Synonymous with bicycles, pretty rows of canal houses and stroopwafel, Amsterdam is a definite bucket list destination that simply has to be seen in real life to be truly appreciated. A short train journey or flight away from nearby travel hotspots London and Paris, Amsterdam can be easily slotted into your European honeymoon itinerary, making it an even more desirable destination.
Plus, it’s a delight to visit all year round. From ice capped canals in winter, to auburn-hued autumnal streets and balmy summer nights, every season offers different activities and elements to enjoy.
For the ultimate celebration of Amsterdam’s famous flower, the tulip, time your visit for spring, and be delighted by the absolute abundance of blooms at every turn!
For the true Dutch experience, try to stay near the city’s trendy Jordaan region and the famous ‘Nine Streets’, which boast some of the most picturesque canals and the best shopping and dining spots.
A breeze to get around on foot (and naturally by bike), Amsterdam is a city that is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace, where you’re free to wander at will and can enjoy getting a little lost along the way.
Plus, Amsterdam offers an array of incredible museums, galleries and historic places to see – from the deeply moving Anne Frank museum, to the fascinating artefacts and spectacular architecture of the
Cruise the canals
To really experience the beauty of the canals, a boat cruise is an essential element of your itinerary. Forgo the oversized vessels heaving with tourists in favour of a private or small group tour with Pure Boats Amsterdam, which provides guided tours of Amsterdam’s canals and harbour.
Hosted by a delightful local couple, the two-hour tours take place on gorgeous wooden canal boats and each tour includes grazing boards of delicious local snacks plus drinks. Along the way you’ll see some of the city’s famous sights, discover more about Amsterdam’s history and lifestyle and enjoy soaking in the ever-changing scenery.
Tiptoe among the tulips
If you’re lucky enough to time your trip during spring, then a visit to the renowned Keukenhof gardens and neighbouring tulip fields is an absolute must. Flower lovers will be enchanted by this dazzling display of bulbs dancing among perfectly manicured grounds.
See the swans gliding on the lake, climb up the windmill, stroll through the garden design displays, and then venture to the adjacent fields to achieve peak tulip fever!
Be immersed in art
Just as the tulip is to flower, Van Gogh is to art in Amsterdam, so naturally a visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a must. Here, you can discover more about the artist’s influences, studies, life and aspirations, all while browsing through a vast collection of his distinctively beautiful work. From sunflowers, to self-portraits, there is so much to discover about this Dutch master.
Amsterdam offers an eclectic mix of gorgeous cafes, upscale restaurants and trendy drinking spots which are sure to delight foodie couples.
Part gift store, part café, Pluk Amsterdam is a pretty white-walled establishment nestled within the city’s famous Nine Streets. Serving up an array of Instagram-worthy breakfast bowls, fluffy omelettes and fresh pastries, it’s the perfect spot to start your day.
For a mid-morning coffee or afternoon tea, visit Ree7, a neighbouring café with window displays always amply stocked with tempting sweet treats.
Meanwhile, millennial pink fans simply must make the trip to MaMa Kelly, an all-pink-everything establishment sitting pretty at the edge of the city’s Olympic stadium. Specialising in lobster and chicken (with alternative options too) this dreamy dining destination is perfect for a memorable dinner.
Round off your evening at Tales and Spirits, a tiny dimly lit drinks spot which serves up an extensive list of killer cocktails, each with their own story to tell. Expect your selection to arrive with a flourishing finishing touch, special instructions or perhaps even flames! For a suitably Dutch tipple, order the Van Gogh cocktail, served complete with paintbrush and artist’s palette.
Ms Zigzag says: Could there be anything more romantic than cruising the picturesque canals hand-in-hand with your new wife or husband? Looks like Anika had a beautiful trip!
About the author Anika Reynolds: I’m a freelance writer with a love of weddings and creatively styled events. I have a penchant for pretty stationery and perfectly put together cheese plates, and a never-ending sense of wanderlust!