Forty-eight hours later and I'd be posting this exactly one year since sharing my last Chic Girl Guide. Coincidence?  Probably, but also... faaaaate.   It's safe to say that project gathered a few centimetres of dust last year... but it's back!  And what greater way to return to the series than with one of the most popular, artistic and all-round fabulous cities of Europe?  Heartbreakingly, Amsterdam is more often than not referenced mainly for its Red Light District and 'coffee' shops, but it has so much more to offer.  Thankfully, being in a relationship with a Dutch man has not only provided me with a whole newfound love of cheese, but also a dedicated private tour of the Netherlands' capital.  Yay!  Having already visited and seen some of the most well-known sites such as Anne Frank's house and the Rijksmuseum, I had two keywords in mind this time while enjoying a weekend escape: beauty and history.  So, with these two keywords in mind, read on for a chic girl's guide to exploring all that Amsterdam has to offer!

D E   B E U R S P A S S A G E

Oh, I think we've established by now I'm a sucker for a flamboyant ceiling.  If you feel the same way, head to this small passageway that links two major streets in the centre (Damrak, 80 Amsterdam).  Conveniently, an ice-cream shop can be found here at the entrance that serves actual ice cream in just one flavour - and they've mastered it.  Enjoy your ice cream while taking in the chandelier-decorated artwork from one of the benches lining the walls.


S T R O O P W A F E L S

Once you've tasted authentic Stroopwafels in the Netherlands, there's no going back.  Take it from me; Starbucks' stroopwafels won't cut it once you've tasted these.  Nope, no way, never.  If you're looking to sample an authentic sweet treat to the location, pick up a couple of these and then DM me to tell me how much of a star I am for letting you know about them.  You're welcome.  Take your pick between drizzled caramel or chocolate, purchase and repeat.  Thanks to my insider knowledge, I now know how confused locals are when tourists buy oreo and candy floss-covered waffles and shoot them against a historic building for the 'gram. Authentic?  Apparently not (I learnt the hard way).  Nope, stroopwafels are where it's at!

B O U T I Q U E   S H O P P I N G

Ah, boutique shopping - the most exciting element of any city break,  I mean, besides the architecture and history etc etc.  Ahem.  Seriously though, slip down a side street and you'll very quickly discover the mass of boutiques Amsterdam has to offer.  Well-established brands, start-up labels and pop-up stores; the capital has got everything.  Prices are a little steeper than you may be anticipating, but entirely worth it.  While you're there, if your heart beats a little faster at the mere mention of lingerie, make sure to fit time in your schedule to head to Love Stories.  You may recognise the name from their recent collaboration with H&M, but now it's time to discover their full range in person.  It's heaven, and don't even get me started on their loungewear range!  

Psst!  Find Love Stories at Herengracht 298, 1016 BX, Amsterdam.

A ' D A M    L O O K O U T 

If you choose to experience just one tourist-focussed activity while in Amsterdam, make it the A'Dam Lookout. The price is reasonable and there's a brilliant café/restaurant with views stretching out across the capital!  The twenty-story construction also features a fabulous rooftop with panoramic views and an over-the-edge swing - which, FYI, I wholeheartedly recommend.  I don't have a problem with heights and so it's more relaxing than thrilling; but that in itself makes for a lovely experience!  There's plenty of seating on the rooftop, along with various Instagrammable spots ideal for dragging your other half over towards...

Psst!  Find A'Dam Lookout at Overhoeksplein 5, 1031 KS Amsterdam, Netherlands.


B E F O R E   Y O U   G O . . .

So, how can we keep things chic on your next fabulous city break to Amsterdam?!  For starters, book a table at MaMa Kelly; a glamorous and fabulously pink restaurant on the outskirts.  Do it for the 'gram.  Next up, be sure to walk a little further down the canals than most others.  You'll discover some of the most beautiful and quaint, historic buildings Amsterdam has to offer - and if you visit in season, they'll be covered in blooms!  Just don't be tempted to lean on doors, perch on car bonnets, or put your bag in the basket of a bike  - these are people's homes and possessions after all!  Seriously, not cool.  Okay, I'll stop bossing you about.  Actually no, I lied.  I also need to boss you into taking a late night walk alongside the canals - again, a little further away from the nightlife.  At pretty much any time of year they'll be illuminated by street lamps and the reflections are guaranteed to take your breath away...  
I hope you've enjoyed this Chic Girl Guide; it's not the first and it certainly won't be the last!  Have you ever visited Amsterdam?  If so, did anything in particular standout to you on your visit?  Let me know in the comments below!

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With love,

Gabrielle x