Spend the night in a tram cart
If the last room you slept in was boring, we highly recommend sleeping in a tram cart, or behind a secret bookcase. Hotel Not Hotel offers those and a dozen other unique not-rooms, like the mini Spanish villa or the elevated crow’s nest. Downstairs you’ll also find an awesome food and cocktail bar called Kevin Bacon, which, much like the actor, has zero pretension, always delivers and consistently ensures everybody has a good time.
Dance the night away
Single-function destinations sometimes just don’t cut it and often you can’t put your finger on the exact type of entertainment you need. De Marktkantine – once a canteen for food-market workers – houses everything you could want: a theatre, club and a restaurant. There’s an excellent events schedule on which you’ll find anything from a bumping techno party to an inspiring masterclass or workshop.
People watch from a beautiful terrace bar
For a calmer evening, consider heading to a terrace bar and quietly enjoying some good food and pedestrian action. Cafe Cook is a bit of a hidden gem in De Baarsjes with a great terrace that extends onto the square outside the spectacular Jeruzalemkerk. For a vintage pub vibe (and also a great spot to work in the daytime) head to Bar Spek and try some fresh soup and pizza while you’re there. And just as vintage – this one is housed in a former jewellers school – but sometimes a bit louder, Lokaal Edel serves a strong line-up of burgers and tartare for your carnivorous pleasure. All three bars, of course, have fantastic outdoor spaces.
Unwind in Rembrandt Park
Sunshine (when available), sculptures and open lakes, families, kids and pets: the sprawling Rembrandt Park is one of the top outdoor spots in the city. It’s sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, but always beautiful to walk through and perfect to relax in. The park has plenty of amenities too, including exercise areas and a very popular petting zoo featuring a friendly cast of goats, sheep, pigs and geese. What more could you want?
Smell the roses in Erasmus Park
Alternatively, head to Erasmus Park to wander the expansive rose gardens or relax with a coffee in Terrasmus Cafe. The park comes alive in the summer when flocks of youngsters, dog walkers and local families head over to picnic on the lawns or chill out with a few beers by the canal. There’s even an outdoor swimming spot along the Erasmusgracht if you’re brave enough to jump in. You might have to dodge the ducks as you swim but fortunately there are ladders to help you get back out again - those canal walls are deceptively high!
Shop and eat your way along Jan Evertsenstraat
This bustling highstreet runs through the heart of De Baarsjes, lined with fishmongers, organic butchers and Turkish grocery markets. Amongst these you’ll also find a good range of boutiques and vintage shops with names that get steadily more outlandish and trendy as the street merges into De Clercqstraat. Check out: Things I Like Things I Love, Lykke, Roos & Eef, U Had Me At Hola and Hip. When you’re done with shopping, you’ll also find several top-notch eateries to duck into. Have a read of our restaurant and bar guide for a few hints.