Amsterdam is an instant charmer. It is a capital of superlatives, having more canals than Venice and more bridges than Paris. It is also one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. No wonder the Dutch capital is loved by couples looking to enjoy a romantic getaway.
Photogenic canals, lush green parks and serene surroundings make Amsterdam a top choice for a couples' break. If you’re yearning for some time away with your loved one, check out our excellent choice of Amsterdam holidays.
Cruising the canals is an excellent way of viewing the city. Many bridges and historic buildings are lit at night, and it is possible to have dinner while cruising along. Most of the canal boat tour companies offer at least one evening cruise that includes wine and cheese or a full dinner. It’s one of the most romantic things to do in Amsterdam for sure. Lovers canal cruises is an aptly named choice, with a range of tours including food and drink options.
The Netherlands is famed worldwide for its flowers, and particularly the beautiful spring tulip displays in the fields to the west and southwest of Amsterdam. Blooms are produced all year in hothouses scattered across the countryside and can be purchased, along with bulbs, at the Bloemenmarkt on the Singel.
Before World War II, Amsterdam was a major centre for the buying and polishing of diamonds. The industry deteriorated but a slow recovery ensured its survival. Today the industry is known for the quality of its polishing and the expertise of its independent traders. Two main diamond houses in the city are responsible for buying and polishing the majority of the stones. They sell to smaller dealers but also to the public. You will be able to see diamond polishers at work on free guided tours before you buy. The two houses are Gassan at Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 173–5, with a branch at Rokin 1–5, at the Dam and Coster Diamonds on Paulus Potterstraat 2–6, at Museumplein. It’s one of the best couply things to do in Amsterdam if you’re thinking of popping the question!
The Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Wood) was created as the largest recreation area in the city. In 1967, it was enlarged to its present 800 hectares (2,000 acres). The trees and plants are now well established, and the wood has become an important habitat for birds, small mammals and insects, making this an ecological centre as well as a park. It has meadows, woodland and a huge lake for rowing, sailing and hourly rowing-boat hire. It features nature reserves, animal enclosures and a botanical garden. With around 48km (30 miles) of bicycle paths and close to 160km (100 miles) of footpaths, there is room for everybody. The stables at Amsterdamse Bos offer woodland horse rides, a perfect way to clear the city air from your system (Amsterdamse Manege). There's also an open-air theatre, which holds performances in the summer.
The village, Zaanse Schans, is a patch of archetypal Dutch landscape just a few kilometres north of Amsterdam centre, near the town of Zaandam. This is a living museum created in 1960, which has brought together a number of farmhouses, windmills, dairies and barns - agricultural buildings that would have been demolished had they not been relocated here. Zaanse Schans has working mills, craft shops, cheese-making factories and a clog workshop on a canalside. You are free to explore at your own pace and maybe enjoy a pannenkoek (pancake) while you’re there.
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