Meet the Blogger 2015 Conference

A Beautiful Mess goes to the Netherlands and Iceland!We've seen a few people talking about this on Twitter already, but we wanted to let all our readers from around the world know that we will be speaking at Meet the Blogger (in Amsterdam) this October.

We have spoken at conferences only a few times before, so we were absolutely delighted when Meet the Blogger invited us! I (Emma) have never been to the Netherlands before, so I am so excited to get to see that beautiful country and hopefully meet some of our European readers. Elsie and I are super proud that ABM is read all over the world (40% of you are located outside of the USA where we are based), and this will be the first time we will be part of an event overseas together, along with our husbands who will be joining us as well. So hopefully we will get to shake some of your hands come this October!

A good friend of ours also told us about the Icelandair layover option. Have you heard of it? Basically when you fly with Icelandair, you can include a layover in Iceland for up to seven days with no extra charge. This sounded like quite a deal to us, so we immediately started looking up flights to see if that could work with our trip. And, much to our delight, we were able to make it happen. (Insert squeal here!) One of my goals for the year was to try and travel more because there is so much beauty in this world we are living in, and I want to see as much of it as I can over my lifetime. So I feel like this trip is coming at the perfect season for us. 🙂

We've already booked our lodging (all short term rental apartments), but we'd really LOVE to hear any and all recommendations you might have about these two areas. Again, we'll mostly be in Amsterdam and Reykjavik (and nearby). So if you live here or have visited here and want to tell us about something cool we need to check out, we are all ears! xo. Emma (and Elsie)

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Left photo source, Right photo source. I tried to find the original sources for these images, but if I have made an error, please let me know so I can correctly link them. Thanks!

  • Laura, at Aspiring Kennedy (blog) just mentioned this option. Sounds like a blast! Have a great trip!

  • That’s so exciting. Iceland is somewhere I’ve been obsessed with the idea to travel to since my friend posted photos of his trip there a few years back. Definitely make some time to hike or take a jeep into the interior. The landscape is absolutely beautiful.

  • I just left from a visit in Amsterdam! You’re in for a treat. The Jordaan area is beautiful and has lots of fun shops at cafes. I know you and Emma are dog people but we went to KattenCafe Kopjes and it was such a cool adorable space with the cutest kitties to visit! Check them out here:

  • Sounds like a great trip! I just got back from Iceland, and can’t wait to plan my next trip there– it was wonderful! Reykjavik is a super quirky city and worth spending a few days in to soak everything up. If you have time, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula was beautiful and I definitely recommend it. It’s about a two hour drive from Reykjavik and on the way you’ll pass interesting landscapes. The peninsula itself is incredibly diverse with wildlife, natural settings, and there’s a natural spring that gives out carbonated water. 🙂 Have fun!!

  • If you want to visit the “Anne Frank Museum” in Amsterdam (you should!), make a reservation ahead! Otherwise you will be waiting in line for 2 hours or so…
    The city center of Amsterdam is just so beautiful everywhere, rent bikes to get around and stop at every other cafe or market (Amsterdam has lots!) and have some cheese and local beers. Oh and of course caramel waffles. It will be cold though, Amsterdam can get super windy! But Iceland will probably be even more freezing 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Wow…I’m so excited to meet you at MTB.. Amsterdam will will see. I friend of mine took the IcelandAIr layover option and she told me that was really amazing in Iceland. So have a great trip and see you in Amsterdam. Wow that will be awesome to see you in real life… after reading so many years ABM …

  • Ooh, what a trip! Reykjavik is a great city – I am sure you will love every moment there! I recommend to be courageous and try some of the regional dishes, especially you, Emma!

    Amsterdam is lovely too. I fulfilled a dream of mine and stayed on a Houseboat last year! The owners hitchhiked to Berlin (where I live) and we traded accommodation – they got to stay at my place for free and I at theirs! I love the sharing economy. 🙂

    And finally, even though you are dog people, the Cat Boat is a great place to visit.

  • Yes, yes, yes! As soon as I saw you guys were coming, I purchased a ticket to this event. Yours is one of my fave blogs of all time and I am SO looking forward to seeing you at the conference. Would LOVE to actually meet you (I might sound like a stalker now but I’m not, I promise ;)). Amsterdam is a wonderful city. You’ll love it!

  • Sounds amazing! I visited Iceland last February and absolutely loved it! Definitely tour the Golden Circle and eat as many hot dogs as you can! I’ll also be going to Amsterdam and Krakow, Poland for the first time this October and am super excited!

  • How cool!

    My husband and I really recommend this restaurant called Grillmarket in Reykjavik; we’ve been to Iceland (and this restaurant) a few times now and keep going back!

    For more traditional Icelandic fare in Reykjavik, I recommend Cafe Loki:

    Can’t wait to see what else you discover there!

  • Iceland really is the most amazing place! There is so much to see and do: the Blue Lagoon, waterfalls, geysirs, volcanic landscape. In Reykjavik, the Harpa concert hall on the harbour is beautiful, it’s made of different coloured glass panes and is a great place for photos. Head to the top of Hallgrimskirkja church for views over the city. Icelandair Marina hotel has really cool interiors and a trendy bar with cocktails, and the Laundromat Cafe is also funky with tons of colour coded books and maps – plus they do a good burger! Look forward to reading about your trip!

  • That is great news!! You will love Amsterdam, I am sure of it. Let me know if you’d like any tips for the visit and I’ll give you a list of all my favourites (I live there and think it is the best city in the world!). Hope I will be able to come to the conference as well!

  • Woah!
    So cool you are visiting the Netherlands!
    When in Amsterdam you should definitely check out the area called ‘de 9 straatjes’ (9 little streets) There are a lot of fun little shops and good places to buy vintage.
    Hope you’ll enjoy it!

