Everything from your morning cup of coffee to your nightly place to stay has been carefully considered on this curated list of light-touch things to do in the Dutch capital.
Gezellig is a Dutch concept that roughly translates as “cosy”, and it’s the perfect word to describe the narrow lanes of Amsterdam’s core, with its canalside buildings and cuddled-up tulip stands. Tootle just a few minutes further out on your bicycle to discover up-and-coming creative neighbourhoods and some of the best clubs in Europe. For all its history, the Dutch capital has its eyes on the future. It’s now the first city in the world to embrace “the doughnut” economic model, which puts the needs of the environment and people at the centre, before economic growth. It’s also well on its way to reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2025 using wind turbines.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, this lush corner of the city was founded in 1638 in order to supply doctors with medicinal herbs to treat the plague. Today, it’s home to thousands of rare species, including a 2,000-year-old agave cactus. Peruse three glasshouses before recharging with tea and cake on the sunny terrace of its organic cafe, the Orangery.
Overlooking the water of the Western Docklands, this fun aparthotel is a visual feast thanks to rounded Fifties-style furniture and a cheery colour scheme. The building was constructed from sustainable materials and cunningly incorporates solar panels and nesting boxes into its Art Deco-inspired design. The two terraces that spill directly onto the waterfront are the true trump card.
Set in a converted greenhouse on the outskirts of the city in a disused municipal nursery, De Kas is a locavore’s dream. Almost all ingredients served in multi-course set menus are grown in hydroponic greenhouses on site or in the restaurant’s own fields, just outside the city, and cooked on the day they’re harvested.
The oldest flea market in the country sees 300 stalls spring up every day except Sunday in the hip De Pijp district. Flick through vinyls, scan unsigned sketches (there are still lots of Rembrandts unaccounted for, after all), slip into leather jackets and fall in love with antique curios for your home. If you’ve caught the bargain buzz, there are also several second-hand shops on nearby Haarlemmerdijk.
This striking wedge of glass perches on Java-eiland, a man-made island in the Eastern Docklands, where ships used to set out for the Tropics. Interiors cleverly nod to this history through bamboo panelling and Indonesian artwork. Aside from being pretty easy on the eye, it’s also one of the first energy-neutral hotels in the Netherlands. Rainwater is collected and used to spray the indoor tropical garden, and even staff uniforms are made by a sustainable Dutch fashion label.
Rising out of Ijmeer Lake like a modern-day Atlantis, this minimal hotel is a testament to the power of human innovation. Its natural air-con system was inspired by African termite hills, and the entire building is covered in solar panels, with excess energy stored underground for later use. Tuck into locally sourced, seasonal plates underneath a hanging garden in the Herbs Garden Restaurant.
Located in a thriving community of creative and social enterprises on a former shipyard overlooking the Johan van Hasselt canal, this sustainable restaurant and bar is a favourite with trendy millennials having in-depth discussions about the planet. The owners are constantly looking for ways to rethink the food chain to be less intensive and more equal. Current initiatives include carbon-neutral coffee from Kaap Koffie – a fair-trade, zero-waste company, with emission-free distribution – and offering subsidised meals to those on a tight budget who want to consume more responsibly.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.