When you think of Amsterdam, what comes to mind - canals, cyclists, great museums, cool coffeeshops and the red light district? Amsterdam is much more than a destination for stag weekends and hen parties, there is so much to do and see that Amsterdam is perfect for either a city break or a longer holiday.
If you want to immerse yourself in culture there are 44 museum to choose from, many of which are world class, or you can explore the canal ring – a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you fancy a shopping break, there are over 6,000 shops and 32 markets to browse.
Night owls will find plenty to amuse them in the city’s 1,500+ bars, cafés and clubs. While for families, there are 40 parks, a fabulous zoo in the heart of the city and, when the weather is good, a great selection of urban beaches accessible by public transport.
With Eurostar’s new direct service, you can be in the heart of Amsterdam in under 4 hours.
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The Rijksmuseum kicks off Amsterdam’s Year of Rembrandt with a show-stopping display of its entire collection of Rembrandts. Discover 400 compelling works, from self-portraits to The Night Watch.
This big-ticket show’s a must-see, exploring Van Gogh’s influence on art-world rebel David Hockney. A love of nature, intense colours and anarchic perspectives are among the striking parallels.
Half an hour’s drive from Amsterdam, these dazzling gardens are renowned for their springtime flowers. Think hyacinths, irises, daffodils and swathes of tulips (seven million bulbs, but who’s counting?).
Dutch blogger, Anne de Buck (yourlittleblackbook.me/), shares some of her favourite addresses in Amsterdam.
Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.
Amsterdam is awash with food trends, including vegan restaurants, Scandinavian cafés and ramen hangouts. For veggie lovers, try Betty’s – a little out of town but worth the trek (even if you’re a meat eater). Those looking for Nordic cuisine should head to Selma’s for their excellent coffee and unpronounceable lunch dishes. Umaimon is not to be missed for authentic ramen – don’t let its Leidseplein location put you off. Failing all that, stick with a Dutch classic: apple pie!
amsterdamfoodie.nl / @AmsterdamFoodie
Amsterdam's nightlife comes in every shape and sound you can imagine, and some you've probably never even heard of. Stay classy with a trip to Bubbles and Wines Champagne Bar, or go all hipster underground at the Door 74 speakeasy nearby. If you'd rather take your life and liquor cheap and cheerful, try Cafe Cuba, or Cafe Soundgarden, where cheap cocktails and beers flow respectively. After hours live music lovers flock to Melkweg, while techno heads have a smorgasbord of late night / early morning clubs to choose from – try Warehouse Elementenstraat for starters.
vickyflipfloptravels.com / @VickyFlipFlop
Amsterdam is full of holiday cheer in the wintertime, with Christmas markets set up in the main squares, the Amsterdam Light Festival sculptures glowing along the canals, and plenty of other cosy activities.Head to the skating rink at Museumplein and strap on your skates for a festive spin on the ice. Then warm up from the inside with traditional Dutch treats like oliebollen and poffertjes and spiced glühwein or hot chocolate.
AwesomeAmsterdam.com / @AwesomeAMS
Image credits: © Eurostar; © Eurostar; © Marcus Koppen; © Eurostar; © Marcus Koppen; © Teska Overbeeke; © press; © Shutterstock; © press; © Café de Ceuvel; © AmsterdamFoodie; © eurostar; © AwesomeAmsterdam; © Press; © Miquel Gonzalez; © Erik Smits; © Rembrandt van Rijn, De waardijns van het Amsterdamse lakenbereidersgilde, bekend als De Staalmeesters, 1662; © David Hockney painting May Blossom on the Roman Road, 2009, photo credit Jean-Pierre Goncalves de Lima; © Keukenhof Gardens