With its enchanting canals, bridges adorned with flowers and centuries-old townhomes, Amsterdam is as picturesque as a postcard. It’s also one of the few destinations that appeals to travelers interested in history, luxury travel, romance and backpackers.
The city of Amsterdam, like the rest of the Netherlands, is a charming mixture of ancient and modern. With leafy parks, trendy shops, and an undying sense of history that thankfully never fades away, it’s simply a question of narrowing things down to a few activities. Whether strolling around the picturesque streets or sitting at one of the sidewalk cafés, being surrounded by so much beauty is both healing and calming. We wouldn’t try to include too much in your daily itinerary because.
Amsterdam is a veritable paradise for food-lovers, with renowned restaurants offering incredible meals all day long. When night falls, the city comes alive with its many bars and clubs. And of course, no trip to Amsterdam would be complete without visiting one of its famous coffee shops! Whatever type of European vacation you’re dreaming of, Amsterdam has it all.
Best Time to Go
Late spring is the best time to visit Amsterdam according to many people. The weather forecast for this time of year includes mild temperatures, which are ideal for biking around the city and exploring the surrounding countryside. In early April, the tulips that are famous in this area begin to bloom, This attracts visitors from all over the world. Another major event that takes place in late April is King’s Day carnival.
The aptly named “Venice of the North” has an oceanic climate, so it never gets excessively hot. While the rest of Europe heads to Santorini and Saint-Tropez for their summer holiday, we enjoy the prospect of a city break in Amsterdam. You might have to deal with a few more fellow tourists on this trip, but it will not prevent you from having a fantastic time.
Autumn is a beautiful season, and there are many activities as well as great deals on airfare and hotels to enjoy it. Temperatures aren’t too cold, which means you may still get outside. Sure, the days are short and chilly, but they’re also more tranquil and less crowded than summertime. You can also find some terrific offers on plane tickets and lodging.
How to Get Around
Trams: The famous blue-and-white trams of Amsterdam are still a dependable and cheap method of transportation within the city center ($3.80 per hour or $9.50 per day). Amsterdam Central Station, the city’s major transportation center, is where 14 lines meet.
Buses: There are a total of 35 bus lines in the city, making it easy to get around. If you’re catching a flight, hop on the shuttle, which runs between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the city center every 15 minutes. And if you’re planning an evening out, night buses operate between 6 p.m. and 12:30 a.m., so you can enjoy your night without worry!
Ferries: Amsterdam’s public transportation system includes trams, buses, metros, and ferries. The ferry service is operated by GVB and crossings cost $1.50/trip. Pedestrians, cyclists, and moped riders are free to use the IJ river boats.
Metros: Five distinct routes and 39 stations make the metro system ideal for exploring beyond the CBD.
Rideshare: If you stick to Centrum, you won’t need your car. Hailing an Uber to transport you outside of the city is simple, though.
Trains: The country’s extensive national rail infrastructure is one of the finest in the world. Trains from Amsterdam Central Station are a sensible and simple alternative for day excursions around the region and neighboring cities.
Bicycles: Cycling does not meet the criteria for public transportation, but when in Amsterdam, do as the locals do. When it comes to moving around, that means renting a bicycle (download Donkey Republic or go to a local rental shop). It’s a fantastic way to see the city and burn off all those pannenkoek.
If you’re looking for a fairy-tale like experience, look no further than the Pulitzer Amsterdam. Situated on the picturesque Prinsengracht canal, this hotel will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a storybook. From the beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers in the lobby to heritage-rich details throughout the rooms and suites, every aspect of this hotel oozes charm. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also an excellent restaurant called Jansz and a stunning garden perfect for enjoying afternoon tea or wine al fresco.
The Hoxton, Amsterdam
More than a resting place to unwind your weary head, The Hoxton is an opportunity to see and be seen in Amsterdam. With a vibe that’s both ultra-hip and approachable, it has a lobby bar that encourages mingling, quirky rooms, and interesting pop-ups. Strangers from all walks of life feel like they’re part of the ‘in crowd’ thanks to the friendly atmosphere.
The Conservatorium Hotel, which is located near the Van Gogh Museum, was a high-end choice with a former music conservatory right next to it. The property’s jaw-dropping glass atrium is hard to top as an architectural achievement. Book a massage at Akasha Holistic Wellbeing for some R&R.
De Kas (Farm-to-Table)
De Kas provides an unforgettable experience with its farm-to-fork multi-course tasting menus, all served in a gorgeous glass-domed space. Many of the ingredients come straight from the onsite greenhouse, which diners can tour before or after their meal. A little-known secret is that it’s easier to score a reservation for lunchtime. Also, the lighting during midday is impeccable for photographing your food.
Restaurant Floreyn (Dutch)
Restaurant Floreyn in the Netherlands is a culinary journey you don’t want to miss. With unique dishes like veal cheeks and horseradish ice cream, there’s something for everyone (and an excellent wine pairing to top it all off).
De Laatste Kruimel (Bakery)
While bakeries are quite common in Amsterdam, De Laatste Kruimel is a true gem. This neighborhood spot offers delicious French toast and bread pudding that delight both visitors and locals. And don’t forget to try the more savory offerings like quiche!
Things to Do
Van Gogh Museum
If you want to see “Sunflowers” on your trip to Amsterdam, be sure to buy tickets ahead of time. The Netherlands has given birth to many famous artists throughout the years, but none more so than Vincent Van Gogh. At his namesake museum in Amsterdam, you can find displays of some of his most famous works.
Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is widely recognized as the city’s most notable attraction, with a tour of her writings, photographs, videos, and personal belongings allowing visitors to learn about the Jewish diarist’s life during WWII. Tickets are difficult to obtain months in advance.
Vondelpark is a large, 47-hectare urban green space in Amsterdam South with an open-air theater, playground, shaded areas, ponds, and cycling routes. It instantly becomes a gathering point for afternoon picnics and sunbathing when the sun comes out.
Day-to-day weather can differ significantly by season. In spring, for instance, temperatures are on the rise and skies are clearing up after winter storms. During summer months, days stretch outwards with more hours of sunlight and mild warmth–though you might experience some humidity at select points during these balmy days. Fall sees a gradual cool down before giving way to shorter days and crisper air; while winters in this region bring gusty conditions that carry a higher chance of rain or snowfall.