The beautiful city of Amsterdam has been branded as the sin city of Europe, offering a relaxed approach towards a variety of laws. The Dutch capital is actually a family friendly city, home to the oldest zoo in Europe and a plethora of parks, museums and art galleries. Schiphol is Europe’s fourth busiest airport, and a reasonably priced train into the city centre takes less that twenty minutes. Your personal travel manager can arrange the perfect holiday to Amsterdam, whether you’re a family, a couple or an adventurous solo traveller.
The best way to immerse yourself in Amsterdam life is to hire a bicycle and join the legion of over 600,000 cyclists, that cruise along the city’s famous canal network. Cyclist friendly maps containing the locations of tourist attractions can be acquired for free from any of the city’s information centres.
The quintessential renaissance architecture, complete with stepped gable facades that line the city’s canals, are museums in their own right. Nearly 7,000 buildings in the capital predate the 18th century. The oldest, aptly named De Oude Kerk meaning ‘Old Church’, was built in 1306.
The Van Gogh Museum houses the world’s largest collection of paintings by the troubled painter that documents his journey through depression. The art gallery contains over 700 pieces by Van Gogh and his contemporaries, including works by Gauguin and Monet. The most widely acclaimed masterpieces in the museum are ‘The Potato Eaters’, ‘Sunflowers’ and Van Gogh’s various self-portraits.
Artis Royal Zoo was founded in 1838 and includes an aquarium, butterfly pavilion, planetarium and zoological museum. The heated butterfly pavilion is particularly inviting during the colder months, where vibrant butterflies flitter freely and occasionally land on visitors. The zoological museum is particularly exciting for wildlife buffs, with over 20,000 books and 80,000 animal prints – some of which are from extinct species.
The Rijksmuseum opened in Amsterdam in 1808, eight years after King Louis Napoleon ordered the exhibitions to be moved from The Hague. The Rijksmuseum offers a representative overview of Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages onwards; due to the extensive legacy of Dutch art the collection holds. The highlights of the museum include an extensive Rembrandt collection and Dirk Hartog’s plate – the oldest known artefact of European exploration in Australia.
The Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s most prestigious park, covering 47 hectares of central Amsterdam. The park attracts 10,000,000 visitors annually and contains an open-air theatre, ponds, swimming area and playground. An abstract sculpture by Pablo Picasso has been erected in the 19th century plaza and makes an idyllic picnic spot.
The best time to visit Amsterdam is between April and May, when the iconic tulips are in bloom and the main tourist season is about to begin. The museums are quieter, accommodation is cheaper and the famous Bloemenmarkt (or flower market) is at its most vibrant.
Start planning your trip today with your local, personal travel manager. Visit http://www.travelmanagers.com.au/ptm-search/