  • Hi Emma and Elsie,
    nice to hear that you’re going to visit Amsterdam. Myselv I’m a new citizen of Amsterdam for 6 weeks now and I’m very excited to explore the city. Almost every day I’m out till 10 in the evening walking through the streets to find new places. Actually I already found my new favorite place here but this is my secret. But here is another recommendation: you have to explore the area around the NDSM Wharf in the north of the city. It is such an inspiring place. Old big industrial buildings with a lot of steetart. These buildings used to be empty but in the past years they were taken by artists. Just today I went to a fleemarket there.
    And there is another funny thing. Actually I’m kind of obsessed regarding Iceland. My recommendation is not to stay in Reykjavik for long but explore the beautiful nature on this island. My 2 favorite activities in Iceland: hiking in Asbyrgi in the north; watching the floe on the lake of Jokulsarlon in the south

    Have a good trip!

  • When you are in Amsterdam you should definitely go to Haarlem. It’s a cute little city 15 minutes by train from Amsterdam. Haarlem is filled with creative conceptstores like Kukicha, a coffeebar and gift shop. I’m sure you’ll love it!

  • Is the blog conference only for bloggers or can anyone go? I would love to see you guys in person but I’m not a blogger 🙁 A great place to go for lunch is bagels & beans, I have never been there before but heard great things about it!

  • There’s a hot dog stand in downtown Reykjavik called Baerjins Beztu Pyslur and they have the best hot dogs I’ve ever had in my life (made with lamb and that’s the only option, so if any of you are vegetarians//vegans I would steer clear). There’s a Big Lebowski themed bar on Laugavegur in Reykjavik that is super fun as well. I definitely recommend trying skyr yogurt, it’s delicious!! Snaefellsnas National Park is so beautiful, and the Golden Circle is definitely a must-do (although it can be crowded, so watch out for when you go). The Blue Lagoon is beautiful, but also a little over rated, there are tons of public saunas and hot springs in Reykjavik and out in the country side that Icelandic people go to, and they’re definitely more fun to show pictures of you hiking to and from them!

  • So awesome! When will you be in Reykjavik? The Reykjavik International Film Festival is happening very close to the MTB Conference, there might be some overlap! 🙂

  • So cool! I’m an American living in the Netherlands for the last 2 years now. If you have time, I recommend visiting Utrecht (a half hour train ride from Amsterdam)! It’s such a great city: cool shops, restaurants, amazing canals, still busy but less touristy than Amsterdam. You’re going to have such a wonderful time!

  • Yes! Ndsm wharf is amazing! You just hop on a free ferry from the back of Amsterdam centraal train station. It takes about 10 minutes. You’ll love it. ?

  • How cool is this????? I will try to attend the conference but I’ll be quite busy at work in October so… But in any case I have to recommend you a dinner at the secret kitchen of The Butcher. It’s amazing! You have to find out the password and all that jazz. I don’t want to tell you more about it because I don’t want to ruin the experience if you go, but we wrote a post about it on our blog if you are interested. We had a fantastic time and er had the most amazing burger-that-was-not-really-a -burger of iur lives!

  • In Amsterdam, try to get dinner at the restaurant that takes up the top floor of the library. The restaurant is encased by glass walls, so the view is spectacular, especially at sunset/night!

  • I’ve been to Reykjavik just recently for work! We had an overnight there and it was absolutely beautiful. Expect to stay up till 1am to see the most beautiful sunset you’ll ever see & only an hour or so of darkness before the sun rises again.

    If you get the chance, explore the glaciers and church. To be honest, we found that the night life in Reykjavik was much more entertaining than the few ‘sight seeing’ things you can do.

  • That’s so exciting! Congrats 🙂 I’m desperate to do that Iceland layover. It’s a country so many friends have visited and recommended so it sounds like a great idea!

  • I loved Amsterdam when I went! Look out for the pesto flavoured cheese at the markets, fresh hot waffles smothered in chocolate and cherry jam at the huge market and def go for a walk down the flower market. It’s all bulbs but it’s fantastic!
    Foodwise have a look for Cafe De Klos, it’s fabulous and the such a great atmosphere. Wee family place bit with a queue for opening every day.

    Hope you have a fantastic time!!

  • You’ll have an amazing time! I just came back from Iceland in the spring. Definitely go on the golden circle tour and must go to a hot springs! Best in the world!

  • It’s so nice you plan coming to Amsterdam!

    The coloured street in the pictures is no longer as colored as it used to be – it was in between two squatted blocks that after 32 years sadly got evicted last winter. If you are lucky you might still get a glimpse of the giant snake painted on one of the houses there, but since the rental company that now owns and renovates the buildings plan to paint it over sometime soon you cannot be sure. The building on the opposite of the road (the blue one you see a bit o in the picture) will stay painted as the people who squatted it actually bought it years ago. These places are all located just around the corner of Dam Square, in the Spuistraat (where I happen to live as well).

    Other interesting places related to squatting history in Amsterdam 😉 (squatting was really big here in the 79s and 80s and really made and saved the city in so many ways) are the before mentioned NDSM wharf (specifically if there is flee market in the IJhallen), the metro station at Nieuwmarkt (in a neighborhood that would have been completely demolished if it wasn’t for squatters and activists), Brouwerij het IJ (IJ brewery, has a lovely terrace but it will be a bit cold by then but their beers are always nice) and one place I really love (but some might find it boring) is the WG (Wilhelmina Gasthuis) terrain. It is like a garden with a little cafe and all and it is just beautifull and quiet and green but also enclosed by beautiful buldings that used to belong to a hospital.

