Amsterdam has far more to offer travellers than just its red light districts, with unique and charming attractions rich in history, culture and art. April is a prime time to discover Amsterdam at its best, as the weather warms, flowers bloom and locals celebrate two traditional holidays. A personal travel manager can help guide your journey through Amsterdam in April.
King’s Day will be an extra special event this year as Dutch nationals celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s first year as King following his inauguration in 2013. Dressed in a sea of orange, the Dutch show pride and respect for the Royal family with orange symbolising the regal house of Orange-Nassau. During this time, the city comes alive with music festivals, outdoor parties, markets and brightly coloured boats drifting along the canals. The next best thing to being on the colourful boats is watching – and dancing – from the many surrounding bridges. Or, for a valuable insight into the lives of locals, visit the ‘vrijmarkt’, which translates to ‘free market’. This staple event offers locals the opportunity to sell second-hand items on the streets and parks of Amsterdam, creating one of the world’s largest flea markets.
Easter in Amsterdam is an unforgettable experience. The city’s weekly outdoor markets are open during the Easter weekend allowing travellers a chance to pick up supplies for an Easter picnic in the beautiful Vondelpark grounds. Traditional Easter treats sold at these markets include paasstol (bread with dried fruit and almond paste), coloured eggs and spring lamb. For a more diverse range of treats and gifts, be sure to visit the Pure Market, a local artisan market that transforms entirely and dedicates its stalls to Easter. On Sunday and Monday the Pannenkoekenboot (Pancake Boat) hosts an Easter cruise, including all you can eat pancakes and other festive treats. If luxurious views and a country atmosphere are more appealing, visit the Duin and Kruidberg Estate on Easter Sunday and Monday for an exquisite brunch, high tea or dinner. On busy streets, travellers may also see the Dutch Paastakken. This is an ‘Easter tree’ or cluster of willow branches from which decorations such as bunnies, bows and butterflies hang, along with chocolate treats. You may also witness another typically Dutch practice, of placing big colourful tulip bouquets on restaurant or café tables.
The second half of April also coincides with the ideal time to see Dutch flowers. Wandering through fields in the countryside blooming with crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips is a magical experience. For the ultimate floral experience, take a day trip to Keukenhof – the world’s largest outdoor flower expo, where you’ll experience spring like never before. Here, more than seven million flowers produce a glorious décor, striking colour combination and fragrance. Or, visit the Hortus Botanicus, the oldest botanic garden in Europe and one that is home to an Agave plant dating back to the Roman era. If you’d rather purchase your own flowers the auction market in Aalsmaar is the biggest in the world. Instead of opting for fresh flowers, travellers should keep an eye out for dried tulips or hyacinths, which are not only rich in fragrance but also make for a memorable gift.
Find out more about Amsterdam and begin creating your April itinerary with your local, personal travel manager http://www.travelmanagers.com.au/ptm-search/