Best time to go and how to get there

Amsterdam: When to Go

Amsterdam is genuinely a year-round destination and, though the city can be chilly in winter, it’s always busy and never dull. March-April is peak tulip season, and one of our favourite times to visit. September-October are also good for avoiding the summer heat and crowds. November-December is great for museum hopping, ice skating and Christmas shopping - if you don't mind some bitter winds.

Summer is good for canal-boat trips, hanging out in the Vondelpark and people-watching at pavement cafés - but be prepared for long queues at the museums and a few pesky mosquitoes. There are also some great festivals, including the highbrow Holland Festival in June (music, theatre, dance, art), the Grachtenfestival in mid-late August (classical music performed on and around the city’s canals), and no end of dance festivals. For more, see iamsterdam.

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Getting There

NB, please do not rely solely on this information for your travel planning.


From the UK: carriers include KLM, British Airways, Flybe, easyJet, City Jet, Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Jet2 and Vueling. The flight time from London is 45 minutes.

Within Europe: try Air France, Transavia, Swiss, Air Europa, Iberia and Finnair.

From the USA: WOW Air.

By train or coach from the UK: See eurolines and Seat 61 for more details.

Getting Around

Amsterdam is a very compact city, with a delightful network of canals - which makes it an easy and pleasant place to get about on foot and by bike, using the excellent network of cycle lanes. (Try Macbike, tel. +31 20 620 09 85).

There is a comprehensive and efficient tram and bus system, and a less comprehensive metro service. Taxis are expensive. To use public transport you'll need a Strippenkarten (strip card), which are widely available from stations, newsagents, supermarkets, bookstores etc. Take a look at the public transport information in Amsterdam.

If you plan to drive on elsewhere in the Netherlands or Europe see our car rental recommendations.