Our Hotels in Amsterdam
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How to travel from the UK to Amsterdam
Wondering how to get to Amsterdam from other parts of the UK? It's more than manageable, with direct flights and trains boasting quick journey times and affordable prices. You can also drive to Amsterdam, taking the Eurotunnel from Dover to Calais, passing through Ghent, Antwerp and skirting around Rotterdam. Flights from London to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport take just 1 hour and 10 minutes. Add up to 30 minutes for flights from other parts of the UK, and you'll be enjoying a stroopwafel before you know it. If you prefer to take the train, you can hop on the Eurostar in London and get there in just 3 hours and 52 minutes. Return tickets start at £40! If you're coming from another part of the UK, you'll need to connect through London to ride the Eurostar to Amsterdam. Or why not take a road trip across Europe? Driving to Amsterdam takes less than eight hours and means unlimited luggage and adventures when you arrive. Look for a hotel with parking to make reaching your destination even more manageable.
What are the top things to do in Amsterdam?
Ready to start planning? Amsterdam is a breathtaking city built around its central canal network. The unique canal belt is recognised as a UNESCO Heritage Site, containing four main canals that loop around central Amsterdam. Thanks to the unique layout, walking around the picturesque streets is one of the best things to do here. Want to see more of the city during a short stay? Why not hire a bike? The city's small size and flat terrain, plus 400 kilometres of bike paths, mean cycling is one of the most straightforward ways to get around.
The Rijksmuseum is the beloved museum of the Netherlands, showcasing 800 years of Dutch history through various art and objects. It's a must-visit during your first trip to Amsterdam and well-worth returning to even if you've been before. There's something for everyone to enjoy, from guided and self-guided tours through Dutch history to games, workshops and theatre programmes. Highlights include the Gallery of Honour, home to masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Jan Steen. If you're short on time, tour around the Rijksmuseum quickly and catch the highlights. Standout artworks include Vermeer's The Milkmaid(1657-1658) and Rembrandt's The Night Watch (1642). If you have longer to explore, impressive collections of dollhouses, armour and model ships are exciting. Don't miss the Cuypers Library, which holds the oldest and most extensive collection of art history books in the Netherlands!
Van Gogh Museum
If you love visiting museums and galleries, you'll be delighted with Amsterdam's offerings. The Van Gogh Museum is another of the city's best, dedicated to the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. The world-famous artist was born in Zundert in the Netherlands, just over 120 kilometres from Amsterdam. The museum is spread across two buildings, initially opened to visitors in 1973. Most of the collection was donated to the foundation by Theo Van Gogh, Vincent's younger brother. You can also see art by Paul Gauguin, Mary Cassatt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Jean-François Millet at the Van Gougn Museum - a dream day out for fans of Post-Impressionism. Some of the famous masterpieces on display include The Potato Eaters(1885), Sunflowers(1889), Almond Blossom (1890) and several self-portraits. You can also see collections of the artist's drawings and letters alongside his masterpieces, adding context to the ideas and experiences that inspired Van Gogh's work.
Anne Frank House
Anne Frank House is one of the most visited Holocaust museums worldwide, dedicated to Anne Frank and her wartime diaries. Who was Anne Frank? The now-famous Jewish diarist was just 13 when she went into hiding from Nazi Germany's occupation of Amsterdam. Her father, Otto, furnished a secret annexe in his business building. Anne, an aspiring writer, spent much of her two years in hiding, writing in her diary. She shared stories about day-to-day life, thoughts and feelings about life in the hidden annexe. The secret annexe was discovered in 1944. Its occupants, including Anne, Otto and their family, were transported to concentration camps and separated. Anne died from exhaustion and typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. Her father, Otto, was the only person from the hidden annexe to survive the Nazi camps; he was liberated by the Russians and returned to the Netherlands in 1945. Otto learned that Anne had intended to publish her diaries and eventually did so in her memory. Since then, the book has been translated into more than 70 languages. The annexe has become a part of Anne Frank House, one of the most famous museums in Amsterdam today. Otto was heavily involved in the opening of Anne Frank House, where visitors can see pages from the original diary and objects from the family's two-year stay in the annexe.
Rain or shine, it's always a good time to visit Amsterdam's largest park, the sprawling Vondelpark, affectionately known as the city's 'lungs'. Vondelpark welcomes around ten million locals and tourists every year. Find it near the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, perfectly placed for a stroll after spending a couple of hours inside. The idea for Vondelpark was conceived in 1864 when a group of Amsterdam citizens started a committee to fund a public park. They raised enough money to buy eight hectares of land and hired a landscape artist to design it in the English landscape style. Nieuwe Park(New Park) was opened in 1865 – the name changed to Vondelpark in 1867 when a statue of Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel was erected on its east side. There are many things to enjoy in Amsterdam's favourite park. See varieties of centuries-old trees and wild birds, including ducks, blue herons and small songbirds. Be sure to check out the statue of Joost van den Vondel, the abstract Fishby Pablo Picasso and Vondelpark's contemporary representation of a Caribbean woman, Mama Baranka by Nelson Carrilho. Visiting Vondelpark with kids? There are seven play areas to discover, plus skates available to rent - a perfect way to explore the space. Vondelpark Open Air Theatre, or Openluchttheater, hosts a seasonal programme of concerts, comedy and dance performances.
t's hard to visit Amsterdam without at least passing through Dam Square. If it's your first time in the city, we recommend stopping here for a while to soak up the bustling atmosphere in the heart of Amsterdam. Dam Square, also called the Dam, is a town square bordered by the Royal Palace, National Monument and other notable buildings. Head here day or night to enjoy street performances and a buzzy locals and tourists atmosphere. Whether you enjoy a tour of the ornate Royal Palace, spend an afternoon with the famous faces of Madame Tussauds or look inside 15th-century The New Church, there's plenty to do in this part of Amsterdam.
Where to eat and drink in Amsterdam
If you're a foodie visiting Amsterdam, get ready to be spoilt for choice! The city is home to many local dishes that are too good to miss. At the same time, many excellent restaurants serve traditional Dutch, European and international cuisine. There's something for everyone in Amsterdam!
Traditional Dutch dishes
Looking to sample something new in Amsterdam? Try one – or all – of these traditional Dutch dishes to get started. Dutch favourites include tasty sweet and savoury snacks, plus lots of fish, pickles and soups.
- Stroopwafel. A cookie-like waffle with sticky syrup, or stroop, sandwiched between two layers
- Kroket. A breadcrumbed, deep-fried roll filled with meat or potato
- Dutch fries. The Dutch version of French fries are thicker, fluffier and usually served in a cone with mayonnaise
- Poffertjes. Fluffy mini buckwheat flour pancakes typically served with butter and powdered sugar
- Bitterballen. A favourite Dutch snack of breadcrumbed, deep-fried meatballs served with mustard
The best restaurants in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has plenty of choices, whether you're planning a special occasion dinner or a laid-back but delicious bite to eat. These are some of the best restaurants in the city:
- Jansz. A high-end restaurant serving classic European cuisine with a modern twist
- Hap-Hmm. Perfect for traditional Dutch dishes and a cosy atmosphere – walk-ins only
- Wilde Zwijnen. For a daily-changing menu of modern Dutch cuisine and trendy industrial interiors
- Stork. For some of the best fresh seafood in Amsterdam
- Box Sociaal. An Aussie-style brunch restaurant switching to burgers, falafel and fried chicken after 4pm
- De Kas. Serving a daily set menu from inside 1920s greenhouses – simply choose how many courses you want
- Alex + Pinard. An intimate winebar for bargain small plates, charcuterie and unbeatable wine by the glass or bottle