Flights to Europe
There’s more to the Netherlands than just Amsterdam, but Amsterdam is the beating heart of the country and the draw for most visitors. While exploring the rest of this tiny, water-logged place is rewarding (with windmills, tulips and more), it’s Amsterdam that is the most memorable. Whether you’re stuffing yourself with sugary stroopwafels on the street, riding a bike by the canal alongside dozens of locals, taste-testing Belgian beverages or partying all night long, your experience in Amsterdam will be, above all, fun. Don’t come here to relax; come here to stay up late, meet new people, immerse yourself in the culture and throw caution to the wind.
In addition to a fabulous array of indie shops, cafes, nightlife venues and restaurants, Amsterdam is a cultural hotspot. In museums alone it’s rich: the fabulous Rembrandts and Vermeers in the Rijksmuseum, the biggest collection of van Gogh paintings in the world at the Van Gogh Museum, and a branch of Russia’s Hermitage Museum that brings some of its treasures to Europe in blockbuster exhibits.
If you do decide to get out of Amsterdam, there are a few places that are worth seeking out. Try Delft, a small city with more than its fair share of canals and historic buildings, or Haarlem, which has first-rate cafes, excellent museums and beautiful cobblestone streets. In contrast, Rotterdam is hyper-modern. After it was demolished in the Second World War, it was rebuilt with boundless enthusiasm for the new. There’s plenty to see and do here, and it’s a perfect for party animals.
Happily for travellers, the Dutch speak excellent English, and there’s no expectation that you’ll understand the local language.