Conscious City Guide to Amsterdam
By Hanna Pumfrey
On my recent visit to Amsterdam, I fell in love. No this is not post-valentine’s day thinking, I fell in love with the city that is. As a Londoner, I think there is a tendency to think that there is no life outside of our city and that we do it the best. Oh, London, you have so much to learn, particularly on the sustainability scene. Amsterdam is leading the charge in eco-friendly living and I only hope we can adopt some of its ways in London in the near future.
Amsterdam is extremely innovative when it comes to sustainability, so keeping it green on your weekend away is simple in this city. With cycling as the main mode of transport, a shift towards alternative energy and local- minded bars and restaurants, you will soon see the significance of sustainable living in this city’s story.
Here’s my round-up of eco-friendly establishments, conscious activities and moral-minded accommodation.
Where to stay
ECOMAMA | CENTRUM | VALKENBURGERSTRAAT 124
A conscious boutique hostel in the city centre of Amsterdam.
CONSCIOUS HOTEL | VONDELPARK | OVERTOOM 519 OR MUSEUMDISTRICT | DE LAIRESSESTRAAT 7 OR WESTERPARK | HAARLEMMERWEG 10
One of the first hotels to set the bar when it comes to sustainability. With 3 hotels, this Green Key Gold certified hotel is going to extreme lengths to help the planet.
ELEMENT HOTEL | AMSTERDAM- ZUID | ARENT JANSZOON ERNSTSTRAAT 577
An eco-friendly hotel in Amsterdam’s business district. Perfect for work trips to the city.
HOTEL AMSTELKWARTIER | DE PIJP | H.J.E. WENCKEBACHWEG 11B
Newly opened in Amsterdam and set to be the most sustainable hotel in Europe, they describe themselves as the ‘Tesla of the hotel industry’
AMSTERDAM | CANALS
Amsterdam’s canals are full of sustainably built and run houseboats; many built using reclaimed materials and running off solar power. Find them through Airbnb.
Where to eat
ALCHEMIST GARDEN | OUD-WEST | OVERTOOM 409
Located on the northern edge of Vondelpark, serving raw vegan dishes and smoothies, this café is the perfect place to start your day.
BLOEM | CENTRUM | ENTREPOTDOK 36
Located in central Amsterdam, Bloem is an upscale, 100% organic restaurant with great vegan and vegetarian options.
CAFE DE CUEVEL | NOORD | KORTE PAPAVERWEG 4
Located across the river Amsterdam Noord Cafe de Ceuvel is half bar & restaurant, half sustainability experiment. Everything is made from upcycled materials, they are growing veggies onsite using acquaponics and are also home to the world’s first “Biogas Boat” which converts organic waste from the restaurant into fuel.
INSTOCK | CENTRUUM | CZAAR PETERSTRAAT 21
Instock turns surplus food from local supermarkets into delicious meals. Everyday you’ll find a different four course menu to choose from.
BAR CENTRAAL | OUD- WEST TEN KATESTRAAT 16
Serving seasonal small plates and an array of natural wines to accompany, I couldn’t recommend this place more. It’s cosy, friendly vibes will have you hanging around for a whole evening sampling local cheeses and wine.
FOODHALLEN | OUD-WEST | BELLAMYPLEIN 51
Located in beautiful Oud- West this large warehouse turned into a food hall with dozens of individual food vendors is a great place to hang out for the evening.
LAVINIA GOOD FOOD | CENTRUM | KERKSTRAAT 176
This Bohemian café in central Amsterdam serves healthy vegan and vegetarian dishes, great for breakfast and lunch.
OLIVE & COOKIE | DE PIJP | SAENREDAMSTRAAT 67
Great for lunch or an early dinner, vegetarian and vegan Mediterranean dishes that are counter-served.
MOER | AMSTERDAM OUD-ZUID | AMSTELVEENSEWEG 7
An upmarket, organic restaurant serving up delicious local and seasonal dishes. It’s a pricey one though!
DE KAS | AMSTERDAM OOST | KAMERLINGH ONNESLAAN 3
An upmarket organic restaurant, this stylish restaurant is perfect for a special occasion.
GOLDEN TEMPLE | CENTRUUM | UTRECHTSESTRAAT 126
Amsterdam’s oldest veggie restaurant, great for a casual lunch and dinner. Note, seating is on the floor at low tables.
MEATLESS DISTRICT | OUD-WEST | 1053 KM AMSTERDAM
Located on the North of the river, this converted greenhouse takes inspiration from NY’s meat packing districting. BUT, it’s all vegan and it’s dishes are certain to satisfy even the most carnivorous.
KOFFIE ENDE KOECK | WESTERPARK | HAARLEMMERWEG 175
Located right on the edge of Westerpark, Koffie ende Koeke does the best vegan and 100% plant-based pastries I’ve ever come across.
THE COFFE VIRUS | NOORD | OVERHOEKSPLEIN 2
If you’re in the creative industry this is your go to hang out space. At The Coffee Virus creatives, freelancers, and entrepreneurs meet for coffee, pastries, and light bites.
Where to drink
BROUWERIJ 't IJ | OOST | FUNENKADE 7
Located next to a windmill, this is one of Amsterdam’s most popular breweries. Always busy, go to sample the latest local brews and eat Gouda.
BIERTUIN | CENTRUM | PRINSENGRACHT 494 AND OOSTERPARKBURT | LINNAEUSSTRAAT 29
Beer gardens serving a huge selection of both bottled and draft beers, many from local breweries, a perfect summer hangout.
HANNEKE'S BOOM | CENTRUM | DIJKSGRACHT 4
Hanneke’s Boom (translated to Hanneke’s Tree) is a cafe/bar situated right on the water front, built from reclaimed material. The perfect location to while away a summers evening watching the boats go by.
