Best Bars in Amsterdam

The city of Amsterdam is littered with bars, which is amazing for those of us who live here because you can do something new every weekend. However, on a short trip its easy to miss something.

Here is a list of my favorite bars in the city. Proost!

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Door 74

Door 74 is a speakeasy style bar, with a hidden door, its very easy to miss.  The bar itself has a antique vibe, very beautifully arranged where the bar is very visible. The bar is kept by some of the best bartenders in the city, so you will always get something good.

The menu is very detailed and organized by the taste strength of the cocktail so there are no surprises.  The staff is very knowledgeable on their spirits and cocktails, so they can make spot on recommendations based on your preferences.

One of my favorite things about this bar is that it has a cozy, chill vibe and the opening ours. From Sunday to Thursday the bar is open from 8pm to 3am, and on the weekend it is open until 4am.

Door 74 doesn’t have a walk-in style, so calling to make a reservation is a must. If they miss your call, just leave a voice message with your name, number of people, time you’d like to arrive, and your phone number and they will get back to you in a reasonable amount of time.

Tales and Spirits

As one of the top 50 bars in the world, this is a must when visiting Amsterdam! This cocktail bar is located close to the center of Amsterdam, however, its still able to keep a more relaxed atmosphere. The decor is cozy and unique. Its a small space but organized to feel more spacious.

They cocktails are well thought out and crafted. The menu is quite extensive, so based on your taste, you can choose from many options. From fresh, fruity and citrus to more complex, bitter, spiced options.

Additionally, they serve the best jalapeno poppers in town! I get them every single time I go there.

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Belushi’s

Belushi’s located just at the edge of the Red Light District, it is a favorite for backpackers, expats in hospitality, a limited amount of locals and anyone who wishes to smoke and drink (at the same time) indoors. Belushi’s hosts one of the longest Happy Hour in the city so that’s also a plus for those on a budget.

Cheap drinks, decent music and comfy couches, as a young backpacker, its a must visit.

Bar Bukowski

Bar Bukowski is one of those not so hidden, hidden gems in Amsterdam. Located in the eastern part of the city, right across from Oosterpark, its a perfect place to get coffee during the day and drinks at night.

It’s a fantastic place to visit after a day in the park. With more of a local crowd, its a great place to get away from the more tourist scene.

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Calle Ocho

Calle Ocho, located in the Pijp area, is a cozy and fun bar/restaurant. The place is colorful, decorated in sugar skulls, lights and other objects giving it Cuban, Mexican and Caribbean vibe. With some of the finest tequila, rum and spirits, and fantastic bartenders, you are sure to get a tasty cocktail.

I absolutely love their Frozen Margaritas! The place does get full on the weekends though, so be prepared to stand.

Gollem Beer Café

Another bar located in the Pijp, Gollem Beer Cafe houses 14 beers from the barrel and over 150 bottle beers. This bar houses beers from Belgium, Amsterdam and other Dutch beers.

With a heavy old-school bar vibe, its a very relaxed place to have drinks with friends or just as a couple.

 

If you are living in Amsterdam or just visiting, be sure to check out some of these places.

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Sofi x

Dining in Copenhagen

Before I left for Copenhagen, I researched as many restaurants as I could since 1) I’m an over planner, 2) I have a sort of complicated diet (no meat except fish, no eggs, and some dairy products). So usually I have some trouble finding things on menus besides (most) salads.

Of course we went to none of the restaurants that I researched, but this ended up being the best thing. The city has some amazing restaurants, I wish that I could have tried more!

On the first night that we arrived, we went to a little traditional danish food place but after that I wanted to branch out and explore. I found that in researching restaurants, the time that they claimed to close on their websites, google maps, and other sites, was not always accurate. I was also found that if you can book a table, then do it! Walk-ins, even on a Tuesday night in mid-October, may have you waiting outside in the rain for 45 minutes while you wait for a table. We ended up walking around that night to find ourselves a bar in the area to waste the time, and lucky for us, we got some great gin and tonics.

Slurp Ramen Joint

This one was my absolute favorite! The atmosphere for the place is wonderful even with its small space! So aesthetically pleasing. The menu is limited but that’s not a problem when everything on it is tasty!

