Derek Robertson is a freelance writer and editor based in Amsterdam, with expertise on music, culture and nightlife in the Netherlands. He has written for the Guardian, Independent, NME, Vice and more. 

Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson

Contributor, Netherlands

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Articles (22)

The 13 best things to do in Rotterdam

The 13 best things to do in Rotterdam

Rotterdam has a very different personality from Amsterdam and a mere glance at our list of best things to do in Rotterdam proves just that. The second biggest city in the Netherlands was virtually razed to the ground during World War II and the subsequent rebuilding effort—which included constructions by some of the twentieth century’s most renowned architects—gives the city its modern, varied landscape and distinctive character. Straddling the River Maas, Rotterdam is split in two: the city centre and traditional hubs of power are located on the northern bank, while the south retains a grittier, industrial feel (even while gentrification continues apace). Boasting a youthful exuberance and "why not?" attitude, there’s a lot going on here culturally and economically, making this a very exciting place to visit.  Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

The 25 best things to do in Amsterdam

The 25 best things to do in Amsterdam

Ah, Amsterdam. Our love affair with this city never ends, from its innovative food scene to its most well-known attractions. Perhaps most famous for its art galleries and museums, from the Van Gogh Museum to the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam stands proudly as one of the most culturally significant cities in Europe (and it’s got a poppin’ nightlife scene too).  In fact, the capital’s ‘fun’ side has historically lent itself to swathes of tourist stag dos, desperate to try out Amsterdam’s notorious coffee shops and canal cruises – something its government is trying to crack down on. But as it stands, there’s no escaping its reputation as a Seriously Fun Place To Be. Whatever you’re in Amsterdam for, there are some things you simply have to do. With the help of our experts and contributors on the ground in ‘Dam, we’ve rounded up the most essential things to tick off. Happy travels! RECOMMENDED:🥨 The best restaurants in Amsterdam🕺 The best clubs in Amsterdam⛵ The best day trips from Amsterdam 🏠 The best Airbnbs in Amsterdam📍 An Amsterdam weekend itinerary This guide was updated by Callum Booth, a writer based in Amsterdam. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. This guide includes affiliate links, which have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines. 

The 21 best restaurants in Amsterdam

The 21 best restaurants in Amsterdam

Whether you’re headed to Amsterdam to tour its world-class museums and galleries, pop out on a canal cruise, visit centuries-old cafés or sample one of its notorious coffeeshops, there is one thing you absolutely should not miss – and that’s the food scene, which is getting better and better every year.  In fact, now might be the best time to pay the city a visit, as there are eateries for every taste (and budget). Classic, family-run Dutch food. The freshest vegetable-driven menus. Exciting Michelin-star dining. Whatever tickles your fancy, there’s a restaurant in Amsterdam for you, guaranteed. Read on for our list of the very best restaurants in Amsterdam right now, picked by our experts.  RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in Amsterdam🍳 The best brunches in Amsterdam🍷 The best bars in Amsterdam🏘️ Where to stay in Amsterdam🏨 The best hotels in Amsterdam This guide was recently updated by Karin Engelbrecht, a food writer based in Amsterdam. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 14 best bars in Amsterdam

The 14 best bars in Amsterdam

Unlike some cities, visitors to Amsterdam often find themselves wanting to go again and again and again. This city is known for its innovative food scene and great attractions, but the thing that will forever linger in your mind? Amsterdam’s bars. The nightlife scene here is second to none, and there’s a bar for (literally) every mood.  So whether you’re looking to sip cocktails with a view or boogie on down ‘till the early hours, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in this party capital. Think hotel bars, glitzy wine bars, trendy craft breweries and everything in between. Just try not to miss your flight home the next day. Here are the best bars in Amsterdam right now.  RECOMMENDED:🪩 The best clubs in Amsterdam🌿 The best coffeeshops in Amsterdam📍 The best things to do in Amsterdam🍴 The best restaurants in Amsterdam This guide was last updated by Amsterdam-based writer Derek Robertson. Photos are by Amsterdam-based photographer Joao Costa. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 10 best brunches in Amsterdam

