“There are more and more tourists in Amsterdam. And what I see quite often is that the kids of tourists are playing on an IPad or checking their phones, or they are simply bored when waiting in a restaurant. That’s why Charlotte and I decided to make the book ‘Hotel Kids Only’. With this book we want to activate the creativity of kids and at the same time ‘teach’ them something about Amsterdam. It is the perfect book for young children who visit Amsterdam for a holiday, for the kids of expats and as a nice souvenir to bring home after an Amsterdam visit.”
Hotel Kids Only
The book ‘Hotel Kids Only’ is filled with fun things for kids to do; Game of the Goose along Amsterdam’s canals, a colouring picture of Rembrandt’s famous Night Watch, a map of the city for kids, amongst many other things. It is the perfect way for children to spend hours in their hotel rooms, on the plane to Amsterdam or waiting in restaurants or cafes. Ingrid: “Of course there are many bikes in the book too; there is a game where you have to count all the bicycles, there are bikes in the memory game, and in the ‘Game of the Goose’ you miss a turn when you stand on the ‘bike fell in the canal’ field.”
Ingrid the designer
Ingrid Robers (ingridrobers.com) is an illustrator and designer, she does a lot of illustrations for children. Ingrid: “I had not always planned to do so many children’s illustrations. I don’t have kids, I like kids just as I like other people, but I like the creative and pure mind they have. When I make illustrations for children I always think of my own childhood. What did I like when I was a kid? When making this book I also looked at the city imagining I were still a child. What would draw my attention?” The other author of the book ‘Hotel Kids Only’ is Charlotte Borggreve, she founded the well-known ‘Kinderkookkafé’ (restaurant where children cook), and together they wrote another book ‘Kookologie’ (a playful cookery book for kids).
Amsterdam city centre
Ingrid lives in the city centre of Amsterdam, just a 5 minute walk from the Central Station, in a ‘red light alley’ near Spuistraat. “I live in this apartment for almost 17 years and I love the neighbourhood. Even though the area is becoming more and more touristic, it still has a local feel. I actually became friends with quite a few neighbours. When the weather is nice we take chairs out and sit in front of our houses with a glass of wine. One neighbour lives on a typical Amsterdam house boat, that is also a great spot to hang out in summer. The ladies who work in the red light district are my next door neighbours. Most of them work in this alley for many years. So in these past 17 years, I really got to know them.”
Ingrid’s Amsterdam tips
Ingrid does most of her grocery shopping at the many markets in de Jordaan (the Lindengracht, the Noordermarkt and the Westerstraat). Another area she likes is the Zeedijk (Amsterdam’s Chinatown) “There are great Thai and Chinese restaurants in that street. My favourite store is the Chinese department store Dun Yong, a three story building full of Chinese food and other products. I love to go there and try food I don’t know. The nice thing is that they have little cards with information about each product.” When Ingrid has meetings for work she mostly goes to café Kobalt, where they have nice coffees and a relaxed atmosphere. Her favourite bar in the area is ‘Café In de Wildeman’: “It is a typical brown café with many different beers. There is a nice mix of locals and tourists and always when I go there I end up talking to new people or neighbours, it is a place I even go alone, because there is always someone to chat to.”
This picture is my 300th picture for you! Wanna see them all? See here my whole collection..
Cyclisticly yours, Aude
The mist rolls in and back go our gloves and scarves. Let’s hope it’s just for a day! I will miss all the layers and a good animal print.
…9 days until Spring!
Uniform of this sunny day: black- black … clothes- sunglasses!
You can pretty much do anything on a bike here, even sports it seems! This keen Coxswain motivates her rowers from a bicycle all the way down the Amstel. Talk about a multi-tasker!
Go girls go!
We missed a few Instamonth posts, so in this post we show you the top 10 of our Instagram pics of December, January and February.
1. National Tulip Day in Amsterdam
2. Christmas tree cycling
3. 5 O’clock rush hour
4. Perfectly coloured pair
5. Let it snow!
6. Foggy and cold Amsterdam
7. Baby chill modus on daddy’s bike
8. Christmas tree in panniers
9. National Tulip Day at Dam Square
10. Bike love in London
Are you already following us on Instagram? You should, if you want to learn more about Amsterdam’s cycling culture and enjoy the diversity of cyclists and bikes in Amsterdam’s streets. Every month we will post the most liked Instagram shots here on our blog.
Wieger and Anne Marie love to go out for dinner, visit art galleries, and look for nice boutique hotels or B&B’s for their next city trip. So why not turn their passion into their work? That’s what they did, they started their own B&B in a typical Amsterdam house in the popular neighbourhood De Pijp. It is called Ollies Bed and Breakfast. The breakfast is lovely, they have cool photography in the rooms and they made their own mini-guide of the city so that their guests can enjoy Amsterdam as much as they do.
Food and Art
Wieger and Anne Marie love art. The museum district is only a 5 minute walk from their B&B. Wieger: “The Rijksmuseum is really a must see, both for the art and for the cool designed building. It is amazingly done.” Anne Marie: “But we actually prefer to visit art galleries and especially photography galleries. In weekends we love to walk around de Spiegelkwartier. We always pay a visit to Jaski Art Gallery and the Yellow Korner.” The Spiegelkwartier has been the heart of the art and antiques trade for the past 80 years with over 70 specialised art and antique dealers.
