One of the most accessible destinations for UK travellers is Amsterdam, a city that definitely demands multiple visits to get a feel for its breadth of history and culture. Because itâ€™s so close, itâ€™s a great place for a mini-break any time of the year, providing something different to discover during each season.
Tempted by the tulips? Captivated by the canals? Adore the ambient accommodation? Then book a cheap flight, organise your Schiphol Airport transfer and get ready to be charmed no matter what the weather.
Celebrate the King in Spring
Spring is a truly wonderful time to visit, with celebrations for Koningsdag (the Kingâ€™s Day) in full swing. Over a million people flock here for this important event. It also marks the beginning of festival season, with a host of smaller open-air events, shows and concerts.
During Koningsdag, the city closes off the centre to traffic and the streets become one giant flea market. Itâ€™s a party to end all parties, with dancing, drinking and eating â€“ just remember to wear something orange to fit in with the tradition. On 5 May is another high-profile day of celebration: Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day).
Celebrate Music and Gay Pride in Summer
While many of the locals depart en masse for their holidays elsewhere in Europe, summer is a busy time here for tourists. There are plenty of open-air concerts and theatre events held in the parks and greens, the most notable being the fabulous Grachtenfestival in August. The event culminates in a concert held on a specially-built stage on one of the main waterways, Prinsengracht.
Another high-profile, colourful event in summer is the annual Gay Pride, when a cavalcade of brightly-decorated boats and floats parade along the cityâ€™s canals to an enthusiastic audience.
Autumn Days and Nights of Films and Art
Autumn brings cooler weather and a host of even cooler cultural events, the best known of which is the International Documentary Film Festival, held in November. You can catch viewings of some truly inspiring work from both up-and-coming and established filmmakers in various venues around the city.
On Museum Night, the cityâ€™s museums throw open their doors for an evening of culture and a celebration of music, theatre, art and history. Itâ€™s a fantastic opportunity to make like a local and really feel a part of the city, but tickets sell quickly so itâ€™s important to book early.
A Picture-Perfect Winter Wonderland
Compared to the UK, winter here is fairly mild, but itâ€™s cold enough to turn the city into a picturesque winter wonderland, as the canals freeze over and are transformed into wonderful open-air skating rinks. The biggest bonus about visiting in winter is that the centre is much less crowded, so you can visit all the attractions without the endless queues. One of the highlights of being here during this time of the year is experiencing the cityâ€™s Light Festival, when the houses and boats on the canals are illuminated with lights.
How to Get There
Because the flight time to Amsterdam is just an hour and 30 minutes from the UK, a spontaneous break in the Dutch capital is a breeze at any time of the year. There are various budget airlines that fly regularly into the city and, if you pre-book a private Schiphol Airport transfer before you leave home, you wonâ€™t have waste valuable time messing around with taxis or busses. If you opt for a shared Schiphol Airport transfer, youâ€™ll find it to be surprisingly affordable â€“ and you might even make some new friends.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Schiphol airport transfer Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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