RSMP 2015

What to do in Amsterdam - ICCA Staff and Local Host guide 

Some of the ICCA team and Local Host team have come up with suggestions of places they like to go, many of which you may not find in the usual tourist guides.

Also, check out the iAmsterdam website for everything that is happening while you are visiting Amsterdam. Maybe you want to come earlier or stay longer!

Here are a few examples of what is going on in Amsterdam around the time of RSMP:

· Fr Free entertainment in the Vondelpark at the Open Air Theatre.

SS Special exhibition of Henri Matisse's work at the Stedelijk Museum.

Wa Walk the free art route in Amsterdam South: Artzuid.

Over het IJ Festival (just prior to RSMP).

 Eric Bakermans, Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, recommends: 

Restaurant - Vis aan de Schelde: 
Scheldeplein 4

1078 GR Amsterdam

One of the best fish restaurants in town, located just around the corner of Amsterdam RAI

Bar / restaurantKapitein Zeppos: 

Gebed Zonder End 5
1012 HS Amsterdam

Great bar and restaurant, good atmosphere and affordable, local people, not too much or no tourists…

Willy Cortus, ICCA, says: 

Of course you can head off into the city centre, go to Leidseplein, Dam Square, and walk along the canals. Amsterdam is one big open air museum! But maybe your secret wish is to see a proper Dutch windmill… Good news: there is one in my neighbourhood, and it contains a brewery: Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Funenkade 7, 1018 AL, Amsterdam. So without being a tourist you can see something touristy and at the same time go out with your new-found friends and have a very special beer, IJ-beer. It is a 30-minute walk from Central Station, in eastern direction, but naturally you can also take bus nr 22 from CS or use a rental bike. You can also sit outside. There is a restaurant nearby.

Would you like a drink with a view? Go to the Nemo building (it is on your route from the brewery back to Central Station; it looks like a giant green ship, Oosterdok 2, 1011 VX Amsterdam, walk the stairs to the top on the outside and enjoy an overview. But before you go up do not forget to check out the boats moored there. You can read on the cards what type of boats they are. But do not enter: they are house boats!

 When I was between 3 and 6, my parents and I lived in an old apartment on the 4th floor in the Van Baerlestraat, opposite the Museum of Modern Art (Stedelijk Museum, Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam). My father and I used to frequent it, and I have enjoyed many visits ever since. It has been recently refurbished and an extension at the back called ‘the bathtub’ has been added. If you are into modern art, it is well worth a visit. If you are not too keen, or if you want to save your money for something else, just stroll around museum square, sit on a bench to have a snack and watch other people, plus visit the museum shop. Just about every item they sell in there has the print of a Van Gogh painting on it! It is arty and free of charge.

Have you been to Amsterdam a few times before? Maybe there are a few things you have not seen yet. Here are a few of my favourites:

- Are you into architecture? Check out the Western Harbourside'. Go to the back of Central Station and turn left. An entire island full of newly built housing blocks can be found there. The area won a prestigious architectural prize. Have a break in one of my favourite coffee places, The Coffee Company, Westerdok 808. For contrast, cross the bridge to the ‘islands’ Bickerseiland on the other side of the water, plus Prinseneiland and Realeneiland. This area used to be poor and dilapidated, but now it is many an artists’ haven.

- Looking for a rough edge? Go to the back of Central Station and take one of the ferries. They are free of charge. The one on the left goes to NDSM, former home of ship docks and industry. Now home to a nice restaurant, artists and parties. 

Marc Horsmans, Amsterdam Marketing recommends:

Due to Amsterdam’s harbour which attracted many different international visitors, Amsterdam’s kitchen offers choices to any taste! Personally I prefer the “Zeedijk” area, literally the area behind the dike-of-the-sea where over 400 years locals and visitors crowded the streets.

Restaurant - 
Asian Fusion
Zeedijk 130  
1012 BC Amsterdam Asian Fusion is one of the little exotic gems, inexpensive and delicious Asian specialities.

Alternatively you can try many of the Dutch Eat Cafés as Staalmeesters. 

Dutch café
Kloveniersburgwal 127
1011 KD Amsterdam \

Or:  Café Het Molenpad
Prinsengracht 653
1016 HV, Amsterdam  

Here you will enjoy drinking a Dutch beer with the locals.

Since April the Rijksmuseum opened up again in its great splendeur: a must see of 400 years arts and culture to for all visitors, brought together into a beautifully restored over 120  years old building (see below recommendations from Marlies for more details).