    Non-squatting related tips ;): eat at Burgermeester, really good burger place that also serves the best vegetarian burgers. 9 straatjes was already mentioned by someone, but Haarlemmerstraat also is quite nice for shopping. I’d say skip the Anne Frank house, it is just really small. You can also get to know about how these people lived by reading Anne Franks Diary. If you really want to go, make a reservation. If you go there, also take a bit of time to visit the homomonument (monument for LGBT’s killed during WWII), it is just around the corner. Really close to the Anne Frankhouse, at Noordermarkt and Westerstraat, there is a second hand/vintage/fabric and haberdashery market every monday morning.

    FoAm is a lovely photography museum located in the city centre, also really worth a visit.

    Well that’s what I can think of right now ;). Oh watch out for cyclists when you walk and try not to behave too unpredicably when you rent a bike 😉

  • Great that you’re coming to Amsterdam! Advice from a local:

    Hang out (if the weather allows it) at:
    – Pllek (
    – Roest (
    Eat at:
    – Mana Mana (, Israeli food that centers around vegetables. Divine…
    – Bazar (, middle eastern food in a bazar-like atmosphere
    Eat cake at:
    – De taart van m’n tante (, bold and quirky interior.
    – De Drie Grafjes (, best Red Velvet in the city. Hope it can compete!

    And if you’re there the first weekend of October, try the biggest flea market in Europe, de Ijhallen ( Bring a sweater, for some reason it gets cold there.

    Have fun, looking forward to read about your time in this wonderful city 🙂

  • Wow, you’re coming to Iceland. I hope you will enjoy your short stay here, seven days are not enough. There are so many places to go but I can recomend Slippbarinn (for drinks), Valdís (for icecream,even in bad weather), Kolaportið (market, open on saturdays and sundays), Kolabrautin in Harpa (the large concert hall by the sea, this show s also great ), Rósenberg (great food and live music), Laugavegurinn and Skólavörðustígur (lots of Icelandic design) and Dillon has the largest whiskey selection in Iceland. If you plan to travel a bit, the golden circle is a classic (Þingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss) but I really recomend visiting Seljavallalaug, one of the oldest swimmingpool in Iceland situated close to Eyjafjallajökull. The Blue Lagoon is a bit of a tourist trap but when in Iceland…. just don’t get your hair wet and prepair to shower naked. The days will be very short but there is a great chance that the northen lights will show themselves. Try to go to at least one museum (the penis museum doesn’t count) and have a hot dog with everything at Bæjarins Bestu. Also, the party down town doesn’t start until after midnight and you have to go to Vínbúðin to buy alcohol and try not to tip your server, some find that offensive. I hope you enjoy your stay here and if you have any questions feel free to ask, I live here. Oh, and Gló is a nice place for vegiterian, vegan or raw food.

  • Yeeeeeess see you there!! Also, Pancake Bakery is definitely better than Pancakes! 😉

  • I live pretty close to Amsterdam and i think you guys will love the city! It’s full of fun and nice places! I also will be at the event, would be fun to meet you! In case you are nervous, no need. Dutchies are relaxed, talk easy and are easy going. Enjoy your trip!

  • Amsterdam and Reykjavvik- they are at the top of my travel list right now! I’m super jealous. Can’t wait to see the pictures! : )

  • Hi Emma and Elsie!

    I went to Iceland with my husband in December last year and it was amazing! We stayed in Hotel Fron which is on the main road in Reykjavik and has self contained studio rooms which are quite nice.

    In terms of food and drink, there are few places I’d recommend:
    – Icelandic Fish and Chips,
    – Laundromat Cafe – you can drink and eat on the top floor while you wait for your clothes to be finished washing or drying in the laundromat in the basement.
    – Tapas Husid – nice way to sample the local fare, is right on the harbor and has a lovely atmosphere
    – Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – a great hot dog stand open until very late.
    – Lebowski bar – yep like the movie. cute and kitschy decor and they have one of their menus entirely dedicated to White Russian drinks.

    For things to do:
    – Seeing the Northern Lights: we went on the Northern Lights boat tour and it was so nice to see the lights while on the water. The bonus is, if you don’t get to see them the first time you go, they will let you come back again until you do.
    – Golden Circle Tour – you get to the see the Strokkur geyser, Gullfoss waterfall and Thingveller National Park (some Game of Thrones scenes were filmed here!)
    – Hallgrimskirkja – famous church in the centre of town and is the highest point in Reykjavik. A chance for spectacular photos!
    – Reykjavik is a great town to walk around and explore in general 🙂
    – Blue Lagoon – We didn’t get a chance to go due to bad weather, but I heard it’s worthwhile.

    Whew! Sorry for the lengthy post but I had such a great time in Iceland when we went and I thought I’d pass some info onto you. I hope you guys have a great time in Iceland and Amsterdam.

    – Tiffany (Australia – part of your 40% of non-US readers)

  • Find some Bitterballen in Amsterdam and eat those bad babies up! They are little meaty balls, a bit like round meat croquettes. So good!

  • So exciting and I’m even more excited that you will be visiting my homeland!! (Though I currently live in Vancouver and moving to Copenhagen). I would recommend you stay in the city for a couple of days…Reykjavik is more like a small town and you will be able to cover the must see places in 2-3 days. You’ll really have to go out of the city to see the true beauty of Iceland…make sure to map out some natural hot springs and bring a couple of beers with you:)
    I definitely recommend the Grillmarket (Grillmarkaðurinn) for a delicious dinner and a taste of Icelandic cuisine.
    And even though the Blue Lagoon is expensive, you have to go!


    Disa (Hjördís)

  • so, as a dutch girl living in the us I’m thrilled.

    1) anne frank museum (reserve tickets like suggested above)

    2). right next to the anne frank museum is westerkerk…they believe that rembrant is buried there. see if you can attend an organ recital…there is nothing like it.

    3). the Van Gogh museum is AMAZING! just the facility itself is awesome. we went on a night where there was live music, wild projections, motivational sessions to inspire personal growth and a poetry slam. all happening at the same time. it was trippy.

