Fascinating Venice of the North
Amsterdam is a sought-after destination, attracting visitors eager to discover its interesting blend of culture, famous canals, and vibrant nightlife. The capital of The Netherlands offers a myriad of things to see and do in any season.
Best time to travel and events
While Amsterdam is a destination that can be enjoyed and appreciated at any time of the year, certain highlights in the event calendar are not to be missed. Among those, Koningsdag is undoubtedly the most important. On 27th April, this national holiday honours and celebrates King Willem Alexander for his birthday. Another event of note is Bevrijdingsdag, which marks the end of the occupation of the country by Nazi Germany on 5th May. Spring is therefore the perfect season to discover what makes Amsterdam so exciting.
Things to know before you go
One of the things that may surprise visitors is the varied food scene in Amsterdam. Indeed, numerous restaurants in the Dutch capital serve cuisine by former colonies, including Indonesia, Surinam, and Netherland Antilles. Whereas the capital is rather expensive generally, especially in the tourist centre, prices in restaurants are sometimes cheaper than in the UK. Something else that is good to know is that there is a free ferry called "het pontje" starting from behind Centraal Station and crossing the IJ to NDSM, a former wharf turned into a cultural centre. The time in The Netherlands is GMT+1, i.e. an hour ahead of the UK.
Information about local accommodation and transport
After arrival in Amsterdam, several options are available to travel to the city centre. From the airport railway station, trains make the connection in 15 minutes for about 4 EUR, while bus 197 travels between the airport and Leidseplein in around 35 minutes. Also, taxis are available and cost approximately 50 EUR. Generally taxis are the most expensive choice to travel within Amsterdam, as 10-minute journeys cost around 15-20 EUR. Another option is to take public transport, either with single tram tickets, or with a 24h day pass. The latter costs about 8 EUR (approximately 3 EUR for children between 4-11).When it comes to accommodation, a wide range of options exist, including hostel rooms for around 20 EUR a night and hotels starting at about 45 EUR.