From the canals and tulips to the bicycle-friendly atmosphere and the bars, Amsterdam is a city whose rich history is matched equally by its progressive thinking and relaxed attitude. These features make it one of the most sought-after, top destinations in Europe for everyone from the collegiate backpacker to the most seasoned of travelers. We think Amsterdam should be your next luxury destination and the reasons are really quite simple.
Immersive History & Culture
You don’t need to be a history buff or an art lover to appreciate that Amsterdam has the largest historical inner city of any city in Europe and it’s filled with some of the world’s best art museums. The Rijksmuseum, pictured above, is filled with more than 8,000 works that detail the history of the Dutch people, a history of a culture that is as compelling as it is rich. The Van Gogh Museum invites you into the world of Vincent Van Gogh with the largest collection of his works in the world. The Anne Frank House helps visitors understand who she was, what she experienced, and the mark she made on world history. Beyond the art museums, you’ll experience a city that has more than 6,800 buildings that date from the 16th to the 20th centuries that have been classified as monuments.
The Venice of the North, Amsterdam’s canals are said to be more fun than those of Venice. The canals are alive with colorful parades and houseboats (try renting one for vacation accommodations). There are 1,281 bridges connecting 90 islands through the 165 waterways. Enjoy cruises that allow you to float through the historical city (one company offers an outdoor hot tub ride as you cruise through the canals) and the world’s only flower market that floats. Whether you opt to take a canal-side walk or tour on a bicycle in the world’s most bicycle-friendly city, exploring Amsterdam and its canals will end up being one of your favorite activities of your vacation, and it may rank as one of your favorite activities of any vacation.
More Than Just Waffles
You’ll need to have a stroopwafel or a few stroopwafels when you visit, but there is more to Dutch food than waffles. Amsterdam also offers a wide variety of world-class cuisine from street vendors with the most delicious frites you’ll taste to fine dining options at restaurants like de Silveren Spiegel or Restaurant Adam. You most definitely won’t go hungry in Amsterdam!
Feel the Gezelligheid
While there’s no direct translation into English for gezelligheid, you’ll know it when you feel it. It is an abstract noun that that describes all that the Dutch culture represents: friendly, warm, cozy, and welcoming. A visit to Amsterdam is worth it for no other reason than the gezelligheid. Once you’re there, you’ll see what we mean.
Love architecture? Amsterdam has that as well! A quote from Netherlands Tourism puts it best:
Considered by many to be one of the foremost European cities for Architecture, Amsterdam has become known as a required destination for all lovers of architecture. A relatively small city, Amsterdam offers a literal master course in design over a small and manageable area. From modern design blending into historical facades, and the 17th century ring of canals; Amsterdam has it all.
So are you ready to experience Amsterdam? Book your flights, reserve your houseboat, and explore this beautiful city! Want more options in Europe? Explore out picks for luxury hotels in Ireland.