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Destination of the Week: Amsterdam

Posted by Maria Inês Pinto on 13/12/2014
Destination of the Week: Amsterdam

The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is also known colloquially as the “Venice of the North” due to its enchanting canals, beautiful architecture and over 1500 bridges. As a vast European city, it is divided into seven main districts which offer something to every kind of visitor. Whether you are prefer the charm of a European city, to explore culture and history, or to enjoy an exciting nightlife – you’ll find it all in Amsterdam.

What to do

The main attractions in the city can be found in its historic city centre, which is actually one of the largest in Europe. It is here, in Amsterdam’s most visited area, that you will find some of the city’s most popular landmarks including museums, palaces, synagogues and art galleries.

In the other areas of the city, you can visit popular sites including the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, a number of charming churches and synagogues, Vondelpark, and the famous Red Light District. The 17th century Canal Ring, garnished as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also an ideal site for an afternoon well spent. Enjoy a peaceful ride through the fresh waters of the canals and discover some of Amsterdam’s most posh neighbourhoods and exciting nightlife spots.

Where to stay

A popular destination for travellers from all over the world, Amsterdam is well-equipped with hotels in almost every area of the city catering to different preferences and budget requirements. If location is your main concern, any place within the inner canal belt will leave you within proximity to all the major city attractions. Of course, other areas of the city might not be in the centre but you will be well served with excellent transport routes.

Hotel Seven One Seven (£££)

Set in a monumental building in the heart of Amsterdam along the stunning Prinsengracht Canal, this exquisite 4 star hotel provides a peaceful haven from the busy city life of Amsterdam. Spacious rooms, a delicious breakfast every morning and a quiet patio overlooking the city are just some of the things that make Seven One Seven one of the best hotels in Amsterdam. You will also be excellently located, with a varied host of bars and restaurants in the vicinity.

Flying Pig Uptown Hotel (££)

If you fancy the hostel atmosphere, the Flying Pig Uptown will be your best bet when visiting Amsterdam. Located just next to the famous Vondelpark and near some lively nightlife venues, this strictly under-35 hostel is ideal for travellers looking to meet new people and make new friends. With a fully stocked bar and a busy kitchen, the Flying Pig combines a great location with an upbeat atmosphere.

ITC Hotel (£)

Located in the centre of Amsterdam, this simple hotel offers free Wi-Fi and a delicious breakfast until noon. Each uniquely decorated room features cable or satellite TV and free movies. Essentially, ICT Hotel is the ideal choice for travellers looking for a modest place to just rest their heads after a day well spent exploring the city. From the hotel, you will be able to reach local attractions such as Rembrandt Square, The Hermitage Museum and The Heineken Experience in approximately 10 minutes on foot. Central Station can be found at Rembrandtplein, giving you direct access to the rest of the city.

Where to eat

Sure, Dutch cuisine is not as famous as the French or Italian food, but there are still some delicious specialties you simply can’t miss when you visit the buzzing city of Amsterdam. Among these are the patat (thick French fries), stamppot (mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables and served with a rookworst, or smoked sausage) and the stroopwafels (syrup waffles). Check out our suggestions below for high end and budget restaurants where you can try some of these dishes.

Beddington’s (£££)

Beddington’s is one of the most unique restaurants in Amsterdam, serving delicious dishes that are hard to find elsewhere. The chef’s experiences in Derbyshire, Japan, and the Netherlands all combine to create a stylish and unique cuisine.

Restaurant Gretje (££)

Dutch cuisine with a twist is exactly what you will find at this exquisite restaurant. The chefs at Gretje work hard to make the classic Dutch food into well-loved and appreciated dishes. That combined with the friendliness of the staff, make this restaurant one of the best places to grab a bite in Amsterdam.

Singel 404 (£)

If you are looking for a delicious but cheap meal, Singel 404 is undoubtedly the place to go. With tasty and filling sandwiches, you can easily grab a hearty meal starting from as little as £5. But, beware: Singel 404 is well loved by all the locals, meaning it will be difficult to find a table here after noon.

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