The 10 best brunches in Amsterdam

For food, culture and some serious partying, there is nowhere quite like Amsterdam. This city will take you by surprise, and in no time, you’ll be hopping on a bicycle, soaring through the streets and soaking up the art. Chances are, you’ll have a pretty wild night out at some point too.  But when you wake up bleary-eyed from a full night of Amsterdam’s best bars and clubs, there’s only one thing for it: brunch. Brunch will soon save you and have you ready for another long day of exploring the city, and give you something good-looking to slap on your Insta story. From fermented chilli Bloody Marys and caramel pancakes to cafés selling only omelettes, here is Amsterdam’s best brunch.  RECOMMENDED:🌿 The best coffeeshops in Amsterdam🍴 The best restaurants in Amsterdam📍 The best things to do in Amsterdam🏨 The best hotels in Amsterdam This guide was last updated by Karin Engelbrecht, a food writer based in Amsterdam. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

Where to stay in Amsterdam: your essential guide to the top areas

Where to stay in Amsterdam: your essential guide to the top areas

Amsterdam is one of the most popular city destinations in the world, and it's no surprise. From distinct districts each with their own unique offering to the city’s best cafés and coffeeshops (not to be used interchangeably), to some unforgettable restaurants, the Dutch capital truly has something for everyone. The ‘small but perfectly formed’ cosmopolitan city packs a vibrant punch of fine neighbourhoods to explore – and we’re here to show you the best places to stay while you're here. The city has every vibe you might want, from the bustling tourist centre to the more laidback and trendy Jordaan and the up-and-coming Noord, there's a neighbourhood for any type of explorer. Here’s exactly where to stay in the city.  RECOMMENDED:🏨 The best hotels in Amsterdam🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Amsterdam🏠 The best budget hotels in Amsterdam📍 The best things to do in Amsterdam This guide is by Derek Roberston, with original photos by photographer Joao Costa, both based in Amsterdam. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers. Find more in our editorial guidelines. This guide includes affiliate links, which have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines. 

The 13 best markets in Amsterdam

The 13 best markets in Amsterdam

We get it, there’s plenty of things to do in Amsterdam. Your itinerary for a weekend here might be crammed full already. But if Amsterdam’s best markets aren’t on your list yet, we’re afraid there’s a little bit more to add.  Here in the Dam you’ll find markets to suit every taste; works by local artists, one-of-a-kind antiques, rails and rails of vintage clothing and of course, the foodie markets of your dreams (yes, there’s cheese). Whether you’re window shopping or ready to fill that suitcase to the brim, here are the best markets in Amsterdam.  RECOMMENDED:🍴 The best restaurants in Amsterdam☕ The best coffeeshops in Amsterdam🍸 The best bars in Amsterdam🏨 The best hotels in Amsterdam This guide is by Derek Roberston, a writer based in Amsterdam. Original photos by Amsterdam-based photographer Joao Costa. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 13 best attractions in Amsterdam

The 13 best attractions in Amsterdam

There is no shortage of awesome things to do in Amsterdam. This compact city packs a huge cultural punch, after all, with world-class museums, and iconic nightlife and glorious parks waiting to be explored, alongside innovative restaurants, inspiring cafes and that whole coffeeshop scene. If you’re visiting Amsterdam, expect to have an itinerary that is bursting at the seams. With that in mind, it is important to establish just what the best attractions in Amsterdam are. The Dutch capital is fabulously accessible and many of the top spots are located in and around the centre, from the city’s ‘Big Three’ museums to the picture-postcard architecture in and around the canals. Falling in love with Amsterdam is inevitable, don’t bother fighting it. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Amsterdam

