Spotlight on Amsterdam

January 16, 2018

With a legacy that spans centuries, a history including such figures as Rembrandt and Anne Frank and a heritage of UNSECO World Heritage canals, Dutch Masters and proud liberalism, Holland’s outstanding capital is dripping with culture just waiting to be explored.


Things to do

  • Say goodbye to four wheels. Whether that means hopping on a canal cruise down the UNESCO protected waterways, hiring a bike, or taking the tram.
  • There are around 75 museums in the Dutch capital. Visit the more prestigious options such as Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, both in the aptly named Museumplein, or opt for one of the weirder alternatives including the Pipe Museum and Spectacles Museum.
  • Discover the vintage retailers and boutiques in Nine Streets, with their quaint cobbled pathways and classic glass-front stores.
  • De Pijp has been a haven for bohemians since the 60s. Effortlessly cool cocktail bars, the bustling Albert Cuypmarkt, quirky homeware stores and more make up Amsterdam’s Latin Quarter.
  • Hiding in plain sight, Begijnhof is a quiet 14th century courtyard found through an archway in one of Amsterdam’s busy shopping streets. This charming quad houses several archaic establishments and beautiful churches.
  • Rivalling Vondelpark’s relatively modest 47 hectares is Amsterdam Forest at a baffling 1000 hectares. Manmade yet completely captivating, this natural retreat boasts forests, meadows, even a lake.


What to eat

  • Amsterdam is known for its progressive stance on LGBTQ rights and Lunchroom Downtown was the first openly gay café in the capital, opening in 1970. Go here for a serving of cultural history alongside your pancakes.
  • Conveniently situated opposite Amsterdam’s Centraal Station is Stubbe’s Haring. This traditional herring cart serves the Dutch delicacy of raw herring, either by itself, with a side of pickle, or in a sandwich. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.
  • Although the food at Merkelbach is exquisite, serving seasonal dishes with a local flare, it is the views that make it so popular. The 18th century estate has a beautiful terraced area and landscaped gardens.
  • It’s 2018, so it’s time to talk vegan. Aside from their name, Meatless District do a good job of making you forget you are in a vegan restaurant. Set in the artistic Jordaan district, feast on French toast, burgers, BLTs and bitterballen.


What to drink

  • Combine two Dutch icons in one go at Brouwerij’t lj, an artisanal microbrewery located beneath the beautiful De Gooyer windmill.
  • Get a taste for the Dutch alternative to gin, jenever, at De Drie Fleschjes. Centrally located near Dam Square, this jenever tasting room has been quenching thirsts since 1650.
  • A surplus of famed brown cafés greet you in Amsterdam, but for the oldest experience, head to Café Chris. Opening in 1624, it has barely changed in nearly 400 years.


How to get there

Our Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry crossing is ideal for anyone travelling to the Dutch capital. Our port in Holland is just 45 minutes from Amsterdam city centre, and is easily accessible by either car or our coach transfer. Alternatively, travel on our Dover-Dunkirk and Calais crossings and once you arrive in France you are only 3 ½ hours from Amsterdam.


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