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Mu­se­umplein is home to three of Europe’s most ex­cit­ing mu­se­ums. Start at the ex­cep­tional Ri­jksmu­seum (ri­jksmu­ to see Rem­brandts, Ver­meers and other Dutch Golden Age mas­ters. Hop over to the Van Gogh Mu­seum (van­gogh­mu­ for the world’s largest col­lec­tion of the Post-Im­pres­sion­ist’s paint­ings, draw­ings and let­ters. Then head to the St­edelijk Mu­seum (st­edelijk. nl/en) for mod­ern mas­ters such as Kandin­sky and Pol­lock.


A canal cruise is a must. Do a hop-on, hop-off tour (gray­line. com/tours/am­s­ter­dam) if you want to ex­plore the city at your own pace. Oth­er­wise, book an hour-long trip on a glass-topped boat (


You’ll find the best bou­tique shop­ping in the beau­ti­ful 9 Streets dis­trict. For lux­ury de­signer brands, stroll the up­mar­ket P. C. Hooft­straat near Mu­seum Quar­ter. De Pijp, Am­s­ter­dam’s hip­ster neigh­bour­hood, is the place to go for the coolest stores, bars and restau­rants and ex­cel­lent peo­ple-watch­ing.


The city’s fa­mous Red Light Dis­trict has shaken off its grubby im­age and is now bustling with gen­tri­fied cafés and bou­tiques (but still girls in win­dows). Book a 1.5-hour walk­ing tour (360am­s­ter­dam­ for some his­tory with your red-light ram­blings – and never take pho­tos.


Hire a bike. It’s the fastest, eas­i­est and most en­joy­able way to zip around the city (Ly­cra and hel­met not com­pul­sory). Many ho­tels of­fer com­pli­men­tary bikes but if they don’t, there are plenty of ren­tals near the big­ger squares. Cy­cling in the city can be chaotic so stick to the bike lanes and look out for trams (and scooters, which also use the bike lanes).

See works by 17th- cen­tury Dutch mas­ters Rem­brandt and Philips Kon­inck in the Ri­jksmu­seum’s Gallery of Hon­our

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