Our Fave Dutch Fashion Brands

Dutch clothing brands are unique and diverse, and they constantly evolve, with Amsterdam the beating heart of it all. Fashion and Style are two core elements that make up your stereotypical Dutch person.

However, they are also extremely subtle and ever-present elements. Because of this, one needs to delve beneath the surface to place a finger on the pulse of the trend-setting scene across Holland. Come explore some of our fave Dutch clothing brands here at Sarah’s Tours.

Many people consider Amsterdam the “Denim Capital of the World”.

One company striving to retain that title on behalf of our beloved city is the exquisitely named Amsterdenim. Founded in 2014, Amsterdenim is a denim powerhouse known across Holland. In particular, jeans are a massively popular and practical element of Dutch style. Amsterdenim marries traditional elements with modern style, drawing inspiration from Holland’s history of seafaring and exploration.

Amsterdenim employ beautiful stylistic motifs, like the deep ocean-blue yarn that serves as seafaring-esque threading through their garments. They are proud of their maritime roots, and display this pride in their logo, which invokes the famous Dutch ship sails. Of course, before denim’s emergence, the first work trousers and dungarees were made from the very same material as ship sails.

And Amsterdenim’s pride at their roots and their company’s success is evident in their exciting and ongoing collaboration with online fashion giant Zalando. Their “I AM YOUMAN” campaign is all about their pride in Amsterdam, and in how far they’ve come as a still-deceptively-small organisation, given the massive buzz around their brand.

A lot of Dutch fashion and style sometimes seems rather unusual to the rest of the world. In Amsterdam especially, we draw our influences from a wide range of quirky sources. Amsterdam folk legends Scotch are one such source. They channel effortless and unique cool through their high-energy, eclectic and infectious folk sounds and general style. Further afield, we must also mention Swedish icon and millennial trail blazer Andreas Wijk. Wijk previously worked with Dutch giants G-Star Raw, and he constantly reinvents his cutting-edge style for the Dutch youth to marvel at and strive to emulate. As he approaches his 26th birthday next month, the singer/songwriter, model, influencer and all-round idol has a style that resonates with the Dutch youth of today.

We Dutch are fantastic travellers, and simply love welcoming new visitors to our lands. Therefore, it’s no surprise that themes of travel, adventure and earthly exploration dominate our sense of fashion and style. SUITSUIT is a pioneering, female-driven company dedicated to creating stylish yet practical travel accessories for globetrotting women. Founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Emile Vijlbrief, their goal is to blend design with functionality for female travellers to get the most from their journeys. The Dutch brand is now present in over 2,500 outlets across 29 countries.

Being present all around the world is no good if it’s not done with the characteristic Dutch cool! When people think of Holland (and Amsterdam in particular), they think of cool coffee shops, hangout spaces. Enter HutSpot, the coolest of Dutch start-ups that first began in Amsterdam as a pop-up shop back in 2012. In the beginning, it was all about comfy lounge spaces, smooth tunes and even barbershops thrown in the mix. At its core, HutSpot is a space for vibrant artists and fledgling designers to display their creations alongside more established brands. Today, it has multiple outlets across Holland, as well as global reach through its impressive online presence.

Holland benefits from a very forgiving landscape, where our flat lands inspire people to walk or cycle almost everywhere.

Keeping our feet comfortable is important. Keeping them stylish is essential. In 2009, Filling Pieces burst on to the scene with game-changing sneakers that took Europe by storm. Based in Amsterdam, their sneakers seamlessly bridge the gap between streetwear and high-end fashion. And of course, staying true to their Dutch roots, they provide free worldwide shipping on their products too.

Our worldwide theme of Dutch fashion and design concludes with two incredible companies that dominate global markets in their respective industries. Firstly, Suit Supply provides the highest quality suits at insanely competitive prices, due to their cutting out the middlemen. Founded in 2000 and with stores all over the world (3 in London, and 37 in the US alone), Suit Supply pride themselves on not quite fitting any one specific mould.

They take pride in their left-field industry disruption and have been covered extensively in both national and international publications.

Finally, what good is the wealth of stunning, progressive, and innovative Dutch fashion designs and creations unless you can drink them all in with crystal clarity? Amsterdam-founded company Ace & Tate have been creating super affordable designer frames since 2013. The eyewear “eye”-cons began online, offering well-priced frames by cutting out the middlemen (similar to Suit Supply). Today, they boast 55 stores across 11 countries (with more on the way).

