A city of waterways, boutiques and bicycles, Amsterdam may seem quaint but it’s also a forward-thinking European Capital of Innovation with an entrepreneurial mindset – and always on trend, writes Sasha Wood
A hip and affordable business bolthole seconds away from the Amstel River, citizenM Amstel is a good choice. A high-tech hotel with high-end meeting rooms and co-working areas, it’s also within walking distance of Amsterdam’s prime places of interest for an inspiring break from work. Other picks include the Moxy Amsterdam Houthavens or, for longer stays, SACO's canalside Wittenberg aparthotel.
Overlooking the Amstel River, Bam Boa restaurant has relaxed Scandi summer house vibes and delicious food. Dining at De Plantage feels like eating in a greenhouse at Kew. Although you might have to be a little patient waiting to order, the gourmet Italian and Spanish inspired dishes are faultless.
Tucked inside the canal belt, the area around Rembrandt Square is a lively location for drinking, socialising and dancing after hours. The Flying Dutchman cocktail bar serves up interesting artisanal creations. To extend your evening, head to Claire, a club in Rembrandt Square with a diverse crowd, a good sound system and two rooms of thumping music curated by local as well as internationally-renowned DJs.
Eurostar services deposit visitors right in the heart of the city at Amsterdam Centraal train station. Travellers flying into Schiphol International Airport can take the airport train into the centre of the city, with a journey time of 15-20 minutes. Taxis and Ubers are readily available.
Must see sights
Board a Pure Boat tour outside Royal Theatre Carre on the Amstel River for a leisurely tour of Amsterdam’s cute and utterly charming canal belt. Many of the city’s museums are clustered neatly together in Museum Square. The Rijksmuseum houses a stellar collection of Van Goghs and Rembrandts, and boutique art venue the Moco Museum showcases subversive art from the likes of Banksy, inside a rambling old Dutch house. Elsewhere, Anne Frank’s House is a must-see memorial to the WWII heroine, but it’s very popular so be sure to book tickets in advance.
Eurostar services from London Kings Cross St Pancras to Amsterdam Centraal station take around four hours. Returning to London, passengers are required to change trains in Brussels, though a direct service begins on 15 December. EasyJet, BA, KLM and Flybe all fly direct from London and regional airports to Amsterdam with a flight time of around an hour. Further information
For further visitor information see holland.com
(Published December 2019)