Amsterdam is the enchanting Venice of the North. Whether you tour the city by canal, or by biking and walking the cobblestone streets, you are surrounded by historic glamour. One of Europe’s most scenic capitals is both a place for exploring and relaxing. And it has a district for every type of traveler.
You'll adore the atmosphere in Amsterdam. It is a small city compared to places like London and New York, so you'll get to experience the true flavor of the place without getting lost in a huge crowd. Plus, most of the locals speak English, so you won't have to constantly flip through your Dutch phrasebook.
When should you visit Amsterdam?
Summer is tourist season, so prices are generally higher then. Try planning your trip for spring or fall, when the weather is often mild and you'll have the opportunity to experience the local, laid-back vibe of the city. The best deals on hotels in the Netherlands usually happen in the winter, but temperatures hover between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so bring your jacket!
Things to See
Start your Amsterdam adventures in the Museum Quarter. The Netherlands has dubbed Vincent Van Gogh its favorite son, so it’s no wonder why so many Amsterdam visitors visit the Van Gogh Museum. But those who fancy modern pieces of art should head to The Stedelijk, and someone who wants a well-rounded cultural look at a national art collection must check out the Rijksmusem. Housing 80 galleries with various works by Dutch artists, like Rembrandt, it’s well worth the three hours you’ll spend there.
The nearby Lediseplein district should be where you spend your evening. With comedy and music clubs, Irish pubs and pulsating nightclubs, it’s the perfect way to unwind after a museum-filled day. Rembrandtplein is another place known for its nightlife venues.
Jordaan district is home to young entrepreneurs and artists, Anne Frank’s House and the Noordermarkt flea market. This upscale neighborhood features numerous culinary experiences, hip bars and designer shops. At night, it’s vibrant with traditional folk music, which you can catch live in one of the local bars, most of which are found around Noordermarkt.
Two other markets you have to walk through are Albert Cuyp Market and the flower Market (Bloemenmarkt). The first is considered the most popular street market in Amsterdam, located in de Pijp, or the Latin Quarter of the city. It showcases the different influences from Dutch history, and it’s the best place for a local street food tour. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the pickled herring washed down with a local beer. Bloemenmarkt is the worlds only floating flower market. Buy fresh flowers for your sweetheart or some bulbs to take home with you to plant. Spring and summer are the best seasons to visit, as there are a wider variety of flowers to delight your senses.
And a visit to Amsterdam won’t be complete without enjoying first-hand its beautiful waterways and parks. On a nice, sunny day, walk through The Canal Loop and then visit Westerpark and Amsterdamse Bos Park. These Amsterdam outdoor attractions will quickly show you why this city is so inviting.
Hotels in Amsterdam
As for where to stay in Amsterdam, the city has accommodating hotels on the canal, in the middle of bustling districts and in quieter parts of the city. And when you book your Amsterdam hotel with IHG’s Your Rate, you’ll get the best deals on the best hotel rooms. Picturesque Amsterdam has everything you’d ever want and more for your next family, romantic or business trip. Enjoy!