Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, and with good reason, it’s one pretty epic city!
Brimming with amazing culture, incredible nightlife, world-class museums and historical gems, this is one city not to miss when thinking of a European city break.
Where to stay?
One thing that’s really cool about Amsterdam is that it’s a city for everyone, especially when it comes to a place to rest your head! No matter what you’re looking for luxury, chic, modern or classic – you’ll definitely find a comfy bed that’s right for you.
One of the coolest hotels that we’ve stayed at whilst in Amsterdam has to be the CitizenM.
Firstly, they’re great for being affordable but at the same time, pretty plush… they have one futuristic multi-colour rain showers and a bed that’s fit for a king or queen (just look how big it is). And don’t get me started on the plethora of free movies they have here too (and we’re not talking movies from the 90s either – there are movies from the last 12 months and some pretty brilliant classics).
CitizenM also has early check in (10 am – to check in even before 10 am you’d have to pay a small fee) and you can check out of your room as late as 8 pm (again, at a small fee).
The whole room is open plan and is a total chill-out pad, especially after a long day exploring the city – it’s the best place to rest those weary feet!
Oh yeah, they’ve also got these pretty nifty iPads that literally control everything in the room from lights/TV to the mood of the room! 😉
Take a look at the rooms below!
CitizenM has a few hotels now, with two in Amsterdam (one 3 minutes walk from the airport and one in the city itself)…
What are the main sites to see?
1) Head inside Westerkerk
Westerkerk or West Church is famous for being the most popular church in Amsterdam and has even housed royal weddings in the past… oh la la!
Built in the Renaissance style with Gothic features, many visitors come here to see the tomb of Rembrandt who is buried in the church – pretty eerie but a place that every first time visitor should see in Amsterdam
2) Discover a bookworm’s dream at Rijksmuseum
Founded in 1809, the Rijksmuseum houses a huge range of art work and antiquities and is said to have something in the region of seven million art pieces that took hundreds of years to accumulate!
There are 250 rooms here for you to peruse and even a library with over 35,000 books. Bookworms rejoice!
3) Explore The Van Gogh Museum
Come here if you want to see the largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings anywhere across the world! There are over 200 paintings here as well as drawings and letters that belonged to this 19th century artist that’s now one of the most prized artists.
4) Reflect at The Anne Frank Museum
The former home where Anne Frank and her family hid during much of the Second World War, this is a moving visit for those who choose to make the journey and one that has a lasting reminder of the barbaric and inhuman persecution of Jews and of minorities.
The home has now been turned into a museum and is looks as close to how it would have been in Anne Frank’s time. Take a tour of the moving museum which embraces acceptance and equality for all.
5) Live like a Royal in the Royal Palace
The official residence of the King of Holland, the Royal Palace was first built in 1648 as a sign of their power. Built to mirror the architecture of ancient Rome, the palace is opulent and ornate and one that is stunningly beautiful – just make sure to check out the state rooms!
6) The port and canals of Amsterdam
Still very much a working port to this day, the Port of Amsterdam stretches for 19 kilometres until it reaches the sea. Cruises operate here around the harbour and canals that bisect Amsterdam so come here if you want to see the city from the water…
… you can even hire a boat for the day and chill-out with a tipple and picnic! The best way to spend a sunny afternoon!
7) Smell the flowers at Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
Known for being Amsterdam’s botanical garden, come here if you want to take in some of the best nature in the city. The garden used to be dedicated to medicinal herbs but now has exotic and tropical flowers that bloom in the summer months!
8) The National Monument
The National Monument is actually an obelisk that stands at 22 metres high. It is a memorial to the victims and veterans of the Second World War. It’s a moving reminder of the city’s turbulent history.
9) Rembrandt House Museum
The Rembrandt House Museum is located in the former home of Rembrandt and his wife and is the site where many of his most famous paintings were created. You can now tour the house and learn all about the history of Rembrandt and see many of his most famous works. It’s a dream destination for art enthusiasts.
10) Watch the sunset at Pllek
This amazing little spot is a favourite place for local’s to enjoy in Amsterdam! Head to Pllek on a summer or winter’s evening, grab yourself a hot chocolate (or glass of wine) and enjoy the glistening sunset over the city. It’s one of Amsterdam’s coolest places!