With its charming canals, narrow historic houses and friendly ambiance, Amsterdam is one of the most romantic cities in the world. However, as with any popular destination, some of its nicest sites can get a little overrun. Therefore if you’re planning a romantic getaway to Amsterdam, you can escape some of the crowds and enjoy the delights of the city by tracking down these top secret romantic places in Amsterdam shared with us by the talented Rocco of Romantic Tour Amsterdam. Read on to discover these wonderful spots as well as learn about the amazingly enchanting tours they offer AND a special discount for my readers!
Rocco and Romantic Tour Amsterdam
I’m always looking for unique romantic things to do when I’m traveling so you can imagine my excitement when I came across Romantic Tour Amsterdam. Founded by former dancer Rocco, their tours aim to show curious visitors the real magic of Amsterdam and I can say that having spent the afternoon with Rocco visiting the sites below, he is more than succeeding at this goal! Rocco has designed some very original tours, both on foot and his very popular Romantic Waters tour by boat, plus he is an engaging storyteller and has thought of every aspect of the tours… there are even some surprises! I won’t give those away… I encourage you to join his tours to find out and see how to get a discount at the end of the article! Otherwise, you can also capture some of the magic by tracking down the places below!
Amsterdam’s Only Bean-to-Bar Chocolate
Chocolate is considered an aphrodisiac, so why not add some additional excitement to your couples’ trip to Amsterdam by stopping in at Metropolitan Deli. Located on a side street just a few minutes’ walk Dam Square, it’s the café of Metropolitan Chocolate. The company and café were created by Kees Raat, Amsterdam’s only bean-to-bar chocolate maker. This means Kees follows the whole chocolate process from where the cocoa is grown to its arrival at his workshop and the resulting products available in his café and many outlets around Holland. Rocco revealed an interesting fact, is that virtually all the cocoa that comes into Europe goes through Amsterdam (en route to say Belgium or Switzerland), giving this spot extra importance. If you happen to catch Kees, you might be lucky enough to do a rum and smoked chocolate tasting like Rocco and I did, otherwise you can stop in for a rich hot chocolate or some of his romantic heart-shaped chocolates or other delicious products.
A Secret Space Among Amsterdam’s Legendary Trees
Not a lot of people know that there is a Botanical Garden in Amsterdam. While this is in itself romantic, Rocco actually took me to the side of it where there is the most romantic peaceful spot. In this hidden place you’ve got the atrium of the gardens in the background and the view of two gorgeous bridges on either side. Surrounded by perfect calm, Rocco revealed a very unique story, that of the scent of Amsterdam, which comes from its trees. Amsterdam is actually one of the greenest cities in Europe, home to over 400,000 trees, among which are 77,000 elms. These are now the green emblem of the city and there has even been a perfume created, Eau d’Amsterdam, with their essence, how cool is that!
A Hidden Garden within a Historic Mansion
Regular readers will know that I love museums located in historic homes and secret gardens, well the Museum Van Loon brings together both! The early 17th -century aristocratic home was built during the Dutch Golden Age and was later owned by Van Loon family. It offers a window into the life of the Dutch upper class and the decorative arts of the last few hundred years. According to Rocco, it’s best of the historic mansion museums in the city and when he was a dancer he even performed in one of its stunning salons! After a tour of the main house, be sure to go into its amazing gardens, home a magical rose garden. You can either savor the moment on one the benches found in the garden or grab a coffee in the café located just behind in the carriage house.
The Lovers’ Bench
Sitting on a bench and gazing out at the city’s many beautiful canals is indeed a romantic thing to do in Amsterdam. However, there is one bench that is the most romantic and Rocco reveals where to find it. It’s the bench on Leidsegracht just down from Keizersgracht, which was featured in the popular movie and book the The Fault in our Stars. Something of a modern day Romeo and Juliet scenario with tragic illness replacing family feuding, the touching movie was in part shot in Amsterdam and the scene when its fateful lovers kiss was filmed on this bench. It actually “went missing” after the filming and was later found and returned to its rightful home.
Amsterdam’s Lovers’ Bridge
There are many bridges in Amsterdam, but some are more important for a romantic tour in Amsterdam than others. One of this is the Magere Bridge, also known as the skinny bridge. Spanning the Amstel River, Rocco says that, according to local legend, when you sail underneath the bridge and you kiss the one you truly love you will be together forever. Therefore… if you want to seal the deal on your love… come to this bridge!
The Proposal Bridges
The best way to go through the above bridge is of course by boat, but if you want to cherish a romantic moment standing on a bridge… or perhaps even propose to your love, then Rocco has picked out the perfect spot. In fact, he’s also arranged for several surprise engagements at this very, special place! In one specific place, shown above, at the “crossroads” of the Keizersgracht and Leidsegracht canals there is the most enchanting view. It’s also quite peaceful and there is a little place you can stand to take in the best of the view without being in the way of bikes and pedestrians. If you want to know more about this spot and the tradition about why the ring finger is the one it is, watch this video I took of Rocco explaining it!
An Enchanting Hidden Restaurant
Rocco has some excellent recommendations for romantic restaurants in Amsterdam available for free in his Romantic Amsterdam mini-guide. For our first meeting he selected the charming Kapitein Zeppos restaurant and café. Tucked away down a hidden passageway, weather permitting you can enjoy the quiet ambiance outside or duck inside to find completely whimsical atmosphere. Here you’ll find a bar section with and artsy decor and cozy vibe and then the exclusively dining area of the winter garden adorned in lights and hanging plants, the perfect place for a romantic meal or coffee break in the city center!
A Very Dutch Restaurant
Alternatively, if you want a real authentic Dutch experience then Rocco suggests the Sonneveld restaurant. Located on Egelantiersgracht in the hip Jordaan neighborhood and with a view of the famous Westerkerk, the restaurant is found under the former apartment of one of Holland’s most famous singers, Wim Sonneveld. While you might not have heard of him, he is legendary in the country and the restaurant pays tribute to him through a vast collection of paraphernalia from vintage posters to album covers. The menu also features some typically Dutch dishes (and international fare), like bitterballen which you have to have with some local beer! The staff is super friendly, the crowd local and they have menus in English.