- Amsterdam Light Festival
If you’re heading to Amsterdam between 28th November and 17thJanuary, this spectacular display is not one to miss! For the fourth year, this beautiful city is set to be transformed with the help of contemporary international light artists, treating residents and visitors to a spectacle of light! There are a variety of tours available so you can see the landmarks and artwork up close, and you can choose between a canal cruise and walking route.
- Festive frivolities
Whether you fancy feeling warm and fuzzy at a Christmas market, or skating atop some of the famous canals, Amsterdam is the perfect festive paradise. The city has over 26 market areas to chose from, and an abundance of stalls to browse. Our favourite market picks are Albert Cuypmarkt, which is filled with 300 stalls and gift grottos, and the Winterland Market in Rembrandplein, which is surrounded by twinkling Christmas trees and stalls with gifts and edible delights. If you’d like to pop your skates on, then we recommend heading to Leidesplein and Museumplein which both host traditional ice rink villages.
- Beer tasting in a windmill
Windmills are a historical part of Amsterdam, but did you think about visiting one to sample some tasty tipples? Under the sails of the Gooyer windmill lies the Brouwerj ‘Tij, an award winning artisan microbrewery which offers guided tasting tours. Love beer? Then pop this on your to do list!
- Museums and galleries
Delve into Amsterdam’s rich history and culture by visiting the array of fascinating museums and art galleries. From the Amsterdam Museum, the Ann Frank Museum and the Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, a quaint church capturing the charm of the city’s history, to the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijksmuseum, which has been reopened after a decade-long renovation, you are spoiled for cultural choice!
- Live music
Amsterdam is home to some great, unique and quirky gig venues, so if you’re a music lover then this will be right up your street. With up-and-coming bands and DJs performing regularly across the city, keep your eyes peeled for something that takes your fancy. Some venues often turn into club nights too, and Paradiso, a formed church turned music venue of choice, is extremely popular at all times of the day!
- Cycle through the city
Cycling is a popular means of getting around Amsterdam, and the perfect way to go sightseeing! There are plenty of spots to rent bicycles and you can also book guided bicycle tours from the Yellow Bike company so that you don’t get lost or miss any of the key landmarks.
- Visit the EYE
Are you a film fanatic? Then this is a must for you! Situated on the southern shore of the IJ behind Central Station lies the EYE Film Institute, a striking white building that has become one of Amsterdam’s most iconic landmarks since opening in 2012. It houses a permanent exhibition showcasing retrospectives and contemporary exhibits, as well as an eclectic film library, cinema and fabulous restaurant and bar with a terrace overlooking the water.
- Cutting-edge street art
You don’t need to head to the art galleries to view Amsterdam’s creative talent! The streets are home to some fantastic artwork, from freehand graffiti to stencils, sculptures and stickers. Many urban galleries have noticed this thriving community of street artists, including Go Gallery that sells work next to a giant wall-side example of one of their creations. If you love art, then you’ll be delighted on your sightseeing adventures.
- Stylish shopping trips
Although the crowds flock to some of the busy department stores or shopping districts, heading in a different direction is advised if you want a more authentic and quaint shopping experience. De Negen Straatjes, or The Nine Streets, is maze of charming cobbled streets filled with over 200 shops, including unique boutiques, vintage outlets and speciality stores. It’s definitely worth a visit if you want to experience true Dutch shopping.
Amsterdam is a truly photogenic city, so don’t forget to snap some shots of you and your friends, family or loved one on your trip! And of course, don’t forget to have your photo taken on the I Amsterdam letters outside the Rijksmuseum. You wouldn’t be a proper tourist if you didn’t!
If you love the sound of Amsterdam, why not book your city break departing from Inverness Airport.