A gentle ride: bike paths and canal cruisesA stay in Amsterdam is best seen as a peaceful meander through the town by foot, by bicycle or even by boat. Hire a bicycle to take advantage of the level, accessible bike paths that allow you to move freely through the picturesque little roads and many different neighbourhoods of the city. Its bridges are so many unique lookout points, from which you can appreciate a view of the cityscape and its traditional canal houses. Around the Nine Street area, the “9 straatjes”, each building has its own unique charm. Everything is designed to ensure locals and visitors alike have a calm, pleasant experience in the streets and the city. If your legs grow tired, you can take a break and hop aboard a boat and drift down the canals: it’s a perfect way to enjoy an exceptional view of this city built on stilts.Exploring a village with well-kept secretsAmsterdam is made up of narrow roads overflowing with hidden jewels and unique places. Explore its many neighbourhoods and discover the quiet spots where locals go to recharge their batteries. Between the flower stands full of multicoloured tulips at the Bloemenmarkt and the gardens of Begijnhof and Karthuizerhofje hidden behind a few houses, it’s easy to get caught up in the game of exploration. Each block has its own unique place just waiting to be discovered, from small cafe-restaurants to quirky fashion and design boutiques. The most authentic sides of the city can be discovered by adventurous travellers who choose to lose themselves off the beaten path.Art along the canalsIt’s difficult to miss Amsterdam’s museums, which have the largest collections of masterpieces by the Dutch masters in the world. The Van Gogh Museum pays homage to the country’s tortured genius, allowing visitors a glimpse into his universe through a unique collection of his works. A few minutes’ ride away, the Rijksmuseum, the Museum of the Netherlands, displays an incredible collection of works by old Dutch masters including Vermeer and Rembrandt. Take a moment to appreciate the skilful depictions of light in their paintings, for which they were well known during the Dutch Golden Age. The Stedelijk Museum is sure to please lovers of contemporary art and design, with its works by important artists like Matisse and Mondrian.The sweet life in AmsterdamTo have a true Amsterdam experience is to discover an atmosphere that is summed up in a single word: “gezellig”. Its definition varies from “cosy and friendly” to “restful”: essentially, a pleasant moment. While wandering around town, you’ll come across places like the Puccini Bomboni chocolate shop, where you’ll be happy to treat yourself to a break. Or you can walk into Cafe Chris, one of the many brown cafes found in the Jordaan neighbourhood. These warm, cosy places offer a chance to enjoy the moment from within a bubble of simplicity and joie de vivre. Their wood moulding and high-quality beer are sure to warm your hearts and spirits. Amsterdam’s restaurants also keep the flame of your evening alight as you have a romantic, candlelit dinner.
A trip to Amsterdam will make you realise that taking your time is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Enjoy the rhythm of the city and move around calmly, going wherever the spirit takes you. Live like the locals by treating yourself to moments of relaxation and pleasure. It’s the best way to enjoy this lovely city!
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