Cheap flights to Amsterdam
Culture, canals and coffee shops, Amsterdam is not only Europe’s capital of fun, but is a great place to unwind and take things easy. Tolerant, welcoming and a lot of fun, Amsterdam is a city that likes to take things at a leisurely pace during the day but gets into party mode at night. So, whether you’re looking to recharge those batteries or wear them down a little more, you’ll find Amsterdam has options for both. And what a setting! Beating Venice in the canal stakes, cities really don’t get much more picturesque than this. The old town and the centre, which is where you’ll want to base yourself, is a delight of arched bridges, 17th century narrow gabled houses, houseboats decked with flowers and canal-side cafes and eateries.
Packed with museums and galleries, Amsterdam is a jewel in Europe’s cultural crown. The Rijksmuseum is one of the best art galleries in the world, including paintings from the Dutch Golden Age and art lovers will also enjoy the Van Gogh Museum. Visit Anne Frank’s House to see where the famous diarist and her family hid from the Nazis during the Second World War.
Tanja Deurloo, owner of Annindryia Perfume Lounge (25 Cornelis Krusemanstraat, tel: 020 679 8043), has helped major-league brands develop their signature scents. She does the same for private clients, via personal consultations that will leave you with an evocative reminder of your stay.
It doesn't get much more Dutch than this. The second weekend of this month is National Windmill Days (molens.nl), when a host of the spinning wonders are open to the public, several of them in Amsterdam. For obvious reasons, the one adjacent to a brewery (brouwerijhetij.nl) is the city's favourite.
Last month saw the seriously grand reopening of Golden Age art behemoth the Rijksmuseum, following a decade of renovation and innovation. Be among the first to see works by artists such as Vermeer and Rembrandt in a gleaming new context. rijksmuseum.nl
Rotterdam is in the throes of its annual International Film Festival this month. Take the half-hour train journey and you'll be rewarded with groundbreaking features and documentaries from all over the world (filmfestivalrotterdam.com).