Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands is steeped in art, culture and history. With its quaint architecture and canals, the city lends itself to exploring and what better way to do it than on a bicycle. After all, the Dutch are probably one of the best-known populations for their cycle transport culture.
Another thing synonymous with Holland are the famed tulip fields and if you’re lucky enough to visit in the spring, it’s a quick trip outside the city to be able to see some of the spectacular fields of these beautiful blooms. You may even be lucky enough to spot a windmill on your way.
Fancy a bit of retail therapy? Amsterdam has a variety of different shopping options. From ‘The Nine Streets’ comprising cobbled streets which house around 200 retailers, including boutiques, vintage shops and speciality stores. Alternatively, you could visit De Hallen, a recently refurbished industrial building famed for its arts, crafts and food stalls.
A visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without visiting Ann Frank’s house, still preserved as it was when she and her family hid from Nazi forces in the Second World War. You’ll leave with a very real sense of how hard it was for Jewish families at this difficult time in history.
Many are familiar with the work of Vincent van Gogh with his famous Starry Night and Sunflower paintings. As he was a Dutch artist, it is possible to view originals of many of his paintings in the Van Gogh museum which is located in the Museumplein area, also home to the Rijksmuseum and the heart of the city’s art culture.
After a full day of exploring, a guided canal trip is a great way to wind down whilst also learning more about this wonderful place. Amsterdam’s canal belt was created in the 17th Century to keep the sea at bay and provides many photo opportunities of the quaint Dutch architecture. It is a beautiful sight, especially after sundown when the bridges are lit up by fairy lights, creating a magical atmosphere.
Should you still have the energy to paint the town red, this city has many bars, cafes and nightclubs to while the time away with your fellow cabin attendants whilst sampling the local brews and possibly some rollmops, a local delicacy comprising rolled up pickled herring served with onions and pickles on bread.
If you are lucky enough to have a couple of days to explore you could also take in The Royal Palace, King Willem Alexander’s official reception palace as well as other palaces and castles a bit further afield.
All in all, Amsterdam offers a wealth of interesting sights not to be missed.
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