+31 20 4266400
Blog

With almost 35,000 kilometres of cycle paths, the country of the Netherlands is truly a country of cyclists. The city residents know that the best way to get around and discover Amsterdam is by bike. Almost 63% uses their bike every day. We would like our guests to experience Amsterdam like the locals do, so we have collected 15 great spots for you to cycle to!

  1. Street art tour

Park your bike near the Spuistraat and walk through the side streets full of coloured artworks. Or cycle to the NDSM-werf (shipyard) across the IJ. You will find former ship halls here which offer a raw environment where the street art colours seem extra powerful. In the Marnixstraat behind the fire station there is also an inlet full of graffiti artworks.

  1. Vondelpark

The Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam. Many activities are organized here and you will find various cafes here. Cycle through it at ease, past ponds and bridges, and stop for a snack and a drink at, for example, the Blauwe Theehuis (Blue Teahouse).

  1. Port area

Four recreational cycling routes run through the port of Amsterdam called ‘Havenfietsen’. The routes have been created, each with its own character and are provided with information boards at prominent points in the port.

  1. I Amsterdam

You can’t ignore – even if you wanted to – the red and white I Amsterdam letters on Museum Square. They are more than 2 meters high and extend in width over 23.5 meters! The letters have quickly become the symbol of the city. Visitors to Amsterdam photograph themselves in, around and on top of the letters.

  1. Along the Amstel River

Amsterdam owes its name to the Amstel, so a ride along the river is a must do during your visit to our capital. Cycle along the Blauwbrug (Blue bridge) and along imposing canal houses, the National Opera and Ballet and Koninklijk Theather Carré (Royal Theatre). You can also pass the city borders and cycle towards Ouderkerk aan de Amstel to discover the natural environment.

  1. Through the Jordaan

The Jordaan is a real working-class neighbourhood. Young entrepreneurs, artists and students like to meet in one of Amsterdam’s typical pubs here. You will also find the famous gay monument, the Johnny Jordaanplein (square) and stately mansions along the beautiful canals.

  1. De 9 straatjes (9 streets)

The 9 Straatjes, located in the Jordaan and in the middle of Unesco World Heritage, count numerous monumental shops. Trade, craftsmanship and culture predominate in these streets. You will find small, original and exclusive stores here.

  1. Dam Square

At Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam you will find the Paleis op de Dam (Palace on Dam Square), the Nieuwe Kerk (church) where high-quality exhibitions are organized, Museum Madame Tussauds, the war memorial and the luxury department store De Bijenkorf. Have a break on one of the benches or the stairs of the palace and look at the diversity of street artists before you move along.

  1. Amsterdamse bos

In the Amsterdamse Bos (forest) you can find more than 50 kilometres of cycle paths. For example, follow the red poles, this is a cycling route of 14 kilometres long along some of the most beautiful spots in the forest. Make a stopover for something to eat or drink at one of the two farms in the forest.

  1. Jewish Cultural Quarter

Impressive synagogues, buildings and memorial places adorn the streets of the old Amsterdam Jewish quarter. In the heart of the neighbourhood is the Jewish Cultural Quarter, formed by the Jewish Historical Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue with the ancient library Ets Haim, the Hollandsche Schouwburg and the National Holocaust Museum.

  1. De Diamantbuurt (De Pijp)

Near the Jewish Cultural Quarter is the Diamantbuurt (Diamond Neighbourhood). In the past, many diamond cutters used to work for the Koninklijke Asscher Diamant Maatschappij. Today, emperors, kings, queens, presidents and other dignitaries visit the building to marvel at all the beauty. Unfortunately you can’t go inside as a tourist, but the building itself is already admirable.

  1. Weesperzijde

If you’re in the area anyway: the Weesperzijde – on the other side of the Amstel – was voted the number 14 of most beautiful streets in Amsterdam by the readers of the newspaper Het Parool!

  1. Prinseneiland

The Bickerseiland, Prinseneiland and Realeneiland are also called the Western Islands of Amsterdam. They form a world themselves. The Prinseneiland is not yet discovered by tourists, but definitely worth a visit. You will see beautifully renovated warehouses and buildings that used to serve as storage facilities for grain, tobacco, wine and salt.

  1. Chinatown

Like many big cities, Amsterdam also has a Chinatown. The first Chinese who settled in Amsterdam worked on large passenger ships. When this industry slowly disappeared, the Chinese opened shops and eateries in this neighbourhood. The best Chinese products and food can be found in the old city centre. It is also the place to celebrate Chinese New Year in Amsterdam.

  1. Nieuwmarkt (Chinatown)

In 1614 part of the canals in Chinatown were drained and the Nieuwmarkt was created. The square fills daily with stalls and every Saturday you will find a variety of organic products on the organic market. On the square you will also find the striking building ‘De Waag’. And the largest Buddhist temple in Europe, built in traditional Chinese palace style, is just around the corner at the Zeedijk.

Special offer: free use of our Htel bikes!

