I often have passengers on board who are coming to Amsterdam for a long weekend. When I hear they’re going to be staying in my neighbourhood, the Jordaan, I can’t help but tell them about my favourite spots! Recently I had a sweet family from Lisbon on board. You have to take small children into account when you’re planning. Here are a few of the Jordaan tips (or secrets) I gave them!
To begin with, Westerpark is near the Jordaan. In good weather you can spend the whole day here playing and picnicking in the park. You can also hire an electric boat.
Back in the Jordaan you really should take a stroll to the Urker Viswinkel. This is where you can get the best herring… don’t forget the onions and gherkins! Yum.
When you’ve finished your fish you can head off to a nearby hidden secret. In a small shop on a corner you can find the story of the adventures of two mice concealed in the decor. Sam and Julia are their names. Believe me when I say there are an awful lot of mice in Amsterdam that spoil peoples’ homes, but these two are different. Their adventures have been written down in books and translated into 25 languages. The shop contains all the scenes described in the books. There’s also a fun bingo card for children to help them hunt for mice in the shop and you can also meet the makers. Karina Schaapman made the mice and sets on her own to begin with, but it became so successful that she couldn’t do it alone anymore and the rest of the family decided to help out. Now it’s a real family business: The Mouse Mansion.
Before I go on, just remember for a second that you are now in the middle of a very old part of the city. Crooked, old buildings; steep, narrow staircases. Now I’ll take you to the corner of another street. We’re standing in front of SeaSickSurf. That’s right, a surf shop in the middle of old Amsterdam. It’s perhaps hard to imagine, but a lot of Dutch people surf, even in winter. Most of the boards in this shop are suitable for the Northern European climate. You can even have a custom-made board made here by shapers. There are products here from all over the world, all of which have something to do with the surfing life – fins, wetsuits, books, magazines. This is a place where you can escape from the city for a moment.
Surfing and city walks make you peckish. We don’t have to walk far to a street which is the walhalla of restaurants and cafes. La Perla has the most delicious stone-baked pizzas with fresh toppings. Don’t be put off by the crowds – the bakers are very quick.
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