For those of us lucky enough to live in the Netherlands, Amsterdam is right on our doorstep and deserves to be explored. Each year the capital draws thousands and thousands of tourists that have traveled an awfully long way to get here, so it’s crazy that more of us don’t try holidaying at home. There are lots of perks to holidaying locally including being able to speak the language, not having to get on a plane, and being able to save a ton of money. If that’s not enough to convince you, then we’ve got a list of places that you absolutely should visit.
Enjoy the Holland Casino
Once you’ve made it to Amsterdam and settled in at your hotel, the evening will be drawing in. The Holland Casino is a beautiful location to spend one of your evenings. Take a little pocket money with you, as the offers available to players aren’t likely to match up with the kind that you’re used to online. With that said though, the ambience should really make up for it. The casino offers table games as well as slots, so whatever kind of casino fun you’re used to, you’ll be well catered for. Better still, they’re located very centrally so you shouldn’t have a long walk back to your hotel.
Take a Walk Through the Jordaan
One of the most enjoyable parts of holidaying is getting to explore a totally new area. Amsterdam is divided up into lots of different neighbourhoods, each with its own distinct charm. The Jordaan is possibly the most picture-postcard-perfect of them all, making it a great place to take a bit of an urban hike. There are lots of pretty little corners to investigate, including the Negen Straatjes and the Brouwersgracht, but honestly, wherever your walk takes you will be ridiculously pretty. Bring your purse with you as there are lots of independently owned boutiques that are full of beautiful goods crying out for your hard-earned pennies. Once you’re finished sightseeing, it’s time for a bite to eat.
Eat at Jansz
Amsterdam has so many brilliant eateries that it is impossible to say that one is better than all others. However, with all of that said, Jansz is certainly right up there. This slick and stylish restaurant is overseen by chef Jeroen Robberegt, who is a true master of balancing punchy flavours. If you enjoy classic food the most, but fancy being a little more adventurous with your taste, then you’re in safe hands. At Jansz, you’ll find dishes such as a perfectly prepared Dover sole, given a modern twist with unexpected ingredients. Not only is the food delicious, but the setting is spectacular. Jansz takes up a former apothecary and much of the original character of the building remains. Ask for a seat by the window, if you possibly can, as looking out at boats passing by on the canal makes lunch here even more enjoyable,
Visit the Flower Market
On the second morning of your visit, you should start with a visit to the world-famous flower market. This market is brought together on floating boats, each positively bursting with fresh and vibrant blooms. Arriving early guarantees that you’ll see the market at its absolute best and you’ll also avoid the afternoon crowds. Most flowers release their scent early in the morning too and, without people wafting past and dispersing it, the effect is quite heady. Although it’s probably not one for the hayfever sufferers, there’s perhaps no place prettier on Earth to pick up a bunch of beautiful blooms.
Take in the Van Gogh Museum
It wouldn’t be a visit to Amsterdam without having a stroll around a museum. Our capital is full of incredible museums, but the Van Gogh Museum is particularly special. Whilst getting to see works by lots of different artists is very exciting and certainly a crowd-pleaser, being able to focus entirely on just one allows you to get such a deep understanding of them. Whether you like Van Gogh’s work or not, after an afternoon at this museum, you’ll have a whole new level of respect for the man.