Amsterdam City Breaks

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Amsterdam breaks

If you’re after a short city break or even a longer stay, Amsterdam is the ideal city to combine cultural visits and wild nights out!

There’s a lot more to Amsterdam than just cheese and tulips. Whether you’re travelling by bike, on foot, or by boat along the many canals, you will discover a vibrant European city with a unique atmosphere. Known as the ‘Venice of the North', this picturesque, hip city has something for everyone, from beautiful canals and architecture to fascinating museums and galleries.

If you're planning a longer trip to Amsterdam, be sure to check out our dedicated page about holidays in Amsterdam.

Cheap trips to Amsterdam

Fancy a quick jaunt to Amsterdam without spending a fortune? You're in luck! With lastminute.com, finding affordable trips to Amsterdam is a piece of cake, especially when you bundle your flight and hotel together. Whether you're after a cultural deep-dive, a foodie expedition, or just a relaxed wander through the picturesque streets, lastminute.com has you covered.

So, go on, book your Amsterdam city break today and experience the magic of the Dutch capital, all while keeping your budget happily intact.

Amsterdam city break deals from your local UK airport

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Trips to Amsterdam

Discover the charm of Amsterdam with our specially curated Amsterdam weekend breaks. Perfect for UK travellers seeking a quick yet memorable getaway, these breaks offer a blend of Amsterdam's famous canals, historic architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Check our guide to a day trip in Amsterdam if you are planning on a quick visit.

Whether you're exploring the quaint streets, indulging in the local cuisine, or soaking up the rich art and history, Amsterdam provides an unforgettable experience. Book your next trip to Amsterdam with lastminute.com and dive into the heart of this captivating city. Uncover hidden gems and create lasting memories on your ideal Amsterdam weekend break.

Things to do in Amsterdam

Whether you’re with friends, family or your other half, an Amsterdam city break is sure to seduce! Thanks to the efficient tram service, it’s very easy to get around different parts of the city. 

One of the things you have to do in Amsterdam is take a stroll along the canals and stop by the Bloemenmarkt, the city’s famous floating flower market. Then stop by Vondelpark, a green oasis in the heart of the city, for a picnic or free outdoor concert. 

Here are some other must-see sights for your city trip to Amsterdam: 

  • Prinsengracht: This is considered the most beautiful of Amsterdam's four main canals and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
  • A'DAM Lookout: This observation deck offers a 360º panoramic view of Amsterdam. 
  • De Wallen: The capital's legendary red-light district 
  • Begijnhof: A medieval courtyard that was originally built as a sanctuary for the Begijntjes, who lived in a similar way to nuns. 
  • Dam Square: The main square of Amsterdam with the royal palace in the middle. 
  • Amsterdam Centraal Station: The Central Station opened in 1889, and it’s one of the most imposing buildings in the city. 
  • Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam: One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world with over 4,000 different plant species. 
  • De Oude Kerk: This Gothic church is the oldest building in the city.

Museums and Galleries

Amsterdam has an abundance of museums. At the same time, we often pass by the Amstelkring, a beautiful building that conceals a church in its… attic. For an unforgettable moment during your weekend in Amsterdam. Check our guide to free museums in Amsterdam and save on your getaway. 

  • The city has a number of important museums and galleries that are a must-see during a holiday in Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Museum is the most visited museum in the city and contains a large amount of the artist’s paintings, including the Aardappeleters (The Potato Eaters) and Zonnebloemen (Sunflowers).
  • The Stedelijk Museum is right next door and houses the largest collection of modern art in Amsterdam by renowned artists such as Piet Mondriaan and Karel Appel.
  • The house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during the war and wrote her famous diary is now a museum dedicated to her memory. The house contains her original diary, photographs and personal possessions and attracts many visitors so be prepared to queue.

Nightlife

With more than 1,400 bars and cafes, Amsterdam is without a doubt one of Europe’s party hotspots. Trends change quickly, but some places have retained their notoriety over the generations. Amsterdam has a vibrant and eclectic nightlife, from traditional bars serving beer and snacks, to popular nightclubs such as the Escape, Club Home, and Panama.

Trance music is really big here and attracts world-class DJs such as Armin van Buuren and Tiesto. The Leidseplein is one of the epicentres of Amsterdam’s nightlife, with two unmissable nightclubs, and the birthplace of its counter-culture: 

  • Paradiso for its concerts, and Melkweg (a former dairy) for its eclecticism. It is definitely worth a night out here during your weekend in Amsterdam.
  • Jazz fans will love the live performances at clubs such as Bimhuis and Café Alto.
  • The Ziggo Dome caters to pop tastes, hosting big names such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Tom Jones.

Best areas to stay in Amsterdam

Discover the best areas to stay in Amsterdam! Each area in this eclectic city offers a unique vibe and experiences. Whether you're after historical charm, buzzing nightlife, or serene canal views, Amsterdam has a neighbourhood just for you. Here's our guide to the best areas to stay in Amsterdam:

The city centre: heart of the action

Stay in the heart of Amsterdam and you won't miss a beat. Amsterdam City Centre is where the iconic Dam Square, bustling Kalverstraat shopping street, and the Royal Palace are located. Perfect for first-timers, everything is within walking distance, including the famous Red Light District and numerous museums. It's the ideal base for those who want to be right in the middle of all the action.

Jordaan

Looking for a more laid-back vibe? Jordaan, with its narrow streets, charming canals, and hidden courtyards, is a treasure trove of indie boutiques, cozy cafes, and art galleries. It's the place to be for those who enjoy a blend of the historical and the hipster. Here, you'll be rubbing shoulders with locals while enjoying some of the city's best eateries and bars.

