- Cityscape Townhouses and waterways
- City life Laid-back laissez-faire
The city with a village mentality, where ducks compete for canal-bank space with disoriented tourists.
Once you’ve dipped into the heady club and bar culture, jump on a tram to the picturesque Nine Streets area; hire a bike to explore architecturally interesting Zuid; or hit the beach – it’s only 30 minutes away. It’s time to graduate from the red-light district and explore one of Europe’s most picturesque, liveliest cities.
Do go/Don’t go
Weekends are busy all year round, and September is a big time for conferences, so book ahead.
- Planes Schiphol International Airport (www.schiphol.nl) is one of Europe’s busiest and serves major cities throughout the UK with more than 100 flights daily. Direct flights are regularly available with national and budget airlines such as British Airways (www.britishairways.com) and easyJet (www.easyjet.com). KLM (www.KLM.com) and Delta (www.delta.com) each have three flights leaving everyday out of JFK and Europe’s larger cities offer several direct daily connections. The most convenient way to get into the city is via the direct train link to Amsterdam Central which takes 15 minutes and costs less than €4. A shuttle service can take you direct to your hotel for €15.50 or a taxi from the front of the airport will cost around €45.
- Boats A cruise through Amsterdam’s famous canal system will take you to the city’s main tourist attractions like the Anne Frank House and Rembrandt Square. The Canal Bus (www.canal.nl) has four different lines to choose from and a day ticket costs €18.
- Trains All domestic and international trains arrive at Amsterdam Central Station, which has great public transport links. GVB (www.gvb.nl) provides a metro, tram and bus service throughout the city, and an OV-chipcard will get you unlimited travel for as long as you need (www.ov-chipkaart.nl).
- Automobiles Hailing a cab in Amsterdam isn’t easy but taxi ranks can be found in the more touristy spots around the city. Bicycles are still number one for getting around town and daily rentals are about €8. For a quick trip you can always flag down one of the many bike taxis found darting through the streets, but expect to pay a little more.
- Taxis There are ranks all over, but you can usually hail; tip ten per cent. Beware of unlicensed mini-cabs.