This year, Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday. The coming weeks we celebrate with special promotions. In October: free use of our Htel bikes when booking a stay at Htel Serviced Apartments! Htel Serviced Apartments is the perfect place to stay during a holiday in Amsterdam, so you can visit all of the above yourself. More information about the terms and conditions and to book your apartment: click here.

 

0

Blog

On 13 September it is International Chocolate Day. On this day the founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, which produces the popular Hershey chocolate bar, was born in 1857 (Milton S. Hershey). To celebrate this day we have listed the 5 best chocolatiers in Amsterdam for you.

  1. Puccini Bombini

Puccini Bombini, founded by Ans van Soelen, has taken over the tenth place on the list of best chocolatiers in the world. So for handmade chocolate – try the bonbon with vanilla poppy seeds, rhubarb, pepper or calvados – you should pay a visit to the Singel 184. What makes the chocolate so unique is that no sugar, fondant or butter is involved. There are also no artificial colorants, flavourings and aromatics added.

  1. Ganache

Ganache is housed in the Oude Kerk national monument (Oudekerksplein 17) and has an extensive assortment of handmade chocolates and truffles. Try the ‘chocolate of the month’ or pick the handmade truffles with Flower Power. Ganache is Flower Power’s first supplier in the Netherlands: a unique taste sensation is created by processing real fruits, flowers and the finest herbs.

  1. Holtkamp

Since 1886, a confectionery has been established in a nostalgic building at Vijzelgracht 15. In 1969 Cees Holtkamp, a well-known name in the Amsterdam pastry and chocolatier world, successfully took over the store. You can now buy handmade chocolates, chocolate tarts and ‘free from’ chocolates (nut and lactose free, halal, without gelatine, without egg, etc.) here.

  1. Tout

In the beautiful shop of the Amsterdam chocolatier and patissier Job van Berkel – Tout on the Maasstraat just outside the city centre – you will find handmade chocolates, chocolate bars and chocolate cakes. After Job worked at renowned hotels and restaurants and as a chef pastry with famous chef Herman den Blijker, he started Tout together with his partner. In addition to delicious chocolates, they also have macaroons: super-airy colourful French cookies filled with ganache.

  1. Metropolitan

Owner of the Metropolitan is Kees Raat, the first bean-to-bar maker in Amsterdam. He processed the beans from the Dominican Republic into chocolate himself and was also the first to experiment with flavour combinations such as salt, pepper and vinegar. In his chocolate walhalla at Warmoesstraat 135, you will not only find bonbons, but also fruit sticks with dark chocolate, chocolate chunks with nuts and lemon peels with a chocolate layer.


Are you going to try them all during your stay at Htel?
If you haven’t booked yet, we have some brand new specials for you! You can find them here.

0

Blog

Amsterdam is a vibrant and diverse city. It is a shopping Walhalla, has countless terraces and great parks to escape the crowds now and then. You can admire stately mansions, practice your photography skills along the canals or visit one of the numerous theatres or museums. To celebrate 15 years of expertise – Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday this year – we’ve listed 15 must do’s during your stay in our capital.

  1. Canal Cruise

Did you know Amsterdam has 165 canals? There is no better way to explore the city than by boat. Opposite Central Station you will find the departure docks of various shipping companies. Whether you are coming to Amsterdam for a city trip with your partner, friends or family, the canal cruises are just as diverse. There is a Pizza Cruise, a Kids Cruise and the 100 Highlights Cruise.

  1. Panoramic view from the A’DAM Lookout

On top of the 22nd floor of the A’DAM Tower, which is located right at the IJ, you will find the observation deck A’DAM Lookout. Expect a spectacular 360° panoramic view of the historic centre with its iconic canals, the harbour and the polder landscape. For the dare devils among us: you can also take place at a swing at a height of 100 meters!

  1. Comedy at Boom Chicago

The City Council of Amsterdam saw no potential in the idea of two young Americans to open an American comedy club. But Boom Chicago is an unprecedented success: the team is celebrating Boom Chicago’s 25th anniversary this year.

  1. Pub quiz

At Café Lust in the lively district ‘De Pijp’, an English pub quiz takes place every Tuesday night. Join to experience the Dutch culture first hand! And with a bit of luck you will take home the first prize: a bottle of champagne. Winners also get a spot on the cafes Wall of Fame. Café Thijssen (Monday) and Gollem’s Tasting Room (Monday and Tuesday) also organize pub quizzes in English.

  1. Hollandsche Manege

An inconspicuous entrance gate at Vondelstraat 140 gives access to the most beautiful city centred riding school in Europe: the Hollandsche Manege. Settle down at the cafe – built in impressive 18th  century Baroque style – with a good cup of coffee or tea to admire the horses and their talented riders.

  1. Moco Museum

The Moco Museum is located at Museum Square, in a beautiful monumental building. The museum was founded by Lionel and Kim Logchies, who worked with the biggest names from the modern art industry for years. Thanks to their personal network you can now admire items from artists like Banksy and Andy Warhol.