The 11 best clubs in Amsterdam

The 11 best clubs in Amsterdam

Though Amsterdam is trying to move away from being a tourist party destination, it’s still known for being very, very fun. From hen dos and party boats to the red light district and those infamous coffee shops, Amsterdam is a seriously good time, and one you’ve likely had on your bucket list for a while.  So if you’re ready for a night out that never has to end, you’ve come to the right place. Dam has a diverse nightlife scene to suit all tastes, from DJ sets at 24-hour thumping clubs to live music at a trendy 1940s bunker. Like Berlin? You’ll find the influence of its gritty nightlife scene right here. Budapest? Find ruin bar equivalents a-plenty. Read on for the best clubs in Amsterdam right now.  RECOMMENDED:🍷 The best bars in Amsterdam🌿 The best coffeeshops in Amsterdam📍 The best things to do in Amsterdam🍴 The best restaurants in Amsterdam This guide was updated by Callum Booth, a writer based in Amsterdam. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 14 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam

The 14 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is well-loved for its great food, scenic cycles and poppin’ nightlife, but often, its USP is its uber-cool, uber-chill and completely unique coffeeshops. And for those who aren’t yet familiar, we’re not talking about trendy croissants and latté art in the shape of little seahorses. Sure, they’ve got coffee in Amsterdam. But when we talk about coffeeshops, we mean licenced cannabis cafés, where you can choose from extensive marijuana menus. And they’re more than that, too – these joints are social hubs, creative spaces, and they often have great food menus for your munchies too. One thing to note, though, is that a few of Amsterdam's coffeeshops are really famous, and it's to their own detriment... These spots are now inescapable tourist traps, and we wouldn't recommend them (you won't find Smokey and Bulldog the First on here, for example). But if you want to visit a proper good one? Read on, friends. These are the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam. RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in Amsterdam🍷 The best bars in Amsterdam🍴 The best restaurants in Amsterdam☕ The best cafés in Amsterdam This guide was recently updated by Callum Booth, a writer based in Amsterdam. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 5 best day trips from Amsterdam

The 5 best day trips from Amsterdam

Amsterdam might be small, but she is mighty. In fact, there’s so much to see, do and eat in the Netherlands’ capital, your first thought on day tripping is probably ‘but why would I ever want to leave?’. But make no mistake: the Netherlands is full of gems, many of which offer up exciting food and culture scenes to rival the Capital.  But the best part? You don’t even have to choose between them. Just have both! The cities on this list are easily accessible from Amsterdam by train or ferry as a day trip. You’ll even be back in time for dinner.  So what are you waiting for? Here are the best day trips from Amsterdam.  RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in Amsterdam🍴 The best restaurants in Amsterdam🍳 The best brunches in Amsterdam🍷 The best bars in Amsterdam This guide was recently updated by Derek Robertson, a writer based in Amsterdam. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

7 noves meravelles del món per visitar aquest 2022

7 noves meravelles del món per visitar aquest 2022

Ens agradaria que el 2022 fos l'any de la tornada definitiva a la normalitat i per això hem demanat als nostres editors d'arreu del planeta que ens presentin algunes de les noves meravelles que es podran visitar enguany als seus països i ciutats. Uns quants nous motius per viatjar a destinacions com París, Nova York, Lisboa, els Països Baixos, el Japó, Taiwan i Egipte: nous museus i teatres, una exposició floral que té lloc només un cop cada deu anys, un nou parc temàtic basat en els personatges de Miyazaki i una experiència sísmica a Lisboa. Tremolem d'emoció. NO T'HO PERDIS: Els pobles més bonics de Catalunya

