Unseen photo fair, Amsterdam

A few weeks  ago I went to “Unseen”. This  photo fair was a four days celebration of inspiration and talent at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. Galleries from all around the world presented their work. I was overwhelmed by the diversity of ideas, techniques and subjects of photographers. Close to my heart was were the collages with different materials integrated such as paper and threads. Till next year!
The thread works are by the amazing Julie Cockburn. The tower in the photo is a real tower (!) in Hong Kong. The big portraits on the floor and walls are a part of this.

The best secret guide to Amsterdam- De pijp

+ I’m regularly updating this guide. Adding new exciting places and address. If you want to be updated you can register to my mailing list on the right, thanks!

After many requests to share tips about good places to visit in Amsterdam,….here it is: “The best secret guide to Amsterdam – De Pijp” or “Don’t forget to bring your umbrella!”

When visiting other cities there is nothing I like doing more than following a local guide and discover the hidden treasures of a place. The kind of places that only locals knows about.

All the places & shops mentioned in this guide are based on my personal recommendation only. I don’t have any benefits from sharing this information. I collected them because for me they make this place special. All photos are taken by me (unless mentioned otherwise). I also included Google maps for easy searching and localization.

De Pijp/Museum Quarter is where I live for the last 10 years, the neighborhood that I love very much. You can find here museums, parks, shops, cafes, restaurants and a daily market. All that makes it one of the most popular places in the city. It’s ever changing, full of energy and fun. Some of the places are there for 30 years or more and some of them are brand new.

This guide covers the area between the three biggest museums of Amsterdam:The Stedelijk museum, the Van Gogh museum and the Rijks museum. Between them is the Museumplein – a big square with a green grass field to take a rest, relax and enjoy. For children there is a small playground. In a few minutes walk you will find the Albert Cuyp market, greats shops, cafes restaurants and the wonderful Sarphati park.

So here it is, the the ultimate guide for all the curious and adventurous…:-)

Charlie and Mary - A beautiful concept fashion shop and cafe with a very friendly staff. Inside you will find also one of the cutest cafe’s in the area – don’t miss it!


All the Luck in the World – A vintage, second hand, art and design shop run by mother and daughter – Jane (designer and artist) and Nina (goldsmith). Here you can find rare and unique vintage design items. Customized or entirely hand made. Very Friendly and full with beautiful treasures…


Atelier TempelAmsterdam based designer Hilde Tempelman creates unique handpainted pottery, one of a kind accessories, handcrafted bags, scarves, bijoux, paper goods, dolls, pillow covers an other home decorations. All hand made. Her studio/shop is a true a magical place.


Anna+ Nina
Fashion accessories shop. Beautiful jewellery, exclusive brands.


Kinder Feest Winkel – kid’s party shop, and what a party indeed…a heaven for kids and their parents. With one big warning: not recommended for the soft hearts…;-)


Cotton cake- the ultimate combination- edgy, renewing brands with a great cafe serving organic food. You can sit outside or in the gallery inside and enjoy!


Le Salonard Amsterdam - On of the best hidden jewels of our neighborhood. Its a deli shop and a lunchroom. It doesn’t get better then this! top unique and super quality food, friendly and inviting.  You can eat inside on the small bar table, sit outside or take away and sit in the nearby Sarphati park


Casperle – Don’t missed this magical and charming kids bookshop with a hand picked, wide collection of books for kids and youth. Recently they opened an extra floor below with equally charming and unique toys and gifts. One of my top ten !


Stenelux – when you’re entering de Pijp from the Museumplein don’t misses this very unique  and charming shop with gemstones, minerals and fossils. Over 30 years of experience. Lovely to sniff around. Nice, enthusiastic people with a lot of knowledge and experience.

Open: thu-fri-sat 11.30 – 17.00 . 1e Jacob van Campenstr 2-HS, Amsterdam
Tel. 020-6621490

De Indruk – Charming and unique hand made prints and gifts. Made by the local artist Els Knaap. Specialized in prints, painting and wonderful cards and gifts. All hand made.
Once inside you can also take a look at a real size working press print machine.

Antiek & Brocante Jan SteenOnly on Sunday- a small brocant shop hidden next to the park. Adres: 111 H Eerste Jan Steenstraat

De Sperwer - a nifty little cookbook shop. If you looking for culinary inspiration this place is for you. Extensive collection of cookbooks for hobby and professional cooks.


Duikelman - or as we call it “Kitchen heaven”. All  you need, want or never knew existed….;-)  I’m in love with the room full of baking trays, molds, cookie cutters in all shapes and forms and so many other things. Across the street you will find their other shop of cooking books and more. Suitable for real professionals to very light amateurs.


Lovely at the park -the store is located in-front of the Sarphatipark. The store is best described as Hippie meets Class meets Bohemian. Beautiful, charming collection of cloth, jewellery and lots of beautiful, charming things… (photos were taken by lovely Ingrid)


Werkplaats Willemien on the corner of the street with a unique, modernistic gargoyles you will find most beautiful fabrics and cushion at this chairs upholstered
workshop. All done by a team of women, runs by Willemien. The window is gem of unique, and wonderful hand made goods. Always a pleasure to look at and visit inside!


The Waaghals – Very tasty organic, vegetarian restaurant. The menu is changed every two weeks and follows the seasonal local ingredients.

Da Portare Via -On the same street you will find the local neighborhood Pizzeria. Wood-fired ovens , thin bottom Roman pizza way . (ask my kids where is the best Pizza in town


Poptasi - A real luxurious macaroon shop in de Pijp (the first in Holland).

10 + 10 Gallery and shop – nice vintage and art shop. Open on Friday and Saturday.

De Vredespijp – Art deco shop combined with coffee place. Nice to sit and have a coffee inside when raining and wonderful to lunch outside when sunshine. Charming, tasty and garnished with beautiful art deco.


Off course I can’t leave you without some recommended places in other parts of Amsterdam:

Canal cruise – a must. The best way to see and feel the city. Great for kids.

Nine streets – don’t leave the city without spending some time between those beautiful little streets.

The Eye Museum- Dutch center for film culture and heritage and one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Take a ferry across the water and enjoy the view.

The bag museum /Tassen museum Hendrikje -  I wrote about this museum here. Charming, interesting, beautiful to see. Located in one of the most beautiful canals of the city.

Utrechtsestraat - Beautiful shopping street. Don’t misses the small side streets with second hand shops and art galleries.

Haarlemmerstraat Chosen to be the best shopping street in the city and indeed if you love unique design and fashion shops with nice cafes, this street is for you.

OBA (the central library in Amsterdam) – if you have time, do visit the central library. In the kid’s floor you will find the “The Mouse Mansion -Het Muizenhuis” in real size (stunning work!) and on the top floor you can sit in the cafe/restaurant and enjoy one of the best views on the city.

Unique shops in the city:
Het Grote Avontuur/the big adventure- shop that sells paper goods, vintage home accessories and assorted treasures

Vlieger Papier -  paradise for paper lovers. In the second floor is for art and craft.

The New Label Project-  a unique concept shop that presents the work of emerging artis.

Athenaeum- Favorite shop for design and art books and magazine.


Hand made market Museumplein - Original and hand-made design, art and crafts market on the Museumplein. Very diverse and interesting to visit. Check the link to the coming dates.

Sunday Market - Hand-made, art, fashion and design market at the Westergasfabriek, at the first Sunday on the month.

IJ Hallen – The ultimate and by far the best second hand market in the city. don’t miss it!

Note: check the opening hours of shops and restaurants. Especially on Monday morning most are open a bit later (relaxed Amsterdam…;-)

And last but not least note: don’t forget your umbrella!