A local journey by Natasja, Maītre-Sommelier at Restaurant Vinkeles
After your first 24 hours in Amsterdam, my personal recommendation to make it ”perfect”, would be to take a daytrip to my hometown, Haarlem! Just under 20 minutes by train, it is the perfect city to explore for a day out.
Start your day with breakfast at Restaurant Frenchie. With a variety of delicious options, it’s a fantastic way to fuel up for a full day of exploring Haarlem. After breakfast, head to the Teylers Museum for a unique journey through art, nature, and science. This museum is the oldest in the Netherlands and holds a wide array of fascinating exhibits. I used to visit this museum often with my father when I was a kid, it always reminds me of great times.
Time for lunch! Make your way to Restaurant Toujours, where you can sample a blend of French and American cuisine in a cozy, stylish setting. Or try De Dakkas, a glasshouse on the roof of a parking lot which offers good food and amazing an amazing view over the city.
Make your next stop at the Frans Hals Museum. Located in a beautiful old building, you can admire the stunning works of Frans Hals, one of the most innovative painters of the Dutch Golden Age.
Then take a short walk to Sjakie’s for some retail therapy. This charming shop makes you want to buy everything you don’t actually need. Please be warned! Continue your shopping experience at Okhuysen, Haarlem’s best wine shop if you ask me. Pick out a bottle or two of your favorite wine as a memento of your visit to the city. Enjoy a quick visit to Mabrouk to pick up some delicacies, for a picnic-style dinner later. I couldn’t imagine a party without their pesto and olives, they’re delicious!
Finish your day in style at ”The Bolwerken”, a beautiful park on the former fortifications of the the city, and sample some of the delicacies you just bought. Enjoy the beautiful sunset, you might even be tempted to open that bottle of wine as you look back on a fantastic day spent in my hometown! Cheers!