01 Aug 2017

Art and cheese: the Smartup guide to Amsterdam

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Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands and the home of many good things in life. It’s the center for art and design, making the careers of greats such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh, and then there's all the sin and pancakes. We were there to sample them all during our a packed trip to the city of canals.
We were invited to live scribe at the EASL International Liver Conference, an annual meeting of hundreds of researchers and medical professionals from across the world. Armed with our pens, and the constant supply of coffee by the venue, we were ready to capture the thoughts and ideas emerging from the Young Investigators Lounge. As the canvas developed, visual themes emerged, and the group were able to see how they shared many aspirations and concerns - that’s the power of good visuals.

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After the conference, we were keen to absorb as much dutch culture as possible. Our hotel, the DoubleTree in the heart of Amsterdam, has an impressive SkyLounge bar with stunning views across the city. So we promptly put down our pens and picked up a cocktail - a cheeky start to any adventure.

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Feeling the healing effects of a Martini, we ventured out to experience this beautiful city. Since Amsterdam is famous for its 17th Century canals, no visit is complete without a boat trip.
Jewel Cruises take guests on exquisitely stylish boats through the many winding waterways. While the chef made our floating dinner, we felt like movie stars. It’s not hard to see why Amsterdam inspires so much creativity. Taking a stroll to the hip De Pijp district leads you through galleries, antique shops, and past amazing wall murals. While you’re there it’s definitely worth popping into the nearby Stadtmuseum and of course the Van Gogh Museum too. Creativity requires energy, however, and we were recommended the perfect restaurant, Loetje to recoup - order the steak!

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So we had done art, now it was sin. The red light district might be a bit sleazy but the crazy signs and neon lights were right up our street. Sidestepping the cafes, we made our way through the historic streets of the Nieuwmarkt on a noodle mission. Nam Kee is a Chinese restaurant with the best oysters in town. So good, in fact, there’s an early noughties film with the same name, however, it didn’t get as good reviews.
And just like that, we were on our way back to London brimming with creative ideas. Check out our Smartup travel map of our favorite Amsterdam spots, we can’t wait to go back.


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