Claire Jackson, ICCA, recommends:

Spanish restaurant - Tia Rosa
Reguliersgracht 11
1017 LJ Amsterdam

Good selection of tasty tapas, nice house wine and a relaxing atmosphere. Situated on a pretty canal in the centre of Amsterdam.

Place of interest - Nine Streets of Amsterdam:

Lots of interesting shops, boutiques and restaurants over 9 streets on the picturesque canals of Amsterdam. An enjoyable way to spend the afternoon! I like this shop: FAB

Marco Noordegraaf, ACS Audiovisual Solutions, recommends:

Restaurant - Caffe 500
Albert Cuypstraat 59

A fantastic Italian restaurant, packed with locals. The service is great and the food is outstanding. Care for a local experience? You should definitely visit this restaurant!

Place of interest - Hortus Botanicus
Plantage Middenlaan 2A

Not your first indicated tourist spot, but really worth while visiting. The Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanic gardens in the world. Located in the city centre of Amsterdam. The contrast of this beautifull and quiet spot in the middle of the busy centre of Amsterdam is magnificant.

Donatella Pace, ICCA, recommends:

Pub - Cafe Gollem
Raamsteeg 4
1012 VZ Amsterdam

A very cosy pub in the city center. 200 different kind of bottled beer, and 14 on tap 

Place of interest - The Kröller-Müller Museum
Houtkampweg 6
6731 AW Otterlo

A great one day trip outside Amsterdam. Located in a beautiful natural park a great modern art collection and the largest privately owned Van Gogh collection.

Ksenija Polla (one of the biggest carnivores at ICCA!), recommends: 

If I would be asked what is my favourite cuisine I would have to say Italian, as this is also the type of food we cook at home, but when time is tight and all 4 of us a hungry and want something delicious, we go to our favourite restaurant Fierro in Amstelveen. I have tried spare ribs all over the world, but have yet to come across ones which taste as delicious as the spare ribs in Amsterdam. (Noordammerlaan 80, Amstelveen)

Points of interest - And while you are already visiting the suburbs of Amsterdam why not go to the “Binnenhof” – city centre – of Amstelveen. Here you can find lovely indoor shops and numerous restaurants and bars. You can even visit the Cobra museum and make it a cultural experience on top of it.  

Menno Schifferstein,  Hotels van Oranje, recommends:

Italian restaurant - Casa di David 
Singel 426
1017 AV Amsterdam

Experience authentic Italian cooking on the Amsterdam canals at Casa di David. This restaurant has been one of the city of Amsterdam’s foremost culinary assets for more than 35 years now. Founded with the aim of introducing the Dutch to authentic Italian cuisine, Casa di David soon stole the hearts of all diners to visit the restaurant with its wide range of fresh ingredients, home-made pasta and bread and pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven.

Martin Sirk, ICCA CEO’s recommended dinner choice battle: meatlovers vs veggies.  Either way you win!

Restaurant -Cafe Loetje 
Johannes Vermeerstraaat 52
1071 DT, Amsterdam

Try their original, no-frills café restaurant in the Johannes Vermeerstraaat, a short stroll from where I live, for best steak in town and meltingly tender calf’s liver smothered in bacon and onions.  Packed with locals not tourists, even though close to the big museums! 

Restaurant -Bettys
Rijnstraat 75  huis
1079 GX Amsterdam

THE best veggie restaurant in town.  Eccentric, enthusiastic service from owner who scours the world for the most excellent spices and oils, to lovingly drizzle and sprinkle over the no-choice daily menu. Easy walk from RSMP hotel! 

Place of interest - IJ-Hallen
T.T. Neveritaweg 15
1033 WB Amsterdam-Noord

RSMP should coincide with what’s claimed to be Europe’s biggest flea market, held in and around the IJ Hallen on the North side of the city.  Dates for July not yet posted, but usually first weekend each month.  But even if not on, take the free ferry from behind the Central Station to NDSM terminal (runs every 30 minutes) for the best FREE tour of the harbour to an area with some of the coolest student bars.

Dennis Speet, ICCA - Dennis’ Secret Amsterdam Tour (don’t tell anyone!) 

Okay, you are in Amsterdam… Now how to explore Amsterdam best?  By bike!

Here’s an idea… Rent a bike at Central Station (e.g. EUR 11 for three hours) and visit Amsterdam’s internationally renowned Eastern Port Area with a lot of interesting modern architecture.

You bike across the islands of Java, Borneo, KNSM and Sporenburg where you can see port buildings amongst interesting town planning. 

