Amsterdam city breaks

If you’re looking for a chilled-out city break, then look no further than Amsterdam. Explore the city’s sun-dappled canals, lively bar and club scene or round your day off in a cosy brown café. 

Amsterdam last-minute breaks

Looking for a destination that’s full of culture, great entertainment, and plenty of opportunities for some serious sightseeing, but is still close to home? You can’t get much better than an Amsterdam last-minute break. A flight time of just over an hour from London will put you right in the heart of the Dutch capital, with its charming merchant’s houses, world-class art museums, and amazing boutique shopping.

A last-minute break to Amsterdam is ideal if you’re planning a weekend away with friends to celebrate an anniversary or birthday. Or perhaps you’re planning a romantic surprise getaway for you and your loved one? . Within the space of a few hours you could be drinking coffee in a Dutch café next to one of the city’s iconic canals, or looking at Van Gogh’s greatest paintings right here in his home town.

Weekend breaks to Amsterdam

In just one hour and 15 minutes you can fly from London to Amsterdam, making this the perfect destination for a spur-of-the-moment city break. A short hop takes you to a city filled with culture, entertainment, fabulous cafés, and unique architecture unlike anything else in Europe. Friendly, laid-back and with lots to see and do, weekend breaks to Amsterdam are the perfect opportunity to leave the ordinary behind and try something new and exciting.

Amsterdam open up the chance to tour some of Europe’s finest art galleries and museums, take a romantic night-time cruise along those famous canals, complete with a candle-lit meal, or explore the city’s markets and boutiques. Book a weekend break in Amsterdam and whisk your loved one off to one of the prettiest and most romantic cities in Europe for that special anniversary.

Things to do

With sun-dappled canals and a lively bar and club scene, it’s one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Discover the city’s history at the Rijksmuseum, browse the canal-side shops and markets, and then round your day off in a cosy brown café. Whether you like to fill your holiday with lots of sightseeing, or prefer to discover a new city at a more relaxed pace, you’ll find an incredible range of things to see and do in Amsterdam. We’ve highlighted our top recommendations to help you plan your trip, and make the most of your time in ‘The Dam’.

Ideal for a stroll

With its attractive array of canals and waterways, Amsterdam is the perfect city for you to go for a wander. Meander down cobbled streets as you stop to take photos of the interesting architecture, pretty views and interesting sights. Tight alleys open up into buzzing squares, and there are countless cafés to sit outside and indulge in a spot of people watching.

Cycling mad

Another great way to see the city is by hiring a bike and riding along the cycle paths with the locals. You’ve never seen more people on two wheels than the first time you step out onto Amsterdam’s streets, and there’s no way you can beat them so you might as well join them. Pedal by the canals and across the bridges to work up an appetite before you settle down for a rich fondue or delicious dessert.

Top notch culture

If you’re a bit of a culture vulture, you’re going to the right place. Amsterdam has some fabulous museums and galleries such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, and you can also visit the house where Anne Frank wrote her famous diary. If things get a bit too much and you just want to sit back and reflect for a while, head to Vondelpark for a relaxing afternoon, which is also a great place to take the kids.

Map of Amsterdam

world_map
5-21 ℃

Amsterdam enjoys a stable climate with four distinct seasons.

View live forecast

1.5 hours

Schiphol Airport (AMS), around 25km southwest of central Amsterdam. 
 

Alternative transport: You can also travel by Eurostar to Brussels with onward tickets to Amsterdam’s Centraal Station, via Rotterdam.

Fast facts for Amsterdam

Language: The language spoken in Amsterdam is Dutch.

Currency: The currency used in Amsterdam is the Euro (€).

Local time: Amsterdam is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Schiphol Airport (AMS), around 25km southwest of central Amsterdam. 

Alternative transport: You can also travel by Eurostar to Brussels with onward tickets to Amsterdam’s Centraal Station, via Rotterdam.

Flight time from UK: 1.5 hours.

Tourist Information: Further Amsterdam tourist information can be found at www.iamsterdam.com.

Visa and health: Before your holiday to Amsterdam, visit the UK travel advice for the Netherlands for recommendations and advice on visas and health.

Getting around Amsterdam

Cycling: Amsterdam is very cycle-friendly. There are plenty of bike rental shops as well as a great network of cycle paths. You can even join a bicycle sightseeing tour to help you get your bearings.

Boat/barge: Taking a trip along the Amstel River is a great way to see the sights, especially on the hop-on/hop-off Canal Bus.

Tram: The tram system is ideal for travelling around the centre. Conductors sell tickets on board, though you might find an OV-chipkaart or an I Amsterdam City Card more convenient if you’re using a lot of public transport.

Events in Amsterdam

High fashion: Young and upcoming designers showcase their work every January at Amsterdam International Fashion Week. You can expect fashion-themed museum exhibits, art exhibitions and lots of parties. 

Celebration time: The Netherlands gets into party mode on Konigsdag, the day after King Willem Alexander’s birthday in April. It’s particularly popular in Amsterdam, when an estimated 750,000 people travel to the city for a big open-air celebration. 

Musical spectacular: August’s Grachtenfestival features 10 days of jazz, blues and classical music. Enjoy a grand performance at a concert hall, or alternatively, a cosy blues jam in a local resident’s garden.

Van Gogh in bloom: See a spectacular annual display of millions of tulips and other pretty flowers at Keukenhof, the largest flower garden in the world. Open from March to May, the colourful 32-hectare gardens will share the inspiration of Vincent Van Gogh’s life and works, 125 years after his death.

Amsterdam weather

Temperature: 5-21 °C  

With the weather hovering in the mid-teens (°C) between March and May, spring is a great time to explore Amsterdam's cosy cafés. Summer is always a popular time to visit the city, thanks to warm highs of 21 (°C), and up to 11 hours of sunshine a day. Book your holiday for autumn or winter to take advantage of fewer crowds, or to enjoy the city’s legendary Christmas markets.

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