DE SCHOOL | OUD WEST | DOCTOR JAN VAN BREEMENSTRAAT 1
A former school turned multi-purpose venue, this spot is a favourite with the locals. By day De School is a café and workspace, by night a music venue.
PLLEK | NOORD | TT. NEVERITAWEG 59
Another great relaxed summer time spot, located in Amsterdam North, Pllek is as close as Amsterdam comes to a beach bar. Seat yourself in the white sand or on a beach chairs, and as the sun goes down keep warm by the bonfire pits.
WATERKANT | CENTRUM | MARNIXSTRAAT 246
This waterfront bar is very popular among the younger crowd. They serve craft beers by the pitcher, and have many vegan/ vegetarian food options. On weekend nights its busy dance spot.
What to do
NOORDEMARKT | DE JORDAAN
Amsterdam’s trendiest market, this Saturday morning market has everything from local farmers selling their organic produce to antiques, books and vintage clothes, amongst a host of other unique products.
WATERLOOPLEIN MARKT | CENTRUUM | WATERLOOPLEIN 2
The oldest in Amsterdam, this flea market is full of oddities to keep you entertained for hours.
RENT A BIKE
A must in Amsterdam, if only for your own safety, as this is a city where bikes rule. An integral part of the cities culture it is also the easiest way to get around. There are bike rental services all over the city, just be sure to request an extra lock to keep it safe!
Lucila Kenny’s natural dyeing studio and workshops is a must do for anyone with an interest in textiles and the natural world. You will learn how to mix pigments and the process of applying them to fabrics, leaving the studio with your finished garment.
In this two hour workshop you will learn from one of Amsterdam’s local designers and owner of Monsak Bags Margriet on the art of design and leather working. You will come away with anything from a plant-hanger to a sunglasses case, Margriet has many designs you can choose from. Then you can select your leather and get making!
TAKE A YOGA CLASS
I would recommend Delight Yoga or Absolute Yoga. Both have multiple locations throughout the city. Entering into Delight’s minimalist studios you will feel immediately calmer, their scandi-style, clean aesthetic is to die for.
STROLL THROUGH AMSTERDAM'S PARKS
Break free from the hustle and bustle for a stroll in one of Amsterdam’s many parks. Check out this guide to Amsterdam’s parks from The Culture Trip for ideas and routes.
Where to shop
STUDIO JUX | DE PIJP | CEINTUURBAAN 252
The slogan of this minimalist boutique is ‘Guilt- free goods’ and that is exactly what they offer. Providing you with everything from scandi-inspired fashion to organic beauty and homewares, everything at Jux is sustainable, fairtrade, organic and/or vegan.
CHARLIE + MARY | DE PIJP | GERARD DUSTRAAT 84
This Scandi- inspired concept store with hipster vibes is a pioneer on the local fair fashion scene.
NUKUHIVA | CENTRUM | HAARLEMMERSTRAAT 36
Named after an Island in the South Pacific, this well curated fashion boutique sells only fair-trade and sustainable brands.
GEITENWOLLEN WINKEL | CENTRUM | UTRECHTSESTRAAT 37
Fulfil your minimalist dreams in this small, but tranquil boutique near Amsterdam Centrum selling sustainable and vegan fashion and accessories.
WERELD WINKEL | DE PIJP | CEINTUURBAAN 266
Discover homewares and trinkets from all over the world in this Fairtrade store.
HET FAIRE OOSTEN | OOSTPOOT | WALDENLAAN 208
A wonderland of ethical, eco and Fairtrade goods spanning everything from clothing to furniture. This carefully curated selection is both stylish and sustainable.
WAAR | OUD- WEST | BILDERDIJKSTRAAT 57
This Fairtrade outlet is perfect for gifts at affordable prices.
MHOOM | CENTRUM | NIEUWE KERKSTRAAT 6H
If getting a new do is on your agenda whilst in Dam, be sure to check out Mhoom; a sustainable lifestyle boutique + eco-friendly hair salon. They offer everything from natural beauty products to sustainable lifestyle inspired literature.
SUKKHA AMSTERDAM | HAARLEMMERBUURT | HAARLEMMERSTRAAT 110
Sukkha means ‘joy’ in sanskrit and that’s exactly what you feel when you step inside this store. You’ll find clothes, accessories, furniture and a big dose of inspiration.
LENA FASHION LIBRARY | DE JORDAAN | WESTERSTRAAT 174
For those looking to travel light Lena’s is an amazing introduction. Here you can borrow an outfit for any occasion (yes for brunch as well) and just return it the next day. Simple, eco-friendly, brilliant.
MONSAK ATELIER | HOOFDWEG EN OMGEVING | ORTELIUSSTRAAT 15-D
I had the absolute pleasure of spending a few hours at Monsak’s atelier with their founder and designer Margriet on my recent trip to Amsterdam. Margriet and Monsak are an inspiration to the slow fashion movement. If you’re looking for a new handbag, backpack, laptop case or clutch to love and last you a life time this is the place. On a visit to the atelier you can choose the bag you want and customise it yourself by picking your choice of leather from Monsaks reclaimed leather supplies, add a pocket or zip and customise your handle. So much fun!
ERICA KRUIDERIJEN | CENTRUM | STATIONSPLEIN 41E
You can start shopping as soon as you step off the train with this store located inside Amsterdam Centraal Station. Erica Kruiderijen sells a wide variety of non-toxic beauty products, vitamins and herbs, and other organic lifestyle goods.
Happy Amsterdam-ing people! Any questions please don't hesitate to drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org