The best time to travel to Amsterdam really depends on the main attraction that brings you into this quaint European city. Amsterdam has a steady stream of visitors round the year, but if you want to avoid peak tourist season, the best time to visit would be from April to May and starting again in late September to end of October. However, the world-famous tulip season brings breathtaking sights, and while it may overlap some tourist-heavy weekends, it is still one of the best times to fly to Amsterdam. From mid-March to early May, you can capture the unmistakable sight of fresh blossoms sprawling across the countryside and throughout the city.
Amsterdam’s domestic flights that run between Great Britain and Amsterdam include KLM (with non-stop flights from all airports), Air France, British Airways, Iberia, EasyJet, and CityJet with non-stop flights out of London. Other Amsterdam international flights available with one stop included are Lufthansa and Swiss Air.
Leaving from Schiphol Airport to the city centre takes 15 to 20 minutes by train. 7 to 8 trains are running per hour and each cost €5.2 Euros for a one-way trip. Train tickets for the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) can be purchased at the yellow ticket machines on the platforms at Schiphol Plaza or an office.
Buses are also an option, with bus lines 197 and 370 to Leidseplein going to city centre and out to Oud Zuid. Buses come every 15 minutes, and a one-way ticket costs €5 Euros for a 30-minute ride to the city centre. You will board outside the arrival terminal. If you are taking a bus at night, you need bus lines 97 and 358 (Niteliner).
Cabs and taxis are also available, with a stand just outside the airport. No booking is required. Rides cost approximately €40 – €50 Euros and take 15 – 20 minutes to reach the city centre.
Private and Rental Cars
Using a private car service is also an option, with prices like taxis, but they must be pre-booked. A recommended private operator is myDriver Airport Transfer Amsterdam. You can also check for attractive discounts on car rentals with momondo.
Amsterdam transportation is impressive, with a vast network of trams, ferries, trains, buses, and the metro system. Purchasing an Amsterdam City Card gives you unlimited access to all GVB public transportation in 24, 48 or 72-hour increments. You may also buy the GVB Day Pass or Amsterdam Travel Ticket for a 1 to 7-day period. Cycling is a popular mode of transport to get around and it is the perfect way to explore the city. Amsterdam has built bike-friendly wide paths on the streets, and you can rent the bikes locally for a relatively low price. Amsterdam is quite small compared to other locations in Europe. You will find that a vast majority of sightseeing attractions can be covered on foot. When you need a car, or you are arriving by car, use the Park & Ride option outside the city centre and go into town for free using the metro. The metro rate is €8 Euros for the first 24 hours using a public transit ticket.
Great Britain citizens do not require a visa to enter the Netherlands. Those required to have a passport should have a valid one for the proposed duration of their visit, but additional validity beyond the period of stay is not required. UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETD) are accepted for tourists entering and exiting the Netherlands.
A Schengen visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days. Foreign nationals from the EU, Switzerland, and EEA, as well as nations like Canada and the United States do not require a visa but must have a valid passport. For further details, please check Government of Netherlands website.
Many festivals are on from spring to early autumn: Pluk de Nacht Open Air Film Festival, Aprilfeesten, and Amsterdam Light Festival. Museums to visit include Rijksmuseum (showcasing art and more than 800 years of Dutch history, including Rembrandt), Van Gogh Museum (with more than 200 original paintings), and the Anne Frank House (where she lived for more than 2 years in hiding during World War II). Parks, beaches, canals, cafes, and the local flea markets are also perfect for summer visits. There are walking tours offered through the year, and classical concerts free of charge for 30 minutes at the Concertgebouw on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm running from June to September. Amsterdamse Bos offers hiking, swimming, and picnic areas. Canal Ring features 17th century houses and mansions, white drawbridges, and more than 300 years of history. The neighbourhood of Jordaan has a plethora of specialty shops, boutiques, and art galleries.
Avoid Major Holidays
Queens’ Day and Liberation Day weekends in April are extremely busy; therefore, you will incur much higher room rates at local hotels.
Attractions and Museums Have Long Lines in August
Due to school holidays for the summer, August brings more crowds into Amsterdam, which means longer queues for attractions, museums, and trams. Some bars and restaurants also close for the month, which means you will not have as many options.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District is Legal
Prostitution is not illegal in Amsterdam; therefore, the Red Light District is home to prostitution outlets. The area is heavily monitored by police patrols and security cameras. There are also a number of bars, restaurants, and historical museums in the Red Light District. The oldest church in the city, Oude Kerk, is in the middle of the District. Most visitors can pass through the District without any problems, but taking photographs of the prostitutes is discouraged.