Amsterdam

The vibrant Dutch capital

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is without a doubt one of Europe’s most appealing cities. A beguiling blend of historic canals, world-class culture, art and plenty more besides, it’s a real crowd pleaser. Its Unesco-protected canal network dates back to the 17th century, and there’s no better way to see them – and the stately houses that line their paths – than by boat. It’s also a great way to get your bearings and pick which neighbourhoods to explore, such as arty Jordaan or De Pijp – home to lots of independent boutiques, cafés and bars.

Amsterdam holidays are great for travellers who like to be kept busy. Culture vultures should start at Museumplein, home to the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum. It’s also worth embracing Amsterdam’s cosier side, holing up in one of its cute canalside cafés and exploring the city’s numerous parks, including the largest, the Vondelpark.

Holidays to Amsterdam can be a real feast for the taste buds – try Dutch delicacies such as raw herring, Gouda cheese and gooey Stroopwafels, while by night the city comes to life – pick from bars, pubs, live music and restaurants. And, if you fancy discovering the Netherlands beyond Amsterdam, its technicolour tulip fields, picture-postcard windmills and dramatic coastline are all easily reached from the city. There’s no doubt about it, this energetic city charms on every level.

All resorts in Amsterdam

Three tips for a top trip

Get on your bike Amsterdam is a cyclist’s dream, and exploring on two wheels is one of the best ways to get around. Hire a bike, or book yourself onto a guided cycle tour.
Venture northTake a quick ferry from the back of Amsterdam’s Central Station to the city’s sometimes-overlooked northern area and check out its cool cafés and restaurants.
Visit the Vondelpark Close to the museum district, Amsterdam’s largest park is a delight to walk around, during all seasons. Typically a number of al fresco events and concerts are held in summer.

Best attractions to see in Amsterdam

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers

The Van Gogh Museum houses more than a thousand artefacts – spanning paintings, drawings and letters – from the world-famous Dutch Impressionist painter, including one of his renowned Sunflowers paintings.

Tulip fields

The Netherlands is celebrated for its tulip season, from March until May. Visit Amsterdam’s floating flower market, or head to the fields of the Bollenstreek region to see them in bloom.

Canal houses

Don’t miss the narrow, multi-storey houses that line Amsterdam’s canals. Many of these picturesque abodes were built in the 17th century to house wealthy merchant families.

Your Amsterdam questions, answered

Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands, and is located to the west of this European country. To the east of the Netherlands you’ll find Germany, to the south, Belgium.

The ‘Venice of the North’ has 165 canals – which stretch for more than 100 kilometres in total – and over 1,000 bridges. Well-known canals include the Herengracht, Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht and the Singel.

There’s all manner of things to see and do within easy reach of Amsterdam. Consider the medieval city of Haarlem, the Keukenhof flower gardens and the Zaanse Schans windmills.