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What to Do in Amsterdam on a City Break

With Eurostar launching a direct rail service between London and Amsterdam on 4th April 2017, it is likely that more and more people will be drawn to the already popular Dutch capital. It will take less than 4 hours and there will be two services per day, one at 08:31 and another at 17:31. However, passengers on the return leg will need to change at Brussel-Midi station to head through security and passport control. This is temporary until The UK and Netherlands governments find a solution to allow Eurostar to check travellers’ passports before departing Amsterdam.

You can book your tickers a of 20th February and tickets start from £35 one-way. So, what should be on your itinerary when you get there?

Vondelpark

Amsterdam’s beloved park, Vondelpark is a lush green space scattered with colourful flowers and water fountains. Particularly in the spring and summer months, Vondelpark is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic, hire a bicycle, or simply take a stroll. It is much loved by tourists and locals alike and it is a tranquil escape from the city.

Anne Frank House

The iconic canal side home, which is now a dedicated museum, helps visitors understand the cramped conditions the Frank family had to endure whilst they hid from the Nazis. The tragic life of Anne Frank and the fate of many European Jews during World War II is echoed throughout the rooms of the secret annex where eight people hid for 25 months before they were captured by the Gestapo in August 1944.

Tickets are €9 for adults and €4.50 for those aged between 10 and 17. To avoid the lengthy que that is present outside the house most days it can be worth purchasing a ticket online. These are released two months in advance.

ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo

You wouldn’t expect a zoo in the middle of a city, but since when has Amsterdam been considered anything but the norm? One of the oldest zoos of mainland Europe, the Royal Zoo is home to 900 different species of animal.

The zoo incorporates 27 historic buildings, many of which are used for animal enclosures, including a grand aquarium which was built in 1882. What is now the wolf house was originally an inn and the Masman Garden House were standing before the zoo was ever established.

ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo is a fantastic day out to enjoy beautiful architecture, Amsterdam’s history, and interesting animals.

The Red Light District

Understandably not one for the children, but who could resist a peep at the infamous district? Despite its warranted reputation, Amsterdam’s red light district has a much friendlier atmosphere than people assume and crime levels have dropped drastically.

Those visiting Amsterdam for a celebration can enjoy a fun night out in the red light district’s many bars and clubs. Amsterdam prides itself on its very liberal and tolerant attitude. However, some visitors are not ready for quite how full on a red light district experience can be!

Rijksmuseum

One of the most visited attractions in Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands. There are over 8,000 objects on display in the museum, which underwent a 10 year restoration project which finished in 2013. Recognisable paintings from the Dutch Golden age in the 17th century adorn the walls from artists such as Rembrandt, van Honthorst, and Vermeer.

The Van Gogh Museum

The life and work of celebrated artist Vincent Van Gogh can be explored at the Van Gogh Museum. Spread across three floors, visitors can absorb the largest collection of his paintings in chronological order, showing how he refined his style over time. Alongside the great works are letters written by the man himself.

The Heineken Experience

Whether you enjoy the brew or not, a trip the The Heineken Experience is an interesting experience. You take yourself on a self-guided tour through the museum which details the history and production of the most popular beer in the Netherlands. Over four floors there are interactive exhibits, videos, and displays to give guests the inside scoop on Heineken.

Rembrandt House Museum

Considering his work is featured in the Rijksmuseum, visitors won’t be surprised to learn that the famous artist lived in Amsterdam for over 15 years. From 1639 until his bankruptcy in 1656, Rembrandt lived in a beautiful townhouse which has been lovingly restored to mock how it would have looked when the artist was in residence.

Dam Square

A quick stroll down the Damrak from Central Station takes you to Dam Square. There is always something going on in the square and it is a place that is always busy with locals and tourists alike. It was built in the 13th century to act as a defence against the River Amstel.

In the 1960s Dam Square was a local haunt for hippies and this laidback atmosphere is still present in the area today. You can also find the Royal Palace here too; quite literally the jewel in the crown of this wonderful area.

Royal Palace Amsterdam

The incredible palace was originally built as a grand city hall during the Dutch Golden age and went on to become the royal home of King Louise Napoleon and the Dutch Royal House to this day. Construction began in 1648 and it took 17 years to build.

When the palace is not in use by the Dutch Royal Family, visitors are welcome to visit and explore the stately rooms and take in the beautiful artworks and furnishings.

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