  • and to continue…

    4) pannekoeken. I don’t care where. just order some. get a savory and a sweet.

    5) rent bikes andvtakevthe canal taxi.

    4) the dutch will sit outside in cafés for HOURS drinking one cup of coffee. and no one is freaking out about tables. it’s great. so…when you do get coffe and that ask you if you want it with cream…say yes. you will thank me later. I’d tell you how to order it in dutch but I don’t want to ruin the experience if you look it up on google translate.

    5) cheese shop. bakery.

    6). street food. if raw herring is not your kinda thing…the dutch make AMAZING fries. then there is something called a stroopwafle. fresh and hot–they are to die for.

  • The Heineken brewery in Amsterdam is an absolute must, even if you don’t like beer!! I was skeptical at first, but it was one of my highlights of visiting the Netherlands earlier this year. Then of course there’s the Anne Frank House – not an enjoyable trip, but it’s important to go; fascinating, heartbreaking, eye-opening… a must.

  • oh piffle. my phone swallowed the last part of my list. I’ll check back to later to see what I missed.

    but…honestly…you can’t go wrong. even if you spend the entire time wandering the streets–completely lost–and stopping by cafés to refuel with coffee…you will have an amazing experience. so don’t stress. the dutch don’t believe in stress.

    if you want to do a bit of rummaging…see if you can find a rummelmart. dutch flea market and a good place to find old delft. every piece of delft you see will be “hand painted.” which means that someone put a small brushstroke of paint somewhere. bathe rest is machine printed. a rummelmart is a great place to find actual, old delft.

  • and finally…

    the dutch are amazing people. almost all will speak English. they love to laugh. they love to celebrate, they’re very blunt. and they are very proud of their country. god created the world–but the dutch created holland.

    I am so jealous about your trip.

  • This is such a great thing, I am so sorry I cannot attend this time 😐 hopefully you will publish a post for us 🙂

    Betty | InspiremeandBlokube

  • Have some bitterballen in Amsterdam. You can get them in most pubs/bars. Yum!

  • Iceland is so great and such beautiful island! Been there this summer for a round trip around the hole island and it`s just so …. amazing!!
    Make sure to get some homemade icecream, I recommend Valdis in Reykavìk, it`s close to the Old Harbour Area in some old storage buildings und try pylsa too – it’s the icelandic version of a hot dog, so so good!!!
    Icelanders are crazy about coffee, so there are plenty of cute little coffeeshops, sometimes combined with a nice bookshops.
    If your’re into dairy products, try skyr, it’s like a very soft cream cheese-yogurt-mixup and often eaten with fresh fruits or just some sugar or cream.

    An if it’s too cold, get a warm handknitted sweater made from sheep wool, maybe from the handknittiing association of iceland, there are two shops in Reykavìk stuffed with handmade woolen goods.

    And there are so much more fun things to do!!!!
    I totally envy you, i want to go back there. like now!

  • will you host a ticket giveaway may be ? I’d love to come ! I recommend to take pictures at the java-knsm island, the architecture is crazy amazing 🙂

  • So nice! Two very awsome Cities! If yu want to check out whats going on in Reykjavik look up the Grapevine. It tells you whats happening right now in Iceland and what the hottest places are at the moment ( I recommend the Bar of Kex Hostel ( the Gló, a raw food restaurant. Make sure to check out some concerts while in Reykjavik-there isn’t another country with that many bands and music projects going on at the same time! In November there would the fantastic Iceland Airwaves-( In my Opinion the Golden Circuit (checking out the Geysir and stuff) is worth doing starting from Reykjavik even if its very touristy. And if you think about bying a Lopapeysa, that beautiful icelandic sweater everyone needs, check out smaler shops while traveling around or the market in Reykjavik. Its best to buy a one handknitted by the local ladies! Also if you thinking about making a hike on a glacier check out these guys: Save travells and a lot of fun

  • How exciting! I really wanted to visit Amsterdam this year, I might get a change a bit later on towards Christmas.

    I went to Iceland and stayed in Reykjavik back in February. It’s super easy to get around so a week in the city is more than enough. Be sure to visit outside of the city too though as there is some incredible scenery! (Still need to update my blog with everything but there’s some of my trip on there if you’d like to check it out). For food I’d recommend visiting Svarta Kaffi which does delicious soup in a bread bowl – so yummy! For coffee Reykjavik Roasters was the best and a nice quirky little setup 🙂 Enjoy!

  • I really want to meet you guys!

    Maybelline Classic Volume Mascara Review (Before + After)

  • Already heard of you coming to The Netherlands (my country!). It’s so cool! I would really love to be at the conference, so I hope I can make it.

    Some tips in Amsterdam:
    – Eating a salad of other healthy food, you should visit SLA.
    – Vondelpark
    – Of course the amazing museum: Rijksmuseum.

  • Will have to miss out on the event, but if you have a spare day left, come visit The Hague. It’s only 40 minutes from Amsterdam by train and a whole different place I think you’ll like (we have the beach!!). I’d be glad to show you around! When you are in Amsterdam; see if you can go to Huize Frankendael, it is a bit outside of the city centre but it is a super pretty old house with a gorgeous traditional garden and often cool art installations (it’s where I got married :-)). Plus lunch and dinner are really yummie. has great tips on Amsterdam and I think you’ll like cocktailbars Hiding in plain sights in Amsterdam and Vavoom in The Hague.

  • When in Iceland for your layover, definitely rent a car and get out to see the countryside and the interior. Perfect time of year. Try all the local food in Reykjavik, even the fermented shark! And Brennivin. That is an unforgettable country.

  • Amsterdam is awesome! I was just there was last summer. As some have already mentioned, you have to try the stroopwaffles and a restaurant called Pancakes!
    I would also recommend a restaurant called Moeders. They have great Dutch food and a sampler meal for two that was delicious. (I shared mine with my husband.)
    Have fun!

