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Amsterdam: A TravelSim Quick Guide

A network of beautiful intertwining canals encircling calm cobbled streets upon which locals read newspapers and cyclists pass by under the sprawling boughs of elm trees. This is not a city on the balmy Italian Adriatic, this is Amsterdam, the “Venice of the North.” The Dutch capital is rightly considered one of Europe’s top short break destinations.

Under the permanent rule of a coalition government, the Netherlands has always been a country of compromise and tolerance. Nowhere else is this national culture more evident than in Amsterdam where sex shops rub shoulders with art galleries and the famous drug tolerant coffee shops line up adjacent to museums and parks. This truly is a city with something for everyone. So this winter make sure you don’t get caught cold. Plan your trip with TravelSim, and don’t forget to pack up a European SIM card with when traveling!

Getting Around 

Amsterdam is the world’s most bicycle-friendly capital city. With 58% of residents making their daily journeys by bike, there is plenty of opportunity for cycling the city’s myriad canals. An estimated bike population of 880,000 has seen the Amsterdam council create plenty of secure parking spaces across the capital and plenty of bike hire services to match to ensure that cycling remains the best way to visit the Dutch capital.

Not much of a cyclist? Nine ferry routes across 165 waterways of a canal ring protected on UNESCOs World Heritage List is not a bad alternative. If you are looking to get anywhere fast, then the ferry may not be the best option but tourists will certainly enjoy boarding the boats for the ultimate up-close-and-personal experience of Amsterdam. What’s the rush anyway? Relax aboard and take in the beautiful 16th and 17th century canal houses of the Dutch Golden Age.

A network of over 200 trams light up the city and keep the centre buzzing throughout the day and long into the night. From the trams criss-crossing the city to the metro and buses which travel further out, there are plenty of options for traveling the city and at reasonable prices (starting at €7.50 for a day pass across all three transports).

Where To Stay

There are more than 400 hotels to stay in across Amsterdam, 14 of which are 5* accommodation. The hotels are really spread out across the city so it is difficult to recommend a particular district to search for – mostly it depends upon the type of holiday you are looking for. One district in particular to be aware of is De Wallen, the rosse buurt to Amsterdammers, or the Red Light District to regular visitors. Although the area itself is beautiful – historically the oldest part of Amsterdam – it may not be to everyone’s preference.

Alternatively, there are six campsites and plenty of hostels to choose from which may appeal to the large youthful population of tourists that Amsterdam attracts. The TripAdvisor app can help you choose your best accommodation options and equally Airbnb is a resourceful substitute. You can easily browse those apps with our roaming SIM card which has a data option.

Where To Eat

Amsterdam is the indulgence capital of Europe for food. Argentinian steak houses, waffles and thick cut fries are just some examples of the cold weather comfort food abundant in the Dutch capital.

There are 1,500 cafes and bars and another 1,500 restaurants in the inner city metropolis, not to mention the hundreds of street vendors who line the roads daily.

The Netherlands is also the world’s biggest exporter of beer. Twice as much beer is exported from the Netherlands than the United States, the second biggest exporter. If you don’t manage to visit the Heineken factory during your stay, be sure to sample some in any of the thousands of cosy local bars.

What To Do

Favourite attractions in Amsterdam include the world-famous Van Gogh museum, the Anne Frank Huis, and the stunning collection of Rembrandt paintings at the Rijksmuseum. In fact with over 60 museums, Amsterdam has the highest museum density in the world meaning you will never be bored. There are a whole host of lesser-known places to visit among them, including the Resistance Museum, the Royal Palace on the Dam and the copious amounts of windmills, houseboats and ancient buildings to visit. There are also 40 public parks, and over 30 markets without even counting the more than 6,000 shops. Surely however, the most pleasing activity for many tourists is a stroll along the city’s beautiful canal system followed by a lovely lunch beside a fire in a wooden-floored pub.

This week, the TravelSim Team will be attending Capacity Europe 2014 in Amsterdam, the largest European carrier meeting for the global marketplace. So please visit this wonderful European city with TravelSim.

Welkom to Amsterdam!