Romantic Weekend in Amsterdam | Book Amsterdam!
Romantic weekend in Amsterdam: Amsterdam isn’t everyone’s idea of a romantic city; it does have a reputation of sorts, even though the city itself has moved on.
This is something of a boon to thrifty couples, however, since the “cheap weekender” rep means it’s still extremely economical to fly to Amsterdam, even at civilised times of day.
The train ride from Schiphol airport to Centraal Station is brief & inexpensive, too – just 20 minutes from right inside the airport.
An elegant web of 17th century canals, lined with trees & distinctive tall narrow buildings, defines Amsterdam’s “old town”, while expansive parks, lakes & wider canals extend through the newer outskirts.
Although the old town, known as “the Dam”, is the city’s traditional centre – this is where the train arrives, & the royal palace is here – there is a great deal to see beyond it.
There are additionally a number of fine restaurants to discover and very romantic.
Head west of Damrak for a broad, airy, pedestrianised maze of shopping streets that spreads between Nieuwedijk & Kalverstraat, or to P.C. Hooftstraat, just south-west of the Damrak, for high-end designer boutiques.
Amsterdam’s market culture dates back to the 1800s, with Waterlooplein Flea Market traditionally considered its oldest & most venerable, despite having become very touristy.
There are always good bits & pieces amongst the detritus, & you can haggle here, so you may well come away with something special if you know what you’re doing.
Shopping isn’t everyone’s idea of a romantic activity, of course; thankfully Amsterdam is also blessed with several excellent museums & many galleries.
The Van Gogh museum is actually a bit of a disappointment, unless you’re a die-hard fan; if you only have time for one gallery or museum, head to the Hermitage.
Sister of the State Hermitage collection in St Petersburg, which houses more than three million works of art & cultural artefacts.
The Amsterdam wing features a constant flow of guest pieces from Russia, alongside several impressive permanent exhibitions.
If you do fancy a little sauce with your romance, the red light district is still present, albeit restricted to a few streets to the east of Damrak.
Don’t go here if you’re a sensitive soul; it’s an odd blend of seedy tourist attraction & cold hard trade, with some genuinely darker elements coming out at night.
During the day & evening, though, it’s fun to wander around if you’re a reasonably open-minded couple, providing you take sensible precautions & stay on the main streets.
The Sex Museum on Damrak is more funny & interesting than sexy, with a mix of bawdy seaside-style exhibits & sophisticated works of art.
If you’d like a taste of Amsterdam’s cheeky side without getting tangled in its business end, this is the place to go.
The Dam is easy to wander by foot, at least in warmer weather, with a good tram system connecting the outlying museums & parks.
Boat hire is a lovely alternative, & an undoubtedly romantic way to explore, or you may feel brave enough to rent a bike & join the thousands of Amsterdammers who cycle to work each day.
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