Their other hobby is to go out for dinner. Anne Marie: “We love restaurant Sent just across the street. It is a small and lovely place where they cook with a Green Egg. But we have so many other favourites like Vis aan de Schelde [Close to RAI. “Michelin-star quality food, and a very relaxed atmosphere”], Toscanini in the Jordaan [a very popular Italian place, so make sure to make a reservation], ‘French-bistro-style’ restaurant Rijsel in a side street of the Amstel, fine dining at Fyra just off Vijzelgracht and Bar Americano [along the Amstel, where you can eat Italian food and stay till late at night for drinks at the bar].”
What to do in Amsterdam
Wieger calls himself an Amsterdamophile: “Amsterdam is the best city to live in. The size is perfect, everything is walking distance. And after living here for almost fifteen years, I still enjoy the beauty of the city.” Anne Marie: “There is always something nice to do in Amsterdam; concerts, expositions, new pop-up stores opening and there are many festivals. I am not that much into electronic music festivals but I love food and art festivals like De Rollende Keukens in the Westerpark, the Food Soul Festival and the Affordable Art Fair in Amsterdam-Noord. For shopping I recommend the 9 Straatjes and the Pijp. Just a few minutes’ walk from our B&B you have the Gerard Doustraat. Since a few years a lot of nice stores have opened there. It is becoming very trendy.”
Bikes and Boats
“The best way to see Amsterdam is by bike or boat”, says Wieger. “My favourite cycling spots are the Vondelpark, the old canals and the cycle path under the Rijksmuseum.” Anne Marie: “On sunny days we take a boat, bring some food and drinks, friends and nice music and sail through the canals.” They would both recommend tourists to rent a bike and go through the city like locals do. Wieger: “I think it is recommendable for tourists to plan their cycling trip a bit before they start cycling. Cycling can be quite hectic. But there are nice routes and neighbourhoods like the Jordaan are great to discover by bike.”
Ollie’s Bed and Breakfast
Ollie’s Bed and Breakfast has got three rooms. Anne Marie and Wieger live on the first and second floor and the rooms are on the third and fourth floor of a typical ‘de Pijp’ building with steep stairs in a cosy street. “Working together is going really well. We have a good division of tasks but we also work a lot together,” says Anne Marie. Wieger: “We have the same taste of style and paid a lot of attention to detail when furbishing the room. We would love to have guests over who share our taste for interior design and our love for photography.”
I spent last weekend in London visiting my sister. I already reported on this city in my previous trip.
Apart from cycling around a city, the second best way to discover one is to take the bus. Especially in London with the classic red double-decker bus. Just climb on the second level and enjoy the view from this point. Then you get to see stuff like this. All was just perfect. Like this guy. His pose. The yellow lines on the street. The house. And his look. I could not help thinking of Super Mario Bros with the colours of his outfit and such a moustache! Movember is over right?!
This time, we mainly stayed in East London. I was amazed by the number of single speed/fixie and racing bikes. Here are some instagrammed pics:
In Broadway market
In Hackney, the cool bike shop Hackney cycles
Further on, still in the neighboorhood of Hackney, a cyclist in woodcutter shirt
For Valentine’s Day, London made a city-wide art installation, with 14 eye-catching red #HeartsOfLondon cycle stands across the city. Hackney-based artist Graham McLoughlin collaborated with Cyclehoop, an award-winning company specialising in bicycle parking solutions, in a bid to raise awareness for the British Heart Foundation.
- REPORTAGE BY AUDE -
It brought a smile to my face when I sidled up to this pretty colourful pair at the cash machine. Perfectly matched Mother and Daughter duo are ready to go shopping together!
..Punky Brewster eat your heart out!
Beijing-based website OVIEW360 contacted us. This fancy Chinese online magazine freshly started in 2014. They provide detailed coverage of European Architecture, Interior, Industry design, Building products, and Travel & Life Style to Chinese viewers. Although there are many such websites in Europe, OVIEW360 is almost the only one in China!
OVIEW360’s European editor, Fanpei, wrote a great article on “Dutch Bike Culture” in their “Travel & Life Style” section, see here:
关于Amsterdam Cycle Chic：起源于丹麦首都哥本哈根的自行车文化。2007年记者，电影导演兼摄影师的Mikael Colville－Anderson以博客形式发表了哥本哈根人们使用自行车的照片，他的博客启发了全球自行车运动，展示给世界骑自行车可以是非常时尚的并成为日常生活中的一部分。Amsterdamcyclechic 既是全球自行车运动的一部分。
Well, I am telling you the article is great, not that I speak chinese, I trust Fanpei who confirmed me the translation was as follow:
“It’s a common site to see citizens traversing the city with panniers fully loaded, a child on the back, and the cyclist grasping anything from a framed artwork to a bouquet of flowers. Likewise, more and more visitors to Amsterdam want to experience the freedom afforded by a life on two wheels. It’s for good reason! Cycling is the easiest way to get around and see the city. Amsterdam is home to approximately 880,000 bicycles, which is slightly more than the population of the city itself. (original text from Iam amsterdam, translated and edited by oview360)”
They asked us permission to use some of our pictures. They have choosen themselves and picked some of our last instant classics:
Here is the link to the article for the full collection of pictures.