Amsterdam is a vibrant city that attracts over 5.3 million visitors from around the world each year. With its scenic canals, quirky museums and buzzing creative energy, it’s easy to see why so many are drawn to the Netherlands’ capital city.
Different worlds collide pleasantly here. Post-industrial buildings, meandering canals and narrow lanes meet niche eateries, contemporary art and smart tech to create a city of contrasts that perfectly complement each other.
For those staying for an extended weekend, there’s plenty to pack in. Here are some of the highlights to look forward to while you’re in the city.
For flower lovers, head to Hortus Botanicus. One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, it was first established in the 1600s and filled with medicinal herbs that were used to combat the onset of the Plague, which had swept through Leiden and Utrecht.
If you prefer feline friends to plants, take a trip to the KattenKabinet, or ‘Cat Cabinet’. It was first established in 1990 by Bob Meijer as a tribute to his own cat, named John Pierpont Morgan. The cat had received, among other gifts, paintings and a bronze cat statue throughout his life and Bob decided to display the pieces in his townhouse. From there, the museum grew to celebrate all cats. Totally purrrfect.
Electric Ladyland is a wonderfully eccentric celebration of fluorescent art. This one-of-a-kind museum features demonstrations, brightly-coloured pieces and invites you to join in with some participatory art.
The best way to see Amsterdam is by bike. There are over 881,000 bicycles in the city and 58% of people cycle daily through the capital. For a cool way to get around and feel like a local, hop on a Brompton bike. Visit Brompton Junction Amsterdam for some live demos before you find the right one for you.
Avocado lovers, rejoice! The Avocado Show – the first all-avocado restaurant – has been open for a year and is a true celebration of the green stuff.
If you’re not a fan of the avo, Envy serves up new-Dutch cuisine. Choose your favourites from the tapas-style menu and tuck into lobster or sausages
There are many bars to choose from in Amsterdam, but for an array of jenevers and a self-brewed liquor called Bride’s Tears, head to Proeflokaal De Ooievaar. There are other bizarre drinks here at this small watering hole, with names like Parrot Soup, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by locals as well as tourists when you visit.
Wherever you choose to go during your weekend in Amsterdam, you’re sure to find something special around every corner.