Make some pictures of the famous buildings, have a great breakfast or lunch at Bagels and Beans, have a drink next to the Windmill (which happens to brew its own beer!), watch the wildlife while passing the Zoo by bike and visit the recently re-opened Maritime History Museum (EUR 15 p.p.).

To follow Dennis's secret tour, use his map here.

Marlies Steinebach-Verstoep, Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre, recommends:

Favorite restaurants:
Albert Cuypstraat 2-6
1072 CT Amsterdam 

Amsterdam’s new it-place takes the Japanese dining experience to the next level.

Willemsparkweg 177
1071 GZ, Amsterdam 

One of best and most real classic restaurants in Amsterdam

Best bars:
Strand Zuid
Europaplein 22
1078 GZ Amsterdam

Of course “Strand Zuid” our own city beach is one of the best places to have drink or a bite to eat in the summertime.

Rain Restaurant Bar & Club
Rembrandtplein 44
1017 CV, Amsterdam

Rain is a bar, restaurant and club all in on. The atmosphere is quite clubby. The food is good and the service iss very nice, but the cocktails are fabulous there

MOMO Restaurant, Bar and Lounge
Hobbemastraat 1
1071 XZ Amsterdam

Not only do they serve good food and drinks in a trendy establishment, they are located in one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful neighborhoods, very near one of the best shopping streets.  

Museumstraat 1,
1071 XX Amsterdam

If you are into the Dutch masters, you soon will be able to visit the Rijksmuseum. This museum is just reopened after ten years of building work, renovations, and restoration. 

Concertgebouwplein 10 
1071 LN Amsterdam

With its exceptional acoustics and high-quality programming, it is truly one of the most exclusive concert halls in the world.

IJpromenade 1
1031KT Amsterdam

The Dutch Film Institute is the centre for film culture and heritage, it is dedicated to developing a vigorous film culture in the Netherlands. Not only a must for film lovers a architectural adventure as well

Mike van der Meulen, ICCA, recommends:

“I live in the city of Haarlem. It’s about a thirty minute drive from Amsterdam (when there’s no traffic jam!) or 35 minutes by public transport travelling from the Westcord Hotel, and it’s already an experience to simply walk through the city center and do some shopping or sightseeing! Haarlem has won the ‘best shopping street in the Netherlands’ award several times and in 2012 won the prize for ‘most varied selection of shopping stores’ in the Netherlands.”

Recommended place to eatRestaurant ‘De Kale Pater’ (the bald father)   
Schagchelstraat 19 
2011 HW Haarlem

A very cozy restaurant inspired by medieval ideas and decorations including fireplace and open kitchen with grill, great place for meat lovers. One of my favorite places to eat with my girlfriend! 

Recommended place of interest ‘Grote markt’

This is THE center square of Haarlem, the place to start a sniff of culture! Make sure to visit the ‘Grote Kerk’ (big church) and around the corner you’ll find the oldest, best preserved museum for ‘art and science from the 18th century’ in the world! Teylers museum   

Thomas van der Zee,  Beurs van Berlage C.V., recommends: 

Recommended place to eat – Café Bernt 
Nieuwmarkt 9
1011 JR Amsterdam

Very nice cheese fondue! 

Recommended place to eatThai Bird  
Zeedijk 72-74 (restaurant)
1012 BA Amsterdam

Zeedijk 77 (snackbar)
1012 AS Amsterdam
Thai eatery – best Pad Thai and Green curry in town. Very busy and popular with locals. 


Joanna van Dorp, Westergasfabriek, recommends:

Bar: Café de Toog
Nicolaas Beetsstraat 142
1054 XV, Amsterdam

My sister runs a cosy pub called Café de Toog near the Vondelpark. A real local bar with a good mixture of young people and older locals. It was the favourite pub of the notorious artist Herman Brood, whose paintings still decorate the walls. The food is good, the terrace is sunny and my sister and brother will make you feel right at home.

Mieke van Loenen, ICCA, recommends: 

Place of interest - Boerenmarkt (Farmers market), on the Noordermarkt ( - a market taking place every Saturday from 09.00-16.00. You can buy fresh, healthy biological products such as very nice Dutch cheeses.

Restaurant - Bella Storia
Bentinckstraat 28
1051 GL Amsterdam

A small Italian restaurant in a less touristy area with great authentic Italian food. Close to the Westerpark which is a great park to visit as well.

For ideas of other "out of the ordinary" places to visit, see: and