In this guide, we’ve handpicked the very best of what makes Amsterdam so special — both on and off the beaten path — so you can travel like an insider in Amsterdam!
The tulips are coming out in The Netherlands – it must be springtime. Every year, March is eagerly awaited by gardeners everywhere, not just because it’s the time when plants will actually start growing again and they can get back outside with their buckets and spades, but because March is the month when Keukenhof Gardens tours start each year for its short two-month burst of splendor.
It seems to be Amsterdam’s intention to have one long party this summer. Not only are the Holland Festival, Nuit Blanche and the Amsterdam Roots Festival booked into the city’s cultural calendar, but now the Museumplein Weekend jamboree has been announced.
With winter safely behind, Amsterdam leaps back into life come spring, with some of the city’s most popular festivals from March through May. Amsterdam spring festivals bring thousands of people into the city and to its surrounding bulb fields.
Amsterdam’s oldest district is also its most central, focusing on Dam Square, the Oude Kerk and Nieuwmarkt as well as the canals Oudezijds Voorburgwaal and Oudezijds Achterburgwaal. Top sights in Amsterdam’s Old Center include the Red Light District; some of the best gabled architecture in the city; several excellent (and some not so good) museums; and bars, restaurants and shops by the hundred.
One of Europe’s top seasonal attractions, Keukenhof Gardens at Lisse bills itself as ‘the most photographed attraction in the world’. Opening for just eight weeks every year in spring, the gardens fade quickly but the Tulip Bulb Route to Keukenhof does last for slightly longer.
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Yes, Amsterdam is the city of great art masterpieces; canals and bridges; sex and drugs and rock’n’roll, but these days it’s fast becoming a foodie destination in its own right. Here are my suggestions for the ten best places for foodies in Amsterdam.
With new arts centers springing up on the north side of the IJ waterway and temporary displays in the great art museums of Musemplein, 2015 brings plenty of exhibitions to brighten January in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam may not be on a par with Paris or Milan when it comes to shopping, but dig deep and you will find around 30 flower, food and flea markets to trawl through each week. Here are some of the best Amsterdam markets.