Updated October 2016
As the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is undoubtedly the hub of culture, politics, tourism and business. It is also a fabulous destination for travellers looking for a mini break. The city is home to several truly magnificent hotels as well as fine dining restaurants, world-class museums, art galleries and even shopping that rivals what is found in Paris or Milan. So read on and find our more about our tips to have a perfect break in the city.
Where To Stay
Amsterdam has more luxury hotels packed into an uber compact city centre than many other European cities. For lovers of modern, head to the W Hotel just off Dam Square, for complete luxury we cannot recommend the Waldorf Astoria set on the Herengracht more highly and for something unexpected try The Conservatorium near the museum quarter.
For more details of hotels we love in Amsterdam, take a look at our roundup of luxury hotels in Amsterdam
Amazing Attractions in Amsterdam
For something totally authentic, take time to visit the wonderful Museum van Loon on the Keizersgracht this is one of the finest houses of the historic canal district. The home of Willem van Loon, co-founder of the Dutch East-India Company, this restored mansion house is now open to the pubic 7 days a week; it has a glorious garden too.
Talking of Amsterdam’s rich trading and maritime history, a visit to the city’s Maritime Museum will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the Golden Era of the Netherlands.
For many visitors, the real reason to visit Amsterdam is for the chance to explore the incredible attractions, museums, architecture and art in this city. There are two remaining wooden medieval homes that are a hit with history enthusiasts, and there are also dozens of beautiful religious structures ranging from several centuries old to just a few decades old. The museums are some of the best in the world, and art lovers won’t be disappointed. You could spend days admiring the paintings and sculptures in either the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House is a poignant look into the past.
If you are heading to Amsterdam in wintertime, which is certainly one of the most magical times in the city, read our tips on what to do there.
World-Class Dining and Nightlife in the City
There can be no denying the fact that Amsterdam is well-known for its nightlife. Bars and cafes often serve as meeting places in the early evening, but most of the emphasis is on the large nightclubs found throughout the city. If you want the best selection of clubs, head to Leidseplein or Rembrandtplein, both of which are known as nightlife hubs in the city. One of my favourite upscale clubs to visit is Jimmy Woo, which boasts a swanky VIP-only room. Other great choices include Paradiso and Sugarfactory. For dining, head to Canal Ring and enjoy meals at Proeverij 274.
For something really new and fresh, try Art Deli – here you’ll be served ‘culture bites’ – yes that’s right, it an eatery that combines cutting edge art and design with delicious food! The historic building, once a place where tobacco experts would test and grade imported tobacco, it is now a progressive exhibition space, kitchen and restaurant. It all adds up to an unforgettable cultural and culinary experience.
Shop Until You Drop in Amsterdam
For travellers on a luxury break, shopping is par for the course. Amsterdam Zuid is the fashion capital of the city, and it boasts a number of designer boutiques and upscale shops and for absolute luxury head to Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat for all the best designer shops on one street. If mall shopping is more your thing, the luxury de Bijenkorf (owned by Selfridges) really has everything you could want under one roof!
Transport & Airport
If you want to get around the city like a local then bike is the only way to do it, being a compact city centre that is completely flat with miles and miles of cycle paths you can navigate from one side to the other with relative ease.