Though Amsterdam does have its well-documented bottomless pits of temptation, the city is definitely riding the ‘health wave’ currently sweeping the globe. For the health-conscious global professional, it’s becoming easier to eat well and stay fit whilst traveling for business or living abroad on a short stay assignment – maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the body and mind too.
Here are 5 points on staying healthy whilst traveling to Amsterdam – we’ll even introduce you to some of our favorite spots, which we’ve pinpointed on this handy map for you.
1. THE BIKE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
It’s super easy, safe, and quick to cycle around Amsterdam – with (very) few hills and kilometers of dedicated bike lanes, you can often travel faster on a bike than hopping onto the public transport. As cycling burns roughly 200 calories in a 30-minute ride (which is the longest trip you can expect to cycle in the city), this is a neat workout which you don’t even need to find time for in your day.
If you’re staying at Zoku Amsterdam, you can rent one of our stylish, Amsterdam-suitable bikes for just €10 a day – feel free to ask one of our Sidekicks!
2. CLEAN EATERS DEFINITELY WON’T GO HUNGRY
Picking up a quick healthy bite during lunch break is easy, and vegetarian or vegan business travellers will feel more than at home with the variety of meat-free outlets.
- Spirit Amsterdam – a conceptual, veggie buffet restaurant with a unique philosophy that we can really get behind. All ingredients are organic, sugar-free and really, really yummy.
- SLA – a Dutch chain serving make-it-yourself salads, with ingredients that are 100% organic, plant-based and often vegan & gluten free.
- The Avocado Show – Like the name suggests, each of the artful dishes contain the so-called ‘superfood’ Avocado – we recommend The Poke Bowl (mmm). Be prepared to queue, even on a weekday.
- Pluk Amsterdam – hidden on the mezzanine inside an airy lifestyle and interior store in the heart of The Nine Streets. It’s the perfect healthy lunch spot for a quick sandwich, salad, or juice.
3. STAYING HYDRATED IS A BREEZE
You can find a great range of fresh and healthy juices and other cold drinks on any street in the city – you can even find great bottled juices in supermarkets.
- Juice Brothers – for delicious, nutrient-rich cold pressed juice, you can always rely on Juice Brothers. There are now five locations in Amsterdam. Our local outlet is super close within High Studios Plantage, our next-door-neighbors within the Metropool building.
- Roots – an organic, slow-juice bar, serving tasty detoxing ‘herbal elixirs’, smoothies and a range of statement juices.
- Dr Blend – this place has one of the most extensive juice lists we’ve seen. Need to visit the juice doctor? This is your place. The Dr Green juice is our favorite!
4. GIVE YOUR MIND (AND SOCIAL LIFE) A HEALTH-KICK
Healthy mind, healthy body, as the saying goes. In our humble opinion, this is the most important and commonly overlooked challenge, especially when you’re new to a city, or are only staying for a short while. Thankfully, Amsterdam hosts some really cool events, in some of the best venues in the world.
- The Conscious Club – this ultra-calming space and its events are designed to awaken your mind, body, and spirit. Hosted in the Zen Hall and other Sacred Spaces are a range of events & classes including workshops, meditation, yoga classes and talks. There’s no feeling of pretentiousness or ‘tree-hugging’ here – just good, chilled out vibes.
- Go park-hopping – Amsterdam has a total of 40 parks, which are great places to head if you’re looking for somewhere to let your mind wander – or barbecue with new friends or colleagues. Vondelpark is always a hit, but for somewhere less touristy, Sarphatipark in De Pijp and Westerpark are a few of our favorites. For somewhere to really get lost in, head to Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest), just outside the city.
- A City Made By People – a monthly, evening event series made by Amsterdam citizens, for its citizens. The meetup is held at Zoku each month (lucky us!) and every time, we are introduced to inspiring locals with unique & inspiring stories.
- The School of Life – the lessons hosted here focus on developing emotional intelligence, and are held during after-work hours. Some favorite classes of ours include ‘How to be more creative’ and ‘Better views on happiness’. Another great place to meet new faces.
5. COMMITMENT-FREE EXERCISE
Though nobody likes excuses, hefty membership costs are often a reason for not keeping up with your exercise regime whilst traveling. Fret not – Amsterdam has plenty of unique and crucially membership-free classes and spaces for working out!
- Delight Yoga – with one of their locations just around the corner from Weesperstraat, this lesser-known and yes – delightful – yoga studio is a favorite of ours. Pop in for a pay-as-you-go class for €15 and you’ll be on your way to obtaining all the health benefits you’ve heard about: muscle strength, restful sleep, reduced anxiety, stress management, and so on. They offer various subscription options if you plan to stick around for a while, too.
- VondelGym – the contemporary aesthetic and unique, friendly atmosphere gives this venue an edge over other ‘regular’ gyms. Their waiting list subscription system means the space is never packed out, and for €15 you get full-day access to Crossfit, bootcamp, gymnastics and running classes. That’s in addition to a range of premium fitness equipment.
- High Studios – are you ready for a serious workout? Then forget running or lifting regular weights at the gym. These high-intensity classes will get you results, fast (see you soon, six-pack!). Classes can be booked individually for €18, or for a reduced price of €15 if you’re a resident at Zoku Amsterdam.