What’s your name, where are you from and what do you do?
I’m Karolina, I’m from Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, but I left my home country to come to Amsterdam! I work as the Operations Manager at We Are Amsterdam and am enjoying every minute!
What’s your favourite thing about working for We Are Amsterdam/Starboard Boats?
I love working in the centre of this beautiful city and the fact that my job allows me to meet new people every day from all over the world!
What’s your perfect weekend in Amsterdam?
My Perfect Weekend in Amsterdam would always start off with a delicious, homemade Friday night dinner. I’m from Slovakia so I always like to start off my weekend with my national dish, Bryndzové Halušky. This delicious and hearty dish is comprised of local potato dumplings, mixed with traditional sheep cheese, and grated smoked sheep cheese, before being sprinkled with pieces of bacon. When your perfect weekend in Amsterdam is as booze-fuelled as mine usually are, it’s important to line the stomach and I find that Slovak sheep’s cheese gives me plenty of energy to dance the night away with all my girlfriends. It can be tricky to find my favourite cheeses amongst the Gouda but there is a wonderful little shop selling a variety of Eastern European treats near my house – the diversity of people in this city is incredible and is another thing that I love so much about Amsterdam.
Once I’m full of cheesy goodness, I love to meet up with my friends for a few gin and tonics. If the weather’s good, we all head to a bar with a big terrace like Waterkant, catch up on all the week’s gossip, and get the party started! When the sun goes down and we’re feeling ready to bust some moves, we like to head out to one of the city’s dance bars or clubs. I love dancing to reggaeton music, and although Borovička (my favourite spirit from back home) is hard to find in Amsterdam’s bars and clubs, Jagermeister goes down just as well. My Friday nights are always full of friends, laughter and dancing. My friends and I always love going to Escape (being an impatient bunch, we tend to get our Skip-The-Line tickets in advance so we don’t have to wait outside!).
On a Saturday morning, I like to have a lie-in, before heading out for brunch in a local café. I like to do something different each weekend, and always try to include something a little cultural in the mix. Sometimes I go to a concert or gallery (I love the Rijksmuseum in particular and have a slight obsession with 18th century Dutch art so it’s the perfect place to spend a couple of hours).
When the sun’s shining, I love nothing more than getting out on the water. Working for an Amsterdam boat rental company has its benefits, and I love gathering some friends, grabbing some cold beers and hitting the canals of Amsterdam! During the Amsterdam Light Festival, I get the perfect opportunity to combine my love of art and boats by doing as many Amsterdam Light Festival boat cruises as I can! I’m so excited for Amsterdam Light Festival 2019/2020. Whether working as a host for our guests or showing visiting friends the city’s sights, I am always blown away by the beauty of the city I now call home!
If I’ve had a quieter Friday night and am going out on a Saturday instead, I like to head to De School or Shelter for some techno. I see dancing as a complete release and when I’m dancing the night away to some tasty techno beats, I feel totally free!
On a Sunday, I like to have a chilled-out day to make sure I’m fresh and ready for work on a Monday morning. Although in Slovakia I never rode a bicycle, this is a part of Dutch culture that I’ve really embraced and I love cycling around the city, stopping off at a quiet café for a coffee and a slice of apple cake. I always recommend people to hire bikes in Amsterdam and see the city from a local perspective – it’s a great way to get around in the city! In the evening, I like to relax by eating a takeaway in my pyjamas. My favourite is Indonesian or Surinamese food – and Amsterdam has so many wonderful places serving up this delicious food, it’s always easy to indulge!
What’s your Amsterdam top tip for anyone planning a weekend in Amsterdam?
Try and see as much of Amsterdam in as many ways as possible! Don’t just sit in a coffee shop for the whole weekend, get out on a boat or a bike and see the city!