beautiful central station. It is also a very convenient station with shops and a big food court housing plenty of seating. The second change was in Osnabrück which I know very little about. Luckily we were travelling on a very sunny and warm February day so we sat outside the station and enjoyed the light while waiting for our final train. This station had a little less commerce but still had coffee and a bakery. Finally we caught our last train to Amsterdam central station and arrived at 7 pm, having left Copenhagen at 7.35 am.
We booked our tickets online which was rather easy. This site and this site are great for booking train tickets within Europe. You can get the cheapest tickets when they are first released,this happens three months prior to any date. Over all the prices are fair and not that much different from flying, unless you book the very cheapest flights and/or get a deal. For me it’s worth a little extra time and money to lessen my impact on the climate.
The journey was pleasant and calm. Especially for me who is a little scared of flying, on top of the climate reason, this was perfect!
Amsterdam is a beautiful and charming city and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit. I loved walking the many bridges, looking up at the tall and slim houses and browsing the trendy shops. While in Amsterdam we stayed in what seemed a rather posh area close to the Museumplein. The Museumplein is a big park-square-thingy-place where many of Amsterdam’s most appreciated museums are located, and we enjoyed being in walking distance to these attractions. Otherwise getting around is mostly very easy using their tram system.
We got a tap-in and -out cards but these area little more pricey than in other places and you could buy other types of tickets for your specific journey. I preferred walking though as the city is very pretty in my humble opinion, it was especially fun walking around the canals. Although some streets get rather smelly with their “coffee shops” and weed loving visitors walking about. It’s interesting to peek into one as it is not very common for this type of commerce to be legal in Europe or most other places in the world but after a little while we all wished the air was a little more fresh.
Smelly or not I would love to come back to visit Amsterdam again and here are some cafés, restaurants, shops and attractions we enjoyed during our stay.
Cafés and Resaurants
Coffee and Coconuts – vegan friendly eatery open all day, we loved their buckwheat pancakes!
Meatless District – our favourite restaurant, all vegan and open for lunch and dinner – try the sausage and mash.
Vegabond – the best Dutch apple cake (not gf) and small but nice lunch selection, also an all vegan store with various goods and vegan stroopwfel.
Mr and Mrs Watson – we came for the cheese board and fondue but wish we’d tried some other menu items, the best cheese was the smoked one and the fondue was tasty.
Vegan Junk Food Bar – Burgers, tacos, loaded fries and in some spots salads, in various locations.
Mastino V – Gluten free and vegan pizza w. yummy options, long wait for the food.
Deer Mama – All vegan burger and milkshake bar that also serves bowl food, sandwiches and veganised Dutch bitterballen.
The Meets – trendy looking spot, open from brunch/lunch time until evening.
Things to do
Disclaimer, all museums in the Netherlands are expensive (around 20 EUR) – this is a little sad.
Van Gogh Museum – this exhibition is beautiful, and very busy.
Rijksmuseum – beautiful building with many, many paintings to swoon over, not contemporary.
Anne Frank House – a small museum dedicated to the people living there in hiding during WWII and based around the stories of Anne Frank’s diary
Noordermarkt – market on a Saturday within the canals w. produce and snacks, flowers, raw food and crafts/market items.
Vondelpark – a lovely park to take a stroll in with lakes (or are they ponds?).
Verse – lovely sustainable fashion store w. clothes and shoes as well as jewellery and some hygiene/beauty products. I bought a wonderful vegan perfume here from French brand Bon Parfumeur.
Geitenwollenwinkel – sustainable fashion store w. clothes, shoes and accessories, all vegan.
Nukuhiva – More sustainable fashion.
Restored – stylish sustainable store w. various items like ceramics and jewellery.
Cottoncake – clean looking clothing store with small vegan friendly cafe serving avo toast, granola, raw cake, coffee and other drinks.
Number Nine – local chain with pretty clothes, not sustainable fashion.
DAY TRIP TO HAARLEM
To be honest we had a half day trip to Haarlem but even though it was short I’m very glad we did. Haarlem is located about a 15 minute train ride away from Amsterdam central station. It’s a very quaint little city with beautiful cobbled streets, an impressive square called Grote Markt where on some days you’ll find a market and typical Dutch canals.
During our visit we walked by numerous little shops I would have loved to have time to browse and we visited the Frans Hals Museum. The exhibition was nicely put together and the interior of the museum and its branding rather swanky. It is all dedicated to famous Dutch portrait painter Frans Hals who inspired many artists who came after him, among them Vincent van Gogh.
After visiting the museum we had lunch at by Lima, a vegan friendly and rather buzzy cafe. We enjoyed the pancakes and the avocado salad bowl as well as kombucha. They had kombucha in almost every restaurant and cafe we visited in the Netherlands, thumbs up for that. Our plan after lunch was to visit the Ten Boom Museum which was a hiding place for Jewish people during WWII. However, we missed the time for the last tour of the museum due to service being very slow in the Netherlands. Just a friendly warning that no eating experience will be a fast one. The Ten Boom Museum only has three slots to view the museum each day. The exhibition is free and first come first served. So if you would like to see it make sure you arrive on time.
DAY TRIP TO DEN HAAG
If our day trip to Haarlem was a half day then our trip to Den Haag was unfortunately even shorter. You see we spent the day with Rob’s family’s friends from when they used to live there. We took a little road trip down memory lane and saw their old hometown Wassenaar. We also drove past the beach in Scheveningen where Rob spent many days a kid. It’s a nice beach, built up and in the city type beach but nice, and if visiting in the summer I think this would be a nice place to stop.
When we arrived in Den Haag we enjoyed a walk around the city centre. If we had the time we would have enjoyed a visit to the Mauritshuis Museum but we didn’t get the chance this time. At the museum you can view Vermeer’s famous painting Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Actually before our stroll we popped in for lunch at FOAM. It’s a lovely bright all vegan place. We all enjoyed a vegan BLT with tempeh bacon, they have gluten free bread here. We also shared a nice kale salad with pumpkin and nuts. For dessert there was cake galore. I do recommend this place if you visit and I even met a fellow youtube viewer – it’s always such a pleasure meeting you guys!
I hope to come back to visit this beautiful city in the future and be able to explore more.