Destination Guide - Amsterdam.




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A romantic medley of tree-lined canals, pavement cafés and storybook houses, it’s easy to see how Amsterdam earned its ‘Venice of the North’ nickname. The Dutch capital exudes nostalgic charm – but this is no living museum. Home to the world’s first stock exchange, it’s a thriving hub of creativity and innovation, where galleries housing old masters rub shoulders with multinational headquarters. The city is best explored by foot or bicycle. Amble around the 17th-century Canal Ring, soak up the sun at a waterside café or while away a blissful afternoon in a world-class museum. When the sun goes down, join the locals in a downtown bar to discover why the official motto of Amsterdam is ‘work hard, play hard’.

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Our top five sights

Van Gogh Museum

Brilliant but troubled Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh was an Amsterdam native, and the city’s Van Gogh Museum holds the most extensive collection of his paintings and drawings in the world. Amstel 51 (back to Paulus Potterstraat 7 from May 2013), 020 570 5200


This large and well-groomed park in the south of the city is where Amsterdammers go for a picnic on the grass or a stroll after work.

Canal Ring

A concentric ring of canals built in the 17th century and now one of the wealthiest areas of the city. Stroll along the towpaths, admiring the slim mansion houses and traditional white drawbridges. 

Anne Frank House

Dedicated to the memory of the famous Jewish teenage diarist, this museum is a haunting reminder of Nazi persecution and discrimination. Prinsengracht 267, 020 556 7105


This world-class museum will fully reopen in April 2013 after a 10-year renovation. Until then, it’s still well worth visiting for its small but elite permanent collection – ‘The Masterpieces’ showcases classics by artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer. Jan Luijkenstraat 1, 020 674 7000

Our top five activities

Canal cruises

See the ‘Venice of the North’ from the water by booking a canal cruise. Reederij Kooij has cruises departing every 30 minutes from five different locations.  Rokin, 020 623 3810


If you’re visiting in spring, it’s worth braving the 40km journey out of Amsterdam to enjoy a stroll in the world’s largest flower garden. Bursting with colour and variety, this 32-hectare garden is open from late March to late May only. Stationsweg 166a, 025 246 5564

Friday night skate

Don your rollerblades for the weekly Friday Night Skate, which is hugely popular with the locals and takes place year-round. Check times and start-points below


Amsterdam is home to an impressive range of courses, including the Amsterdam Old Course with its historic club house. Zwartelaantje 4, 020 663 1766

Heineken Experience

A must-do for fans of the local brew, this visitor centre offers tasting, exploration and interactive tours. Stadhouderskade 78, 020 523 9222

Our top five events

January/July: Amsterdam International Fashion Week

Twice every year, Amsterdam becomes the most stylish city in Europe as fashionistas from all over the globe descend for a week of catwalk shows, trade fairs and parties.

April: Koninginnedag

Complete with parades, street celebrations and a citywide flea market, ‘Queen’s Day’ is celebrated every year on 30 April (or on the 29th if the 30th falls on a Sunday). Don your favourite orange jumper, dye your hair orange with the locals, and join in the festivities.

June: Holland Festival

The most important cultural festival in the Netherlands, the Holland festival is an extravaganza of opera, music, theatre and modern dance.

August: Canal Pride

August: Canal Pride the most flamboyant and colourful event in the Dutch calendar, Canal Pride is an excuse for Amsterdam’s gay crowd to put on a show. Expect sequins, celebration and plenty of sparkle.

November: Museumnacht

A true treat for culture junkies, as more than 40 museums across the city open their doors for a night of art, dance and interactive workshops.


You’ll find Amsterdam’s main shopping streets in the area between Central Station and the Leidseplein, but for something a little quirkier and more interesting, try exploring the side streets around the main canals. The edgy district of Jordaan is the best place to look for independent stores and boutiques, and also has the greatest concentration of street markets. Noordermarkt runs on Mondays and Saturdays, and sells everything from organic fruit and veg to vintage clothes – a one-stop shop for fashionistas on a budget. Those with more luxurious tastes should head to the Fashion and Museum District, which is teeming with designer shops and interior stores. 

Food & Drink

With a selection of Michelin-starred restaurants, a growing grass-roots food culture and an iconic collection of canal-side cafés, Amsterdam has a culinary scene to rival any in Europe. From Basque-style tapas at trendy Spanish restaurant La Olivia (Egelantiersstraat 122-124, 020 320 4316) to finger-licking Chinese dishes at local favourite New King (Zeedijk 115-117, 020 625 2180), cuisine from across the globe is represented. The fabulously stylish Bordewijk (Noordermarkt 7, 020 624 3899) is a great place to spend an evening – and it’s perfect for business meetings too. For something a little different, De Kas (Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3, 020 462 4562) is housed in a giant greenhouse and serves up exclusively organic dishes from nearby gardens and farms. 


