Friday, October 23, 2015

My 5 Favorite Reading Spots in Amsterdam

Photos courtesy of Kate from The Diary of an Urban Housewife

Today the Travel the World in Books Readathon is traveling to Amsterdam where Kate from The Diary of an Urban Housewife shares her 5 favorite reading spots.  Enjoy:

Amsterdam is a beautiful city, I am so grateful that as an expat I have had the wonderful opportunity to live here. In case you don't know me, I am Kate, I own the blog The Diary of an Urban Housewife. I use that platform to record everything from our daily life to the wonderful travels we get to experience living all the way over in Europe. I know this sweet little city inside and out and learn something new about it everyday. The city is constantly alive, and some of my favorite haunts are unique, cozy, and perfect for settling in with a good book and an ice cold water or some mulled wine...depending on the season of course! So, without further ado I present my five favorite reading spots in Amsterdam... Side note: I also consider these "must visits" if you come to Amsterdam on a trip.
  1. Amstel Park.

    This is just across the street from my home. In the spring and summer it is blooming with gorgeous flowers, and in the fall the leaves are changing colors. There are always people around, but it has so many nice areas where you can lay down a blanket or sit on a bench and you feel completely secluded. You would almost think you are completely alone, not smack in the middle of the city with dozens of people running around the park.
  2. Cafe Zuiver.

    I discovered this one day after having lunch with my husband, it is just a block from his office. They have delicious coffee and the cutest atmosphere, with a wonderful garden out back that is wonderful on a sunny day whether it is hot or cold!
  3. Cafe 't Hooischip.

    This is an old Dutch brown bar....they serve great gluhwein (mulled wine) and they have one of the best apple pies in the city. It is directly across the street from the National Ballet and Opera so it is the perfect place to go after a free Tuesday lunch concert!
  4. Amsterdam Central Station Starbucks or Rembrandtplein Starbucks.

    As an expat, sometimes you just need a little bit of home. There are days when you are just tired from being an expat and miss home..well, a Starbucks is always a little bit of America on international soil. You can get a drip coffee, a flavoured latte, or a caramel hot cocoa without everyone thinking you are insane. Plus, you can sit and relax for as long as you want because that is how Starbucks rolls! These two places are particularly cozy because the one at Centraal Station is located just off the Ij so you can see the ferries and boats coming as you relax and get in to a good book, the one at Rembrandtplein is nice because you can often meet up with other expats who are doing the same as you-looking for a little bit of relaxation and reading.
  5. De Koffieschenkerij.

    This is actually located in the Red Light District in Amsterdam, but it is full of history. It is attached to the Oude Kerk which is the church the red light district was built around. This is by far my favorite place to read and have coffee as it radiates history. In fact, in the back room of this coffee shop they say is where Rembrandt met his wife Saskia, doesn't get much cooler than that!
These are just a few of my favorite places to get out of the house and read, it can be such a cozy experience to find a cozy corner in a cafe. Where is your favorite place to read when you want to get out of the house?

About Kate:

Kate is an American expat living in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She moved abroad with her husband and 15 year old daughter. Kate loves to spend her days reading, cooking, crafting, and if not at home touring Amsterdam and has made it her personal goal to visit every museum possible in a city known for its museums. In her spare time Kate loves to write about her travels on her blog, The Diary of an Urban Housewife. This is not only a platform to record everything that happens, but an outlet to help other travelers, and especially other expats if they are considering coming to the Netherlands.


  1. Anonymous12:28 PM

    What a great post! I need to go back to Amsterdam right now!

    1. Thank you! Now is a great time, crowds aren't too bad! It is the little lull between summer crowds and winter markets. ;)

  2. This makes me want to visit Amsterdam even more!!!! It just moved up my "most want to travel to" list. I'd love to be like I went to the old red light district and I read a book! haha!

    1. I'll be honest, when we first decided to move here we thought after this first couple months we'd have seen everything there is to see, but every week we find something new to see and explore. Amsterdam is the most amazing city, so much to see and do, and being a local I love that I can share some must see things that many tourists would miss! And imagining you're in the old red light district is my favorite part, thinking of the prostitutes of old carrying around their red lanterns...just so intriguing since we don't really know what it was like!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing ... I love the pics and you make it all sound so charming! I'd love to visit someday. Tell me, how's the herring? :)

    1. Thanks! Charming really does sum up Amsterdam, well the Netherlands in general. I have bought herring twice and wound up giving it away because I cannot get past the smell!!!!!! hahaha maybe this spring I'll be up to it when it is fresher....I hope! ha!

  4. I lived in Germany for close to 4 years and I never went to Amsterdam! I blame it on the fact I had a little one and I would've been limited in my craziness....which would be hard, because. Well. It's Amsterdam. Love your reading spots! Makes me rethink how I saw the city!

    1. Ha! Kids can limit the craziness, and there is a lot of craziness to get in to here. We love walking downtown at night just people watching, it is hilarious, prime entertainment! We were just in Germany a few weeks ago though, we love it there cannot wait to make it to Cologne for the Christmas Market.