When COVID-19 is finally behind us and we are again free to travel, consider visiting Amsterdam otherwise known as Venice of the North. Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands. This city is perfect for a city break, it has so much to offer visitors on all fronts; whether it be culture, history, architecture, music, food or simply having a relaxing time exploring this stunning and picturastic city.
Did you know Amsterdam has 165 canals, 1281 bridges, and no less than seventy-five museums? We are spoilt for choice here!
With all these options available, how can you make the most of your time here if you're only popping in for 48 hours or a weekend break?... Read on!
If you can visit just one museum I would suggest MOCO ~ This cool museum is all about edgy and unique modern art. Here you'll find Banksy, Andy Warhol, Dali, and much more.
It is located in the museum quarter of Amsterdam so from here you can easily visit one of the bigger more famous museums should you have time and wish to do so. I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance to avoid long lines. During Covid-19, you must reserve a time slot online, you might otherwise not be allowed in as visitor amounts are limited.
Visit the Anna Franks House ~ This place is probably one of the most touching and unique museums you will ever visit, it tells not only the amazing story of this brave Jewish girl that perished with most of her family in the Holocaust, but it also shows what it was like living and trying to survive WW2 in Amsterdam. Step inside the Royal Palace located in Dam square, opposite the National Monument for the nation's fallen heroes.
Take to the streets and don't forget to look up! You will find the most beautiful symbols and ancient typical Dutch features at the top of the houses and buildings. At first, it seems as if all houses are alike and yet, when taking a closer look you will see different colors, sizes, gables, coat of arms, writings, and other things that differ from house to house. Plantage Middlelaan and the Jordaan are my favorites to wander around in. The cobbled streets in the heart of the city surrounding the canals feature the largest and high-end homes. For example The Herengracht and the Keizersgracht.
Walk around Vondel Park, have a picnic, and chill with the locals.
Take a canal cruise as the views from the water are second to none.
Feeling sporty? Rent a canal bike! Add cheese and a small bottle of red wine to the mix and you're set to have fun on the water. Don't forget to take a map!
The culinary options in Amsterdam are remarkable and ENDLESS! You'll be able to find any type of cuisine you like, and then some.
These are my favs, places I think are a must-visit if you're here for the first time:
The Corner Bakery ~ For a beautifully colorful, and over the top breakfast!
Gs ~ This is one of my favorites mainly because of the atmosphere, it's unique, fun, and a bit cheeky. A must-try is their BRUNCH BOAT! They sail on the weekends boarding at Keizersgracht 177 and reservation is a must.
If you're more about 'on the go-casual' pitstops during the day pop into the Food Department in the Magna Plaza, it's just behind the palace. Here you'll find stands offering yummy food from all over the world; Greek, Italian, Israeli, Chinese, Poke bowls from Hawaii, and fresh seafood as well. In between the food stands, you have little bars for some bubbly or beer if you prefer it.
The Duchess ~This stunning hotspot is located in one of the historic gems of Amsterdam, the former KAS Bank. Dine in traditional English elegance with attention to the smallest of details. The menu is divine, the desserts are out of this world! Just saying…
Adam & Siam ~ This is the place where East and West meet, with a modern twist. Thai comfort food is the star here, alongside yummy cocktails.
For your evening fun head over to Satchmo ~ Jazz, live music during the weekends, a great crowd, and delicious food!
MOMO is a great combination of exotic drinks on the bar, and delish sushi and Eastern fusion dishes in the restaurant. It's beautifully designed, trendy, and buzzing with good energy!
Happy Holidays! Hopefully, happy travels too are coming our way, cheers to 2021!
Celebrate Christmas Midnight Mass with Pope Francis at ST. Peter's Basilica after enjoying a semi-private 2 - 3 hour tour (max 10 people) of the Vatican Museums including the Raphael Rooms and The Sistine Chapel ending with a privileged entrance to St.Peter's Basilica.