Arriving at Amsterdam Central Station we were greeted by a hubbup of tourists and locals trying to find their way. Squeezing through the crowd, and past the thousands of bikes we made our way along one of the many stretches of water.
Our mission was to bypass the usual tourist traps and reach Hannekes Boom, a little cafe that I found on Your Little Black Book (a blog that I would highly recommend when booking a trip to Amsterdam).
Though extremely central, the little wooden bar was well hidden behind a row of glass buildings.
This place could not have been anymore different from its glossy neighbour; it was like a hand built urban clubhouse, with plants creeping up scaffolding, a mish-mash of hand painted picnic benches, brightly coloured woodwork and random touches such as a wheelchair, and a swing!
We sat at a bench covered with childish scrawling of penis’ and boobs whilst trying to translated the menu (thank God for Google).
Deciding on a pesto, mozzarella, tomato roll and a bacon and mango burger (not both for me) we sat blissfully in the sunshine watching the diverse clientele coming and going.
The bar is located on a corner with two sides on the river and, though an endless stream of tourist boats cruised past between us and the iconic Nemo, the chilled out tunes and relaxed atmosphere made me feel like I was on a tropical island.
It was only the occasional train rumbling past that reminded me that I was in fact in an urban playground.
I could have happily sat sipping on cold beer all day, watching people docking up to grab a bite to eat or others catching up with friends but we only had one day to try and squeeze in as much of Amsterdam as possible.
Hannekes Boom is one of those perfect summer hang outs: central with vast outdoor space, great food, music, a big screen and an airy indoor bar, just in case it is not as glorious as the day we visited.
Dijksgracht 4 1019BS Amsterdam