One of the most unique cities in the world is Amsterdam. Its signature feature is the canals teeming with houseboats, but there’s a lot more beyond that glittering image. It has many waterway-spanning bridges and narrow cobbled paths; tall, narrow merchant houses with beautiful architecture lining the streets; and a vibrant culture both old and modern – all of which make it a must-visit on your world travels.
Amsterdam is a city teeming with culture and vibrancy for the international traveler.
Amsterdam has produced some world-class artistic and literary luminaries, from Anne Frank to Van Gogh, to Vermeer, to Rembrandt. These figures are celebrated in the city’s many fine museums, including the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Hermitage Amsterdam, to name a few.
For a true sense of Dutch culture, there are many traditional establishments to choose from, like the famous “brown cafes.” These are wood-paneled pubs that are, in many cases, centuries-old and serve beer and wine – and occasionally gin.
You can’t visit Amsterdam without taking a canal boat through the city or hopping on a bike and breezing along meandering paths. In fact, much of the locals rely on these modes of transportation versus any other types – besides walking, of course.
Other famous sights and attractions include the floating flower markets, the sprawling urban oasis at Vondelpark, or the Amsterdam Tulip Museum.
Of course, you can’t mention the city without also including its infamous Red-Light District. Recent efforts to clean up this once-salacious and crime-riddled area have resulted in a safer experience for those who aren’t faint-of-heart. There are still prostitutes and “coffeeshops” (cannabis cafes), but there are also dive bars, pubs, and lots of places to grab a bite.
Flights to Amsterdam will take the intrepid on a one-of-a-kind experience, one that shouldn’t be passed up.
Flights to Amsterdam usually arrive at Schiphol International Airport, which is an easy 18 kilometers away from the city center. It is known as one of Europe’s busiest airports, as it often serves as a connection hub to other locales abroad.
Schiphol has a distinct meeting point in the airport plaza. It’s an enormous 3-D cube with a red and white checkerboard pattern, designed by an American artist, Dennis Adams. It was meant as an art installation, but has served a more practical purpose for the many travelers who pass through the airport.
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Travel both to and from Schiphol is incredibly easy. After you grab your bags from baggage claim, follow the signs to reach multiple help desks for traveling by bus, train, car, or taxi.
Schiphol Plaza provides access to all your transport options. To catch a train, head to the platform located directly below the airport. The train will take you straight into the city – all you’ll need is a public transport card, which additionally gets you rides on the bus, metro, and tram. This is an easy way to travel back to the airport, too.
Hop on a city bus line at one of the stops outside the plaza. The Amsterdam Express will take you into the city, or the Schiphol Hotel Shuttle will whisk you away to your hotel.
To take a taxi, there are taxi ranks outside the plaza, too. You can also rent a car in advance online or go to one of the rental car desks, also located in the plaza, to get your ride in order.
The airport offers all kinds of guest services, plus facilities for entertainment, convenience, and just passing the time before your flight.
If you need help carrying your bags, a porter will be on the job. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the facility, along with computers and printers for use in every lounge area that can be used for a flat fee. If you find yourself in need of a shower, that service is available, too.
If you have a little one, there’s a Babycare Lounge that accommodates your needs. These provide private areas for feeding, bathing, and even sleeping. Tired parents will also find areas to relax here while their babies nap.
There are plenty of shopping, dining, and relaxing opportunities at the airport after you go through security. Just a few of the goods you can purchase include chocolates, liquor, accessories, clothing, skin care and makeup products, electronics, and even fresh tulips, bulbs, or seeds from the airport flower market.
As for eating, there are cafes, bars, restaurants, and fast food joints all throughout the airport. Get something to grab on-the-go or settle in for a more refined, sit-down meal.
If you want to make an airport purchase but don’t want to lug it around with you, there’s a unique service offered at Schiphol called “shop and collect.” Just tell the cashier you want to pick up your purchases later, and they will be stored for you for free in a secure location. When you return to the airport, pick them up and take them home with you.
Amsterdam is a unique city with a vibrant culture and storied history. Find yourself on cheap flights to Amsterdam to discover all that the main hub of the Netherlands has to offer.