So, when you come to visit our beautiful country, try to bring your fashion A-game. But don’t worry, Holland (and Amsterdam in particular) has more than enough amazing fashion brands to help you level-up while here.


The History of the Tulip

The world today is certainly awash with stunning views and spectacular scenery. However, Holland’s jaw dropping Tulip Fields deserve their rightful place on the list of most beautiful sights. The tulips of Amsterdam are a technicolour treat of vibrant, variously shaded petals bouncing on to infinity. No trip to Amsterdam is complete without venturing just outside the city to drink in this most magnificent of wonders.

Amsterdam and its surroundings are synonymous with the tulip. They originated in the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey) at the end of the first millennium A.D. However, Tulips first made an appearance on Dutch shores in the 16th Century. The tulip quickly became a sensation in Holland. It resulted in the infamous “Tulip Fever” that apparently gripped the entire nation in the early 17th Century. In fact, it even allegedly lead to a fabled economic crash soon after.

 

Nowadays, the tulip is still extremely popular. Thankfully, it no longer inspires quite the same level of financial insanity that once accompanied it. Every Spring, typically between mid-April and early May, Amsterdam’s tulips explode into full bloom. This spectacle draws crowds of admirers from all around the world. Given the brevity of their annual appearance, catching them in full bloom is a rare and exclusive honour.

Amterdam's surrounding tulip fields are famous around the world
Vibrant colours explode from Amsterdam's tulip fields

You can find incredible examples of Amsterdam’s splendid tulip fields only a short drive from the city. The extraordinary gardens of Keukenhof are located just South-East of Amsterdam. They provide an unrivaled experience for tourists looking to lay eyes on the region’s most famous flower. Keukenhof and its surrounding fields are a tulip lover’s dream come true. There are a staggering 7 million or so bulbs all set to bloom this spring. That means a total of 800 varieties of tulips bursting forth from over 32 hectares of perfectly flat and well-drained polderlands. Such an event easily provides one of the planet’s prettiest sights. Let our team here at Sarah’s Tours take you on a unique and exclusive guided tour of this modern wonder. Book your tour with us now.

As well as Keukenhof
you can see other very good examples of tulips

(and other stunning flowers) at the famous Kop van Noord-Holland peninsula, located only a short distance directly north of Amsterdam city. Here, you can witness the annual Tulip Festival which unfolds right in the middle of the tulip fields. It runs from mid-April to early May.

Just West of Amsterdam is the area of Flevoland. From here, one can embark on the famous Tulip Route, encompassing more than 100 kilometres that winds through roughly 2,500 acres of multi-coloured fields of flowers. Attracting active travellers as well as those in search of a more relaxed experience, one can travel the Tulip Route by bike, car, or on foot. The Flevoland region itself boasts over 5,000 acres of sumptuous reds, yellows and purples, making it Holland’s largest flower-growing region.

If you’re tempted to jump on the Tulip-buying bandwagon like the bulb-loving Dutch of centuries gone by, a visit to the Royal FloraHolland is worth considering. It’s the largest flower auction in the world, and well in excess of 20 million plants and flowers are sold there every day.

An iconic emblem of Amsterdam and Holland as a whole, the tulip in full bloom is a marvel to behold when you come visit us.

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10 reasons to visit Amsterdam in the Winter

Winter in Amsterdam

Winter is coming: This is great news for anyone visiting our amazing city. It is truly a magical time to experience our Dutch capital. In the evening the city transforms into a cosy place to have a warm drink and admire the scenery. We Dutchies are a master at hearty comfort food and fairy lights are twinkling everywhere in the city. Read on to discover some reasons why visiting Amsterdam in the winter is worth the trip!

1) Amsterdam turns in to a fairy tale in the snow

Amsterdam with a blanket of white is truly stunning in White. The city turns in to a Christmas card worthy place when covered in snowflakes. It makes the city the perfect background scenery for a romantic getaway.

If snowman conditions occur to make sure to visit one of the many city parks where you can eat your heart out and display your snowman-making skills in peace or if you just want to enjoy the flakes with no interruptions! Check out the larger parks like Vondelpark or Westerpark if you get a chance, or let us take you there on your own private tour with one of our local guides.

