Amsterdam is as lovely as ever!
Halsey, my daughter, and I went to Amsterdam for a mother-daughter trip this summer. Since I hadn’t been in about 20 years, I wasn’t sure if it was still the charming city I remembered. Fortunately, it’s only gotten better and we were both smitten with this beautiful city that combines a cosmopolitan sensibility with the practicality of the Dutch culture. The photo above shows that practicality at play with all the bicycles! There are more bicycles than cars on the road in Amsterdam.
We stayed at a Virtuoso property, the De L’Europe Hotel in Amsterdam. It’s one of the grand hotels and is located conveniently next to the University of Amsterdam. It’s also a walkable distance or an easy transit ride to the museum district. Each room at the hotel has a different decor but all of them are chic and modern with an almost minimalist style.
Though built in 1896, the building is well-designed with sound-proofed windows to keep the street and canal noise outside at bay. The food (and drink!) inside the hotel are top notch too. The hotel also has a pool, fitness center and a spa. It reminds me of the Palace Hotel in Prague as it is a place where one can opt to mingle, or not be seen at all, if a quiet getaway is your preference. Many grand Old World hotels do not lend themselves to both inclinations.
Museums were another highlight of our trip. We were both impressed by the Rijksmuseum but Halsey loved the Van Gogh Museum even more. The exhibits were well-articulated to tell the story of Van Gogh and his work. Our other museum visit was, of course, the Anne Frank Museum. The lines can be quite long and the skip-the-line fast-track tickets were well worth it. We were able to spend more time enjoying the cultural sights rather than spending that time in lines. Of course, I can source fast-track tickets for my clients as well. In between museums, we enjoyed ethnic food at the many terrific restaurants and a violinist accompanied by the Munich Symphony at the gorgeous Concert House.
Amsterdam and the De L’Europe also offer great shopping if that is your preference. The hotel is located near the Floating Flower Market on Singel Canal and the 9 Small Streets (De 9 Straatjes) shopping district. We loved being in the midst of the city center which is so beautifully interlaced with canals, architecture, green space and cultural highlights!
If Amsterdam- or anywhere else- is on your list of destinations in the near future, let me know and I’ll help you get the most out of your travel. And remember that availability is tightening up for the winter holidays and ski season but we can probably still get a great trip booked for you!