Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands is a colourful city that can be enjoyed by day and night. There is a wide choice of relaxing cafes, restaurants, nightlife, historic areas and museums to explore. It is an ideal holiday destination at any time of the year.
Holidays and festivals are a good time to visit Amsterdam. The entire country celebrates Koningsdag, King Willem Alexander's Birthday on 27th April. It is Amsterdam's biggest and most colourful festival. It is a day of open air fun with street parties , music and food and dancing in public spaces. On the day before, Amsterdam has a large open air market, that is held one day earlier if the 27th April is a Sunday. Bevrijdingsdag is always celebrated on 5th May, it commemorates the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany.
Check the price of a taxi fare with the driver before accepting a ride. Taxis can be expensive. Discover in cafes and restaurants the foods of the former Dutch colonies, Indonesia, Surinam and NL Antilles. There is a free ferry service behind the main station. Called "het pontje" it crosses the IJ to NDSM, a former wharf and now a cultural centre. Amsterdam is expensive in tourist areas, however prices in restaurants can be cheaper than the UK.. GMT +1; DST +1 is the Amsterdam time zone.
Transport from the airport to the city centre is straightforward. There is a direct service from the airport railway station to central Amsterdam. The journey takes about fifteen minutes with a ticket costing ca. 4 EUR. The 197 bus goes to and from Leidseplein in central Amsterdam and travel time is 35 mins. A taxi for the same journey costs approximately 50 EUR. Starred hotels in tourist areas are expensive but there are cheap hostels costing from 20 EUR per night and hotels costing from 45 EUR. Amsterdam taxis are expensive, a ten minute journey costs about 15-20 EUR. Public transport is a good way to explore the city. A 24 hour day ticket costs about 8 EUR. Children aged between 4 and 11 year travel for about 3 EUR. Single tickets are available on city trams.