Sightseeing in Amsterdam
Holland is famed for its traditional windmills and tulips, all of which can be enjoyed on a boat trip along the canal in Amsterdam. You will find that this is certainly a city of culture and with so many historical and interesting places to visit whilst on a short break, you are sure to find plenty to do. Be sure to visit the museums and art galleries this fantastic city has on offer.
Museums Galore in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is also home to several museums. The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of art and history and is the largest museum in the Netherlands housing a magnificent collection. The Stedelijik Museum also houses the best collection of modern art in Amsterdam from the 19th century onwards.
The Van Gogh Museum houses almost 800 pieces of Van Gogh's art and sketches as well as works by his friends and contemporaries and hundreds of letters written by Van Gogh to Theo. The Rembrandt House Museum is a collection of Rembrandt's art in the house where he actually lived and created them.
Take the opportunity to visit the several museums in Amsterdam highlighting the plight of the Jewish people during World War II, the most poignant of these being Anne Franhuis, Anne Frank's House. This small house is where Anne Frank and her family hid during the Second World War and is a moving reminder of the struggle of the Jewish people. The museum includes several artefacts including the original diary written by Anne Frank.
Discovering Amsterdam's Unique Culture
Dam Square is a bustling plaza and a hub of activity for both tourists arriving on cheap flights to Amsterdam and locals with several shops, restaurants and coffee shops surrounding the square. The area around the plaza is also the location of several sights worth seeing including the New Church, National Monument and 17th century grand Royal Palace.
After all that sightseeing you'll probably fancy some time to sit down and relax. There is no better place to do that than Vondelpark, the largest city park in Amsterdam. Locals enjoy walking their dogs through the park or going jogging; you could take a relaxing stroll or hire some rollerblades and zoom through the green and lush surroundings. The park often holds open-air concerts and has several streets vendors serving coffee and delicious pancakes.
Shopping in Amsterdam
There are excellent facilities for shopping throughout Amsterdam from long shopping streets to mini markets. Nieuwedijk is a 1km stretch of shops selling mainly clothing, sportswear, music and gifts; opposite is Kalverstraat where you will find shops selling shoes, clothes, bags, gifts, cards, perfume and several coffee shops. If you're feeling flash then head to Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat which is lined with haute couture shops including Cartier, Gucci and the Oger Shop.
De Bijenkorf on Dam Square is the largest in this chain of department stores, with six floors and hundreds of both high street and designer concession stands. There are also several markets in Amsterdam selling fresh fruit and vegetables as well as cheese, fish, clothes, cosmetics and beddings such as the Albert Cuyp Market or Muntplein flower market where you can buy some traditional tulips.
Plenty of Entertainment for All Visitors to Amsterdam
For entertainment there are several theatres around including the Leidseplein with shows including music, drama and comedy.
The Holland Festival takes place annually in June and is an exhibition of theatre, opera, music and dance with shows and performances popping up all over the city.
For live music head to one of the many bars and cafes that host live music performances in the evenings and the Muzietheater is great for ballet and other dance performances.
Popular Sporting Events in Amsterdam
Sport is very popular in Amsterdam with the favourite past times being football, tennis, ice-skating, hockey and of course cycling. For spectator sports there is no better place than the Amsterdam Arena, home of Ajax Football Club, one of the most successful teams in Holland.
Dam Good Food and Drink in Amsterdam
The Heineken Experience is also popular with travellers and involves a self-guided tour of the former brewery of the world's largest beer exporter. There is plenty of information on the rich history of the company, the "Bottle Ride" where you can find out exactly what it's like to be a beer bottle during production and of course there are free samples!
Amsterdam is home to a diverse and enjoyable nightlife that has something for everyone. Rembrandt Square offers a large selection of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and clubs; check out Jantjes Verjaardag for pop and dance music or Club Escape for a full clubbing experience.
You must visit The Pancake Bakery for the best pancakes in Amsterdam with over 70 different toppings, as well as the famous Supper Club with lavish décor that changes weekly and a five-course gastronomic menu to match.
As you can see, there is so much to see and do whilst on a break in this fabulous city.
