Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, is a popular tourist destination with a rich cultural heritage. A truly metropolitan city, it has something to offer all visitors - and at prices that will suit even the tightest of budgets.
When to visit
As with all cities, Amsterdam is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year, with plenty to see and do. Spring and early summer showcase the city's festivals, with the King's Birthday celebrated every year on April 27th, and Bevrijdingsdag, the anniversary of the country's liberation after World War 2, less than two weeks later on May the 5th.
Before you go...
Amsterdam is a truly metropolitan city, with numerous snack bars and restaurants from all over the globe - including Indonesia, Surinam, and Antilles. On arrival in the city, there is a free ferry service to the IDSM, previously a wharf and now a vibrant cultural centre. Be warned: the touristy areas of the city tend to be pricey, though if you shop around, you can easily find restaurants which are cheaper than those in the UK. Amsterdam is only one hour ahead of the UK, which means that jetlag and timezones won't be too much of an issue - leaving you able to enjoy all the city has to offer. Accommodation in the city doesn't have to be expensive either, with hostels available from twenty euros a night and hotels starting at around forty-five euros. Having a break in Amsterdam doesn't just have to be for jetsetters, with fun and food available for all budgets.
Local travel and transport
The airport railway station has direct connections into central Amsterdam, a short fifteen minute ride away. If you prefer the bus, there's that, too - though at thirty five minutes, it's a longer trip.
Finally, for those with more luggage or who prefer more spacious rides there are taxis available, with trips into town starting at fifty euros. As with so many cities, taxis in Amsterdam are pricy, starting at around fifteen euros for a ten minute journey. If you do take a trip by taxi, make sure to ask the fare upfront so you don't get a nasty surprise.
Public transport is much cheaper, with a day ticket running around eight euros. There are also trams running throughout the city, with single tickets purchasable at stops.