  • I don’t know whether you have enough time, but when you want to know something about the dutch history you definitely have to go to the Zuiderzeemuseum in the small, but beautiful, city Enkhuizen. It is an photogenic open air museum located next to the largest lake of the Netherlands, the IJsselmeer. You can go there by train within 1 hour from Amsterdam (it is a nice trip which shows you typical dutch ‘polder’landscapes, you don’t need to reservate for the train in the Netherlands and you can go twice per hour). I think you will like it!

  • I think you would love the store HEMA in Amsterdam. They have fun houseware/party items!

  • I wasn’t sure about going but reading that you’re going to be there was enough to make up my mind. Got my ticket and looking forward to Meet The Blogger!

  • I’m in The Hague (@ 45 min south of Amsterdam by train). If you get the chance to come this way the M.C. Escher museum is great and walking the boardwalk at Scheveningen Beach is fun even in the winter. It has the coolest pier.

    One of my favorite places to eat here is Very Italian Pizza. Yum!

  • Please do another lifestream, soon. I miss them. I need more Elsie and Emma sister time.

  • Crazy coincidence! I will be traveling to Iceland too in October! I am going with my mom for a fun and quick 3 night stay (our first times too!). We are going to focus on seeing the Northern Lights and going to the hot springs at Blue Lagoon. I have heard one tip from a friend, which is, if you go to the hot springs, do not put/get the mud in your hair – it took her weeks to get it out!!!! Lol, just an odd but valueable bit of advice. Oh, and that it is an odd country food wise to many Americans, so chucking a few extra power bars in your luggage wouldn’t hurt. Have so much fun!!!!!!

  • My husband and I just got back from vacation in the Netherlands and Iceland (and England and the Czech Republic). We flew IcelandAir and had a 19 hour layover, but didn’t extend the stoppover. We just hit the Blue Lagoon spa and it was to die for (and needs to be booked in advance)! We were torn between exploring Reykjavik and hitting the spa, but it was the last stop of the trip and we figured (rightly so!) that we’d be walked out and ready to crash. I was also voting on a horseback riding tour, but my husband hasn’t ridden anything other than a pony at the zoo when he was a kid so that got nixed.

    Also, in Amsterdam the Van Gogh Museum is fan-frickin-tabulous! We waited in line an hour+ in the rain (worst summer storm on record!) and it was totally worth it. The canal tours are interesting too but from my understanding not worth splurging on.

  • It goes without saying you must take at least one whole day to immerse yourself in the Van Gogh Museum…and make sure you go to Delft if you have the chance (you could do it in a push in a little less than a day from Amsterdam).

  • Iceland is AMAZING! I highly recommend you check out the Blue Lagoon – you will melt with relaxation! We did the package that included a drink, mud mask, and specialty exfoliant. We lounged in our fluffy robes and even napped poolside in the lofty indoor area overlooking the steamy water. It isn’t too far from Reykjavik and worth every bit! Can’t wait to hear about your trip.

  • The Blue Lagoon is a MUST, feels like you are on a different planet. Cafe Loki is a cafe across from the big church where you can try samplers of icelandic traditional food.

    Go to Winkel in Amsterdam and get the apple pie and bitterballen. BOTH SO GOOD.

  • Yes definitely the 9 straatjes. Have a look at Exota in the hartenstraat. If you like their dresses you can buy them at a cheaper price at the noordermarkt on saturday or mondaymorning. Visit the bijenkorf at Dam square. It has been recentely sold to Selfridges and they have a lot of nice british brands. Don’t miss COS in the Leidsestraat and Hartenstraat. Take a stroll along the Zeedijk and stop at Latei for the best apple pie. Try the delicious cheese fondue at the famous and always busy Cafe Bern in the Nieuwmarkt. Have a coffee at the new EYE film institute in Amsterdam Noord. You can reach it taking the ferry behind Central Station. Enjoy Amsterdam!

  • Ah, just visited Iceland for the first time this summer and loved it so much!
    I recommend taking a bath in the geothermal river at Reykjadalur. It’s about 2 hours drive from Reykjavik and then about an hours hike. You’ll pass a lot of hot pots along the way, but don’t jump into those, they are boiling hot. Wait until joy reach the warm river. If you can, I also recommend a trip to the highlands (Loved Landmannalaugar). Although the more touristy parts like golden circle etc are nice, I much preferred the impressive landscapes of the highlands. But most of all, enjoy your stay!

  • yeayyy you’re coming to Iceland. I’m sure you’ll love it here.
    I recommend the Grill Market also. Fiskfélagið is also very good for lunch(the sushi is awesome).

    The Snæfellsnes Peninsula and South Shore are must sees.

    Reykjavík is a lovely city all round.

    For bus tours I recommend Reykjavík Excursions. For more private luxury type tours I recommend Iceland Encounter.

    Have a lovely time in Iceland.

  • You will LOVE Amsterdam! Definitely visit the Van Gogh Museum, and any others around the Museumplein. Take a canal tour – such a great way to get a different perspective of the city. The Anne Frank House is a must – either buy tickets online in advance or get up super early to get in line! Eat some frites and go to cheese shops! You really can’t go wrong with just wandering the streets as well. Every single one is different and there are always things to look at. You will fall in love with the houses! Have a marvelous trip!

  • Awesome! I am going to be in Amsterdam with my boyfriend during this time because he is going to a business conference, but maybe I will have to attend a conference too! So excited to explore this area too, I think we will have to look into this Iceland option!

  • We were just in Iceland! Make sure you go to Reykjavik Fish Restaurant, and right across from that is Seabaron (really great lobster soup!). Also, the Harpa Opera house is really interesting. One more thing, make sure you try and get to the Blue Lagoon! So worth it!