Family Fun in Amsterdam
The Artis Zoo is the perfect place to start on a family holiday to Amsterdam. It is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and contains animals from all over the world, with an aquarium, planetarium, botanical gardens and museum.
Play and Learn at the Science Centre in Amsterdam
Another popular attraction with both children and adults is NEMO, the largest science centre in the Netherlands. Housed in an eye-catching green building on the water, shaped like the bow of a ship, you can discover amazing facts about science and technology and try your hands at some fun experiments. There are giant soap bubbles to play with, a chemistry laboratory and a media laboratory as well as several gadgets and gizmos. There are several cafes and restaurants on site or if you've bought your own food head up to the large terrace to eat it.
Family Fun in the Amsterdam Parks
Vondelpark is a great place to spend an afternoon relaxing on the green grass whilst on a break in Amsterdam. Take a picnic and a football and you can spend hours eating and playing on a sunny day, there are also six play areas and a large playground for the kids as well as a children's show every Wednesday afternoon.
A Choice of Family Attractions in Amsterdam
Amsterdam also has a Madame Tussauds where your whole family can have your picture taken next to life-sized and surprisingly accurate wax models of your favourite celebrities including Kylie Minogue and Brad Pitt.
Children will also love the museums in Amsterdam such as Anne Frank's House where they can see first hand and better understand the story of the girl they have only read about in school.
If after visiting all of these exciting attractions your little ones are suffering from tired legs, sit down on a boat and take a canal tour of the city. You will get to see everything that makes Amsterdam special from the comfort of your own seat on the boat.
Romantic Breaks in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a popular destination with couples looking for a romantic break in an exciting and vibrant city, perfect for a romantic weekend with your loved one.
Romantic Weekends in Amsterdam
A relaxing stroll along the canal is a wonderful place to start your romantic city break in Amsterdam, you can even join the locals and hire a bicycle to get around the city. Stop for a delicious coffee and pastry in one of the many laid-back coffee houses, or grab a pancake from one of the many street vendors on your way to the flower market where you can buy a posy of tulips for your partner.
Together you can discover some of the best sights Amsterdam has to offer including the bustling Dam Square and many museums and art galleries.
Romantic Evenings in Amsterdam
In the evening you could hole up again in a coffee house or venture out and explore some of the eclectic bars and clubs in the city. Rembrandt Square is a great place to start with a large collection of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and clubs.
Top Tips in Amsterdam
Transport - Use the bus and tram systems for cheap convenient ways to view the city. The city is split into key areas, which are easy to find your way around on foot. Just make sure you can drag yourself away from one of the many coffee shops for long enough to take in the sights!
Museum - If you're not the type of person who generally appreciates museums or galleries then the Van Gogh museum is a great starting point on your Amsterdam short break. It will give even the most uncultured Brit a new appreciation for the great master.
Tasty treat – Whether you've worked up an appetite strolling around the museums and canals or you just have an attack of the munchies, the Häagen Dazs Café is a must. You will find one on just about every square and street corner, offering a dazzling array of ice cream served with hot waffles and all the trimmings!
- Hello! - Hallo!
- Hi! - Hoi!
- How are you doing? - Hoe gaat het?
- Good - Goed
- Yes - Ja
- No - Nee
- Thank you - Dank u wel
- Good morning - Goedemorgen
- Good afternoon - Goedemiddag
- Good night - Goedenacht
- My name is ... - Mijn naam is…
- I come from England - Ik kom uit England
- Please / Here you are - Alstublieft
- You're welcome - Graag gedaan
- Goodbye - Tot ziens
- I did not understand you - Ik heb u niet verstaan
- Could you repeat that again, please - Kunt u dat alstublieft herhalen?
- Can you speak more clearly, please? - Kunt u duidelijker spreken, alstublieft?
- Where is …? / Where are …? - Waar is …? Waar zijn …?
- Can you tell me …? - Kunt u mij zeggen …?
- Can you show me …? - Kunt u mij laten zien …?
- Can you help me, please? - Kunt u mijn alstublieft helpen?
Cost of a pint of beer:£2.10