Sep 6, 2012

Sling on your sandals and visit Amsterdam’s biggest market

Amsterdam is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities Europe has to offer. Between trotting around the Van Gogh museum and having a tipple at the Heineken factory, there’s plenty to get your teeth into – literally.
With a cheese shop on every corner, and chips and mayonnaise declared a national dish, you might worry about squeezing into your skinny jeans when you get back home. Worry not: bike rental is as cheap as the chips you can freely feast on, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be getting your heart rate going on the cycle ride home.
Of course, foodies know that there’s more to Amsterdam than cheesy carbs. Any woman worth her salt will head straight to the Albert Cuyp Market in the De Pijp region of the city for an afternoon of snacking around the market.
Try samples of Dutch cheese flavoured with cumin, pesto or even wasabi at one of the many cheese stalls. Dip freshly baked bread into tapenades, rose harissa paste and olive oil. Pick up a bag of dried kiwi slices to keep hunger at bay later in the day and be sure to sample a dried orange slice dipped in dark chocolate. The orange flesh turns gooey like marmalade, and the bitterness of the chocolate complements the zesty citrus flavour beautifully.
Be sure to visit the stroopwafle man for an ooey-gooey caramel sugar fix in the form of freshly pressed stroopwafles – and don’t forget to grab a bag for the girls at work! Wash it all down with a cup of freshly squeezed juice. Jewel-coloured juices and smoothies chill in vats of ice, so even on the hottest of Dutch days you’re guaranteed to enjoy an ice cold vitamin C boost.
Be warned: it’s a long market, so comfortable shoes are essential, as is a big comfy handbag to squirrel away your stash of treats. Dune sandals are the ideal balance between fashion and practicality, and the range of styles from Dune at Very includes some real show-stopping heels for those sultry Amsterdam nights, too. Amsterdam is no stranger to the odd spot of rain, so be sure to pack something sturdier too – check out for Dune sandals, boots and more.