Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
Amsterdam is at its best in spring and summer. It is undeniable that the museum queues seem interminable in July-August, but at least you’ll be able to while away the time in the sunshine! On April 27, thousands of young people garbed in orange, the colour of the royal family, throw a giant party to celebrate King’s Day. In May, the trees are in bloom and leaf along the canals and on May 31, the locals celebrate the new herring season in the city’s stalls. In June, the three-week Holland Festival offers an amusing and unusual mixture of concerts, operas, ballets, theatre and films.
Autumn is rainy, but the museums are quieter and the prices are also lower until March. In November, a gigantic colourful parade in honour of Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas’ ancestor, triggers the onset of the Christmas and New Year festive season.
The cold, misty and windy winters will probably only find favour with lovers of smoke-filled cafés and museums.
Formalities and useful addresses
Amsterdam Tourism Board – www.iamsterdam.com
Centraal Station – Thalys arrivals (from Paris and Brussels)
The fiets (bicycle) is the easiest and most comfortable mode of transport in the country with nearly 400km/250 miles of bicycle paths. Be careful nonetheless.