Amsterdam canals and bikes

Top Tips for Trips to Amsterdam

Amsterdam canals and bikes

Heading off to Amsterdam soon? Then make sure you don’t miss out by ticking off some of the attractions presented here.

 Get Arty

You just can’t come to Amsterdam and not go visit the Van Gogh Museum, here you’ll find not just paintings but also letters from the troubled master in what is the world’s largest collection of his work. Oh, and you’ll also find paintings by Monet, Gauguin and Pissarro…

The Rijksmuseum is home to famous works by Rembrandt and Vermeer. It also houses an amazing collection of prints, drawings and sculpture to help you piece together the last 500 years of Dutch life.

Modern art fans can spend a happy hour or two roaming around the Stedelijk Museum where they’ll also – as if there weren’t enough famous paintings in Amsterdam – come across Monet, Van Gogh Picasso and Chagall legacies.

 Shopping

Lovers of conceptual design and those who just like to show off MUST go to the Droog store in Amersterdam’s Staalstraat area. The company is so trendy it also has offices in New York.

The Nine Streets area (so called because it connects the famous canals) dates back to the 17th Century. Here you’ll find one-off designer boutiques, popular labels and vintage clothing. It’s also a great place to pick up gifts.

The two main shopping streets in the city centre are the Leidestraat where you’ll find designer labels aplenty, and the Kalverstraat for high street fashion.

Art and antiques lovers should head for the Spiegelkwartier where time will prove of no consequence to them.

 Getting Around

Well, let’s face it – you have to take a canal boat. And why not? It’s a very pleasant way to travel.

The Floating Dutchman is a cross between a bus and a boat. It first hit the water in July this year. The ‘bus’ departs from Schiphol Airport three times a day into Amsterdam city centre where it turns into a ‘boat’ and hits the canals for a 45 minute cruise. This is not to be missed!

Cycling is huge in Amsterdam and a very efficient method of getting around. There are bike rental shops everywhere in the city and the centre is dotted with cycle lanes. Look out for the tram rails though – it’s easy to get your wheels stuck in them.

 Accommodation

The range of hotels and B&Bs is vast from basic to luxury and everything in between. Of course it depends on your purpose too. Those combining a sightseeing with a working trip (and many do) would be best advised to book somewhere where they’ll find all the necessary facilities at their disposal.

If it’s luxury you’re looking for then get your driver to take you to the Seven One Seven canal house mansion. Be prepared to pay at least £350 a night per room for the pleasure though.

For basic accommodation the 17th century artisan’s cottage now a B&B called The Blue Sheep comes very highly rated.

 Amsterdam’s Night Life

The Red Light Area at the back of Dam Square is certainly worth a look – even if just to say you’ve been.

Amsterdam has a reputation as a party city and there’s nowhere more raucous than Rembrantplein. But if it’s beautiful people and VIPs you’re looking for then head to Jimmy Woo near Leidseplein.

Jazz lovers can chill out at the famous Café Casablanca – an Amsterdam post WW2 musical landmark while those who prefer the coffee shops (most of which are open until midnight) are dotted throughout the city and are open to adults only.

The above is only a taster of life in Amsterdam but we hope it’ll give you a head start to exploring this fantastic city.

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