10-reasons-to-visit-Amsterdam-In-Winter
Ice skating on the canal belt- Capture by our photographer Victor Lacken

2) The city transforms into a light show

Every year Amsterdam Light Festival turns the city into an outdoor art gallery in the winter months. Magical light installations that cover canals, landmarks from November to January. A great way to see it is with on the water on a private boat tour sipping on a warm beverage.

Amsterdam-light-festival
Amsterdam light festival on the canals

 

3) You can (sometimes) ice-skate on the frozen canals

It’s is not a yearly occurrence but if the conditions are right ( generally when the temperature dips to below 4 degrees for four nights in a row) the canals are blocked off enough then for ice to form. Then the magic happens and the ta-da: a gem of an ice rink.

If this magic doesn’t happen, no worries there are enough opportunities to ice skate including the vast ICE*Amsterdam outside the Rijksmuseum, and the Jaap Eden ice rink.

 

Amsterdam-winter
Ice skating on the canals

 

4) Everything is ‘gezellig’

Cosy pubs, Fairy lights and dark nights, Amsterdam is truly: “gezellig”, the word we use for convivial or cosy, a warm feeling that embodies a sense of belonging. Pronounced ‘he-zell-ick’, this word has no literal English translation. We use it in many different ways from describing something cosy, relaxing, friendly and so on. You will hear this a lot if you visit Amsterdam in winter time or any time really!

 

5) Book a private winter wonderland tour

Amsterdam has many winter gems that we would love to show you. It’s a great way to get the most out of your stay!

Get in touch with us to create your own bespoke winter wonderland experience.

 

6) The streets are peaceful

In winter time it calms down in Amsterdam. Meaning: less time waiting in line at one of our major museums and a lot more chance of bagging a spot in the variety of restaurants and bars that the city has to offer. This is a perfect time to explore places like Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum,

7) Comfort food

Hearty and satisfying, our cuisine is made for cold days. From traditional Stampot which consists of mash, veggies, and meat. Dutch food is made to warm you up!

8) Markets

Christmas is a big deal in Amsterdam. Everything brightens up and decorations are everywhere. The holiday season is full of activities to do when you visit! If you love exploring the streets to make sure to visit one of the many Christmas markets.

9) Oliebollen

These sweet yummy balls of doughy goodness are available from street vendors all winter long. Eat them while you can!

 

10) It’s a perfect Valentine’s retreat

Amsterdam has been voted many times as one of the most romantic cities in the world. What better place to enjoy a romantic getaway with the one you love?

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What to do when it's raining in Amsterdam

What to do when it’s raining in Amsterdam

Some days it rains and some days it shines.! No worries! There is still a lot of things you can do and see on a rainy day. Let us take you on a private tour and help you enjoy your stay the local way. Check out our top picks of things to do on a rainy day in Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

1.Visit the Rijksmuseum

A bit of a no-brainer but it should definitely be on your list for places to visit in Amsterdam on a rainy day. You can be entertained the whole day by exploring the museum’s wide range collections. After you have gotten your dose of culture you can enjoy a drink and a snack in the beautiful atrium cafe or enjoy a more formal dinner at RIJKS restaurant.

2.Kick back and relax in a cosy pub

What’s a better excuse than a rainy day for cosying up in one of Amsterdams traditional and historical bars, they are known as Brown cafe due to the wood heavy decor and nicotine stained walls ( no worries smoking is banned nowadays indoors)

3.Go on a beer brewery tour

You can also escape the rain at one of Amsterdams many tasting houses. The most famous one is Heineken Experience for a more local experience discover  one of the cities many microbreweries such as Brouwerij T’ IJ or De Prael.

4.Visit a local indoor market

Amsterdam Roest hosts regular indoor markets and fairs. Throughout the month there are various indoor markets to be found in Amsterdam. The IJ-Hallen at NDSM Wharf is a warehouse that hosts the biggest flea market in Europe. Or check out Westergasfabriek that host a Neighbourfood market.

5.Visit one of the public libraries

Amsterdam has a lot of libraries where you can relax with a good book. Most of the libraries have free exhibitions that you can check out.

Sarah’s Tours provides private and bespoke tours to guests visiting Amsterdam.
Interested in booking your own tour?
Get in touch with us and we will make your Amsterdam experience one to remember!

