Destination insight: Amsterdam
As one of the top destinations in Europe, Amsterdam is a world-class city for business travel and has particularly good conference facilities for trade fairs and innovative environmental conventions. As a city it is 10th in the world in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings and is among the top 10 most important commercial centres in the world.
But more importantly, it is an easily accessible city for international travel and offers culture, art, history and fine dining for those visiting...
5 things to see and do in Amsterdam
1. Soak up culture in the Museum quarter
Amsterdam’s Museumplein is considered to be the cultural heart of the city and is home to three major museums – the Rijks Museum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. Only a short journey away from the Museum quarter you can also learn about more recent European history at Anne Frank House and the Resistance Museum.
2. Get creative at Rembrandt House
If you’re not feeling oversaturated by museums then head to Rembrandt House. The house dates back to 1607 and contains a collection of Rembrandt’s work. Here you can discover how Rembrandt worked and take part in a free workshop to learn more about his techniques and try your hand at making a masterpiece of your own.
3. Take a cruise through the Canal District
Discover the intricacies of the city by water and take a boat journey through Amsterdam’s famous canal system, the Grachtengordel. Originally built in the 17th century, this canal network is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a key element of the architecture of this iconic city. Why not explore the city by night on a dinner cruise and see a different side to Amsterdam?
4. Get some retail therapy
Visit the Magna Plaza Shopping Centre for high-end jewellery, watches, designer clothing and accessories, but if you're looking for a more traditional shopping experience try the Saturday market at Lindengracht or the farmers' market at Noordekerke for high-quality food and drink, including fresh breads, cheeses, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Shop like a local at De Jordaan and discover boutique clothes shops, specialist food shops and weekend markets, as well as an abundance of cafés, art galleries and eateries.
5. Discover the sights and sounds of De Pijp
De Pijp is an artistic hub of shops, colourful stalls, food shops and has a wide range of restaurants and bars. Enjoy the vibrant Albert Cuyp Market and its 300 stalls selling everything from fish, spices and furniture to souvenirs and more. Among the numerous traditional Dutch pubs, street stalls, Turkish and Indian restaurants, head to the fabulously named Geflipt restaurant and enjoy one of their delicious burgers.
How to get there
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is one of the largest airports in Europe and is close to the city, enabling easy travel from the airport to the city centre. Transfer options include ‘Smart parking’, hotel courtesy buses or the Schiphol travel taxi service. [Link to: http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/ToFromSchiphol.htm]
By road, train, ferry
Getting around Amsterdam
Get free entry to Amsterdam's many museums, attractions and use of GVB public transport around by purchasing an I-Amsterdam City Card. It's also worth downloading any of these useful Amsterdam apps prior to departure. We like the following:
- Tripfold.it – the perfect custom guide book for Amsterdam
- Schiphol Airport – keep up-to-date with all airport travel news
- Citymapper – make your travels around the city even easier with this digital map of the city, including public transport options.
Amsterdam is renowned for its cycling and famously has more bikes than people in the city. There are bike rental shops throughout the city and some vendors offer multi-lingual leaflets that outline cycle routes. Take a look at the Strava website for useful maps showing the top cycling routes in Amsterdam.
In Amsterdam, the OV-chipkaart is used for travel on trams, buses and metros, but unlike the I-Amsterdam Card it does not include entry to museums and attractions. You can get a disposable one-hour card or a day card, which you can buy from the conductor/driver on a tram or bus.
For airport transfers and travel around the city you can, of course, take a taxi. All licensed taxi drivers in Amsterdam have to stick to a strict taxi-fare structure. This fare structure includes a maximum start price of €2.83, a maximum price per km of €2.08 and a maximum price per minute of €0.34. Ask for a receipt of all journeys so you can check you’re being charged correctly.