  • I have been to Amsterdam quiet a few times. I always love it and every time I find something new to see.
    As someone else wrote: rent bikes. It is definitely the way to get around the inner city.
    You can get lost and spend days watching all the beautiful pantings of the old masters but I can also recommend Photographic museum FOAM they have some cool exhibitions.
    Another must do in Amsterdam is to go to a french fries shop. Not for the fries but for the dipping – I have never seen so many choices! I am sure you will love it.
    I hope you have a great trip.

  • Iceland is truly unlike any other place on this planet. In fact, it feels like landing on a completely different planet, the landscapes are so amazing and alien feeling!

    My husband and I did a stopover with Iceland air back in February and it was indescribable. We both want to go back again someday; it really was incredible.

    We aren’t usually the type to go on tours when traveling and prefer to find our own way around, but Iceland is infamous for it’s incredibly unpredictable weather so we really didn’t feel confident venturing out on our own in the winter. However, taking a tour ended up being the best decision we could have made – Icelandic people are so amazingly friendly and w/o the expertise of our tour guides we wouldn’t have known to stop at all these hidden gems, especially at times when they were less crowded (which is ideal for picture taking!). We also learned soooooo much more about their language, culture, food, history, lore, everything, than we would have w/o being on the tour. Tours book up quickly, though, so I recommend reserving as soon as you can (or maybe a private tour?). Go Ecco Iceland was the company we went with, and highly recommend: We were determined to visit ice caves (everything is weather dependent but we were lucky and had great weather so we got to do it all), but they offer a variety of lengths and destinations. Our guide’s name was Tatur, but we also interacted a bunch with Siggy and Saga, who were all fantastic (there were two bus loads for our tour).

    For preparation: thermal layers – I recommend investing in some merino wool since it isn’t bulky, it’s naturally odor resistant and moisture wicking. Layers are super important so you can transition for indoor to outdoor and it gets COLD (granted we were there in February and you’ll be there in October, but that is still the beginning of their winter).

    Also, food is EXPENSIVE (really, everything is expensive – but get duty free receipts when you can!!) If possible, bring snacks w/ you to Iceland (granola bars, fruit leather, camping type stable stuff) which you’ll want on hand if you’re hiking/walking around a lot bc being colder requires more energy. Since food costs are pretty high no matter where you go, you might as well go to the “fancy” places bc the cost difference will be minimal compared to a burger and fries joint (we paid $50 usd on two burgers w/fries & two beers our first night before we learned this). The previously mentioned Grillmarket is indeed worth it – beautiful decor and food presentation, as well as some “local” specialties (we recommend trying those if you can handle it – our favorite was the horse steak).

    I’m jealous and so excited for you guys! Can’t wait to see the amazing pictures you take! I’m just an amateur w/ a decent DSLR and it’s hard to take a bad picture there!

  • In Amsterdam, there’s tons of incredible vintage shops on Haarlemmerstraat! Also make sure you check out Brouwerij ‘t IJ! It’s a microbrewery inside an old windmill and their beer is delicious. They also have incredible cheese plates! This is also one of my favorite bars ever, Very eclectic and cozy (or gezellig as the dutch would say!)

  • We went to Iceland on our honeymoon. Definitely go to blue lagoon. It’s a natural spa and the mud is white – it makes your hair and skin feel amazing. Plus it’s near the airport (perfect for short layovers). In Reykjavic, try Prikid for breakfast. It’s the oldest restaurant in the the city and so yummy. And I second the hot dogs! Voted the best in Europe! If you have time, travel outside the city and see some glaciers and the volcanic ash covered ountryside or visit the puffin cliffs. And pack heavy! We had snow in June.

  • I live nearby Amsterdam and I recommend you go shopping in “De 9 straatjes” (9 little streets with fab shops), eat “2 sneetjes brood met kroketten” in a (any) lunchroom (Jordaanse area is great!) and buy “Stroopwafels” from a Bakery.
    Also: stop by at HEMA. That’s our local “Target” with a very own and Dutch style.
    Have fun in Amsterdam!!!!!

  • Haha: I live in Haarlem too and yes, I think you guys will love it too, if there’s time left after exploring Amsterdam (could it be!?). Haarlem is voted to be our country’s best city for shopping #proud

  • My favorite cafe in Amsterdam is Kapitein Zeppos, this place just has the best feel!

    On the Prinsengracht 112 you find the Amsterdam cheese museum, a shop annex museum where you can taste Dutch cheese for free.

    I love the Begijnhof near the Spui area. Its some sort of secret little garden that has a really nice chapel. (look it up before you go, its hard to find)

    My favorite museum in Amsterdam is the Van Gogh museum

  • Reykjavik is a wonderful city! If you are looking for a quirky and nice café, you should try Café Babalú. And if you have the time, I highly recommend the Golden Circle tour where you can see the geysirs, the waterfall Gullfoss and the national park Thingvellir. The Blue Lagoon is also a place we loved to visit. I hope you get a wonderful trip to both Reykjavik and Amsterdam!

  • The Netherlands are a great place tot visit! I know for sure, because I live there… 😉
    There are so many nice things to see and do in Amsterdam, I’m sure you’ll find out when you’re there.
    But if you would like to see some of the beautiful Dutch nature, you should definitely visit one of the ‘waddeneilanden’ (islands), or go to the dunes and seaside near Schoorl.
    I hope you’ll enjoy your stay!

  • Oh, yay! My guess is you’ll love my quirky little home town of Reykjavík.

    As others have said, the golden circle is epic but realllly crowded, you might be better off doing something else. Visit Hveragerði (30 min drive from Reykjavík), where there’s a geothermal park in the middle of town and you can do a hike up Reykjadalur valley and bathe in a natural hot pool – quite literally in the middle of nowhere. It’s truly amazing! My parents in-law run a nice guesthouse there too, if you’re interested 😉

    A few places locals love to eat and drink:
    Snaps bistro:
    Kex hostel:
    Kaldi bar, for locally brewed beer:
    The Pizza Place With No Name at Hverfisgata 12 for excellent pizzas
    Kol for fancy dining:

    Going swimming in one of the outdoors swimming pools is an absolute must. As is a hot dog at the aforementioned Bæjarins beztu!

    I could go on and on! Feel free to contact me if you need any assistance or a city guide or something – I’ve followed your blog for years and quite enjoy showing people around this charming little city baby of ours 🙂

  • please do a travel guide for Iceland! I am doing the layover option as well, but not until April, so would love to hear what you guys find!
    Hope you have a great trip!

  • You guys, that’s amazing! Congrats!!! Not sure if anyone already mentioned it but if you are in the Amsterdam area and have some time on hand there are two options near by you could do:

    – go to the beach: Even in fall beaches in the Amsterdam region are gorgeous. They are very clean, wide and if you are lucky some of the beach clubs/restaurants are still open around that time of the year. Zaandvoort is the closest but I suggest to go to Noordwijk, a cute little town.
    – take a trip to Delft: Delft feels like a mini version of Amsterdam but offers a great variety of fun stores and cafés. Most of them can be found in the “Delft like a local” map (

    Have fun and don’t forget to eat pancakes!

  • blue lagoon and the golden circle tour. also, rent some jeeps and go to some of the volcanos. Also Golfoss (on the golden circle tour)

  • Hi you guys! I actually am from the Netherlands, although I haven’t lived there for six years.. I can tell you that I used to see my country with “insider eyes” but that I actually can see the Netherlands as if it’s my first time there every time I go back.. And that’s why I actually try to avoid Amsterdam. It is a beautiful city, which you definitely must see. But the Netherlands is so compact, and there are trains going from city to city which makes travelling so easy… That you should really try to see some other places too. Amsterdam is filled with tourists, and so it is a bit over-priced and the people can sometimes be a bit rude because they’ve been dealing with tourists “polluting” their beautiful city all year round.. You should try to visit one of the lesser known but equally beautiful cities like Haarlem or Groningen. Groningen is the city with the biggest percentage of students in the Netherlands, it is actually where our King went to study. So there is always a lot to do, at day- and nighttime and there are beautiful parks where you can either picnic or barbecue, and the residents are so not used to tourists that they will be so happy and proud to show you around, tell you about the history and maybe even invite you over..
    Or try to take the guys for a romantic getaway on one of the five Northern islands (just a ferry-ride away) like Texel or Vlieland. Enjoy the sand-dunes, lighthouses, small-town island charm. Cuddle up under a blanket with a nice cup of coffee, stroll down the beach..
    Going only to Amsterdam is like going to Paris without visiting Versailles or without any cheese and wine tasting in the Provence.. It would be missing a whole lot that the Netherlands has to offer. I don’t know how much free time you will be having.. But it is something to consider.

    – F.Y.I. My “hubby” is French and so are a lot of my friends. So any time I bring someone to the Netherlands I try to show them somewhere new and exciting. The “not-cliché” part of the country. I love it when they are overwhelmed by the diversity of my small country. Anyway, I might be going in October so if I do, I’ll be sure to make it to the conference. And if there is anything I can help you with, any questions I can answer, I’ll be glad to help you.

    *super cute tooth-paste commercial smile*
    love, Mariska.

  • In Amsterdam, check out the NDSM-district. It’s off the beaten path for sure — not many tourists go there, in the north part (across the river). It’s very industrial, but it’s now almost completely overtaken by artists, hipsters, restaurants, et cetera. It’s a lovely place! The ferry ride is free (from behind central station) and you have a beautiful view of the rest of Amsterdam + there is a restaurant in ship containers, one in an old greenhouse…

    If you need someone to show you around — let me know! 🙂

  • How very cool you will have a stopover in Iceland… When visiting earlier this year for Design march I so fall in love with the country! (you will find my posts under #designmarch or #travel on my blog) Try going to the Blue Lagoon, such an amazing experience, the black beaches… lots of great (tax free) shopping in reykjavik itself. What I really loved is the connection with nature that I felt and saw in many design when meeting up with the icelandic people. I am sure you will love it!

    For Amsterdam what can I say it is my hometown.. I made an APP in case you are interested in shopping tips away from the big brands and streets it is on my other blog

    See you in Amsterdam 😉

  • How many days do you have? You can easily do the “Golden Circle” in one day and don’t need to rent a 4 wheel drive car to do so. I compeltely suggest a trip to Akeuryeri, it’s not too far and such a cool little town. Iceland has an amazing history – “real” history is fused with all the “magical” history of the land. There isn’t a saga about my family (my mother’s side is Icelandic) that doesn’t include trolls, faries, elves and giants. It’s incredible. If you have time, go up to Hull (north) and go whale watching, or to the Vestmannayer (westman) islands. Godafoss (gothafoss) is by far my favorite fall, and jokulsarlon is the most magical place where huge chunks of glacier make their way through an incredible blue water to the ocean. Skip the blue lagoon – it’s a giant tourist trap that looks straight out of the 90’s show Alex Mack. Have so much fun!

  • Congrats on the conference! I’m in Iceland on my honeymoon right now and it’s pretty unreal. The coast is beautiful but the more you go inland, the more un-earth-like it gets, in a stunning way. If you have time to drive up to Landmannulagur, I highly recommend it. Beautifully colored mountains of green, red, and yellow in crazy formations due to volcanos, rivers, and glaciers. If you rent a 4×4 you can descend by river-crossed gravel adventure road (F208) with incredible views back to Highway 1. Probably best for a 2 or 3 day trip from Reykjavik, staying near Selfoss the night before and near Vik the night after. (We are at a farm called Seglbudir for the night after and it’s just lovely).
    I might report back with more to recommend after our last few days here!

