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Amsterdam’s new face

The stereotypical view of Amsterdam of canals, bicycles, tulips, and a somewhat lenient lifestyle doesn’t do it justice. Beyond this you will find a city brimming with culture, luxury and a modern, cutting-edge style emerging from its tacky image of yesteryear.

The changing face of the Red Light District has opened up new possibilities in the centre. Hip cafes and gourmet restaurants are booming, diversifying the area for both locals and tourists alike. Luxury boutique hotels and shops are becoming prevalent across the whole city, like the contemporary galleries in Jordaan, alongside the style-conscious artists and designers who live there. Explore the many green spaces like the Vondelpark, or find some culture at the superb world-class museums, before heading over to trendy Amsterdam Noord for a bite to eat. Whilst it may have shaken off its seedier side, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a great bar or two to while away your evening. Why not book a flight to Amsterdam to see it for yourself?

Amazing music festivals in Amsterdam.

Amazing music festivals in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is known for its free-thinking attitude, and this shines through when it comes to its festivals. Check out one of the biggest and best Gay Pride celebrations in the world. From 23 July to 7 August the city comes alive with canal parades, street parties and wild club nights. Alternatively, head over to the longest running dance festival, Mysteryland in Haarlemmermeer on 27 and 28 August. The line-up includes Grammy-winning Afrojack, one of the most influwentuial names in electronic music. And Diplo closes out the festival on Sunday night. Expect an amazing party with incredible lightshows and crazy costumes – and a lot of techno.

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Our featured hotels

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DoubleTree Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station

DoubleTree Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station

Set in the heart of the historic city centre, adjacent to Amsterdam Centraal Station, this modern hotel offers stunning city views and complimentary WiFi access. It provides easy access to attractions ...

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BA Star Rating

Star rating 4 out of 5

TripAdvisor rating

TripAdvisor rating 4.5 out of 5

5642 reviews

Flight + 2 nights hotel from £195 pp
23 Jan - 25 Jan

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Amsterdam areas

Explore the buzzing city centre, canals and neighbourhoods of Amsterdam

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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 on Waterlooplein Square, don’t miss Rembrandt House Museum and the renowned Flea Market.

Red Light District.

De Wallen, or the Red Light District as it’s known all over the world, is one of the oldest parts of the city. Home to Amsterdam’s sex industry, it has been in use since the 13th century, but in recent years has been cleaning up its act. Alongside the sex shops you will now find hip cafes and restaurants, barbers and even a radio station. De Wallen is quick becoming a favourite of the locals of Amsterdam, claiming it back from its seedy past.

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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 fashionable 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.

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Amsterdam is synonymous with art and within its aptly-named Museumplein (museum square) 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.

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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 or grab a speciality tea at the modernist Blauwe Theehuis. Theatre buffs can catch a show during the summer season at the open-air Openluchttheater, 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.

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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.

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Known as Amsterdam’s Latin Quarter, De Pijp is an eclectic part of the city, where you will find hip bars, terraced cafés and fantastic cuisine from all over the world. You can try Surinamese curries before heading to the Heineken Brewery to sample their fresh beer. Or venture to the Albert Cuypmarkt street market, a hotspot for cheese, clothes and local produce and Europe’s largest market. De Pijp’s beatnik flair has enticed creatives since the 60s.

Amsterdam Noord.

Formerly cut off from the rest of Amsterdam by the IJ Harbour, this borough is now a hot bed for artists, media companies and culture vultures. You’ll find green spaces alongside some of Amsterdam’s most modern architecture, brilliant cafes and waterside restaurants and the superb NDSM Wharf – a former industrial shipyard turned creative hub. And don’t miss the superb EYE Film Institute, whose 40,000 plus film archive plays throughout the year – perfect for film enthusiasts all over.

A taste of summer

Video bloggers (vloggers) Nadine Sykora & Laura Bubble venture to Amsterdam to sample the local cuisine whist taking in the local culture. See how they got on in the video below.

When best to go?

Prepare for the weather before your Amsterdam holiday

Average seasonal temperatures°C/°F
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • 13°May
  • 15°Jun
  • 17°Jul
  • 17°Aug
  • 14°Sep
  • 11°Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Average monthly rainfall (mm)
  • 62
  • 43
  • 58
  • 41
  • 48
  • 67
  • 65
  • 61
  • 82
  • 85
  • 89
  • 74
Average daily sunshine (hours)
  • 3
  • 3
  • 4
  • 6
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

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