The phrase ... ‘let the train take the strain’, took on a whole new meaning for me as I jumped onboard the Eurostar at Ashford International. My destination - Amsterdam. Yes Amsterdam by rail really is that easy .... David Powell takes the train ....
I opted for a two night, three day break, with Railbookers, to Amsterdam, a great way to relax, unwind and experience this lively, cosmopolitan city. To travel to Europe by train made a wonderful change. With a stress-free check-in at Ashford (no air traffic delays!) I was soon on my way to Brussels. Although Brussels Midi is a large, bustling station, there are plenty of directions and officials ready to assist if necessary. With half an hour to spare I made the short walk across the concourse to my connecting train which 3 hours later arrived bang on time right in the centre of Amsterdam. I was impressed with the ease and efficiency of European rail travel, no lengthy check-ins, trains taking you directly to the heart of your destination with no lengthy transfers and, of course, it was super to be able to sit back and enjoy the views as the train travelled through France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, is a beautiful, historic and compact city making it easy to get around on foot by public transport, tourist sightseeing buses or, like thousands of locals, by bicycle. In Amsterdam you can visit the museums, shop till you drop or just watch the world go by from a cafe, restaurant or canal boat.
With miles of scenic canals, this city is often referred to as ‘the Venice of the North’. There are canals, full of character, around every corner and a canal cruise is undoubtedly Holland’s number one tourist attraction and has to be an absolute must during your stay. The canals and bridges are famous throughout the world and a canal cruise is a perfect way to view the seventeenth century picturesque gabled houses, the merchant’s elegant mansions and the quirky house boats in the heart of the old city. The boats have panoramic roofs and sliding windows so you’re sure of a great view and the opportunity to take some good photos. Night cruises are also available which can make for a unique experience when many of the canal houses and bridges become beautifully illuminated.
Amsterdam is a charming city and has a mix of fabulous museums, there seems to be one for just about everything! This is certainly the place to be for Rembrandt’s, Van Gogh’s and modern art. There are in the region of 50 museums (and many other exhibition areas) attracting over 4 million visitors a year, so it’s easy to see why Amsterdam is regarded as a major cultural centre. Probably three of the most famous museums are the Rijksmuseum, best known for its collection of 17th century Dutch Masters; the Van Gogh Museum, which houses over 200 of his paintings, and the Anne Frank Museum which is based in the house where she hid with her family from the Nazis and wrote her famous diary.
Popular City Attractions
Almost every area of this city has a building or monument to give it a claim to fame, but the key tourist areas are Dam Square, Leiden Square and Rembrandt Square. Dam Square is the national square and also the oldest part of Amsterdam with the Royal Palace to the west. It’s a hive of activity and entertainment. Leiden Square is another vibrant nightlife area illuminated by neon lights with countless bars, clubs, cafes and restaurants. The famous Rembrandt Square is one of the top going-out areas of the city. This area is also amass with bars, cafes, restaurants and the bright lights. Amsterdam has all the nightlife you would expect from a big city and there are literally thousands of restaurants and cafes to choose from.
David travelled to Amsterdam with Railbookers who specialise in European rail holidays and short breaks. They can tailor-make a holiday or short break to most European countries, with train travel & carefully chosen hotels, for however long you like, leaving on any date you like.
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