Amsterdam destination guide - the vibrant dutch capital city
Amsterdam is one of the most famous cities in the world, with a unique way of life and a style all its own. Once an artistic and cultural hub to rival those among history’s greatest, Amsterdam now enjoys a reputation as a fascinating metropolis with an edgier side to it.
Why visit Amsterdam
A must-see for any traveller, Amsterdam is one of the most famous cities in the world, with a culture where the classic and the modern don’t just lie side-by-side, but work together in harmony. Beautiful baroque architecture from the 17th century which once played host to concert halls, merchants and more now house modern, cutting-edge restaurants, bars and clubs in one of the world’s most progressive and liberal cities.
Take a ferry from
Newcastle to Holland and you’ll arrive at our port in IJmuiden, just a short drive away from Amsterdam.
What to see in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has several excellent areas for shopping, with everything from trendy boutiques to big-name department stores all over the city. Wander the cobbled streets and you’re sure to find something to take your fancy, whether you’re looking for fashion, fragrance, flowers or even diamonds.
The Dutch capital is also home to works from Van Gogh, Rembrandt and the other Dutch masters in its many art museums, as well as historical sites and much more.
Amsterdam has a number of world-famous attractions which bring in tourists from all over the globe. Perhaps the most famous of these is Anne Frank Huis, the house in which Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during the Second World War. History buffs will also enjoy the Resistance Museum, which tells the story of the militia who fought against the Nazi occupation of
Art fans will love the Van Gogh museum, dedicated to one of Holland’s finest artistic exports, and the Rijksmuseum, with its large collection of Rembrandt works. The Stedelijk Museum is another must-see for art fans, with an excellent collection of modern art works which are often snapped up by the museum long before they catch the attention of the rest of the world. For a more classic art museum experience, the Hermitage Museum offers up treasures on loan from St Petersburg for the more discerning tourist.
Things to do in Amsterdam
Other famous attractions in Amsterdam include the Royal Palace, Dam Square and Madame Tussauds, all within a short distance of each other. The city is also home to
Artis Zoo, one of Europe’s oldest zoos, with a huge range of animals sure to appeal to visitors of all ages.
Amsterdam’s canals are also the stuff of legend, and the canal ring around Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a tour of the canals and you can see the sights of the city from a totally unique view in a short period of time, plus get to take in both sides of Amsterdam’s fascinating architecture.
Where to stay
Amsterdam is well-stocked for hotels, hostels, B&Bs and other places to stay, whether you’re travelling as a couple, a group or a family, check our accommodation partner booking.com for more details.
Shopping in Amsterdam
With everything from multi-level department stores to one-of-a-kind boutiques, antiques to contemporary Dutch design, Amsterdam inspires even the most cultivated shopper. Following the construction of the Rijksmuseum in 1900, the Spiegelkwartier emerged into Amsterdam’s centre for antiques and curiosa. Shops in this area boast impressive collections of paintings, ceramics, glass, jewellery, furniture, coins, books and Art Deco items. The nine narrow streets in the historical canal ring area are dotted with great art galleries, jewellers, boutiques and vintage stores. With an exceptional array of styles, trends and prices, the area is truly a shopper’s paradise.
The large retail chains, with fashion, shoes and accessories are lined up on the Kalverstraat between Dam square and Muntplein.
The shops continue along Leidsestraat, between Kalverstraat and Leidseplein. The colourful flower market is at Koningsplein, beside the Singel canal.
The cutest shopping street, with branded stores like Armani, Chanel, Gucci and Mulberry.
The Nine Small Streets
The quarter between Koningsplein and Westerkerk (between the Prinsengracht and Herengracht canals) is called “the nine small streets”, and is an excellent area to stroll round.
De Bijenkorf, in the centre of the shopping district, is Amsterdam’s largest department store. It is the city’s equivalent to Harrods.
The former post office, which was built in the neo-Gothic style in 1898, would fit perfectly into a fairy-tale.
Maison De Bonneterie
An old, luxurious department store with wooden balconies and, not the least, a very exciting lift.
Information supplied (c) Arrivalguides.com 2008
Eating out in Amsterdam
Choose from a variety of many restaurants and bars in AmsterdamAmsterdam is a cultural and, consequently, a culinary melting pot. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés specialising in every cuisine your pallet desires.
In terms of taste, Amsterdam is home to many cultures and flavours. Italian, Spanish, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, Nepali, Vietnamese, Ethiopian to name a few. At the top of the scale, Amsterdam has restaurants with one or two Michelin stars, but there also restaurants for every budget, whether you're looking to host a business dinner, a romantic meal for two or just a personal quest to find new and interesting food.
The restaurant is housed in a renovated greenhouse built in the 1920s and serves ecological fine cuisine. Perfect for special occasions - Book a table a couple of weeks in advance. www.restaurantdekas.nl
Domestic charm and minimalism with fine wines. The chef’s menu costs €50, but Envy is a delicatessen bar, so you can just have a glass of wine and some tapas. www.envy.nl
Restaurant, bar and club. Consists of beautiful rooms with a relaxed atmosphere. The innovatively prepared Chinese dishes taste divine. Book a couple of weeks in advance.
A very nice place to eat an early dinner at. Two long tables and only kebabs on the menu. Other people line up to share a table with strangers/new friends.
An old 17th century brewery which has been completely renovated to form an all-in-one brassiere, restaurant, bar and club. www.odeontheater.nl
Information supplied (c) Arrivalguides.com 2008
Prices are subject to availability. Credit card & telephone booking fees apply. Terms & Conditions apply.
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