Amsterdam is one of the most visited destinations in the Netherlands, and in the whole of Europe. It’s very popular with tourists from the UK, as it is so close and very easy to reach, particularly on the ferry. It’s also a great place to start a driving tour of Europe, so drive onto a ferry at either Newcastle or Harwich and take in the sights of the largest city in the country.
Amsterdam is well known for its fantastic architecture and laid-back attitude. Historically speaking, Amsterdam used to be the hub of the economy of the world, but this was in the seventeenth century. Nowadays, it’s a beautiful city with a great many visitors. It’s not enormous in size, so most places are within walking distance, and you’ll see more of the city if you explore it on foot. Take in the old architecture and the modern buildings that have sprung up between the classic ones. Plus there are plenty of great places to stay. For a good choice of hotels with discount prices, visit Accommodation in Amsterdam for more information.
One of the best things to do when you arrive is explore the canals. There are canal boat trips you can take, or you can wander around by foot. It’s a totally different experience during daylight hours than at night. It’s also worthwhile taking time to explore the many bridges Amsterdam has. One of the best views is from the bridge at Dam Square. At night, you’ll see all the lights of Nieuwmarkt form here. Another great view is from Reguliersgracht, where you’ll see 15 bridges all at once.
If you’re looking for a bit of culture, take a trip to the Van Gogh Museum. This is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Amsterdam, and is filled with the artists work, as well as other exhibitions from various artists.
To experience the history of the city, visit the world-famous Anne Frank House. However, be warned that the queues get very long during the day. Make sure you go first thing in the morning, or an hour before it closes.
One of the nicest things to do on a sunny day is to wander through the Vondelpark. Take a picnic and spend the afternoon watching the locals come and go. And if you’re looking for something even quieter, try and find the Begijnhof. This is a small garden that is hidden away in the city, which is bordered by some stunning examples of architecture dating back to the fourteenth century. One of the houses is the oldest in all of Amsterdam, dating back to 1420. Once you’re inside, you’ll hear very little noise from the city, so make sure you keep noise to a minimum.
Destinations further afield after you’ve finished your tour of Amsterdam include Germany (which is east) and Belgium (which is south). If you’re planning on driving to another big city, you won’t have far to go. Brussels is only 129 miles away, Frankfurt is 226 miles away, Paris is 320 miles away, and Copenhagen is 573 miles away. You can be in a new city within a days’ drive.