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Café de Dokter

Café de Dokter

What’s the vibe? ‘Unique’ doesn’t come close to describing Dokter, a historic, classic Amsterdam brown café (and the city’s smallest). And with dusty brick-a-brac hanging above the bar, old, mellow jazz records providing the mood, and no end of colourful, chatty locals, it’s also an ‘experience’. But just soak up the charm and run with it – time will just float right by. What are the prices like? Reasonable for the centre of Amsterdam, and on a par with other brown bars. Their liqueurs, spirits, and jenevers start from €4 to €7, a house beer is €5, and their house jenever is a snip at just €4.25. Bar snacks are cheap too.  What should I order? It has to be Brand beer from the Limberg Brewery, alongside something a little harder. Try a jenever, or one of their many whiskies (they always have a Whisky of the Month on offer). What’s worth visiting nearby? Located in the heart of the Old Centre, there’s plenty of fun and mischief to be had in every direction. But head up to the Red Light District and the area around De Oude Kerk to experience an Amsterdam that is disappearing. 

Hannekes Boom

Hannekes Boom

4 out of 5 stars

What’s the vibe? When the sun’s out, there’s no better place to sip on something cold than Hannekes Boom’shuge, waterside terrace. But the actual bar itself, constructed out of scrap lumber, is prettysweet too; rustic, bohemian, and featuring a proper wood burning stove, it’s been a hotspotsince forever. Sustainable too – they focus on local, organic, fresh produce alongside a greatrange of beers, wines, and spirits. What are the prices like? For such a popular spot, very reasonable. Draft beers start at €3.40, spirits from €5.50,wines from €6 a glass, and cocktails around €11. For such an iconic, central spot, what’s notto like? What should I order? If it’s warm, and you’re sitting on that incredible terrace, Jupiler is the draft beer of choicefor the locals. Or, if you’re splashing out, order a Hannekes Spritz – pure summer in a glass. What’s worth visiting nearby? Duck under the railway bridge, turn right, and walk down towards the Eastern Docklands.There are all manner of quirky, fun bars, restaurants, shops, and architecture to bediscovered on Java-Eiland, KNSM-Eiland, and Cruquiuseiland. 📍 Discover the best restaurants in Amsterdam

Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain Sight

4 out of 5 stars

What’s the vibe? Discreet yet stylish, this corner bar oozes class and impeccable taste. A favourite of cool young professionals and those who favour substance over style, the 1920’s style décor lends a slightly old-fashioned, Gatsby-esque sophistication to proceedings; the buzz here is studied, yet refined. When you know, you know.   What are the prices like? It’s not cheap, but with the mixology expertise on display, complimentary olives and mixed nuts, and refined ingredients such as sotol, rare mezcals, and fresh fennel, nor should it be – the quality here is top drawer. Expect to pay between €16 and €20 for most concoctions. What should I order? Their menu is somewhat seasonal, and so frequently changes, but if you have a fave classic, they’ll make it with care and skill. Alternatively, and if you’re feeling brave, order ‘The Walking Dead’ – limited to one per night per customer, it’s a deadly, secret concoction that’s set on fire and served in a giant glass skull. Danger never tasted so delicious.  What’s worth visiting nearby? Head north and you can walk around the Oosterdokseiland docks, home to numerous old boats and the famed NEMO Science Museum. Head south, and you’ll discover the Hortus Bontanicus, which dates from 1682, and the Artis Zoo.  📍 Discover more of the best things to do in Amsterdam

Waterlooplein Flower Market

Waterlooplein Flower Market

What’s the vibe? There’s a buzzy but gritty eclecticism to this, the city’s largest – and some say best – flea market. Students and bargain hunters mingle with genuine collectors and those simply browsing the madness across Waterlooplein’s 300 stalls. And the ‘colourful character’ trope extends to the stallholders, most of whom are happy to chat and tell stories. Definitely a fun way to spend a few hours, but keep your valuables safe – this is not the place to flaunt cash and new phones.  What are the prices like? Bargain basement shopping is the name of the game here, with many stalls selling some (very) random bric-a-brac and what looks like the contents of long-forgotten cupboards and drawers. Nothing is really very expensive, including the bikes for sale near the entrance.  What should I buy? Vintage and old clothes, old books and records, random art, bikes, kids’ toy, coins and stamps…there’s no end to the weird and the wonderful here. Genuine finds might be a little thin on the ground, but they do exist – get hunting! What’s worth visiting nearby? Wander southeast and you’ll come across the Hortus Bontanicus and Artis Zoo. Both are worth visiting, but talk a walk down Hoogte Kadijk to see some exceptionally pretty houses before exploring Czar Peterstraat, a quaint little street full of quirky little boutiques, speciality shops, and some great food and drink options.   🧇 The best restaurants in Amsterdam

Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market)

Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market)

What is Bloemenmarkt? Calmness pervades Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market. The barges that make up the market overflow with tulips, daffodils, and all sorts of bulbs, and sell to locals and business owners as mich as tourists.  Is it worth visiting? The flower market is pretty much a right of passage when in Amsterdam. Located right in the centre, just a stone’s throw from Muntplein, this colourful, picturesque beauty dates back to 1862 and remains just as important to the city.  What are the prices like and what should I buy? So popular are the tulips in this city that they have their own festival and a museum dedicated to them. An endless variety of both bulbs and fresh flowers (in season) can be bought here. Prices are very reasonable for what you’re buying – there’s very little gouging or profiteering going on here (the number of locals who buy here is testament to the value that can be found).  What’s worth visiting nearby? Ignore Rokin, Kalverstraat, and the overcrowded main shopping streets, and instead head south to Herengracht. One of the city’s prettiest canals, a wander along this ring will reveal an endless aray of cool boutiques, cafes and bars. 🍺 The best bars in Amsterdam

Albert Cuypmarkt

Albert Cuypmarkt

What’s the vibe? Rough and ready yet quintessentially Amsterdam, a visit to this venerated institution is essential. The diversity of the stalls is reflected by the visitors – you’ll see hip teenagers mingling with OAPs doing their weekly food shop and people looking to stock up on (cheap) basic household goods.  Is it worth visiting? The laid-back geniality makes wandering up and down the market’s length a fun, relaxing hour or two. And generally, prices are pretty good value too, particularly when it comes to meat, fish, fruit and vegetables – many locals do the bulk of their food shopping here. With everything else, wares tend towards the cheaper, more basic end of the spectrum, but there are a few stalls selling high quality, specialised products, like spice emporium De Peperbol at No. 150. Which days is the market open?  Albert Cuyp Market is open 9.30am-5pm every day bar Sunday. It’s a great place to try herring, especially in summer when its flavour is at its best. Don’t fancy fish? Try some roast chicken from Chris Kip at No. 181, or grab a stroopwafel from any number of vendors.  What’s worth visiting nearby? Use the market as a starting point for exploring De Pijp. If the weather is nice, take your snacks and head two blocks south to Sarphatipark – it’s a gorgeous little oasis, and surrounded by yet more fine bars, cafes, and restaurants. 🏘️ The coolest neighbourhoods in Amsterdam