  1. Hortus Botanicus

The Hortus Botanicus was founded in 1638 as a medicinal herb garden. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe, an oasis of peace amidst the bustle of Amsterdam. You will find an outdoor garden and five greenhouses with different climates and collections. On Sundays you can join a free tour at 14:00.

  1. Amsterdam markets

You will really get to know Amsterdam by strolling down one of the markets. To the Albert Cuyp you go especially for the fresh vegetables, flowers and beautiful fabrics. On the Sunday Market at city park Westergasfabriek designers, artists and craftsmen sell their goods and at the Noordermarkt you can nose around between antiques, curios, vintage clothing and oriental carpets.

  1. Local beers

The number of microbreweries in and around Amsterdam is growing. From dark brown bock beer to fresh wheat beer or something in between, you can try them all in one of the tasting rooms. It is of course even more fun to see how your favourite beer is brewed. Guided tours are given at Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Brouwerij De Prael, De 7 Deugden and Poesiat & De.

  1. Foodhallen

In Amsterdam you can find the first indoor food market of the Netherlands: the Foodhallen. This hotspot in Amsterdam West is inspired by the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid and the Borough Market in London. Enjoy Vietnamese rolls, petit fours, sushi wraps with quinoa and the best grilled cheese sandwich in town in this former tram depot.

  1. Historic courtyard

Hidden behind an inconspicuous door at the Spui is a 14th-century courtyard. The historic courtyard used to be the site of a group of religious women, but today houses a chapel and an English Reformed church which is open to public during the day.

  1. Green oases

Amsterdam is blessed with many green spaces and quiet oases. So fill up your picnic basket and visit the Vondelpark, the Oosterpark, the Westerpark or the Rembrandtpark. Fact: Every year an average of 10 million people visit the Vondelpark, which is about 21 visitors per square meter. By comparison, Central Park in New York receives approximately 5 visitors per square meter every year!

  1. Free concerts

In Amsterdam you can attend free concerts almost daily. At the National Opera & Ballet there are free concerts every Tuesday at 12.30 pm and the Royal Concertgebouw organizes free lunch concerts on Wednesdays at 12.30. The Badcuyp organizes free Sunday Night Jazz sessions.

  1. Amsterdam North

Amsterdam North is a bit isolated on the other side of the river IJ, but it’s a bustling, hip district. You can take the ferry to the Buiksloterveerweg to visit the EYE Film Museum. At the NDSM shipyard you will find various art studios and creative companies, which make it a great area to drink a cup of coffee. For example at Noorderlicht Café.

  1. City of Diamonds

Amsterdam is known as the ‘City of Diamonds’ for four hundred years. The Amsterdam diamond company Gassan Diamonds is located at the Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat. You can take a free tour through the diamond factory to get acquainted with all facets of diamond grinding and of course to get astonished by all the beauty.

 

Special offer: 15% discount on Tours & Tickets trips

This year Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday. That is why we’ve created a special offer in collaboration with Tours & Tickets Amsterdam: a 15% discount on selected Tours & Tickets trips when staying at Htel Serviced Apartments in the period 20-08-2018 untill 31-10-2018! This promotion runs until October 31. Htel Serviced Apartments is the perfect residence for a vacation to Amsterdam, so you can experience the above tips yourself. More information about the terms and conditions and to book your apartment: click here


0

Blog

What a beautiful summer we have had in Amsterdam. We hope that the late summer will be just as beautiful. During the so-called Indian Summer Amsterdam is at its finest: the temperature is pleasant for a city trip and the leaves turn orange. Your snapshots of the typical Dutch canal houses will be spectacular!


Tips for the perfect Indian Summer in Amsterdam

  1. At the waterfront

Enjoy the Indian Summer in Amsterdam on a terrace alongside the water, for example in Amsterdam-North at Hangar or Pllek. Or visit one of the roof top terraces in Amsterdam-East, for example ‘Hopp’.

  1. The Dutch way

Nowhere in the world people cycle as much as we do in Amsterdam. So rent one of our Htel bikes or book a bike tour led by a guide, to discover the city the ‘Dutch way’.

  1. Park picnic

Go picnic! Fill your bag with tasty snacks and refreshing drinks and pick a spot in the Vondelpark, Oosterpark, Westerpark or Rembrandtpark.

  1. Amsterdam Zoo

ARTIS is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, located in the heart of the Amsterdam. Walk around, let the animal caretakers tell you everything about the gorillas and elephants or visit the sea lion training.

  1. Sail away…

Did you know that Amsterdam has 165 canals? No better way to explore the city than by boat. Opposite the Central Station you will find the departure docks of various shipping companies. Hop on the Pizza Cruise, a Kids Cruise or the 100 Highlights Cruise!


Special offer hotel accommodation citytrip Amsterdam

Come and experience the Indian Summer in our capital yourself! Because Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday this year, we have a special offer to celebrate. When you place a booking now, you will get a 10% discount on your stay in our Amstelveen Apartments between 20-08-2018 and 31-10-2018! Click here to view the terms and conditions and to place your booking. 

0