Chicks on the canal: A ladies’ guide to Amsterdam

Chicks on the canal: A ladies’ guide to Amsterdam

Despite its glorious cityscape, gorgeous cobbled streets, striking canal walks, rich history, and inclusive culture, Amsterdam is still often regarded as the perfect destination for stag parties and lads’ weekends; a capital city as recognized for its opportunities for pleasure, as it is sedate bicycle rides and tulip stands.

What many would-be, and indeed female, tourists fail to realise, though, is that Amsterdam is so much more than its nightlife and ‘specialist’ coffee shops. It’s a city of philosophy, art, literature, and antiquity; a destination for sightseers, shoppers, museum fiends, and girls’ gossip, as well as a burgeoning international community that’s waiting to share its riches with those in search of enlightenment.

Sample Amsterdam’s highlights
First thing’s first, the Netherland’s capital city is a fantastic destination for groups to explore, with ample accommodation for those choosing to travel together; group apartments in Amsterdam are relatively easy to come by, often incredibly good value, and usually located within easy reach of all of the action.

Indeed, when it comes to ladies’ getaways, the more the merrier is a motto many live by. The next thing travellers need to know is just how many attractions there are to be discovered, many of which hide away from main thoroughfares.

Amsterdam: City of beauty and culture
Amsterdam is a haven for those in search of art, culture and history. Top tourist attractions fulfilling such criteria include the Rijksmuseum, the Central Library, The Dutch National Opera and Ballet, the Van Gogh Museum, the Botanical Gardens at Vrijie University, and the Vondelpark, which is ideal for picnics amongst parakeets, while there are plenty of theatres and concert halls to satiate the appetites of performance fanatics.

The city has a burgeoning contemporary art scene, which thrives in smaller independent galleries and exhibition spaces; the Jordaan district is a tranquil, leafy corner where many of these venues can be found. Similarly, conceptual design studio the Droog, the utterly entrancing Body Worlds exhibition, and the EYE film museum, which celebrates modern screen culture, are ideal adventures for the morning after the night before.

Stroll and cycle the city’s limits
A trip to Amsterdam cannot be completed without a wander along the canal, a cycle between cobbled streets, or a riverboat tour in order to bear witness to the city’s stunning architecture. Equally impressive are Amsterdam’s characterful markets, which include farmers’ markets, vintage stands and antique stalls, contemporary design pitches, and those selling local produce and handmade crafts – as well, of course, as the floral displays.

The city is an Aladdin’s cave of wonder, which cannot be ignored by any group touring the retail outlets in existence. Indeed, shopping is a favourite pastime of many groups of women touring Amsterdam, and very few will leave the city’s limits empty handed.

Walking tours can be enjoyed whatever the weather, as travellers forget the rain in favour of learning a little history; many choosing to holiday in Amsterdam will be drawn to Anne Frank House, in order to feel a little closer to this historical, and indeed literary, heroine of the Second World War. Stroll, amble, peruse; Amsterdam and its heritage are to be savoured.

Experience Amsterdam’s nightlife
While it’s certainly true that Amsterdam is so much more than its nightlife, the city does happen to boast an enviable array of cafés, bars, restaurants, and bistros, each waiting to be explored, and enjoyed, by moonlight; indeed, a night on the town can be as sedate, or exciting, as ladies wish to make it, with numerous establishments both sides of the canal - the Rembrandtplein district is particularly popular.

Amsterdam is a hotbed for concerts and festivals, which take place throughout the year, while curious groups of women may wish to venture into the city’s most infamous area. Famous the world over, the red light district isn’t merely a window into live sex and peep shows, but a living, breathing example of the uninhibited culture deeply imbedded in Amsterdam’s veins.

Advice for those exploring Amsterdam
The most important thing for travellers to consider prior to booking their Amsterdam adventure is the best time of year to visit. City breaks to destinations such as Amsterdam are most commonly undertaken during the late spring and early autumn, ensuring that ladies choosing to saunter the city’s streets are treated to clement weather and all manner of beautiful sights without the harsh temperatures of summer and winter.

Transport in an around Amsterdam is most commonly undertaken via metro, trams, and buses, although walking and cycling are among the best ways to sample the sights up close and personal.

Boasting coffee shops and cafes, quaint vintage markets, museums, picturesque views, and stunning architecture, Amsterdam is so much more than its reputation among British tourists would have the rest of the world believe; a location for those in search of peace and tranquillity, as well as art historians, culture vultures, and ladies that love to lunch.