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Top 10 things to do picked by Amsterdam Locals

1. Book a private boat tour

Going by boat is a great way to admire the breathtaking canal belt and learn about the history of Amsterdam. There are various types of boat trips such as a personalized private trip both during the daytime and night time with one of our local guides. Some types of tours you can enjoy:

  • Romance in Amsterdam tour: This tour is at nighttime when the canals are all filled with lights and the streets are quiet you can enjoy the scenery with the one you love.
  • A Golden Age tour of the historical centre is another tour option. You can enjoy a customized tour with some snacks and good chats.

By going with a local tour guide you can find out many fascinating facts about Amsterdam’s history and things to do and see during the rest of your stay.

You can read more about what our customers have to say about our tours here.

2. Visit local markets

When visiting Amsterdam make sure to visit one of our local markets. The Albert Cuyp market is one of our biggest markets. Make sure to try a warm and freshly baked SStroopwafel( Syrup waffle), taste some famous Dutch cheese and have a sweet treat such as poffertjes ( tiny pancakes). Another great market is Noordermarkt which is an organic farmers market or Waterlooplein flee market for the vintage lovers. So make sure to add visiting local markets to your things to do in Amsterdam!

3. Visit the Jordaan

The Jordaan is the most famous area of Amsterdam. In the past, this area was inhabited by the working class. Gentrification of decades past has attracted lots of galleries, restaurants and speciality shops. The North of the Jordaan is more touristy so check out the south for a peaceful wander when checking out the scenery.

4. Visit Museums 

There is more than enough Art to see whilst in Amsterdam. There are many art related things to do in Amsterdam. Let’s look at some of the best ones out there. At the museum quarter, you can find all the big museums such as the Rijks Museum and marvel at world famous artists paintings such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. Just around the corner, you will find the works of Vincent Van Gogh. The modern art Museum: Stedelijk is also worth a visit. If you are into history make sure to check out the Resistance Museum. Another fun visit is to the EYE film museum.

5. Enjoy food, drinks, and culture 

Situated at Westerpark, this complex of industrial buildings used to be the city’s municipal gas works. It is now transformed into a cultural hub. Home to bars, restaurants, coffee roasters, a microbrewery and an art house cinema. Look out for regular food markets, festivals and events held here.

6. Rent a bike!

You have might have heard about the most popular transportation in Amsterdam: the bicycle! Did you know there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam?! It is a great way to see a lot of the city. It is safe and refreshing! Keep some rules in mind: don’t cycle next to each other, use lights at night and make sure to always lock your bike up to one of the many bike parking spots. It can sometimes be a bit busy but with a local guide showing you the ropes and routes you will be in for a great bike ride!

7. Have a picnic in one in the Vondel park or one of the other local parks!

With over 30 parks in Amsterdam, there will be no problem finding a nice park to have a picnic. Vondel Park has the largest green space, this is where locals come for drinks, food and to enjoy a sunny day. Keep in mind that In the summer there are a lot of live concerts in the park, so depending on when you visit you could hear some great tunes.

8. Visit the North of Amsterdam on a free ferry ride

Just across the IJ from Central Station, Amsterdam North is one of our favourite neighbourhoods. With its cool, industrial vibe, it’s quickly becoming one of the most interesting areas. From the ferry, you can see the EYE film museum with its beautiful terrace overlooking the water and the Tolhuistuin restaurant. Also, if you venture a bit further to find De Ceuvel, a sustainable city playground build on a former shipyard. NDSM Wharf is home to many festivals, a monthly flea market, and hotspots Pllek and Noorderlicht. Definitely worth the short ferry ride!

9. Go to the nine little streets (Negen Straatjes)

The nine streets forms an area with small quaint streets with some canal bridges, small boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. It is one of the most lively neighbourhoods in the city. In this area, you can find over 200 shops.  Therefore, you may want to make a list of things you want to buy so you don’t get lost, or ask one of our local guides for advice!

10. Go beer tasting under a windmill!

There are eight remaining windmills in Amsterdam. The most accessible one is De Gooyer in the Oostelijke Eilanden (Eastern Islands) area. However, keep in mind this isn’t just any windmill, under the sails of this landmark is Brouwerij’t IJ: an artisan microbrewery with a large outdoor drinking terrace.

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