One of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, Amsterdam is a wonderfully eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, quaint waterside cafes, cultural museums and vibrant nightlife. Sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North because of its miles of serene canals, Amsterdam is a fairly compact city, making the task of seeing all of the major attractions a refreshingly stress free one.
The majority of accommodation in Amsterdam is fairly central too as two-thirds of the hotels are located in the heart of the city. Undoubtedly one of the best times of the year to visit is during the spring months. Amsterdam’s world-famous tulips are in full bloom at this time and there are a number of events that take place at springtime, as this guide by the guys at cheapflights.co.uk highlights.
An Ocean of Colour
Keukenhof Gardens is the largest flower park in the world and is a truly amazing spectacle in the spring. Although it is not actually located in Amsterdam, instead being just over twenty miles away in Lisse, the relatively short distance to travel is well worth it. Probably the best time to take a stroll around Keukenhof Gardens is the middle of April as the tulips are in full bloom then, presenting a gorgeous feast for the eyes. A riot of colour is also provided by the annual April Flower Parade where amazing floats, intricately decorated with flowers of all kinds, wind their way through the streets around Keukenhof. This is definitely one occasion to have your camera to hand.
Another date to make a note of in the diary is April 30th. This is Queen’s Day and is a national holiday in the Netherlands. Being the country’s capital, Amsterdam is one of the main areas of activity and many of the city residents can be seen dyeing their hair orange, a ritual known as ‘orange madness’, to honour their country.
In addition to being a city full of life and vigour, Amsterdam has a rich cultural legacy and this can be enjoyed by visitors today in the form of many museums and galleries in the city. Vincent van Gogh resided in Amsterdam for a while and the Van Gogh Museum here is home to the largest collection of the great artist’s paintings in the world. 2013 is the 160th anniversary of Van Gogh’s birth, so a special exhibition of some of his greatest work will be on display from the beginning of May.
The most well-known museum in Amsterdam is undoubtedly the Rijksmuseum. A feast for the eyes for all art lovers, the Rijksmuseum’s collection includes classic works by the likes of Jan Steen, Vermeer, Frans Hals and, of course, Amsterdam’s most famous son, Rembrandt. After being closed for renovation for a seemingly endless period of time, the main building of the Rijksmuseum has finally reopened its doors this spring and is an absolute must-see for all art and culture enthusiasts.
With much to please the eyes, Amsterdam is a perfect destination for a spring city break and is a place you are sure to want to return to again.