The city has an impressive display of contemporary public spaces that merge seamlessly with centuries-old canals, cafes, and bike lanes.
Stay: Hotel Droog is a single hotel room — and extension of the pragmatic, humor-filled Droog design shop. For something with a seedier history, we suggest Lloyd Hotel. It used to be a prison, but now has swings, hot chocolate, and free magazines and flyers for all design happenings around town.
Hotel Droog, Staalstraat 7B (near Groenburgwal); 020 523 5059; Lloyd Hotel, Oostelijke Handelskade 34 (near Piet Heinkade); 020 561 3636.
Shop: Moooi is a pristine white box filled with the work of hot-shot Dutch designers and products from international design fairs (the name is a play on "beautiful"). Also check out The Frozen Fountain, which showcases local up-and-comers of Dutch design. Oh, and HEMA is the Dutch version of Muji.
Moooi, Westerstraat 187 (near Tichelstraat); 020 528 7760; The Frozen Fountain, Prinsegracht 645 (near Molenpad); 020 622 9375; HEMA, Kalverstraat 212 (near Singel); 020 422 8988.
Eat: Hotel De Goudfazant is a creative seasonal restaurant in a hangar-like, industrial-chic space.
Hotel de Goudfazant, Aambeeldstraat 10H (near Mokerstraat) 020 636 5170.
See: Brush up on photography history past and present at FOAM. And Public Library Amsterdam, as sleek as an Apple Store, would cause your local branch to throw a jealous fit.
FOAM, Keizersgracht 609 (near Vijzelstraat); 020 551 6500; Public Library Amsterdam, Oosterdokskade 143 (near Annie M.G. Schmidtsraat); 050 253 0900.
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Droog