I love Amsterdam. Full stop. The people are amazing and helpful, the food divine, and there is a tranquility about the city that keeps me coming back as often as I can.
If you want a truly wonderful and homey experience, you must try and book a room at the Hotel Seven Bridges (http://www.sevenbridgeshotel.nl/cms/). I tried for years to get in here and when I finally did, I wasn’t disapointed. The staff is great and the rooms really quite cool and filled with antiques. (They even include information on the antiques in your room so you know what you are living with.) The owners live on the ground floor and it’s really quite interesting in that the “reception” is closed at night so you pretty much come and go as you please, just as if it were your own house.
My other favourite hotel in Amsterdam is the Hotel Pullitzer (http://www.pulitzeramsterdam.com/) which is just amazing. It’s a bit more upscale the Seven Bridges, but doesn’t have as much individual charm so take your pick. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Le Garage (http://www.restaurantlegarage.nl/), which is near the Rijksmuseum, is a funky cool place with incredible food! I loved it and want to go back
De Vijff Vlieghen (http://vijffvlieghen.nl/en/Home) is a classic restaurant with out of this world food. And it’s not pretensious, even if it is one of the standard restaurants in the city.
BIHP Art and Food (http://www.bihp.nl/) is also close to the Seven Bridges hotel and is a quaint little place. The menu is small, but fantastic, and they even made something for me, the vegetarian.
Restaurant Bussia (http://www.bussia.nl/) I can’t go anywhere without finding good Italian food and this was it for me!
And if you want a truly interesting experience, take a taxi to the former Olympic Stadium and book a table at Vak Zuid (http://www.vakzuid.nl/nl/). This is a great place for drinks and people watching and the food is amazing! It’s a little on the loud side, but worth it. (and don’t worry, it doesn’t become a night club until around 11pm).