I ordered the Veggie Ramen and it was absolutely amazing. It even rivals the ramen that I had while I was in Tokyo.

The staff were so friendly and knowledgeable about the dishes.
Slurp has a walk-in concept and is popular so be prepared to wait. We waited for about 30 minutes on a Wednesday night, but it was well worth it!

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Pluto

I booked a table for this restaurant and so glad that I did. When we arrived the place was full except for one tiny table near the window. At entry, the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful.

It was about 8-9pm, we had walked around all day so I was pretty tired. I only had a tiny idea of what I wanted to eat and drink. So when the waiter came around, I asked him for a recommendation. He absolutely nailed it! I got an amazing white fish dish and the perfect dry white so go with it.

The plates are a bit small so ordering both starters and mains is recommended. 

This place being quite pricy is the only downside. 

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Copenhagen Street Food

We decided to go here for lunch on our last full day. Best idea! Walking in you are hit with this authentic street style food court vibe. They have “stands” from pretty much everywhere, Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, Korea, Italian… pretty much everywhere. There isan ATM inside the building at the entrance so if you don’t feel like paying with PIN, then cash is an option. Seating is where ever you can find it, on these park style benches. The place is a little overwhelming with all the options but amazing.

A bonus for me was they had a cheesecake stand… so many options and not expensive at all. The pricing of most of the stands aren’t that expensive but it wasn’t exactly cheap. It’s very much worth a trip! Plus the view from the location is beautiful.

Copenhagen has some amazing places to dine, with so many different options of restaurants within the city, its really worth the prices.

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Sofi x

Skincare for oily skin

I have been dealing with moderate to mild acne for years. This acne is mainly due to hormones but I have noticed my daily habits and other factors contribute to it.

Although a tiny break out here and there isn’t the biggest deal for me, it’s the scarring that sometimes happens afterwards. In this last 3 years, I’ve experimenting and researching, trying to figure out what exactly works the best for me. And now I’ve mostly cleared my skin and created a pretty good skincare routine.

I have oily skin the majority of the year except during the winter months when I get dry patches on my nose and chin.

When creating a skincare routine, it is best to consider some things.

For oily skin: Wash often, tone and blot in-between

It seems obvious but it’s not that simple. Cleansing the skin is very important to keep oily pores clear and remove oily buildup. Washing your face twice a day with an oil-free foaming cleanser that is free from harsh ingredients is better than scrubbing your skin twice a day with harsh products. These harsher products may make you feel like your skin is getting cleaner but they can dry out our skin which will cause it to then produce more oils to compensate. Be sure to pat your face, not rub your face dry.

Using toners to remove extra oil helps keep the skin clean and makes the face less shiny. However, they may irritate your skin so look for more sensitive products.

During the day using blotting sheets will help you absorb the extra oils that your skin produces during the day and it will keep you from looking too shiny.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

With oily skin, its easy to assume that adding more moisture and oils onto the skin isn’t the best idea. However, oily skin actually really needs moisture since a lack of moisture can cause the skin to over produce oil, which just worsens the issue.  Using a lightweight water-based moisturizer, free from perfumes, and ingredients that can irritate the skin, can be very beneficial to the skin.

Oils can help heal breakouts and acne depending on the type of oil. Many oils contain anti-inflammatory, calming compounds and anti-bacterial properties. They are packed with vitamins and anti-oxidants that help protect, moisturize and heal the skin. Also, many won’t cause your pores to clog or make you oilier. Not all oils are to be used on your skin though. Jojoba, tea tree, and eucalyptus oils are great for the skin, and for people like me coconut oil causes massively clogged pores that takes weeks to fix.

Exfoliation is key

Exfoliation benefits all skin types, however, it is especially great on oily skin types since it can reduce the buildup of oils and dead skin cells. This helps clear pores and prevents pimples from forming. The amount in which you exfoliate your skin depends on how your skin feels and reacts. I like to exfoliate once or twice a week depending on how irritated my skin is.

