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Travel: How to spend 48 hours in Dutch delight Amsterdam

© GettyAmsterdam

Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for a city break – and for good reason.

Here are our top tips.


Amsterdam is a relatively small city and easy to walk around, but it still makes sense to stay centrally if only there for a weekend break. There are hostels, houseboats and Airbnbs to choose from, but if hotels are your preferred option there are lots in the centre, including chains like Holiday Inn and Radisson Blu and local favourites like Mansion House and Canal House.


The huge number of nationalities to have made the city their home means there is a massive range of culinary options, but the Dutch do have some traditional options worth seeking out. Pannenkoeken is a favourite at lunchtime. Pancakes thicker than crepes, they can be made savoury or sweet depending on the choice of topping. Uitsmijter, meanwhile, is a slice of bread toasted on one side, with a slice of ham and fried egg added. Café culture is prevalent in Amsterdam.


There are bars on just about every street corner. Beer is the drink of choice here, especially the locally-made Heineken. Their former brewery in the centre of town has been refurbished as a flashy, interactive self-guided tour and is well worth visiting.


Take a canal cruise from one of the many businesses offering the service to see the city from a different perspective, often while enjoying a drink on board.

Anne Frank House remains one of the biggest tourist attractions and it is advisable to book tickets well in advance.

The Van Gogh Museum is home to a collection of hundreds of the artist’s works, while the Rijksmuseum is the grand-looking art and history museum.

The Dam is a cobbled square that is the centre of the city and a gathering point, and is home to the striking, ornate Royal Palace.

Football fans could take in a game at the famous Amsterdam ArenA to watch Ajax play, or away from the buzz there is the Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world and home to more than 4,000 species of plants.

And finally, a trip to one of the city’s unique coffee shops will be of interest to some.