Your guide to Amsterdam.
Welcome to Amsterdam, a capital city like no other. In contrast to the towering skylines of its European neighbors, the Netherlands' capital cuts a distinctive shape throughout its historic center. Winding lanes open out into photogenic canals lined with characterful, narrow houses and atmospheric bars and restaurants. Experience the city's laidback tempo as you wander Amsterdam’s charming streets, blending Dutch heritage and tradition with contemporary touches. From beer and bitterballen (Dutch meatballs) in canal-side bars, to bicycle rides through quirky neighborhoods and Dutch masters of art, Amsterdam offers an eclectic and culturally-rich European port of call.
The Netherlands’ dynamic capital is a plethora of galleries, museums and historically significant sites. Take in the city’s unique architecture on a canal cruise and get close to original artworks by Rembrandt and Van Gogh in museums dedicated to these Dutch masters. Characterful streets and crisscrossing canals (A UNESCO World Heritage site) make walking or cycling an enjoyable way to explore Amsterdam’s historic center. Visit Anne Frank House to step behind the bookcase where the Frank Family hid during World War II, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the city’s 47-acre Vondelpark, or try your pint pulling skills at Heineken Experience.
Eating and drinking.
Cosmopolitan Amsterdam is one of the world’s foremost food and drink destinations. Packed with designer cocktail bars, stylish coffee houses and intimate canal-side cafés, the city’s gastronomic experiences extend far and wide. Michelin starred restaurants and vegetarian cuisine abound in Amsterdam while vibrant food halls and markets draw a hip crowd. Lean into the relaxed tempo at one of many friendly espresso bars or stop for lunch at a trendy neighborhood bistro. Amsterdam’s eclectic culinary offer caters for all tastes and budgets, from menus celebrating natively grown ingredients to ambient eateries introducing the flavors of the east.
It’s hard to escape the shops in Amsterdam. Almost every street you turn down offers something in the way of retail. Whether it’s a lively street market, designer boutique or even a souvenir shop selling Dutch cheese and native Delftware pottery, Amsterdam has you covered. In the city’s historic center, you’ll find The Nine Streets (Negan Sraatjes), a series of narrow lanes dotted with shops and restaurants. Spiegelkwartier is best for arts and antiques, boasting around 70 vendors of this nature, while the main shopping streets of the Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat offer a blend of familiar European and Scandinavian fashion brands.
Leave the art, culture and infectious energy of Amsterdam behind to discover windmills, rich countryside and picturesque Dutch villages, a world away from the thrum of city life. Explore Holland’s iconic windmills at the beautiful historic open air museum of Zaanse Schans. Get a lesson in the art of cheese production and see clogs being made by artisan manufacturers, using time-honored techniques. Equally charming is the picturesque village of Broek in Waterland. Once a center for spice trade, the local church is paved with the tombstones of wealthy former residents, but it’s the characterful stock of ancient wooden houses that capture most visitors’ hearts.