Amsterdam is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. It’s a place where cycling is often a more efficient way of getting around than driving. With plenty of bicycle rental shops dotted all over the city and dedicated cycle routes, it’s easy to get around on two wheels and live like the locals for a day.
But where should you be pedaling to if you want to ensure you get as much as you can out of your day in the saddle?
The Netherlands is famous for its windmills, which have become an iconic part of the Dutch landscape. There are a total of eight windmills in Amsterdam, although only two are open to the public. This includes the Molen van Sloten, a 19th century polder draining mill that has been declared a ‘house of the municipality’ which means you can get married there.
2. Canal houses
With many of Amsterdam’s canal houses built back in the 17th century, even the quickest of glimpses transports you to the peak of the city’s Golden Age. The distinctive houses with their impressive facades have put them firmly on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. They used to be home to the more affluent of city dwellers but these days might conceal spectacular gardens or fascinating museums.
What ‘springs’ to mind when you think of the Netherlands? Windmills, canals…and tulips! Vondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam and is loved by locals and tourists alike, welcoming around 10,000,000 visitors every year.
It is a great place to see the tulips in bloom, do a spot of bird watching (look out for the blue herons) or just enjoy the tranquillity.
4. I amsterdam letters
One of the most iconic outdoor attractions in the city and without a doubt the best photo opportunity you’ll find, the I amsterdam letters stand proudly at two metres tall and give tourists the chance to photograph themselves in, around and on top of what has become the city’s catchphrase. You’ll find it at the back of the Rijksmuseum on Museumplein.
With beautifully maintained gardens containing a rhododendron valley with 139 species of plant, a peaceful rose garden and a butterfly garden, Amstelpark is the perfect place for a quiet stroll if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the inner city – at least temporarily.
It also has a petting zoo and pony rides – perfect for keeping the kids entertained.
There is plenty more to do in this fantastic city, so remember to check out tourist information centres, visit reputable holiday firms for more information on what to do, or ask the locals!