Welcoming and tolerant, bohemian and trendy, the Venice of the North is a city of contrasts. From canals to world-famous museums, its many attractions and historical wealth make Amsterdam one of the most romantic and surprising European capitals.
City of tolerance and diversity, Amsterdam combines all the advantages of a big city: culture, history, entertainment, numerous restaurants and a practical, varied transport system, and yet remains a city on a "human scale". Here bikesreplace cars, for the pleasure of all concerned! In Amsterdam they say there are almost as many bikes as inhabitants, namely 800,000...
Created over the centuries to boost trade and transportation and expand the city, Amsterdam’s 165 canals, recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO, are the essence of the Dutch capital, defining its contours and landscape. And there’s nothing like a boat trip to explore the city and its many architectural beauties, like the 7000 typical Dutch houses, classified as historic monuments, or the more modern, vivid red bridges between Sporenburgand Borneo...
It’s hard to get bored in Amsterdam, as the city is teeming with points of interest, starting with its historic centre, with the lively Dam Square and the Royal Palace.
The Red Light District, formerly known for its red neon-lit windows, now hosts trendy boutiques and streetwear, although some of its rough charm remains. The Red Light District is also home to the Oude Kerk, the oldest church in Amsterdam!
Museums are another major tourist attraction in Amsterdam, with a choice of over fifty, ranging from the most famous (Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk, Anne Frank House...) to the more unusual (Cat Museum, Handbag Museum...). During your walks or bicycle rides, don’t hesitate to stop and look in. Unless you prefer to take a picnic lunch to Vondel Park, Amsterdam’s "Central Park".
If you have a thing about design and antiques, expect to be dazzled. Amsterdam has a host of shops, galleries and amazing markets. Don’t miss the Jordaan district with its quirky shops and exotic restaurants. And of course, no trip to Amsterdam would be complete without going to the famous floating flower market, probably the most famous in the world.
Nightlife in Amsterdam is always thrilling. Enjoy the pleasure of starting your night on the town in a "brown cafe" - the Dutch equivalent of the pub - for a beer or the juniper-flavoured liquor, Jenever. You will discover the friendly warmth of the Dutch. You could go on to a club, a trendy bar or one of the many cafés-concerts. The choice is yours !
Sites et monuments
- Westerkerk (the highest church tower in Amsterdam).
- Tuschinski Cinema.
- Amsterdam Library.
- Port of Amsterdam.
- Stedelijk Museum.
- Amsterdam Museum.
- Sex Museum.
- Cannabis Museum.
- Glasses Museum
- Keukenhof Garden.
- January: Chinese New Year.
- January - February: Jumping Amsterdam (International Equestrian Festival).
- March: 5 Days Off (Electronic Music Festival), Opening of Keukenhof garden (the largest flower garden in the world), Weerwoord Festival (International Festival of Literature).
- April: Queen’s Day, National Museum Weekend (3rd weekend of April), Imagine (Fantastic Film Festival of Amsterdam).
- May: National Mill Day, Bevrijdingsfestival (Liberation Day).
- June: Amsterdam Roots Festival (Festival of dance, film, theatre and world music), Holland Festival (International Festival of Performing Arts).
- July: CarmKwakoe (Festival d'été), Gay Pride Amsterdam.
- August: Parade (Nomad Festival), Uitmarkt (Arts Festival) Grachtenfestival (Classical Music Festival).
- September: Jordaan Festival, Week van de Smaak (food festival), Gospel Festival, Grand Amsterdam Flower Festival.
- October: Amsterdam Dance Event, Grachtenrace (Boat Race on the canals) PINT Bokbierfestival (Beer festival)
- November: International Hemp Festival / Fair, The Castanyada Choça (Chocolate Festival).
- The Amsterdam Heineken Experience: What could be more unusual than to visit a beer museum as a beer bottle? Observe Heineken's design process and learn about the history of one of the world's most famous beer brands while being treated as a bottle! And there’s a little surprise awaiting you at the end of the visit...
- Street Art: It is several years now since street art descended upon Amsterdam, so much so that a museum has been set up to celebrate this art adorning the walls of the city with magnificent mural frescoes. The best streets to see are Spuistraat and Wijdesteeg.
- Eat Herring: You’ll either love it or hate it! Whatever the case this a typical speciality of the city, you’ll find it everywhere you go, cooked or raw. You’ll have to try it at least once!
- Sleep on a crane: If you have a fear of heights, this is definitely not for you! At 17 metres above ground, the Havenkraan Crane Hotel offers 60 square metres of luxury high-tech space and a breath-taking view.
- Plaice, sole, trout, crab, shrimp, oysters, Zeeland mussels...
- Smoked fish: eel, mackerel, herring, salmon, halibut.
- Erwtensoep or snert: thick soup made from split peas.
- Rijsttafel: a dish made of dry cooked rice, with a myriad of small side dishes containing meat, mixed vegetables, sauces and spices.
- Leiden Stamppot / Hutsepot: potato hotpot with meat cooked in broth and vegetables (usually cabbage).
- Boerenkool met worst: kale with sausage.
- Zuurkool with spek: sauerkraut and bacon.
Cheeses and breads
- White, brown or black bread with sesame, poppy, sunflower or pumpkin seeds...
- Fromages : Gouda, Edam, Maasdam, accompagnés de pains au sésame, au pavot, au tournesol, aux graines de courge, blanc, brun ou noir…
- Pannekoek : crêpe généralement recouverte de stroop, un sirop de betterave proche du sirop d'érable.
- Poffertjes : minicrêpes légèrement soufflées recouvertes de beurre et de sucre glace.
- Pains d'épices sucrés ou épicés (de Groningue, de Deventer et de Frise, pains d'épice au gingembre).
- Spéculoos de la Saint-Nicolas.
- Pannekoek: pancake usually drizzled with stroop, sugarbeet syrup similar to maple syrup.
- Poffertjes: slightly puffed mini-crepes covered with butter and sugar.
- Spice bread, either sweet or made with different spices (from Groningen, Friesland and Deventer, gingerbread).
- St. Nicolas speculoos.
- Hagelslag: chocolate rice.
- Haagse Hopje: coffee flavoured caramel.
- Large selection of beers: Heineken, Brand, Amstel, Kroon Pills, Christoffel Limburg, Brabant Trappe, Witte Trappist, Columbus, Jopen Koyt, spring beer and autumn beer (Bockbier).
- Jenever, juniper Eau-de-vie.
- Advocaat: egg liqueur.