Spiritual home of the electronic dance scene and host of the internationally famous Amsterdam Dance Event, the Dutch capital’s nightlife is based around clubs and basement bars. If you’re a dance aficionado, head to TrouwAmsterdam (Wibautstraat 131, 020 463 7788), a former printing plant with a trendy industrial vibe that regularly hosts cutting-edge bands. For something a little more traditional, Café Belgique (Gravenstraat 2, 020 625 1974), just off Dam Square, is a cosy bar space with an impressive range of bottled and draught beers. Looking for live entertainment? Paridiso (Weteringschans 6, 020 626 4521), near Leidseplein, has been hosting the best pop bands since the 1960s, while The Muziektheater (Waterlooplein 22, 020 625 5455) is the most important opera and ballet theatre in the Netherlands. 

Accommodation in Amsterdam


Thanks to its popularity with tourists and importance as a business centre, Amsterdam has a wide choice of accommodation. Hotels are concentrated in the Old Centre and in the south around the Museum Quarter. The wealthy Canal Ring hosts many of the more luxurious options. For a stark but smart budget option, try The Poet Hotel (Jan Luijkenstraat 44, 020 662 0526) in the heart of the Museum Quarter. Corporate travellers will appreciate the state-of-the-art facilities offered by the Sofitel Legend The Grand Hotel Amsterdam (Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, 020 555 3111). If you’re looking for a five-star experience, the Dylan Amsterdam (Keizersgracht 384, 020 530 2010) has a Michelin-starred restaurant and a selection of luxurious, individually styled rooms. 

Our favourites

Movenpick-Hotel Amsterdam

Movenpick Hotel Amsterdam city - Piet Heinkade 11 1019 BR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0) 20 519 1200, Email:, Website:

Located along the water, this hotel is walking distance from the historic centre of the city, Central Station, and the internationally renowned Muziegebouw music venue. All rooms have excellent views and four-star facilities, such as free Wi-fiand 24-hour room service. The hotel is a popular venue for meetings and conferences.

Misc Hotel Amsterdam

Misc Eatdrinksleep - Kloveniersburgwal 20  1012 CV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tel: +31(0)20 330 6241, Email:, Website:

This charming bespoke boutique hotel in the heart of the historic centre of Amsterdam, is a former 17th-century canal house. It boasts six individually-themed rooms, such as Rembrandt, Baroque or Afrika, each with its own charm and either garden or canal views. This modern hotel offers home-spun warmth and hospitality.

Albus hotel Amsterdam

The Albus Grand Hotel - Vijzelstraat 49  1017 HE Binnenstad, Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)20 5306200, Email:, Website:

Balancing simplicity with service, the Albus combines warmth with attending to the needs of its clients. Its excellent location near the city centre means you are just walking distance from many of the city's popular areas.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is located 15km southwest of the city centre, but there are regular direct trains that will get you to Amsterdam Central Station in 20 minutes. The airport station is underground beneath the two terminals. Buy your ticket from the machines to save the extra counter charge. 

The easiest way to get around Amsterdam is to make like the locals and hop on a bike. If you’re not a confident cyclist, invest in an OV-chipkaart – similar to London’s Oyster card – which can be used on the tram, the metro and the bus. 

Amsterdam Airport Information

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
CityJet flights from London City LCY to Amsterdam AMS.
Choose from our schedule of up to 8 flights a day.


General information
From inside the Netherlands:
0900-72447465 +31 (0) 207 940 800 

From outside the Netherlands:
+31 (0) 207 940 800

CityJet flights depart from Terminal 1.

The minimum check-in time is 30 minutes.

15km to the city centre.

For the full CityJet Timetable click here

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Car Rental
For exclusive discounts of up to 15%, rent from our exclusive car rental partner Hertz at Schiphol Airport. 

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Car parking
Short term parking, long term parking and VIP parking available at the airport. Shuttle services to and from parking lots.

There are several bus services providing frequent connections to the different areas in Amsterdam and to their surrounding towns and villages.
Info general public transport: 0900 9292

Every 8 minutes there is a train who brings you from Schiphol to the centre of Amsterdam within 20 minutes.

Schiphol taxis operate from the taxi rank outside Schiphol Plaza. They will take you to any destination in the city of Amsterdam or surrounding towns.

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