Amsterdam is nothing short of a tremendous multi cultural city and possesses all the amazing things you'd expect from a world famous capital such as deep culture, fantastic dining and outstanding nightlife, plus it’s got a few particularly tourist stimulating extras of its very own such as the celebrated red light district and the often controversial “coffee shops”. But the city’s well contained, even on the smaller side with a (non tourist) population of well under a million which makes it ideal for a weekend break. Famous for its multiple canals, the way Amsterdam is set means there's less traffic so it's relatively quiet for such a major city, but you’ve still got to pay attention when walking about there are over 200 trams are loads more bicycles, (it’s said there are more bikes than people and nearly 2/3s of Amsterdammers cycle daily)!
The Netherlands is home to quite frankly more than its fair share of top breweries (Grolsch and Heineken being the most famous) and the country remains pound-for-pound one of the world’s biggest beer exporters, so thirsty visitors can expect some top quality beer that should really make the trip golden! Amsterdam has so much to offer stag groups besides the obvious (red light district and ‘smoky cafés') and a great way to appreciate the sites and the history of the city is on a worthwhile canal boat tour. For a feel of the local vibe you could also visit one of the many markets, you’ll find over 30 here, with the floating flower market (Bloemenmarkt) being one of the most famous must-see sites.
The talented Dutch are not known to shout about their gifts but take the time to look a bit closer and you’ll see what an staggering contribution the country and its Capital have made and continue to make to Europe and the world. You’ll have a great time!
|Flight time:||75mins from Bristol|
|Tipping:||10% is standard for good service, taxis round up to nearest 10.|
|Not to be missed:||brewery dinner, strip dinner, target shooting|
|Visas:||Not required for British passport holders, varies for other nationalities (see here for more info)|
|Immunisation/ Vaccination:||None required|
|Must have:||Travel insurance (including health)|
|Should have:||European health card (EHIC)|
|Distance from airport:||20km|
|Distance from London:||222 miles|
|AKA:||The Venice of the North & "Mokum" (Hebrew for city or place)|
|Top team:||Ajax (football)|
Trams provide the best way to get around Amsterdam (map) and run regularly until 12:15am.
City Buses are primarily used to reach outlying suburbs and after the trams have stopped running. Night buses run from midnight until 7am with routes connecting to Central Station, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein.
The Metro (tube) is fast but is only useful if you need to travel far outside the city centre or to the Amsterdam Arena.
Bicycling in Amsterdam is a way of life for most Dutch and still the best way to get around. There are dedicated bike paths throughout the city and few hills to conquer. A number of companies offer bicycle rentals for around €8 per day with discounts for longer rentals.
Taxi stands are available at most tourist hubs including Dam Square Central Station. Hailing a taxi is quite difficult and virtually impossible on weekends, but cab service is generally prompt if you call ahead (city cab: 0900.677.7777). Rides cost €1.80 per km regardless of the time of day and a 5%-10% tip is expected.
For a truly Dutch taxi twist, catch one of the many bicycle taxis around the city. The pedal powered taxis can carry up to two people and are actually cheaper than conventional.