Ash Leech is a photographer, art director and creative. Originally from Bendigo, Victoria, she has lived on four continents in the past decade. She has worked as a creative in Malmö, Melbourne, New York, Tokyo and now Amsterdam, where she has lived for the past two years, ashleech.com
While most visitors seek out classical art when visiting Amsterdam, I recommend exploring contemporary art and design at the Stedelijk Museum. The building is an incredible piece of architecture, the exhibits are constantly changing and the gift shop on the ground floor is a treasure trove of art books and design souvenirs, stedelijk.nl
If you want to see the city from a different perspective, hire a boat and navigate the canals at your own pace. With your own boat, you can explore the neighbourhoods outside the city centre and see how the locals live. Be sure to include a lap of the Prinseneiland, a little island oasis. Boat hire is by the hour, can fit up to eight people and no licence is required, mokumbootverhuur.nl
Café Binnenvisser is a relaxed space next to the Bilderdijkpark for a delicious meal. With a rotating menu that is based on seasonal produce, the focus is often on vegetables. Get the tasting menu for a three-course sample of the local fare and pair it with some of the natural wines on offer, ask for an oranje wijn recommendation, binnenvisser.nl
Traditional Dutch pubs are known as brown cafés, and can be found all over the city. Imagine cozy spaces with dark wood, warm lighting and a crowd of regulars. De Pels is a neighbourhood favourite, located in the Nine Streets. Settle in at the bar, grab a newspaper and order some bitterballen (a Dutch snack) with your local Hertog Jan beer, cafedepels.nl
Be careful to avoid the bicycle paths. Amsterdam is a beautiful city for pedestrians to explore, but don't wander into the bike lanes. Cyclists rule the city and it pays to stay aware of your surroundings.