Weekend breaks in Amsterdam can be wonderful and wild or chic and sleek: this city is known for its amazing nightlife, Kings Day festivals, museums and beautiful canals. Spend the weekend hopping from bar to club in Leidseplein, sip coffee in the backstreets of Jordaan and go shopping downtown. The Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank’s House should be on any first timer’s list for a weekend in Amsterdam, whereas the Heineken Factory can be enjoyed again and again. The best time to visit Amsterdam is spring and summer. Spring is the best time to see the tulips, whereas summer has perfect weather and festival season kicks off too.
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Where to go out in Amsterdam
The best area to stay for nightlife in Amsterdam is usually the Dam Square, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein. For clubs and partying, the best places to go out are in the Red Light District (to the left of Dam Square), or Leidseplein. There are plenty of hostels and affordable hotels here, and it draws in young travellers and locals for parties that usually continue into the early hours of the morning. Rembrandtplein is great if you’d like to avoid the ‘hostel’ scene, and you prefer bars to clubs. Amsterdam’s biggest nightclubs (like WesterUnie and SugarFactory) are located on the outer canal ring, but you can have a fun night out in any of the bars in the centre. There are also a number of gay bars and clubs in Amsterdam – this is a LGBT friendly city.
What to do in Amsterdam
You can’t go to Amsterdam without checking out the Rijksmuseum, the Vondelpark, Rembrandt’s House or the Van Gogh Museum. This is the largest collection of his works anywhere in the world. This isn’t just a beautiful city on the outside though: a morning spent in The Pijp or Jordaan amongst the boutiques and vintage shops will show you the Dam’s seriously impressive design stores, and the canals alone are pretty as a picture. You can even rent out a boat or take a tour within the inner canal ring – pack a cool box with Heineken’s and a picnic for an amazing summer day out in Amsterdam.
Check out the best things to do in Amsterdam.
Tips for visiting Amsterdam
Best area to stay in Amsterdam
So long as you are within the inner canal ring, you’ll be within walking or cycling distance of all Amsterdam’s main attractions. This area starts at Central Station, and finishes around the museum area (look at the Heineken or Van Gogh Museum on the map).
Check out these 9 arty hotels in Amsterdam – with amazing locations.
Best time to visit Amsterdam
If you want to see the tulip fields in Keukenhof, April and May are the best times to visit Amsterdam. King’s Day is also on April 27th, every year. Travellers flood the city in summer, which makes it plenty of fun for a weekend break for nightlife, drinking and sightseeing. December is also a great time to visit for Christmas shopping, Christmas markets and window displays.
Where to rent bikes in Amsterdam
There are more bikes than people in Amsterdam, and it’s easy to rent a bike for €20-30 a day in the centre. There are easy cycleways on most of the canals in Amsterdam, but guided tours are great ways to get introduced to cycling in the city.
This information is correct as of March 2017