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Amsterdam is a city practically built on top of water, so it’s no surprise that it has so many canals: 165, in fact! Along with all those canals comes a huge number of bridges and houseboats. When visitors first think of the city, they usually think of canals and bikes. Amsterdam is considered the best bike city in the world. There are even more bikes than people, almost 100,000 more. Whether you are on a last minute holiday, cheap weekend getaway, or all-inclusive trip, there is no better way to explore Amsterdam than by boat or bike.
Amsterdam offers visitors some amazing museums, featuring some of the most well-known art and historical artefacts in the world. The Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Foam, the Anne Frank House, and the EYE Film Institute are just a few. Visitors looking for a cultural weekend can find hotels in the Museumplein area to be within walking distance of many of these museums. A hotel in this area may not be cheap, but you will get an all inclusive feel with so many things to do in the area.
For some external art, almost like an outdoor museum, many visitors head to the Jordaan neighbourhood. There, visitors can find shops, art galleries, cafes, restaurants, gardens and many other treasures. Visitors who take time to forget the map and get lost here will find the magic of this area of Amsterdam.
When you step out of your hotel there is no better what to get around Amsterdam than by boat or bike. The city has been designed for both. Cycling is very easy due to the city’s flat terrain and various bike lanes. It is also very safe and inexpensive as bike culture is very established and protected in the city. There is no better way to see all the canal houses, bridges, museums and landmarks than by travelling the way the locals do.
If you’d rather ride through the canals, instead of along them, there is no better way than a canal cruise. Cruises usually last about an hour and let visitors experience the city from another perspective. To take canal life to the next level, there are also many houseboat hotels in the canals, as well as many boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts that overlook the canals.
Whether you are spending just a weekend in Amsterdam or a full week or two, there is no place like a Dutch market. For the classic Dutch flower - the tulip - visitors can take a trip to the Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market. For cheap finds, foods, antiques, vintage clothes, or last minute holiday gifts, there are well-known markets throughout the city: Albert Cuypmarket in De Pijp, Westerstraat market in the Jordaan, and the Waterlooplein flea market. A market is also a great place to find a Dutch speciality: maatjesharing, a dish composed of raw herring served in a variety of ways. Visitors can find this treat at one of the many haringhandles, also known as herring carts. The thought of maatjesharing may make some people immediately say, ‘No way!’ but many new people to the city love it after they try it. Broodje haring is a popular variety, served in a small sandwich with pickles and onions.
Amsterdam is a city of history, canals, and bikes, but also of green. People who live in Amsterdam know how to enjoy the many green spaces in the over 30 parks around the city. At any sunny, warm moment during any time of the day, parks become filled with people of all ages. You might find many people laying in the sun, having a drink, or starting up a barbeque. The largest park, Vondelpark, has an outdoor theatre and various bars and restaurants. Wasterpark, Sarphatipark, and Rembrandtpark are also great options for experiencing what the parks in Amsterdam are like. All-inclusive holidays in Amsterdam are not complete without taking a day and visit one of the cities beautiful parks.
For a different kind of relaxing moment, visitors can escape into the Begijnhof, one of the oldest inner courtyards in Amsterdam. This medieval court also features the oldest wooden house in the city.