What to stay away from

Drying and clogging ingredients should be avoided at all costs. Sulfates, alcohol, mineral oil, and petrolatum are not your friend since they can dry the skin out making it produce more oils or seal the skin which causes clogs. Additionally, washing your face or showering with overly hot water can cause your skin to dry out causing again more oils to be produced.

My current favorite products to use

Origins GINZING™ Engergy-Boosting Treatment Lotion Mist
– An oil-free spray lotion mist formulated with coffee beans and ginseng. I use this after I wash my face at night before I apply my other moisturizers. It makes my skin feel amazing and its lasted me 4 months with everyday use.

Morrocan Natural Organic Argan Oil  Facial Oil
– Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, this product is an anti-aging product which is suitable for sensitive skin, oily skin, acne, eczema and other skin conditions. I use it at night, and my skin is always smooth in the morning.

For the cleanser, toner, masks and other products, I usually stick to Douglas Naturals products since they work best for me.

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Sofi x

4 days in Copenhagen

I was in Copenhagen earlier this week for a mini vacation. Being the first time that I ventured into Scandinavia, I had no idea what to expect with the weather, culture, etc. After 4 days there I can honestly say that I fell in love!

We booked a room in a hotel that is located smack in the middle of the city, which ended up being prefect since almost everything was walking distance or the metro was close-by. Before we got there, we ordered the 72-hour Copenhagen cards online which was only €89. This card gives you access to 79 museums and attractions, and free public transport. It was very much worth it for us because at €14 on average entry to museums and attractions that we wanted to go to and us taking the metro multiple times a day, we saved quite a bit of money.

In the 4 days, we visited many different museums and attractions. All of entry costs for these were covered by the card. A tip when planning a trip to Copenhagen, is to check the opening times before, since many things are closed on Mondays or entirely based on the season.

Here are the most memorable for me.

The Cisterns
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It is a old water reservoir under the Søndermarken park (located in the Frederiksberg district) which was made into an exhibition. Since it is huge underground space, its dark, and extremely humid so skip the flat iron when you visit (I learned the hard way). Its such a Gothic space, resembling catacombs. It has been turned into an art exhibit. From 20 March 2017 until 2 December 2018, the Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi’s installation can be viewed as a celebration of the 150th anniversary of diplomacy between Denmark and Japan.

Design Museum Denmark

This museum houses decorative art and industrial designs from around the world. The building was once the first public hospital in Denmark. This museum hosts many different styles and designers, anything from chairs, posters, paintings, fashion, to medical instruments. It might get a little confusing as you are wondering from room to room, looking for a flow or theme but its well worth it with the beautiful and interesting exhibits.

The National Museum

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Denmark’s National Museum in Copenhagen displays exhibits from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Modern Danish History. Just like any other National Museum, you will find skulls, mummies, pottery, boats, skeletons, weapons, etc. Its a massive museum so if you decide to venture there, set aside a couple of hours to get through everything.

Tivoli Gardens

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Tivoli Gardens is one of the oldest theme park in Europe, it was founded in 1843.  The park is absolutely beautiful with different exotically themed architecture and lush gardens. At night, it turns into something magical! The park is littered with thousands of lights making it something out of a fairy-tale. I was especially ecstatic because during autumn the park is transformed into a Halloween extravaganza. Pumpkins, lanterns, spiders and all things Halloween everywhere. Even with all of this, at night it was still so romantic. We bought mulled wine and sat in the garden watching the lights and fireworks on the water. I was in heaven!

Church of Our Saviour

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Our Saviour’s is one of the most famous churches in Denmark. With 400 steps to the top, 90 meters above street level, its not for the faint of heart. Especially since the last 150 steps are on the outside of the church (as pictured above). It was definitely not my favorite thing since I’m not someone who enjoys heights, however, you can take some amazing pictures from the top.

Copenhagen is a truly amazing city in so many ways!

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Sofi x

The Gloss

The last few of years was dominated by the matte lip, but gloss is coming back slowly. Gloss gives more dimension and a natural youth to any look. With the look coming back to the runway its a great time to invest (just a little bit) on this trend.

Although, I’m mainly attracted to the more nude, pink or clear glosses, there are also some more beautiful colorful options for the more daring! Nude lip gloss adds the perfect natural shine to any look.