New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam
The Dutch capital is famous for throwing one of the world’s biggest New Year celebrations, with street parties all over the city.Great deals on New Year’s breaks
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Chances are you will already be familiar with the stereotypical image of Amsterdam – a city of meandering canals and cycle ways, with a bohemian spirit and bold edge. But that’s just skimming the surface of this remarkable destination.
With its bobbing houseboats, quaint flower stalls and locals cycling leisurely from place to place, Amsterdam has an old-world charm evocative of a sleepy village. But look elsewhere and an exuberant modern metropolis reveals itself, bursting with world-class cultural institutions, cutting edge style and renowned nightlife – injected with a famously liberal, unabashed attitude. It’s a bubbling melting pot of cultures, where both convention and innovation are celebrated. So hire a bike, hop on a canal boat, or simply sit back with a frothy beer and soak up the ‘gezelligheid’ or warm embrace of Amsterdam.
Make your way to Amsterdam’s thriving centre to discover shops, restaurants and bars in abundance. Munch on wickedly delicious syrup waffles from a street vendor as you wander around the historic hub, Dam Square. Take in the neoclassical magnificence of the Royal Palace or browse the big-brand stores lining the far-reaching shopping streets of Kalverstraat and Niewendijik. Explore vibrant Chinatown and the notorious, neon-lit Red Light District. On Waterlooplein Square, don’t miss Rembrandt House Museum and the renowned Flea Market.
Experience quintessential old Amsterdam around the horseshoe of canals that encircle the city centre. Take in the beautiful 17th century houses lining this picturesque network of water ways. Don’t miss the iconic Bloemenmarkt, where flower vendors tout their colourful blooms from floating stalls on the historic Singel canal. Wander around the hip hub that is the 9 Streets, with its host of vintage fashion boutiques and art galleries. Or observe the bustle on attractive Rembrandtplein square from a cosy café.
Amsterdam is synonymous with art and within its aptly-named Museum Quarter are some of the finest houses of artistic treasures in the world. The Van Gogh Museum boasts over 200 works by the tortured artist Vincent and his contemporaries, including Monet and Toulouse-Lautrec. Another must-visit for art lovers is Holland’s largest gallery, the Rijksmuseum, offering a collection of masterpieces. Browse the Museum Quarter’s exclusive boutiques. Or head east to the cosmopolitan De Pijp neighbourhood for cool cafés and eclectic restaurants.
Escape the bustle for the lush verdant expanse of Vondelpark. Take a relaxing stroll or bike ride through this tranquil green space. Picnic under a leafy canopy of trees and take in a concert or play at the open-air theatre. Cinema buffs can catch a showing at the EYE Film Institute and little ones will be in their element at the Klein Melkhuis children’s park. Afterwards, enjoy refreshments at one of the many lively cafés lining the nearby Leidseplein square.
Head to the cosmopolitan Jordaan district for eclectic eateries, diverse shopping and premier art galleries including the Stedelijk Museum. At this home of the National Museum of Modern Art, gaze upon world-revered works by Monet, Picasso, Rodin and more. At the northern edge of the district and not to be missed, is the Anne Frank House. Here, you can visit the claustrophobic Second World War hideaway of the Frank family, as well as view Anne’s famous diary.