For many people, Amsterdam conjures up images of smoky cafes and great nights out, but the Dutch capital also has a clean-living side to it.
From cycling to eating organic food, there are plenty of ways to detox. Here’s a taster of some of the feel-good opportunities awaiting you when you step off your flight to Amsterdam:
On your bike
Cycling is a fantastic way to get fit – as Amsterdammers know. So why not jump on a bike and stretch your legs after your flight to Amsterdam? Fill your lungs with fresh air on a scenic ride past ponds and thickets in Vondelpark at the southern tip of the city. For an eco-friendly experience, hire yourself a bicycle from Recycled Bikes, found on Spuistraat. Friendly owner Vitor collects abandoned bike parts from around the city (keep your eyes peeled and you’ll notice bicycle graveyards all over town). Then he reassembles the parts to construct fully working bicycles.
Restaurant De Kas, south of Oosterpark, takes fresh, organic cooking to a new level. The chefs source all their ingredients from the on-site greenhouse, their organic farm or other local, sustainable farms. Before settling down for your meal, pop into the adjoining nursery to see the flourishing vegetables and herbs – staff sometimes give tours when they’re not too busy. The dinner menu changes each day depending on what’s in season, but you pay a fixed price for a choice from three small starters, a main like pheasant with Parma ham, and a dessert. Delicious.
Friendly boutique Nukuhiva, just north of the Western Canal Belt, takes pride in its stock of eco-friendly clothing and accessories. Everything you find here comes from sustainable origins, but unlike other shops of this kind, Nukuhiva’s ethical items go beyond rows of organic cotton clothes. Wriggle your toes into vegan shoe-manufacturer Veja’s colourful and comfortable boots, or try on a pair of Dutch designer Kuyishi’s pliable organic denim jeans.
Another great way to stay in shape: hire a pedal-powered canal bike and take advantage of Amsterdam’s famous waterways. The five-seater vessels are one of the healthier and more entertaining ways to explore the bands of water that snake their way around the capital. Afterwards, grab a bite to eat at Morning Star – nearly everything here is organic. The soup of the week and the free-range beef croquettes come highly recommended.
Nowadays there is plenty of emphasis on ensuring the food and drink that goes inside us is healthy and organic – but what about the outside? Skin often gets overlooked here. So why not head to the Jordaan’s La Savonnerie to stock up on natural soaps – you’ll find over 80 varieties available for sale. For an extra boost, book one of their 20 minute massages. Alternatively, head to Zout & Co in the Old West. This skincare shop is entirely dedicated to organic products made from natural sea salt – so you can be kind to both your skin and the environment at the same time.
A trip to the Dutch capital could give you that healthy boost you’ve been craving. You’ll find there are plenty of ways to indulge your clean-living side when you take a flight to Amsterdam.