If the many sights and events to be found in Amsterdam are not enough for you, the Dutch capital can also act as a portal from which to explore a little more of the Netherlands.
Fantastic public transport means day trips and excursions can be arranged with ease, with many hidden treasures to be found just a little further afield.
A short Conexxion bus ride from Amsterdam’s Central Station is the small port town of Muiden, perched on mouth of the river Vecht on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Steeped in history, the town has served the capital city for centuries as a key harbour and military industrial base of great importance.
Muiderslot Castle has stood guard over the town since the middle ages, rebuilt in 1370 and newly restored to its authentic 17th Century glory. Now a museum, Muiderslot houses magnificent collections of armour and household objects, and the beautifully maintained gardens stretch across the castle grounds.
To discover some uniquely Dutch history, a short boat ride from Muiden harbour can take you to Fort Pampus. Set in the Vecht River itself on a man-made island, the fort is an engineering marvel and played a key role in defending Amsterdam. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fort welcomes not only history and engineering buffs but whole families, with games and treasure hunts for children and the singular environment providing a haven for many endangered species.
Would-be invaders can find cheap flights to Amsterdam at Jet2.com.