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Amsterdam City Holidays

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A labyrinth of canals lined with culture

Although considered a party destination by many, Amsterdam has as many historic and cultural highlights as it does cafés, bars and clubs. Just two metres above sea level, the Dutch capital is a picturesque labyrinth of Gothic buildings and canals just waiting to be explored. Whether you peruse the attractions on bike or foot, you will be taken aback by the diverse range of attractions that leave most visitors eager to return.

A certified masterpiece

From humble beginnings as a 12th century fishing village, Amsterdam went on to become one of the world’s most influential ports of the 17th century. It comes as no surprise that many of its stunning canals are acknowledged on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Art enthusiasts are spoilt for choice; the Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt’s celebrated masterpiece ‘De Nachtwacht’, which hangs in the Rijksmuseum, are just two of many highlights. Modern art is all the rage here too – check out the Stedelijk Museum for an impressive collection of 19th and 20th century paintings and sculptures.

Unrivalled nightlife

When the sun goes down in Amsterdam, there is still plenty to see and do. Relaxed Dutch law has meant the city’s many coffee shops and its infamous Red Light District are always awash with curious tourists, making the experience surprisingly commercial as opposed to seedy.  Nocturnal types are well catered for in Amsterdam, as the city has several nightclubs to satisfy fans of even the most obscure sub-genre. There is also a multitude of live music venues, from the small and intimate, to the huge Ziggo Dome, which hosts concerts by some of the world’s biggest acts.

Explore more while you’re in the Netherlands – discover more Dutch cities from Amsterdam.

Insider Tip

Many visitors have heard of Amsterdam’s big 3 museums - Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House Museum but the city actually boasts more than 50. Learn about life in WW2 Amsterdam at the Resistance Museum, about Gin at the House of Bols and Genever Experience and there is even a Houseboat museum dedicated to life on the water – there really is something for everyone.

Food and drink

If you’re feeling brave, sample some herring served raw, pickled or boiled. Wash them down with Dutch gin or herb-infused wheat beer! For a sweeter alternative, visit one of the city's many pancake houses.


From fascinating museums to the infamous Red Light Zone, Amsterdam is a city of many sides. You’ll be impressed by the renovated Rijksmuseum, and the Anne Frank Museum is a very emotional experience.


Visit Dam Square to pick up authentic souvenirs, such as a colourfully decorated pair of wooden clogs. The Nine Streets in the canal district is excellent for vintage stores, while Kalverstraat is the main thoroughfare.

Getting around

Amsterdam is famed for being very flat, making bike hire a joyful way to see the sights. There’s also an excellent tram and metro system, and you can take advantage of special chipkaarts (chip cards) for timed travel.

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Amsterdam City

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Where is it?

A province of North Holland, Amsterdam is situated in the western Netherlands and its close proximity to the North Sea gives it an oceanic climate, with relatively mild summers and winters.

At A Glance

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