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.
Don a superhero outfit ready for the 8 February headline party of the three-day Amsterdam Salsa Festival (7-9 February), a sexy, slinky Latin antidote to the bad-weather blues. Expect dance workshops and performances by Dutch and international masters of salsa. amsterdamsalsafestival.nl
Despised by feminists and celebrated by lovers of la mode, Barbie has been a divisive presence in the Netherlands since she arrived here 50 years ago. A new exhibition at Amsterdam's Museum of Bags and Purses examines her legacy with a particular focus on arm candy (573 Herengracht, tassenmuseum.nl).
It's to the postcard-perfect shop windows of the Nine Streets neighbourhood that the likes of Katy Perry head when in Amsterdam. Vintage troves have been giving way to international chains of late, but there are still plenty of one-off bargains to be nabbed, if you sharpen your elbows.
The marshlands to the north of Amsterdam offer a lush sanctuary away from one of the most densely populated urban centres in the world. Now you can explore them in a canoe, with trips by Sees City Survival (facebook.com/seescitysurvival).