Why choose Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is a great choice for a city break, it has an informal, progressive feel, and there is always something going on, whatever the season. Amsterdam has more canals than Venice, more bicycles than inhabitants, and is home to people from 176 nations, making it one of most multicultural cities in the world. The diversity of cultures means more festivals and events, and also more choice of food options! The majority of Dutch people speak English well, and are happy to help visitors enjoy their city. Amsterdam is only an hour’s flight from London, and you don’t need to travel far to see picture postcard Holland – windmills, cheese producers, clog makers, Delft pottery, flower fields and charming villages.
How to see more of Amsterdam for less
- Book online to pay less than usual gate price
- Use Combi offers for further savings: Combine Amsterdam Dungeon tickets with a visit to Madame Tussauds or a canal cruise, or both. A City Sightseeing Tour can be combined with a canal boat trip, and a 24 hour canal bus ticket can be combined with fast-track entry to the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh museum
- Get a Holland Pass: An all in one city pass for Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and other places of interest, which includes a free canal cruise and City Sightseeing tour, free entry into the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, the Heineken Experience and use of the canal bus. The Holland Pass covers more than 100 attractions in Holland, allows fast-track entry, and includes a free guidebook with maps, free public transport, and discount cards for shops, restaurants and entertainment venues
- Print out a map of Amsterdam and find out where your “must see” attractions are in relation to each other, and use the hop on/off canal bus or City Sightseeing bus to get you there
- Hire a bike: Amsterdam has 400 km of bike lanes and cycle paths, and no hills! Get a map of these from the tourist office, and ask about the rules of the road. Try not to to get your wheel stuck in tramlines – approach at sharp angle!
- Walk: Amsterdam is flat and compact, and there are lots of helpful “you are here” maps around. Watch out for rogue cyclists! Guided walking tours are useful and informative, and the Anne Frank & Jewish Amsterdam tour gives you fast-track entry into the Anne Frank House.
- Take a coach tour into rural Holland and immerse yourself in picture postcard scenes. Cheese tasting and flower fields tours are particularly popular, but there are plenty of others to choose from.
Things to do in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has 165 canals, and its 17th century canal ring area was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. There are sightseeing cruises with audio guides in several languages, which are a relaxing way to view the city’s famous landmarks, and the very useful hop on/off Canal Bus with 16 stops near popular attractions. There is a good variety of cruises with food and drink laid on – choose from a 4 course dinner, cheese and wine, pizza, or cocktail and canapes cruise. During the Amsterdam Light Festival (26th November 2015 – 1st February 2016) the Watercolour Cruise is a “must do” for visitors, when stunning illuminated art installations combined with the city lights make it an unforgettable experience.
Art, History and Culture
Amsterdam has a vast selection of museums, from erotica and cannabis to Old Masters, Van Gogh, and the Anne Frank House. A hidden treasure in the Red Light District is the museum of Our Lord in the Attic- a secret Catholic church, built in 1663, at the top of a bourgeois dwelling.
More than 300 festivals take place in Amsterdam every year. Here’s a few big summer ones!
- 30th May – 23rd June: Holland Festival International performing arts festival
- 25th July – 2nd August: Amsterdam Gay Pride A spectacular canal parade is held on the 2nd Saturday of the event
- 14th – 23rd August: Amsterdam Canal Festival A classical music extravaganza – the main event being the Prinsengracht Concert on the canal facing the Pulitzer Hotel
Other Popular Attractions
Amsterdam has a Madame Tussauds, a Dungeon, and also the Efteling amusement park, themed on folklore and fairytales. Summer 2015 sees the launch of the new Baron 1898 dive coaster, promising a 37.5 metre drop into a mineshaft! Beer lovers will enjoy The Heineken Experience, and a chance to brew a beer with their name on it! Enjoy Amsterdam, whatever you choose to do, and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers!