Amsterdam is delightful any time of the year – but summer reigns supreme. In July and August tourists flock to the never-ending procession of celebrations, festivals and music concerts staged atop scenic canal bridges. Amsterdam is an attractive Old World city truly in touch with its evocative, idiosyncratic and tolerant heritage. This city is a canvass, and it’s your vacation to paint any way you see fit.
Do take the train. The trains are conveniently located beneath the well-organized airport. The ride to the city’s hotel district is only 15 minutes and costs a paltry 3.60 euros (about $4.42), one way.
Before you arrive, grab a hearty breakfast – a traditional Dutch pancake (“pannekoeken”); top yours with apple and Grand Marnier. The Pancake Bakery is only a block from the Anne Frank house.
The world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings is in the famous Van Gogh Museum. “Beauty in Abundance,” currently on display, has works of such masters as Bonnard, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec. Details: www.vangoghmuseum.nl.
The giant Rijksmuseum is considered Amsterdam’s finest museum, but due to hold-ups in renovation, displays are limited. Do your homework in advance ( www.rijksmuseum.nl). The iconic ‘ I amsterdam’ letters in front of the museum are a photo opportunity waiting to happen.
The Waterlooplein Market, in the middle of Amsterdam, is more avant garde in its offerings – and is an enjoyable and laid-back shopping experience.