Amsterdam Travel Guide - The Vibrant Dutch Capital City 

With its characteristic canals - surrounded by narrow, low, crooked 17th century houses - Amsterdam is, without doubt, one of the most charming capital cities and short break locations in Europe.

Facts about Amsterdam:

• Country: Holland/ Netherlands

• Province: North Holland

• Area: 84.6m2

• Population: 780,152

• Time zone: CET
When on a city break to Amsterdam you must definately do your sightseeing of the famous Dutch capital by canal boat. The shops are often boutique style, offering great service, and the cafés have tables on the pavement, so you can relax and observe the world going by.

Amsterdam is steeped in culture, being a base for many famous artists, from Van Gogh to Rembrandt, and many museums celebrate the works of Holland’s fine art traditions.

Amsterdam’s main highlight is that there is so much to see and do – something for everyone, from great shopping, to fantastic architecture and just walking along the central canals taking it all in, or making a visit to a cultural landmark such as Anne Frank’s house or the beautiful Vondel park.

Get around Amsterdam quickly with regular trams Getting around the city is easy, there are regular trams with routes that are simple to understand, but the city is quite compact and most of the time things are only a short walk apart. A fun way to get around is by water taxi – see the central station for more information.

As with every major city, Amsterdam boasts a range of restaurants and cafés offering cuisine from across the globe, especially around the Damrak area. We have selected a few highlights (see below)

For shopping lovers, Amsterdam has a range of large department stores including the must-see Bijenkorf and Maison de Bonneterie or international stores such as Karen Millen, Gucci and H&M which are located along P.C Hooftstraat.

If you plan to take your vehicle to Europe, a ferry to Amsterdam opens up a gateway to Europe . Alternatively, travel on a mini cruise to Amsterdam and even add a hotel break to extend your stay further.


Things to do and see in Amsterdam

See the history of Amsterdam in Rijksmuseum Amsterdam is a breeding ground for creativity. Whether it is industrial design, graphic design, fashion or architecture, the city never ceases to produce new talents and ideas. With over 40 museums featuring everything from the finest Dutch Masters paintings to contemporary design, Amsterdam is a true cultural city. Alternatively if you are hoping to experience Amsterdam's nightlife then visit our list of bars and nightclubs in Amsterdam .

Here are some of the highlights of what you can find in Amsterdam:

  
Canal Cruises
A canal cruise sightseeing tours is one of the best ways to see the city of Amsterdam.
  
Madame Tussauds
Waxworks of famous celebrities and stars.
  
Amsterdam Diamond Center 
Amsterdam is the centre of the diamond trade and there are many shops and deals to be had.
  
Anne Frank House
A museum dedicated to the Jewish teenager Anne Frank located in the house where she hid.
  
Amsterdam Dungeon
A tour of the dark history of Amsterdam

  

Artis Zoo
A vast variety of wildlife from plants, insects, animals & sea creatures.
  
Van Gogh Museum
Permanent exhibition of paintings by Van Gogh and other 19th Century artists.
  
Rijksmuseum
15th - 19th Century Paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals & more.

  

Hortus Botanicus
A large botanical garden dating back to 1638.

Information supplied (c) Arrivalguides.com 2008 .


View Tourist Attractions in Amsterdam in a larger map


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.
 
Kalverstraat
The large retail chains, with fashion, shoes and accessories are lined up on the Kalverstraat between Dam square and Muntplein. 
 
Leidsestraat
The shops continue along Leidsestraat, between Kalverstraat and Leidseplein. The colourful flower market is at Koningsplein, beside the Singel canal.
 
Pc Hoofstraat
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
De Bijenkorf, in the centre of the shopping district, is Amsterdam’s largest department store. It is the city’s equivalent to Harrods. 
www.debijenkorf.nl
 
Magna Plaza
The former post office, which was built in the neo-Gothic style in 1898, would fit perfectly into a fairy-tale.
www.magnaplaza.nl
 
Maison De Bonneterie
An old, luxurious department store with wooden balconies and, not the least, a very exciting lift.
www.debonneterie.nl

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.

De Kas
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

Envy
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

The Mansion
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.

Local
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.

Odeon
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

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