Amsterdam, Netherlands
Esther, 28
Lawyer
see her Amsterdam city guide

a bit about Esther

What do you do and why do you do it?

I travel whenever and wherever I can, I do yoga and bootcamps/circuit training, I take Spanish classes, love going to museums and art exhibitions, I read a lot and watch documentaries on the environment and sustainability, I try new restaurants and bars every week, I'm a brunch-lover, and more in general I try to live in a way that is most friendly to the environment as I am a huge fan of the earth. Oh, and in my work-time I am an intellectual property lawyer at a multinational company where I manage the patent, trademark, design and copyright portfolio.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?

My first job was wrapping food in a Chinese restaurant. I was way underpaid and couldn't deal with the smell anymore after a while.

Were you born and raised in Amsterdam? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Amsterdam?

I was born and raised in the very south of the Netherlands, close to the German and Belgian borders. During my law degree I studied in London for a while, and was caught by the big city life. So immediately after my graduation (and backpacking trip) I moved to Amsterdam to look for a job!

What’s your current hood in Amsterdam and what’s the best/worst thing about it?

Amsterdam West (Baarsjes). I love it because I think this area truly reflects the city of Amsterdam. It is very multicultural, walking around there feels like a mini trip around the world. The people are a good mix between Amsterdammers, foreigners, yuppies and hipsters! Furthermore there are so many great shops, bars and restaurants in this area; there is really no need to ever go into the city center or another area if you don't want to.

What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?

Depends on my mood! Can be anything from soft acoustic music, to reggeaton, to deep house and techno. I absolutely hate all music styles that include the word 'hard' or 'heavy': hard rock, hard style, heavy metal, you name it. Makes me very aggressive.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

First phase: No Doubt - Don't Speak; Ed Sheeran - Photograph. Second phase: Drake - Too Good; Justin Timberlake - Cry me a River; anything from Beyonce

Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?

Friends because it just makes you feel good! More recently I've been watching House of Cards, The Walking Dead and Narcos. And Planet Earth, an absolutely beautiful documentary show.

Name some spots in Amsterdam that are good for a Tinder date.

Ton Ton Club. It is a little videogame arcade where you can play 80s and 90s video games on big oldschool machines (pinball, air hockey etc.). They also serve drinks and in summer they take the machines outside (Ton Ton in de zon - Ton Ton in the sun). It's a really fun and a little bit of a hipster atmosphere!

Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).

That depends on your meaning of 'roasted'! 'Roasted' as in high on marijuana: Trump. I'd love to see him get the giggles.

Who’s your hero and where in Amsterdam would you take them out for a serious hang?

I'd love to hang out with Michelle Obama, Angela Merkel or (Dutch) Queen Maxima. We'd go for an afternoon tea at The Duchess in the W Hotel Amsterdam and talk about the world, and gossip about Trump, Poetin and Erdogan.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

I try to buy less clothes due to the immense environmental impact the fashion industry has. I do love fashion though and that's why I'm a member of Lena, a fashion library in Amsterdam. They have an amazing collection of designer clothing that you can either borrow or buy.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Dam square, Kalverstraat (the main shopping street) and the Red Light District on weekends. Way too crowded! The Kalverstraat is even shut down by the police every now and then as there are just too many people trying to go through.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Strolling around the canals on an early Sunday morning when the city is still asleep. It's the perfect moment to really capture the beauty of it. Usually I'm still asleep myself at that time though!

Where do you go in Amsterdam for a casual night out?

To one of the many places in Amsterdam that serve great snacks/small meals and good gin and tonics, preferably somewhere at the waterfront. Places like Waterkant or Pllek!

Where would you go in Amsterdam to celebrate some freaking good news?

Either to one of the rooftop bars/restaurants turning into clubs later in the evening (such as the Volkshotel or MADAM), or to one of the many summer festivals in the city or at the beach, which is only a half an hour drive from Amsterdam.

What’s your choice of transportation in Amsterdam and why?

Bicycle of course! It's easy, fast and healthy. The Dutch cycle everywhere - to go to work, to get groceries, to go to a club..

What are the Amsterdam spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

The canals. Amsterdam should be explored by boat! The city is built on the water so it is meant to be seen from the water. Amsterdammers are known for rarely drawing their blinds, so this also gives you a good opportunity to have a sneak peak in peoples' homes and the houseboats.

What are the Amsterdam spots tourists should run from screaming?

Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein at night, except if you love partying with drunk Brits and stoned French/Italians.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Amsterdam. How do you spend it?

I'd wake up with a coffee on my balcony, than go out for a boozy brunch with all my friends, spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around the city and the canals, then I'd go for dinner with my boyfriend in one of my favourite restaurants and end the day with a gin and tonic in a rooftop bar overlooking the whole city.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Any city that I haven't been toT yet. For me a vacation means exploring.

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esthermeulenberg