Amsterdam - one of Europe's fascinating cities

Spotlight on Amsterdam

Posted June 26th, 2017

Amsterdam is a city full of powerful contradictions and intense diversity; a city filled with  fascinating characters and historic landmarks. While residents are known for their progressive attitudes and bohemian flair, Amsterdam’s historical influence remains strong. One of Europe’s most stimulating destinations, this port city should be on every cruiseship traveller’s bucket list.

 Afternoon light over Amsterdam canals 

Best time to visit

A genuine example of a year-round destination, Amsterdam is a great city to visit at any time.  If you wanted to get specific though, it would be hard to go past April.  From the Amsterdam Tulip Festival to the colourful King’s Day celebrations held annually on the 27th of April, the city is a hive of activity with locals and tourists celebrating the very best of Dutch culture.

 During the Tulip Mania in the 1630's, a single tulip was worth the same as a canal house in Amsterdam  

As the weather warms up, European springtime is also a great time to check out the city’s impressive parklands. Hire a bike and cruise through Vondelpark, or pack a picnic and chill out in the expansive surrounds of Amsterdamsebos.

 There are over 880,000 bikes in Amsterdam - more than four times the number of cars

Getting around

Amsterdam is one of the most pedestrian-friendly cities on the planet. It is relatively flat, making it the perfect location to explore by foot or bicycle. From the infamous red light district to the trendy neighbourhood of Jordaan (home to Brouwersgracht, voted Amsterdam’s most beautiful street), you’ll easily cover plenty of distance in a short period of time.

 Residents in Amsterdam ride about 2 million combined kilometers a day


The city centre is the ideal starting point. Take in a free walking tour, check out Dam Square, or get lost in one the district’s charming alleyways.

If you’re a beer lover, a trip to the Heineken Museum is a must. ‘The Heineken Experience’ is a self-guided tour that takes roughly 1.5 hours and is full of fascinating information about one of the world’s most loved beers. The best part? The museum is open 365 days a year!

Amsterdam is also home to the Van Gogh Museum, where you’ll find the world’s largest collection of works by the brilliant Dutch artist.

The Anne Frank Museum offers tourists a more sombre experience, but it is definitely a must-do. Situated in the very building where Anne Frank and her family spent their final years, visitors can see the Secret Annexe hiding place for themselves and learn more about this famous teenager and the Holocaust through exhibits, films and more. 

 The infamous red light district in Amsterdam is also known as 'De Wallen'



Amsterdam’s population hail from over 180 different backgrounds and this is certainly reflected in the city’s gastronomy. You’ll find tasty treats from all corners of the globe, but if you’ve only got a limited time here, ensure you sample the local cuisine. Rookworst is a popular smoked sausage that is well worth a try, accompanied of course by delicious thick cut chips... aka 'frites'. For dessert, you'll have a hard time choosing between stroopwaffels, appeltaart and poffertjes!

 Delicious Dutch poffertjes 

Keen to explore Amsterdam on your next cruising adventure? Simply contact one of our Cruiseabout consultants today on 1300 954 661 and they will be happy to answer your questions and help you make a booking.


Images courtesy of Getty.

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