  • You HAVE to go to Winkel Cafe in Amsterdam! My friend from Amsterdam recommended it to my husband and I when we visited a few years ago, telling us the cafe is famous for its apple pie. It was seriously the best. pie. ever. We were only in Amsterdam for three days, but we made a point of going to have the pie twice.

  • Definitely check out Rotterdam while you are in the Netherlands. It is very close to Amsterdam and has some really cool architecture. It’s just a pretty place to snap photos and wander around. Eat a stroopwaffel for me! I’m not entirely sure how it is spelled but it is basically a caramel sandwich made with two very thin and crispy waffles. My Dad brought them back for us whenever he visited when we were kids. Yum.

  • Oh my gosh that is so exciting! We visited Iceland last March for 3 days and had the best time! It’s actually one of my favourite places to visit and one of my favourite holidays ever! We stopped by the blue lagoon for an afternoon, saw the views over reykjavik from the Hallgrímskirkja Church and hired a car for a day to visit the Golden Circle to see Strokkur geysir and Gullfoss Waterfall. SO much fun! I did a couple posts about it if you’d like to check them out! 🙂
    xo April | April Everyday

  • Iceland has been my absolute favourite place to travel so far! We spent a week driving around and trying to soak in as much as possible. Definitely do the Golden Circle tour (best done in a rental car so you can go at your own pace!) We stayed at Kex which was a pretty awesome place to hang out for drinks and great food! Definitely pick up some Icelandic wool, I need to go back for more!

  • I am a dutch fan so I really hope to meet you in Amsterdam! Have a nice trip 🙂 And keep up the good work!

  • Sounds like a great trip 🙂 I’m going to Iceland as well in October hoping to see the northern lights. I found this really cool blog called which has a lot of information about Reykjavik and other parts of Iceland. Have a great trip!

  • Hi Girls. So nice you come to Amsterdam! I’m sure you will love it. The city is just as creative as you are!
    I would like to give you some tipps about things to do Amsterdam. Since I moved here two years ago I know how it feels trying to get the best out of the city, which can be difficult in this is crazy populated city. especialy the center is crowded by tourists and bikes, in super narrow streets – that can be quite stressful. So there are some places where you get the real, non-touristic feeling of the city – how Amsterdam lifestyle is, etc. I tried to find an email address to contact you for detailed information – but I failed (maybe it’s already to late for my brain – 23:23 in Amsterdam 😉 would you mind sending me an email so I can reply with the information? I really think that yould add to your Amsterdam experience! btw, Iceland??!!! my dream! Soooo jealous!! 😉 Doei (bye in dutch), Anne

  • I think one of the best shopping streets in Amsterdam is the Haarlemmerdijk/Haarlemmerstraat, there are lots of great little shops there and nice places to eat/buy food. The jordaan is a really nice neighbourhood too. I would definately recommend Gebr. Niemeijer, a french bakery at Nieuwedijk, the location isn’t great but it’s very close to the Haarlemmerdijk and the lemon pies are amazing! The bag museum is also really great (tassenmuseum Hendrikje). Also kitch Kitchen at rozengracht (home stuff) and Latei at zeedijk (vintage shop/cafe). If you’re into film I would definitely check EYE film-institute, the building is pretty impressive too. have fun!

  • Sounds amazing!! Amsterdam is one of my favorite European cities and I am head over heels for Iceland. My bf and I just got back from a 3 week European/Iceland trip and it was the BEST.

    As far as Iceland goes, rent a camper! You can park it almost anywhere to sleep and it is SUCH a fun way to see the country. In a week you can drive all along the southern coast and back again and that includes detours and all the stopping/hiking/picture taking you want. Plus you have more freedom than if you do the tours. We were even able to fit a day in Reykjavik in at the beginning and end of the trip. Jealous that you’ll be seeing the Northern Lights!

    Ostabudin was our favorite place to eat in Reykjavik. The soup and bread is some of the best you’ll ever have, I promise. We loved it so much that we ate there twice (something we never do when traveling) and talked the waitress into packing some bread for our flight home. We died of happiness when she brought out a whole loaf for us. Seriously, so good.

    Have a great time!!

  • Wow, how exciting!
    I live in Reykjavik, Iceland, and must say I am glad that you found the time to visit. Reykjavik is small and quirky but has a great choice of cool restaurants, cafe’s and bars.
    The Blue lagoon and the Golden circle are a must and only day-trips from Reykjavik.
    While in the city, you should try one of the public, outdoor swimming pools which are all heated with geothermal water and is THE thing that locals do, the oldies in the morning, families in the early evening (and on weekends) and younger people socialise until late in the evenings.
    I would love to know in which area of Reykjavik you are staying so maybe I could recommend something local, but then again, as I said it’s not a big city so nothing is really far away 🙂

  • When you guys are visiting in Amsterdam, you’ve got to have brunch at Bakers and Roasters. It’s the best in the whole city.

    Done with brunch? Take the free ferry to NDSM. Great atmosphere and beautiful street art. When you’re there, go to Pllek.

    As some of my fellow Dutchies adviced: leave Amsterdam for a day or two. The city is so crowded, sometimes you don’t even see how beautiful it is. When you take the train to either Utrecht or Delft you’ll see how nice and relaxed Holland is. Tourists don’t go there very often so you’ll see the Dutchies in there natural habitat.

    In Utrecht you have to rent waterbikes. You can cruise the city through it’s canals. So cool! And go have dinner at LE:EN. Great asian cuisine with a twist.

    Other things you should do: visit HEMA (great store), eat stroopwafels and visit any good beer cafe to have some special beers and bitterballen.

    But most of all: go have fun!

  • Oh no! I would have loved to meet you guys! So close to Germany and yet so far because I’m going to be in Nepal in October. Timing really is a b…
    Have fun at the conference and in Iceland, it’s a wonder-wonder-wonderful country!

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