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Reviewed on 13 Jan 2020
A popular European destination, Amsterdam is a compact and small-enough city to navigate one’s way around, with an eclectic mix of museums, canals, narrow streets, cafes and renaissance architecture to explore. It is possible to get around most of the city by foot but there are trams and taxis available if preferred. Alternatively, do as the locals do and find your way around the city on the seat of a bicycle (Holland’s preferred mode of transport).
Amsterdam has a wide range of hotels to suit every budget, including low-cost, boutique and five-star hotels spread across various areas of the city. Visitors can choose to stay in the lively part of central Amsterdam or in quieter suburbs around the city.
Top Highlights in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s well-known tourist sites include its popular museums - Anne Frank’s house, Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum to name a few. Then, situated in the very centre of Amsterdam is the busy Dam Square, the infamous Red Light District and, for beer fans, the Heineken Factory.
Amsterdam is also home to Bloemenmarkt, the ever-popular floating flower market, situated along the city’s Siguel canal.
De 9 Straatjes
Only a few minutes’ walk from Dam Square is De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets) within Amsterdam’s Old Town. These quaint streets - divided into three by two main canals - make for a great few hours of ambling whilst admiring the many boutique shops that line up either side of them.
The hip area of Amsterdam Noord can be reached by ferry from the city’s port (located at the back of Amsterdam Centraal station). Once reached, the EYE Film Institute and awe-inspiring views from the A’Dam Lookout and Europe’s highest swing (yes - not for the faint of heart) can be soaked up. On the far side of Amsterdam Noord are trendy restaurants and cafes, some with man-made beaches and great views across the water.
Windmill De Gooyer
A short bus journey from the city centre, the historic Windmill De Gooyer is a feast for the eyes and sits very conveniently next to Dutch brewery Brouwerij 't IJ, where a few pints of local brew can be enjoyed whilst staring up at the beautiful windmill.
Lying just over 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam, the charming city of Haarlem awaits travellers seeking somewhere off the beaten track. The city makes a perfect day trip for those staying in Amsterdam.
Keukenhof Tulip Garden
If you’re visiting Amsterdam in the spring, then make sure to venture just outside of the city to enjoy the incredible array of tulip fields that are on offer. The Keukenhof Tulip Gardens provide a wonderful respite from the city and a few hours of solace after a few days of sightseeing.
Beaches near Amsterdam
Amsterdam may not be well known for its pristine beaches but there are several beautiful beaches that lie just beyond the city that are well worth visiting. These include beaches located within the towns of Zandvoort and Bloemendaal, which are packed with locals and visitors during the summer months.