Before you embark on your Amsterdam exploration by bike, please remember that the Dutch use the cycling lanes also for regular traffic, including travelling to work. So please maintain the basic traffic rules. Keep right; do not ignore red lights; when turning, indicate your direction by a show of hand (left or right); only cycle on the red asphalt lanes.
Hey! Nice to meet you!
Hey! We are Hanne and Krissie. We have met each other three years ago while living in Casa and we’ve become friends ever since. Casa has played an important role in our lives: we have found a new place together, but we’ve also met our boyfriends while living in Casa! When we’re together, we usually go out for a stroll around the neighbourhood of Oost. We’ll introduce you to our favourite spots that you can explore by foot or by bike.
The Start.On a sunny free day, we’d love to start our day with a latte macchiato at the coffee corner of restaurant East in Casa. We’ve tried pretty much all coffee bars around the neighbourhoood but you’ll really get the best coffee only in Casa.
First stop. Take some time to get to know the area!Then, we’ll head over to Ringdijk. You can stop here for a picknick in the grass. We’d recommend taking a folding chair or some blankets with you, to prevent that your butt becomes all muddy. A bonus of picknicking around Ringdijk is additionally that Casa’s toilet – for which you don’t have to pay – is always nearby. You’ll also find a field where you can practice some sports: volleyball, tennis and Ping-Pong – even though we’ve used the Ping-Pong table primarily for beer pong.
Second stop. Secretly watch your neighbour!Alongside the waters of Ringdijk, you can stroll over to Oostpoort. It’s the central shopping area in East where you can find florists and convenience stores, but also nice places for lunch. On a good day, you’ll be able to enjoy your food and coffee on a terrace. Take a seat and observe how the locals hurry to pick up their daily groceries.
Third stop. Time for a drink!After Oostpoort, we usually head to either Oosterpark or Frankendael Park. Both parks are really amazingly green and good for a stroll, a nice picknick, some reading or some sunbathing. If you’d like to have a drink, you should pay a visit to Hotel Arena in Oosterpark, which used to be a Roman Catholic girl-only orphanage. A hidden gem in Frankendael Park is the Huize Frankendael, built in the style of the 17th century.
Fourth stop. Can you make the same sound as a gorilla?If the nature in East falls to your liking, you should also be sure to head to Artis, the city zoo, as well as the Hortus Botanicus. In Artis, you’ll find a large collection of various animals – from lions to penguins, and from gorillas to all kinds of creepy spiders – which are treated well, out in the open air. In Hortus Botanicus, you’ll find plants of which you didn’t expect that they were able to survive in the Netherlands.
Fifth stop. Ready to see lots of boats?After a quiet afternoon in the park, we’d love to head to a bar at Middenweg so we can meet our friends for drinks. Alternatively you can head to Bam Boa that is alongside Amstel River, where they have lovely sangria and Portugal-inspired dishes. If you’d like some special beers – together with a romantic sunset – be sure to head back to Casa for roof terrace GAPP. If you’re craving some authentic Italian, you could go to Enoteca Pepenero restaurant. And if after that, you feel like you haven’t really had enough drinks yet (and roof terrace GAPP Is about to close), be sure to head to nice former farmhouse Vergulden Eenhoorn or trendy lounge Mojo’s along the Ringdijk. We do that a lot, so you probably understand we don’t have much money left at the end of the month: hence we usually suffice with three bottles of wine for 10 euros at the Vomar supermarket.
- Multiple students on the top floor (11th floor) recommend bar Gieter, near Leidseplein. “It’s accessible, open until late and amazingly cheap beer,” one says. Another student thinks it a bar where ‘typical Amsterdam vibes meet student life’. Recommendable is to cycle from Casa to Gieter and look around all the beautiful buildings you encounter, such as Amstel Hotel and Hermitage Museum.
- If you’re around the Leidseplein area, one student recommends visiting a concert at “One of the reasons I’ve moved to Amsterdam is my love for hip hop, and the fact that all hip hop artists perform at Melkweg.”
- Rather keep it close to Casa? One students cryptically refers to ‘that bench’ at Frankendael Park. “You can stare very chilled at the trees, the water and nature. It’s a good spot for meditation with the noises of nature in the background.” Perhaps a good idea for your hangover after going to bar Gieter!
- A 9th floor student recommends the Bogortuin at Java Island, which is a wonderful place for swimming; for shopping, she refers you to De Pijp area, specifically Gerard Doustraat.