De Pijp: bohemian and multicultural

De Pijp is the bohemian heart of Amsterdam. Known for its diversity, this area is home to the famous Albert Cuyp Market, where you can find everything from Dutch cheese to exotic spices. The Heineken Experience is also here, offering a deep dive into the world of one of Amsterdam's most famous exports. De Pijp is ideal for foodies and those looking for a vibrant, multicultural experience.

Museum quarter: culture and elegance

Art lovers, this one's for you. The Museum Quarter is not only home to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum but is also one of the most upscale parts of the city. This area boasts elegant streets, luxury shops, and fine dining. It's a quieter, more refined base, perfect for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

Plantage: green and serene

For a peaceful retreat, head to Plantage. Known as Amsterdam's "cultural garden", this leafy neighbourhood offers a more relaxed pace. It's home to the beautiful Artis Zoo and the Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. Plantage is perfect for families and those seeking a tranquil escape, yet still within easy reach of the city centre.

Oud-West: trendy and dynamic

Oud-West is a dynamic and trendy neighbourhood, just a stone's throw from the city centre. This area is buzzing with creative energy, offering a mix of independent shops, hip cafes, and multicultural eateries. The Foodhallen, an indoor food market, is a highlight here. Oud-West is ideal for travellers looking to experience the modern, vibrant side of Amsterdam.

Choose your base and immerse yourself in the unique charm of Amsterdam. With so many diverse neighbourhoods, there's an Amsterdam that's perfect for every traveller!

Weekend in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Just a stone's throw from the UK, this vibrant city offers a unique mix of culture, cuisine, and nightlife, all wrapped up in a bike-friendly package. Whether you're cruising along the canal, indulging in mouth-watering Dutch pancakes, or exploring the world-renowned museums, Amsterdam promises a whirlwind of experiences. So why wait? Dive into the delightful chaos of Amsterdam with lastminute.com and make your weekend one to remember!

What to eat in Amsterdam

Amsterdam offers a wide variety of restaurants from all over the world. If you want to live like a local, visit one of the many cosy eetcafés, which are a bit like bistros and serve a mixture of Dutch and Mediterranean cuisine.

You will find salted herring at every turn – it’s a local institution! Try the erwtensoep (split pea soup), stamppot (a sort of hotpot), or rijsttafel (an Indonesian dish with rice and various side dishes). And then, of course, there are the old favourites, such as the Dutch beers and cheeses (gouda, edam). Bon appétit!

There are also plenty of Asian eateries in Chinatown where you can dine fairly cheaply. For brasserie-style dining, check out the city’s Grand Cafés, which offer coffee, tea, cake and light dishes. For brunch/breakfast, check out the trendy district of De Pijp.

And of course, always leave some room for dessert. Dutch pancakes are delicious, and an essential part of an Amsterdam city break – try Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs for favourites such as bacon and maple syrup. Just as tasty are stroopwafels that can be eaten fresh or bought packaged as souvenirs. Head to the vendor at Albert Cuypmarkt for fresh stroopwafels made throughout the day.  

Events & activities in Amsterdam 

Why not plan your city trip to Amsterdam alongside one of the city’s? Here are some of our favourite celebrations taking place throughout the year: 

  • National Tulip Day: Pick tulips in Dam Square for free (January) 
  • Holland Festival: Attend concerts, theatre, dance and opera across the city (June/July) 
  • Amsterdam Roots Festival: Music from all over the world in Frankendael Park (June/July) 
  • Amsterdam Pride: LGBT festival with parties and parade (July/August) 
  • Amsterdam Canal Festival (Grachtenfestival): Enjoy classical and jazz music in the city centre (mid-August) 
  • Prinsengrachtconcert: Free open-air classical music concert (August) 
  • Jordaan Festival: Annual cultural festival and street party taking place in the historic Jordaan district (August/September) 
  • Uitmarkt: Amsterdam's largest cultural event with exhibitions, concerts, theatre and workshops (last weekend in August) 
  • Open Monument Day: Fee admission to thousands of monuments across the country (mid-September) 
  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA): Open-air film screenings in the city (November) 
  • Christmas markets (late November to early January)

The city of Amsterdam offers a wide range of areas to stay – here’s a lowdown of where to stay according to your needs:

  • Oude Centrum for those who want to be in the middle of the action 
  • Canal belt for romantics 
  • Jordaan area for families 
  • De Pijp for young travellers 
  • Museum district for art and culture lovers

Best time of the year to visit Amsterdam 

The climate in Amsterdam is influenced by the North Sea. This results in moderately warm summers and mild winters. The weather is often changeable and after short showers the sun quickly comes out again. 

The best time to travel is the summer months, from the end of May to the beginning of September. During this period, the temperatures are very pleasant and numerous open-air events take place. This is also the best time to enjoy the city’s parks and street cafés. Nevertheless, it is much quieter in the winter months and thanks to the many museums, Amsterdam also offers a varied cultural program on cold/rainy days.  

How long should you stay in Amsterdam?

The centre of Amsterdam has many attractions that are close together, some of which are easily accessible on foot. You can also easily travel from one part of the city to another by tram, metro or bus, so it’s possible to fit a lot in a short amount of time. However, if you also want to spend a lot of time in the museums and get to know the surroundings of the Dutch capital, a week is ideal! 

For cheap city breaks, consider a day trip from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, located 20km north of the city. Here, you can admire the iconic Dutch windmills and spend leisurely hours in cosy cafés. Close to the capital, the well-preserved Muiden Castle is also a must-visit. This romantic castle, encircled by a picturesque garden, now houses a museum, offering a charming and affordable getaway.

FAQs: Amsterdam City Breaks

Your questions about Amsterdam City Breaks answered.

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