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アムステルダムの循環型経済を支える「ドーナツモデル」

アムステルダムの循環型経済を支える「ドーナツモデル」

アムステルダムを「罪の街」と呼ぶのは簡単だ。この街は観光客にとってはもちろん、一部の地元の人たちにとっても、(毎晩ではないにせよ)酒色にふけり楽しい時間を過ごせる場所だろう。しかし、きらびやかな運河と絵のように美しい切妻屋根の家々が並ぶアムステルダムは最近、持続可能性とグリーンイノベーションの砦(とりで)としての地位を確立しつつある。それを裏付けるように、今年タイムアウトが実施した都市調査でも、この街は世界で3番目に「環境に優しい都市」「サスティナブルな都市」に選ばれた。 同市がそうした状況にあるのは、循環型経済への全面的な取り組みとして、いわゆる「ドーナツモデル」を採用している結果といえる。これはオックスフォード大学の経済学者であるケイト・ラワースが、2012年に発表した現代的な持続可能性を実現するためのビジョンで、「廃棄物と汚染を可能な限りの排除すること」「製品や素材を使い続けること」「自然のシステムを再生させること」の3つの要素が指針とされる。アムステルダムではこのように、再生可能なエネルギーと素材の利用に重きを置きながら、さらに「デジタル・イノベーション」にも焦点を当てている。 これらの取り組みのゴールは、人類のニーズを満たしつつ、地球のために実行可能な未来を創造すること。そういう意味では、このスイートスポット(つまり「ドーナツ」)は、あらゆる政府が目指してもいいのかしれない。 ドーナツモデルの採用 アムステルダムは2015年、世界で初めて都市レベルでドーナツモデルの可能性について検討するため、調査を実施。その後は報告書に基づいて、再生可能エネルギーや緑地、持続可能なフードシステムの構築、消費の削減など、数多くの野心的な政策や目標を採択してきた。 市は2030年までの目標として、「二酸化炭素排出量の55%削減」「電力の80%を再生可能エネルギーで賄うこと」「個人消費の50%削減」を設定。さらに公園の数を増やしたり、あらゆる製品を修理して再利用するためのインフラを整備するといった、市が長期的な視点を感じ取れる具体的な目標も掲げている。 アムステルダム版ドーナツモデル『Amsterdam City Doughnut』の影響範囲は幅広く、市の『Circular Strategy(循環戦略)2020-2025』の中心的構成要素としても位置づけられている。この戦略は「地球の限界を尊重しながら、全ての市民に繁栄をもたらす、リジェネラティブでインクルーシブな都市」の実現するために策定されたものだ。 コロナ禍のドーナツモデル 「変革のためのツール」と銘打たれたこの戦略は、ラワース本人も協力した開発フェーズを経て、2020年4月に発表された。しかし、その頃ちょうど世界中でロックダウンが発生。ところが、パンデミックはこの戦略の障害になるどころか、多くの都市住民が根本的な「変化」を待ち望んでいたことを気付かせてくれるきっかけとなった。 「タイミングには疑問も感じていましたが、結果的には人々は危機後の経済を立て直すためのアイデアを求めていることが分かりました」と語るのは、アムステルダムのサステナビリティ担当副市長のマリーケ・ファン・ドーニンクだ。 彼女は同市の循環戦略について、「単に 『それまでのビジネス』に戻るのではなく、経済を異なる形にする方法を模索するためのツール。経済回復のための計画としても注目されています」と教えてくれた。さらにそのメリットは誰の目にも明らかであるべきだと、次のように強調した。「循環型経済は生産、消費、再処理が地域で行われるため、より

How Amsterdam is embracing the ‘doughnut model’ – and why other cities should too

How Amsterdam is embracing the ‘doughnut model’ – and why other cities should too

It’d be all too easy to dismiss Amsterdam as a City of Sin, with hordes of tourists – and a fair few locals – pursuing debauchery and late-night revelry seven days a week. But recently this city of glittering canals and picturesque gabled houses has also positioned itself as a bastion of sustainability and green innovation. So much so that earlier this year, Time Out readers voted it the third ‘greenest’ – and third most ‘sustainable’ – city in the world. This is largely thanks to the Dutch capital’s wholehearted embrace of a circular economy, the so-called ‘doughnut model’: a vision of modern sustainability first set out by University of Oxford economist Kate Raworth in 2012. This is driven by three guiding principles: eliminate waste and pollution as far as possible, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate ‘natural systems’. Renewable energy and materials should be prioritised, and there should also be a focus on ‘digital innovation’. The main goal is to create a viable future for the planet, while also meeting the needs of the human population: this sweet spot, the doughnut, is what all governments should be aiming for. Back in 2015, Amsterdam was the first city in the world to commission a study into the model’s potential at the city level. That report led to the adoption of a raft of ambitious policies and targets, ranging from renewable energy and green spaces to building sustainable food systems and reducing consumption. The city aims to cut carbon emissions