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Colorful bridge with lights at night in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Compare the best Amsterdam city breaks

Vibrant and energetic, Amsterdam is a city that has something for every kind of holidaymaker. Whether it's relaxing aboard a boat on one of its elegant canals, exploring the city's many museums, or even catching a few rays on the beach, Amsterdam is just waiting to be discovered.

Why go?

Whether you're a culture vulture looking to delve into history, a shopaholic in pursuit of some retail therapy, or just craving a little R and R, Amsterdam has something for everyone.

On arrival in Amsterdam, a beautiful web of canals, elegant bridges and historic gabled buildings will greet you. Get your holiday off to a fantastic start by taking a canal cruise from which you will be able to enjoy an introduction to the city from the water.

The compact size of Amsterdam makes it a great place to discover by foot, or alternatively you could join the locals by hiring a bike and see the sights from the saddle. Culture vultures will have plenty to keep them entertained with the huge array of museums on offer such as the Van Gogh Museum which showcases a large number of the artist's paintings and drawings, the Museum of Handbags and Purses, and the Rijks Museum which presents work from artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer.

Other attractions that you may like to experience during your visit include Anne Frank's house, Madame Tussauds, Amsterdam Dungeon and Artis Zoo.

If you fancy catching some rays you might like to head to one of the city's urban beaches such as Strand West or Blijburg aan Zee. During the summer months sporty types will be able to enjoy activities on many of these sandy stretches.

A spot of retail therapy should be on your list during your stay in the city. The Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) is situated in the centre of Amsterdam's historic canal district and here you will find quirky vintage boutiques, jewellers, and a number of restaurants and bars if you're in need of some light refreshment after all your shopping. Or maybe you're looking to splash the cash and visit some high-end designer stores? If this is the case, head to the exclusive P.C Hooftstraat. Alternatively, if you're after some bargains, the flea market on Waterlooplein will allow you to choose from clothes, gifts and handmade items.

Heading out of the city will enable you to experience the typically Dutch landscape in areas such as picturesque Zaanse Schans. A visit here will allow you to step back in time; the windmills are still working and include a saw mill, a paint mill and an oil mill. There are also various museums you can visit and enjoy watching skills such as clog making.

When to go?

You'll want to time your city break to Amsterdam with the best weather - find out what to expect when you visit...

Amsterdam is great for a city break at any time of year. However, rainfall can be expected at any time, so come prepared with a brolly.

Temperatures during the summer months of July and August can reach around 21 degrees, while temperatures in October can reach 14 degrees, and during March just eight degrees.

What to do?

The fantastic thing about Amsterdam is that there really is something for everyone, no matter what type of holiday you are looking for...

Active: Make like a local and explore the city by bike. Not only can you congratulate yourself on getting some exercise, but you will be able to enjoy sightseeing.

Romance: Hiring a boat and going out on the canals is sure to inspire romance as you glide past historic buildings and charming bridges.

Free and cheap: Amsterdam has a number of street markets which can be enjoyed for free such as the Bloemenmarkt (flower market). Soak up the atmosphere as you wander around the fascinating stalls.

Shopping: Enjoy the Waterlooplein flea market to find some one-off bargains and bring home some souvenirs.

Family: There are a number of parks worth exploring in Amsterdam such as the city's largest park, Vondelpark. So pack a picnic, bag a spot by the lake, and let the kids enjoy the green spaces of the city.


What's on?

From large scale events to local festivals, find out what will be going on in Amsterdam when you visit...

Amsterdam Salsa Festival; February: Sizzle on the dance floor at this three-day extravaganza in which you can attend workshops and watch performances by Dutch and international dancers.

Meibock Festival; April: The perfect event for beer lovers, this festival celebrates brews from the Netherlands and further afield.
Amsterdam Fashion Week; July: Amsterdam's canal streets come alive with catwalks and workshops and showcase European fashion at this popular event.

Harbour Festival Ijmuiden; August: Nautical activities are the theme of this free, family-friendly festival. Enjoy music, culture and entertainment.

Amsterdam Light Festival; December and January: The city and canals become illuminated during the winter months of December and January. Take a magical walking route or canal cruise to see illuminated artworks.