A city break to Amsterdam means different things to different people. This is a city of contrasts and contradictions but one that can never be classed as dull.
With most of the city centre built on or around a grid system of canals, it is a very easy city to get around and get to know. And being relatively compact most attractions are accessible either on foot or using the trams which form the backbone of the excellent public transport network.
f you’re planning a Amsterdam city break, there are a lot of places you shouldn’t miss. The largest park of the city, Vondelpark, close to the Leidseplein and the big museums, is always alive with skaters, joggers and all sorts of street performers. During your city break you must visit Amsterdam’s most famous day market, with stalls lining both sides of the Albert Cuyp street. The canals of course are one of the major attractions of the ‘Venice of the North’. By daytime already very charming, by night they become even more enchanting because a lot of the canal houses and bridges are beautifully illuminated. The flower market on the Singel between the Munt tower and the Koningsplein is one of the most colourful, sweet-smelling sightseeing attractions in Amsterdam.
The centre of Amsterdam is quite impressive in terms of its adhering to its historical design and lack of tall modern structures. Yet throughout there are also examples of Gothic architecture, Renaissance architecture and Art Deco. However, the city does now consist of a significant business district, Zuidas, which has undergone fast development over the last few years.
The Vondelpark is a famous green area in the stadsteel. It is an excellent area to get away from the bustle of the streets for a moment, or longer to perhaps take in its 120 acres of grounds. The park also contains a film museum and an open air theatre, whilst the area around it – Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat and Cornelis Schuytstraat – is home to an excellent number of shops and stores.
Talking of which… it is the famous red light district that brings in just as many tourists as the history and culture. Centred around the inner circle of canals, this area is synonymous with the city’s recent history. With its narrow alleyways, sex shops, legalised prostitution and “coffee shops” selling marijuana, this is the real draw for students and young people looking to discover the city’s more “colourful” side