Confession time: I don’t visit Amsterdam a lot. A shame really: the city is only a short train-ride away and if you avoid the streets flooded with tourists it’s a lovely place to spend some time. On a very rainy Friday in June I got on the train to spend a day in the city with my friend Tessa, visiting a list of green hotspots. Our main goal and first stop was a visit to the Hortus Botanicus. I’ve heard a lot about the beauty of this place, and of course liked hundreds of photos from the garden on Instagram. The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam was founded in 1638 and is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. With various glasshouse and a large park you’ll quickly spend a few hours inside!
The main greenhouse is divided into three parts: subtropical, tropical and desert. As expected I loved the latter, it’s filled with cacti and succulents! The tropical greenhouse is a true jungle, it even houses a pond with turtles.
After our visit to the greenhouses the rain made way for the sun, giving the gardens that lovely after-rain smell I never get enough from. Walking through the gardens you’ll bump into the Palm Greenhouse, a gorgeous building that houses the palms in winter. There’s a steep iron stairway that brings you to the crowns of the palms and gives you the opportunity to take a closer look at the glass window. If you’re not like me – creeped out of fluttering insects – you’ll find another treat in the garden: a glasshouse filled with colourful butterflies. I passed though! 😉
After our Hortus adventure we continued our green tour through the city. First stop was Bar Botanique, a super pretty place to have lunch. With enough vegetarian and vegan-friendly options on the menu this is a spot to remember. Next up was Wildernis, the Instagram-famous plant store. And how lovely it was! I was looking for a small plant for a new planter, and bought a lovely mini-succulent. The beautiful interior and friendly staff makes Wildernis a must-see on your next Amsterdam trip!
Of course we could use some food after this day of walking and exploring, and our final stop was the Vegan Junk Food Bar. Rumored to have the best vegan burgers ever I was curious to try it out! And yes – the burger was amazing. Topped with vegan cheddar, onions and a perfect bun it was everything a burger should be. The parmesan/truffle-oil fries were delicious too!
I’m sure I’ll be back in Amsterdam soon, there’s lots more to discover! And I just can’t stop thinking about that burger, but that’s another story.