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Top tips for a girls’ weekend in Amsterdam

With its picturesque canals, rich history and cool, cosmopolitan vibe, Amsterdam is easily one of Europe’s most inviting cities, perfect for a girls’ weekend – check out our top tips for a girls’ getaway in Amsterdam.

Photo: Shutterstock

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Often referred to as the City of Diamonds, Amsterdam is world-famous for its historic and prestigious diamond houses. Treat the girls to a diamond tour at one of Amsterdam’s exclusive diamond houses, such as GASSAN Diamonds or Coster Diamonds. Both houses have various diamond tours and workshops on offer, ranging from free factory tours to diamonds and champagne tours. Coster Diamonds, renowned for being a diamond supplier to many Royal families around the world, offers a Royal Experience tour, where you’ll learn about Coster Diamonds’ fascinating Royal history, and watch diamond polishers and goldsmiths at work.

Coster Diamonds

Paulus Potterstraat 2, Amsterdam

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There are a number of tours and packages – the Royal Experience tour is €12,50 per person.

Photo: INK Hotel Amsterdam

Brunch and bubbly at INK Hotel Amsterdam

A weekend with the girls means time for brunch, preferably with bubbly on tap. For a great brunch spot, head straight to INK Hotel’s popular PRESSROOM restaurant.Housed in the former premises of Dutch newspaper Tijd in central Amsterdam, the trendy hotel’s Bottomless Brunch menu is a hugely popular choice – “bottomless” referring to the endless supply of bubbly. The brunch is also included in INK Hotel’s ‘Snooze and Brunch weekend’ package, which also has a wonderfully late 5pm check-out time. INK Hotel Amsterdam does a number of fun weekend packages, including a Bike and Stay package and a Dine and Stay package.

INK Hotel Amsterdam

Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 67, Amsterdam

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Dutch chocolate and sumptuous treats

Is there anything better than a rich, hot chocolate when you’re out and about? Make sure you put hot chocolate and sweet treats on your Amsterdam agenda. The Dutch really know their chocolate – they’ve been importing and processing cocoa beans for well over 200 years – and you’ll find some of the best at Pompadour Amsterdam, a traditional patisserie, chocolatier and tearoom. The French may have invented patisserie, but this little Dutch patisserie and chocolatier does a roaring trade in classic cakes, chocolates and goodies of all kinds.

Pompadour Amsterdam

Huidenstraat 12, Amsterdam

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Amsterdam spas – pampering by the canals

During all that sightseeing, what about some pampering and beauty treatmentswith the girls? Amsterdam has plenty of high-end spas, but if you want to experience one of Amsterdam’s most luxurious and historic hotels, consider Le SPA by Skins Institute at the Hotel De L’Europe. Soak up the exclusive ambience, have a luxury foot spa pedicure or book a massage. Another great spa spot is the AWAY Spa at the ultra-hip hotel and general hotspot, the Amsterdam W. Spa facilities include a sauna, steam room, fire bath, cold plunge pool, whirlpool and relaxation areas, as well as a number of treatments on offer. And when you’re done, have a healthy refreshment at the XBAR next door and refuel for your next destination!

Le SPA by Skins Institute at Hotel De L’Europe

Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-14, Amsterdam

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Photo: Courtesy Droog Gallery

Dutch design – from luxury to quirky conceptual

If your friends are interested in contemporary design, make time to peruse Amsterdam’s design stores. You’ll find everything from high-end, exclusive design at the Moooi showroom on Westerstraat, to fun, affordable Dutch design at the Maker Store, where local designers display their wares. Another must-visit for design aficionados is Studio Droog, a conceptual design store, gallery, library, restaurant and tearoom, all in one. Spread over five historic buildings in the city center, each space has its own unique character. The in-house restaurant and café, simply called @droog, is a great lunch spot (also open for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays) for fresh and delicious homemade food. Enjoy a relaxed lunch in the light and airy restaurant or eat in the Fairy Tale Garden outside.

Studio Droog

Staalstraat 7B, Amsterdam

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@droogamsterdam

A relaxed lunch with international flavors at Bar Kartel

If you’re looking for a fun and relaxed lunch, try Bar Kartel in the center of Amsterdam.Kartel means “little kitchen” in Dutch, but there’s nothing “little” about the menu at Bar Kartel – it’s all about big flavors and street food from all over the world. Head to Bar Kartel for some seriously tasty and inspiring dishes, everything from specialty tacos and roasted pork belly to eggplant with shakshuka sauce. Not to mention some exciting cocktails like their lemon drop martini – because weekends are for cocktails!

Bar Kartel

Overtoom 28/30, Amsterdam

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Photo: Shutterstock

Go NOORD for unrivalled views of Amsterdam

To explore another side of Amsterdam, away from the historical center, go to Amsterdam Noord, just a short (free) ferry away from behind the Central Station. Noord is a wonderfully eclectic mix of open green spaces and some of the city’s most modern architecture and urban spaces. From scenic cycling routes – you can bring your rental bike onto the ferry – to bustling street markets and cool bars, there’s plenty to do in Noord. For breathtaking, panoramic views of Amsterdam and its surroundings, make your way to the A’DAM LOOKOUT observation deck. For the daredevils in your group, try the Over the Edge swing attraction at the A’DAM LOOKOUT – at 100 meters, it’s the highest swing in Europe!

A'DAM LOOKOUT

Overhoeksplein 5, Amsterdam

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Book tickets online

Photo: MR PORTER

High-end dining with a clubby vibe

If you’re planning a glam girls’ night out, take the lift to the top floor at the hip W Amsterdam Hotel and head to MR PORTER, an artful blend of sleek restaurant, chic lounge and cocktail bar. Enjoy the resident DJ’s sounds and take in the stellar views of Amsterdam – in summer the pool deck is also open. Cozy up on one of the roomy banquettes and savor the restaurant’s modern steakhouse menu, also featuring plenty of fresh seafood and plant-based produce, as well as delectable desserts. Make sure you head to the elegant bar area – designed to encourage guests to mingle and interact – and enjoy one of the specialty cocktails!

MR PORTER

W Amsterdam Hotel, Spuistraat 175, Amsterdam

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Tips!

See Amsterdam by bike

Do like the locals and hop on a bicycle. You’ll cover so much more of the city, as most places are not much farther apart than 30 minutes by bike. Bike rental companies are aplenty, so choose your route and enjoy Amsterdam at your own pace. 

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