A Travel Guide to Amsterdam, According to Dutch Native Elza Wandler

According to Elza Wandler, the of-the-moment neighborhood to know in the city of Amsterdam is the Noord. Wandler’s to be trusted: she’s lived in Amsterdam her entire life. And as the designer behind leather goods brand Wandler, she’s got an eye for stylish spots. The neighborhood she’s referring to was the location for the brand’s first-ever physical presentation.

The installation, titled “Without Light There is No Color,” took place at an abandoned gas station that the team completely transformed with silver metallic siding and a fresh paint job in the brand’s signature color, crisp apple green. On the way to the presentation, even local Amsterdam guests noted how much the area has exploded with new bars and restaurants. Elza herself is still exploring. “Every week there is something new opening up its doors. It still has so many hidden gems that have yet to be discovered.”

Apart from the Noord, there are plenty of areas and aspects of Amsterdam that Wandler adores and recommends. The first? “It’s designed for biking—everything is not more than a 20-minute bike ride away, and you don’t need a car,” she says. Wandler resides in the Amsterdam West neighborhood, an area flush with restaurants and shops. And as the slow process of decorating her new home has re-ignited an obsession for interiors and decor (including the creation of her own capsule collection of objets d’art), she’s found inspiration in the design and architecture books she finds at one of her favorite shops in town, Mendo

Overall, Wandler describes the vibe of Amsterdam as a “really easygoing atmosphere.” So when it comes to dressing for a day there, Wandler suggests a focus on comfort. Layerable knitwear and light jackets will prepare you for the bouts of sunshine and cloud-brought chills, and a flat shoe is a good item to plan your outfits around—you’ll be biking everywhere, after all! As for the rest, Wandler says the most dressed-up you’ll need to get is a pair of leather trousers or well-tailored denim. Fittingly, the designer has recently moved into the ready-to-wear space with a sleek range of leather and denim trousers, all of which will surely be loved just as much as the brand’s handbags and shoes.