How to make the most of a city break in Amsterdam
Amsterdam makes a wonderful destination for a long weekend or short trip, as it has a great range of attractions and activities to keep everyone happy.
See the city by guided tour
If you’re on a city break to Amsterdam, a tour of the city can take you quickly around some of the most famous attractions. Make time for a boat ride on the Amsterdam Canal Ring. Built during the 17th century when the city was in its Golden Age, it was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2010. There is a wide choice of tours along the incredible canal networks that take you past historic houses and landmark attractions in the area. The Amsterdam 100 Highlights Cruise is a great way to relax while you see important attractions along the way. The cruise departs twice an hour from the pier opposite Amsterdam Central Station, and tickets booked online get a 10% discount.
Amsterdam is famous for being not only a city of canals but of cyclists, so a bike tour can be a great way to see the city. Yellow Bike Amsterdam have been offering guided bike tours since 1990. You can choose from different lengths and routes of bike tours on the Yellow Bike website, or cheaply rent a bike for 24 hours and explore the city on your own.
Visit the tulip fields
If you are visiting in the spring, then a trip to the flower fields of the Keukenhof is a must. These incredible gardens are filled with more than seven million tulips, hyacinths and daffodils. There are pavilions with flower shows, inspiration gardens, works of art and many activities to take part in, such as boat trips and bike rides. The Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is only minutes away from the spectacular Keukenhof flower fields, as well as Schiphol Airport.
Discover the museums
Amsterdam is home to several galleries and museums, housing impressive collections of objects and art. Fans of the Post-Impressionism masters are in for a real treat at the Van Gogh Museum . This unique museum houses the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings, as well as work by his contemporaries. The Van Gogh Museum is located in the sophisticated 19th century Museum quarter, Museumplein. Here, you can also visit two other unmissable attractions: the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art.
The Rijksmuseum (State Museum) opened in 1800, and houses master works of art and sculpture, such as work by Vermeer, van Dyck and Rembrandt. The nearby Stedelijk Museum has an exceptional collection of international modern art and design, including work by Warhol, Matisse and Picasso.
Visit the Anne Frank House and learn more about the tragic life of this young Jewish girl in WWII. For two years, she and her family hid from the Nazis in a secret annex within a house in Amsterdam. It was there that she wrote her famous diary, before the family were betrayed and deported to a concentration camp, where she later died. Over one million people visit the Anne Frank House annually to learn more about this inspirational writer.
Stroll through the markets
Amsterdam offers a great range of markets and shops, perfect for browsing. Many of the markets are open six days a week, and have a variety of clothes, antiques, books, gifts, food and flowers to browse through. The most popular flea market is on the Waterlooplein in the city centre. Here you can find all sorts of items, from curios and vintage clothing to military uniforms and bicycle parts.
Fans of rare books should head to the Amsterdam Book Market at the Spui (Boekenmarkt Op Het Spui), which takes place every Friday. Booksellers from around the Netherlands come to sell their old, rare, second hand and out-of-print books at this central market.
Amsterdam has many more markets, boutiques and stores, which are perfect for browsing for gifts or mementos of their visit. Once you’ve done some shopping in this beautiful city and seen the sights, make sure you take a rest and sample a glass of cold Dutch beer.