Perhaps more than any other European city, the Dutch capital is associated with a laidback and liberal lifestyle. Holidaymakers taking flights to Amsterdam (AMS) come to experience the city’s restaurants, lounges and cafes. While there’s no doubt that the culturally diverse population and vibrant entertainment scene are part of the draw, there’s more to this city than meets the eye.
In Amsterdam you’ll discover vast green parks, a buzzing cultural scene and plenty of foodie finds, not to mention some of the most notable museums in the world, including the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum. Culture vultures would be advised to buy a museumjaarkaart (The Museum Card), which gets you free or discounted entry to the city’s museums. Repeat visitors will be pleased to hear it is valid for a year.
Most of the action here is concentrated in the Old Centre, which is one of the most historic city centres in Europe, dating back to medieval times. In spite of this, the area is packed with plenty of modern attractions. Dam Square is a tourist hotspot, and a great base for exploring the surrounding shops, cafes and restaurants.
At night the city is family-friendly, and makes for a great holiday with children. When you’re not playing with them in the park, they’ll be delighted with a boat ride on the canal or a cycle around town.
For a touch of luxury, the picturesque Canal Ring is a Unesco World Heritage Site populated by lovely boutique hotels and independent designer outlets. During the warmer months, there’s nothing nicer than strolling alongside the centuries-old canals and stopping to snack and people watch at one of the waterside cafes.