A typical Amsterdam canal with bicycles

Compare the best Amsterdam flights

Amsterdam is very much what you make of it: relaxed café life and equally relaxed attitudes are there to be enjoyed and there's a kicking nightlife scene if you're after a heady holiday soundtrack.

Why go?

For delightful canal cruises, tulip gardens and, of course, wonderful art and culture, get your clogs on and head to Amsterdam...

A relaxed city break in Europe feels like a contradiction in terms, but that is exactly what you can get in the small, delightful city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

So what to see once you're in Amsterdam? Well there's historic Dam Square, the Anne Frank House, nightlife-centre Rembrandtplein (good for a local Amstel or Heineken beer), the NEMO science centre, and the world-famous canals, such as Prinsengracht, Herengracht and Singel. Plus the city's shipbuilding heritage is on proud display at the harbour.

And how to get around the sights? There's bike hire of course, easily achieved in a city of approximately 600,000 bicycles. Or you could get yourself on a canal cruise and see Amsterdam from the water.

Amsterdam is a city of museums and the excellent Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum are worth a few hours of your city break. Jordaan, the former working-class district turned upmarket area is crammed with trendy art galleries.

While there's no ignoring the red light district in Amsterdam or the rather liberal attitude to soft drugs, if that's not what you're visiting for you can avoid this side of the city. Simply steer well clear of the well sign-posted “coffeeshops” and instead go to the famous “brown cafés” if you actually want coffee.

How to get there

There are plenty of flights to Amsterdam from UK airports and the flight time is around an hour...

Whatever you want to enjoy in Amsterdam, flights are frequent from the UK and cheap prices can be found at any time of the year. Use the price-comparison tool on TravelSupermarket to start your Amsterdam adventure today.

Easyjet has the most flights from the UK, with departures from four London airports (Luton, Gatwick, Stansted and Southend), as well as Manchester, Liverpool, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and Bristol.

KLM offers flights from 15 UK departure points including London City and Heathrow, Southampton, Cardiff, Norwich, Leeds Bradford and Durham Tees Valley.

British Airways operates from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City, and Jet2 has flights from Leeds Bradford. Flybe has flights from East Midlands, Birmingham, Exeter, Southampton and Inverness.

Getting to and from the airport

As a modern city, Amsterdam's Schiphol airport has great transport links and facilities...

The treasures of this multicultural city - such as the canals, gabled houses, museums, and oddities such as the floating flower market - are only minutes away after leaving Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (AMS).

Schiphol (AMS) is the main international airport of the Netherlands, located 20 minutes south-west of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer.

There are fast connections into the city by train (around 20 minutes) for around four euros per person. Compared to a bus journey at around 15 euros, the train is also cheap. Taxis are a reasonable option too, though the train is by far the winner for best value and fastest journey time. Car hire is available at the airport if you plan on seeing the countryside around Amsterdam, or travelling to another part of the Netherlands.

Where to stay?

As a modern, cosmopolitan city, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to wonderful places to stay in Amsterdam, no matter what your budget...

Such is the popularity of Amsterdam that even if you are on a brief overnight stay, the city provides something for everyone.

It is a very manageable city thanks to its compact size and handy districts, called 'stadsdelen'.

The Old City and Dam areas right in the centre are great for touring the city's canals, quaint shops and restaurants. Hotels near here are often pricier but everything is within walking (or even cycling) distance.

If you are looking for the city's great nightlife and wish to check out the famous coffee shops, head to the famous Red Light District - known locally as De Wallen. Hotels near here are much cheaper but expect facilities to range from good to very basic.

For real luxury and sophistication however, aim to stay in the Oud-Zuid area. Here you are not far from the famous Van Gogh Museum and Amsterdam's most fashionable shopping streets. Expect to pay premium nightly rates in the several plush hotels in this area.