Amsterdam’s brown cafes, Museumplein and Anne Frank Huis

We had a fantastic day in Amsterdam visiting some brown cafes, Museumplein and Anne Frank Huis.

After already spending half a day in Amsterdam yesterday, we left the hotel bright and early for another day in this fantastically Dutch city.

Anne Frank House

After breakfast our first stop of the day was Anne Frank Huis. As its one of Amsterdam’s busiest museums we bought our tickets in advance to avoid the huge queues.

This museum tells the story of Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank and her family. During World War II, Anne and her family hid in a “secret annexe” to avoid Nazi persecution. Sadly Anne did not survive but her diary was published in 1947. The museum preserves the hiding place and house.

Cafe ‘t Smalle

We then crossed the Prinsengracht canal to Cafe ‘t Smalle.

This is one of Amsterdam’s famous a brown cafes. It was once a gin distillery and inside it is wood panelled with interesting windows. Every table was lit with flickering candles.

I’m sure the locals who were having a quiet read inside were delighted when six Welsh people entered looking for beer. They left soon after our arrival.


We then wandered through the rain, which really helped my ongoing episode of man flu, to tram 12 which took us to Museumplein.

Museumplein, as the name suggests, is home to some of Amsterdam’s most prestigious museums including Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum.

It was also previously home to the ‘IAmsterdam’ lettering. But this was taken down last month with the explanation that it produces mass tourism through the ‘selfie’ generation.


Arriving back in the centre of Amsterdam it was time for a quick snack. On the hunt for food we came across Munttoren.

This impressive tower was built in 1480 and was one of the original gates into the Medieval city of Amsterdam. It was partly destroyed in a fire in the 17th century though.

Cafe de Jeren

We eventually found a suitable place for lunch. A trendy place called Cafe de Jeren. I ordered a beer and a platter consisting of Dutch cheese, cured meat, olives, nuts and mustard. I promptly devoured the lot! Well apart from the mustard.

Brown cafe pub crawl

With it raining constantly we decided to head for cover and check out some of Amsterdam’s brown cafes.

The first pub was called De Pilsner Club, which was a cosy little place with a funny and knowledgeable waiter. I couldn’t believe that he knew quite a bit about Wales, football and even my favourite team Swansea City.

The second, and my personal favourite in Amsterdam, is Cafe de Dokter. This incredible and tiny bar (it only seats 15 inside) was founded in the 18th century after previously being a doctor surgery. The decor is themed around vintage ornaments, signs and artwork with some subtle references to the medical profession. The pub is lit by dim candles and chandeliers covered in decades worth of dust.

Cafe Restaurant de Portugees

After walking through the rain in the Red Light District we went to Cafe Restaurant de Portugees near the main train station. I decided on the slow cooked lamb with white wine and tomato sauce. It was absolutely delicious and a great way to end a rainy day in Amsterdam.

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  1. ‘Haus’ is german. It’s ‘huis’. Get it right.

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