The remnants of a liberal counter culture that has shaped Amsterdam over the past decades still linger in the youthful air of this city, in the welcoming attitude it extends to its visitors and in the heady smoke of its famous coffeeshops. Read more.
The remnants of a liberal counter culture that has shaped Amsterdam over the past decades still linger in the youthful air of this city, in the welcoming attitude it extends to its visitors and in the heady smoke of its famous coffeeshops. Amsterdam lays the charm on thick, from its scenic canals and handsome gabled houses of areas like Brouwersgracht to the picturesque landscape, ponds and parrots of leafy Vondelpark, and no traveller is immune. The city’s compact proportions mean that no matter your choice of hotel, you’ll never be far from its main attractions, numerous watering holes or surprisingly good selection of dining choices, especially the delectable Indonesian food specialties on offer.
Canals, Red Lights and Biking like a local
Amsterdam has an excellent and easy to navigate transport system, however, being so flat it’s a great place to mosey or cycle around for sightseeing and urban exploration. The old centre acts as the city’s honeypot, host to dozens of magnificent buildings including the Oude Kerk, the Royal Palace and the Amstelkring. From here, you can meander through the Grachtengordel, the city’s Girdle of Canals forming its characteristic web shape or even hop on a boat and view the beautiful sights from the waterways. The Dutch capital’s rich history offers up a veritable bucket list of 19th and 20th century discovery, from the prominent Anne Frankhuis and the Van Gogh Museum down to The Heineken Experience in the old brewery for those with an interest in beer. The collection at the Rijksmuseum should also be added to the list of any discernible tourist to the city. Take a peek at the legendary Red Light District within the Old Centre for the sake of titillation or sparking up an enlightened discussion about workers’ rights. Download the Anne’s Amsterdam app prior to a visit to the house and the Amsterdam Travel Guide by Triposo for some interesting city insights. For a change of pace, rent a bike and cycle along the pleasantly flat plains of the Amstel for serenity and a bit of windmill spotting. Amsterdam’s Bike Like a Local app (iOS only) provides information on how to cycle around the city safely and where you can park your bike as well as find it again amongst the mass numbers of bikes around the city.
Nightlife a la carte
It’s not surprising that after the sun goes down, the lights of this city get turned way up and both locals and visitors come out in full force. Nightlife is mainly divided amongst two districts, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein but the city offers up a wide range of affordable and diverse entertainment to accommodate everyone’s tastes. A regular tour stop for global artists, it’s worth having a look at live events taking place during your stay at places like Paridiso. World music can be discovered at Melkweg, jazz at Bimhuis and classical music at the spectacular Concertgebouw with numerous weekly concerts, often by the Amsterdam Philharmonic, one of the top symphonic orchestras in the world. The famous and wealthy are attracted to Jimmy Woo where the music changes nightly and getting in can be a challenge. The newer club AIR appeals to the younger, house and electronic crowd and Bitterzoet is great for hip hop and soul. If you want to try something new, aim for the Supperclub, an experience of several nights in one with an exclusive mix of food, drink, performance, music and dance. Whether you’re looking for a traditional alehouse, modish bar or avant-garde club, Amsterdam lays down an a la carte menu to suit any preference. Take a look at the Unlike app for Amsterdam which has some great suggestions on nightlife as well as food and entertainment.
Landmarks in Amsterdam
- Tropenmuseum (79)
- Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (284)
- Flower Mrkt (Bloemenmarkt) (385)
- Amstel Station (20)
- Royal Palace (Amsterdam) (406)
- Rembrandt Square (320)
- Van Gogh Museum (216)
- Anne Frank House (354)
- Leidse Square (318)
- Amsterdam RAI (20)
- Jordaan (328)
- Red Light District (343)
- De Dam (394)
- Central Station (218)