The Netherlands is renowned for its distinctive customs, diverse terrain, and delightful locations, all of which leave a lasting impression. Additionally, you can immerse yourself in a multitude of events and festivities that are exclusive to Dutch culture, making for a truly authentic experience.
Come for the culture, stay for the food.
The Netherlands offers a variety of diverse cuisine that caters to all palates. Its globally renowned Dutch cheese, including gouda, edam, leyden, and maasdam, is a favorite. Cheese is a top export from the country, and it’s easy to find delis serving these delectable treats. Those who have a sweet tooth can indulge in the famous stroopwafel, a blend of a cookie and a waffle that has a delicious syrup filling. The kroket is another popular snack; it’s a deep-fried roll filled with meat ragout that can be consumed on its own or served in a sandwich with a side of mustard. The hagelslag, a chocolate sprinkle sandwich, is a breakfast or lunch staple that is sure to please Australian palates.
Also, here are some of the top-rated restaurants in Amsterdam, based on various restaurant guides and customer reviews:
- Restaurant C: Modern French cuisine, intimate atmosphere, Michelin-starred
- De Kas: Farm-to-table Mediterranean cuisine, located in a greenhouse
- Rijks: Fine dining, contemporary Dutch cuisine, Michelin-starred
- Breda: Contemporary European cuisine, warm and welcoming atmosphere
- Restaurant Johannes: Creative European cuisine, warm and intimate ambiance
- The Seafood Bar: Fresh seafood, casual atmosphere, multiple locations
- Wilde Zwijnen: Innovative Dutch cuisine, rustic and cozy atmosphere
- Vinkeles: French-inspired cuisine, Michelin-starred, located in a historic building
- Yamazato: Authentic Japanese cuisine, Michelin-starred, elegant atmosphere
- Cannibale Royale: Gourmet burgers and steaks, trendy atmosphere, multiple locations
Van Gogh museum
For art and art history enthusiasts, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum is a must-see, featuring the world’s largest collection of works by the iconic Dutch artist. The museum showcases Vincent van Gogh’s personal belongings and boasts an impressive collection of 200 paintings and 500 drawings by Van Gogh and his contemporaries, such as Gauguin, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Bernard. The famous works on display include The Potato Eaters and Wheatfield with Crows. The museum is located at Museumplein in Amsterdam-Zuid, on Paulus Potterstraat 7, between the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum, and consists of two buildings – the Rietveld building, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, and the Kurokawa wing, designed by Kisho Kurokawa. Depending on the season, visitors can also enjoy the sight of sunflowers outside the museum’s entrance.
The Van Gogh Museum also manages the official Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience, a 3D immersive exhibition that uses technology and computer audio-visual techniques to depict Van Gogh’s life story through images of his works. Although it does not present original artworks as they are too fragile to travel, the experience was designed in collaboration with the London-based museum design consultancy, Event Communications, which also designed Titanic Belfast.
The Netherlands is a country where you can have a unique spiritual experience. Attend a psilocybin retreat.
The use of psychedelics as a potential treatment for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder has been gaining momentum, as mental health professionals show increasing interest in their therapeutic properties. This interest is now being integrated into the rapidly expanding global wellness industry, which is expected to reach a value of $1.2 trillion by 2027, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts. The pandemic and the resulting increase in mental health challenges have contributed to this growth.
Attend a psychedelic retreat fully supervised by professional guides at Tangerine retreat. This stay includes two nights on site, relaxation sessions, and a psilocybin truffle session on a beautiful countryside.
Tulips are the quintessential national flower of the Netherlands and the best time to see them is during springtime. From March to May, the Dutch countryside awakens with the vibrant colors of blooming flowers. Crocuses, daffodils, and hyacinths are the first to bloom, followed by the famous tulips that spread over the vast fields from mid-April to late spring. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture a memorable photo amidst the fields of colorful flowers to share with loved ones. The most popular tulip fields close to Amsterdam are in Flevoland, but you can also find them in The Hague to the south and Alkmaar to the north. For an unforgettable experience, head to the Keukenhof, the largest flower garden in the world, where seven million tulips and other flowers bloom each spring.
Cycling and Canals
When thinking about Amsterdam, the first thing that comes to mind is its impressive canal system connecting the Zuiderzee to the Amstel river. Due to its low-lying position, the Netherlands were named the “Low Lands,” and in medieval times, a dam was constructed on the Amstel river to prevent flooding, eventually leading to the concentric semicircular canals system that exists today. During the Dutch Golden Age, the canals were dug to support the thriving trade in Amsterdam, and this created the unique and picturesque look of the city, earning it the nickname “the Venice of the North.”
Amsterdam’s bridges are another reason to visit, and they are similar to those found in Venice. The canals and bridges provide a romantic atmosphere, perfect for strolling or cycling, which is a quintessential aspect of the Amsterdam landscape. The bikes are secured to the railings of the bridges, and their high seats and wide handlebars are designed to fit the tall stature of the Dutch people. You can capture some classic photos by finding the perfect spot to snap a picture of the beautiful combination of bikes, bridges, and canals.