Row upon row of colourful houses; a network of waterways winding their way through the city; and elegant Golden Age architecture. The capital of the Netherlands really does seem to have it all.
It’s not all about looks though, as Amsterdam is chock-a-block with world-class museums including the Rijkamuseum with more than 8,000 pieces of art. The Van Gogh museum celebrates the life and work of one of the country’s most famous artists and in case you thought the city wasn’t keeping pace, the Stedelijk museum houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.
One of the joys of the city is simply wandering through the pretty streets and along the canals. Be sure to look up and admire the iconic gabled facades of the houses and visit the ancient churches and synagogues. Amsterdam is not short on magnificent monuments either; the picture-perfect De Haar Castle, complete with turrets, ramparts and a drawbridge, and the Royal Palace on Dam Square are just a few examples of the city’s impressive architecture.
Navigating the city is easy thanks to the scores of bridges that criss cross the canals. Arches stretch elegantly from one side to the other and as evening falls, many of the bridges are illuminated, creating channels of glittering water. Locals can more often than not be found travelling on two wheels, so hop on a bicycle and enjoy disappearing down alleyways and discovering your own favourite spots.
Green fingered or not, seeing the famous Dutch tulips is part and parcel of any trip to Amsterdam; they will start to flower from January with the nearby bulb fields exploding into colour from March to May.