The largest city in the Netherlands, Amsterdam is known as the City of Festivals. Throughout its winding canals and colorful gardens, the city is alive with friendly locals and plenty of attractions. Whether you love discovering new trends in art or roaming the halls of historic estates, Amsterdam is the perfect place to explore.
In Amsterdam’s museum quarter, you’ll have world-class galleries, shops and restaurants right at your fingertips. Catch a glimpse of the ship models and weapons among other art at the Rijksmuseum (Museum of Art and History), then take a tour at the Van Gogh Museum where fascinating letters accompany famous paintings. Next, see what’s playing at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, since this 1888 landmark is home to some of the best classical music in the world. You can find schedules, tickets and more at www.concertgebouw.nl. Don’t leave the museum quarter, of course, without browsing the treats at Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Since 1578, the building that is now known as The Grand Amsterdam has played host to visitors like Queen Mara de Medici of France, Princess Maria Stuart of England and William of Orange. Today, anyone can feel like royalty at this legendary landmark where suites overlooking gardens and canals pamper every guest that walks through the door. Book a Prestige Suite, which offers a relaxing lounge area, rain shower and premier BOSE entertainment system. Want to indulge from head to toe? Visit the Turkish steam bath at the hotel’s SoSPA, or challenge your body with the Technogym Kinesis resistance training system at the SoFIT gym. Reserve the most luxurious experience of your life at www.sofitel-legend-thegrand.com.
You’ll feel calm and content strolling among the flowers of Keukenhof Gardens where millions of tulips are ready to welcome you. This year, the garden’s theme is “Germany – Land of Poets and Philosophers.” Check out the flowering mosaic of the Brandenburg Gate, which will amaze you with its natural beauty and impressive landscape design. Find out more at www.keukenhof.nl.
Getting around Amsterdam is a breeze, thanks to the city’s advanced public transportation network that’s fully stocked with metros, buses, trams, ferries and trains. If you want to live like the locals, rent a bicycle – it’s a fun and invigorating way to see the city. Families will appreciate the fact that Amsterdam is an extremely safe city, ranked 22 out of 215 world cities for personal safety by Mercer’s 2008 Quality of Life Survey. The Netherlands conveniently uses the Euro for currency, as do the other beautiful destinations surrounding Amsterdam. English is widely spoken, as are German and French.
Bursting with activities and events year round, Amsterdam knows how to entertain its guests. You can discover new gems in the city all day long, or take it slow with a canal cruise and one indulgent meal after another. Either way, prepare to be charmed by Amsterdam each time you visit. More travel tips and guides are available online at www.iamsterdam.com.