For such a small country, the Netherlands certainly punches above its weight when it comes to fabulous art museums – you’ll discover everything from sublime Old Masters to street art – all the major cities are bursting with fine art, from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, Amstelveen to Haarlem. Chasing great art in Amsterdam and its neighboring cities is an enjoyable and rewarding part of any stay in the Netherlands.
Although Amsterdam is celebrated for its world-class art galleries and history museums, it is a city that takes change in its stride, working to upgrade its many attractions, capitalizing on others and readily accepting new ideas. Consequently there are several eye-catching new museums in Amsterdam.
The biggest amusement park in the Netherlands is located at Kaatsheuvel, 90 minutes south of Amsterdam, and is much loved by local folks and overseas visitors alike for its fantasy-themed rides and attractions. It’s easy to organize family visits to Efteling theme park from Amsterdam.
Although not yet up there with Paris and Milan in the gastronomic league table, Amsterdam nevertheless holds its own in the restaurant stakes. Eating out in Amsterdam can both a pleasure and a surprise.
In addition to the legendary artistic treasures to be found in Amsterdam’s great art museums, the city is also garnering a reputation for alternative art and graffiti. The best way to see Amsterdam street art is to get out and about in some of the city’s up-and-coming districts across the IJ in the north of the city.
The shoulder season of fall is a time for local Amsterdamers to reclaim their lovely city, repopulate canalside cafés and restaurants, and watch the leaves turn from green to gold. If you’re visiting during this time of year, here are some suggestions for 10 things to do in Amsterdam during fall.
Exploring Waterland from Amsterdam takes visitors out of the city center into the rural backwaters of the flat, Ijsselmeer fen country. It is a microcosm of all things Dutch; it has polders, canals, historic fishing villages, windmills, cows, cheese farms and even artisan clog makers.
The biggest public event in The Netherlands, SAIL Amsterdam is set to attract more than 1.5 millions people to celebrate the Dutch maritime tradition. The 2015 festival takes place between Wednesday August 19 and Sunday 23, and graceful tall ships will sail into the IJ amid thousands of other heritage craft for a long weekend of sporting fun and partying.
While Amsterdam is a year-around destination, the city undoubtedly comes into its own in the summer, when most days are sunny and warm; this is the best time to laze in cafés along the tree-lined canals or enjoy strolling along the IJ waterfront. Here are some more suggestions of the top things to do in Amsterdam this summer.
The sun is shining brightly as I make my way to the rendezvous point in central Amsterdam. And it’s just as well — I’m about to embark on an exciting cycling journey in the Amsterdam countryside, and the inexperienced cyclist that I am is hoping to have all odds in her favor.