It is possible to fall in love with a place, just like it is a person. Perhaps it is the way a certain city speaks to you, the way its spirit charms you. Imaginably, you start to fall during the quiet moments, where the sound of the people, the smell of the trees, and the excitement evoke a complete and utter fascination. For us, that city is Amsterdam with its fairy-lit bridges and captivating canals evoking a sense of fascination deep inside of us. It was spring and we were in love in Amsterdam. Read on to learn the best romantic things to do in Amsterdam!
- Pulitzer Hotel: The Pulitzer Hotel, part of the Luxury Collection, is where we shared a few romantic nights on our honeymoon. This canal front property is within walking distance to all of the major sights in Amsterdam.
- Intercontinental Amstel Hotel: If you’re a celebrity visiting Amsterdam, this is the place to stay. With its canal front location and a Michelin-star restaurant on its property, it’s no wonder this hotel tops the list of the best hotels in Amsterdam year after year.
- The Albus: The Albus is known as the Design Hotel for its stylish and trendy decor. Located perfectly in the center of the city, this hip hotel boasts incredible balconies with views of Amsterdam. They also have delicious beds that you’ll never want to get out of!
- Wyndham Apollo: Located away from the city center, but still within proximity, this canal front hotel has everything you could want. From canal-front dining, a gym, meeting rooms, and a delightful spa, The Wyndham Apollo has it all!
- Lion Noir: Lion Noir is at the helm of the culinary scene in Amsterdam. With its creative cocktails, courtyard location, and delectable foods, it’s no wonder why Lion Noir topped our list as our favorite meal in all of Amsterdam. This bar and restaurant is eclectically chic, yet unpretentious and boasts a delicious seasonal menu. If it’s a nice evening, make sure to grab a coveted table in their courtyard, just steps away from popular Reguliersdwarsstraat.
- Pompstation: This Eastern Docklands hot spot is known for its juicy steaks, live music, extensive wine list, and incredible al fresco dining. During our visit, we chose to eat outside on a beautiful spring evening, sipping rosé and noshing on oysters. After dinner, we went inside to enjoy the live jazz music and romantic candlelit décor.
- The Pancake Bakery: A visit to Amsterdam is not complete without a visit to The Pancake Bakery, a staple of Dutch pancakes. Leave the diet at home and choose from savory or sweet pancakes. Make sure to order the Poffertjes (mini pancakes) with butter, sugar, and Nutella. These were by far, the best pancakes we’ve ever eaten!
- Keukenhof Gardens: Open from March to May, these gardens are some of the most romantic gardens in the entire world. Acres upon acres of tulips line the Keukenhof property. Straight out of an Instagram or postcard, these gardens have every color tulip imaginable including a Van Gogh tulip and ice cream tulip! Take your time and walk through the property, grab a beverage, and enjoy the live music. We had the most amazing day, taking in the sounds and colors of spring as we walked hand-in-hand through these whimsical gardens. Make sure to walk through the world-famous tulip fields where bright colors emblazon the land for as far as the eye can see.
- Canal Cruise: Join one of the tourist boats or for extra romance, rent your own private boat for a cruise of the canals. Pop some bubbly and enjoy a romantic ride around the many canals of Amsterdam. Some cruises even offer brunches or dinners aboard their boats.
- Long Walks: Amsterdam is a very walking friendly city. Pack a picnic and go for a long walk, stopping to have a picnic and drink along the canals. Get lost with your lover while walking along the many canals.
- Rent a Bike: Amsterdam is known for their being bike-friendly. Rent a bike and cruise around the canals or even out into the country.
- Museumplein: Museumplein (Museum Square) is a destination that appears as though it is straight out of a dream. Lovers litter the grass, having picnics, playing Frisbee, and sharing kisses in this beautiful public space. Surrounded by the famous I Amsterdam sign, Van Gogh museum, Rijksmuseum, and Opera House, you are completely surrounded by the cultural destinations of Amsterdam.
- Museum Hopping: Amsterdam is known for their bevy of incredible museums. While you could spend days visiting all of the museums, our personal favorites are the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum.
- The Red Light District: It’s not just for backpackers and singles! A stroll through the Red Light district is sure to provide some eye candy for you and your honey. Just make sure to clear your schedule after so you can retire to your room and “discuss” your experience.
Spring days in Amsterdam are like nothing else on earth. Lovers litter the gorgeous green grass of Museumplein, cherry blossom wisps blow in the breeze, and groups of friends play volleyball and soccer on the lush landscape. The “I Amsterdam” sign and Rijksmuseum sit at one end while the opera house rests at the other end, inserting the Museumplein goer in a cocoon of culture. As though it were taken straight out of Van Gogh’s Garden with Courting Couples: Saint-Pierre Square, spring in Amsterdam is eternally beautiful and everlastingly romantic. There are simply so many romantic things to do in Amsterdam, how does one choose?
There is a reason why Scott and I visited Amsterdam on our honeymoon and there is a reason why we keep returning to this enchanting city. Everything about Amsterdam exudes romance. From the twinkle lights that circumscribe the canals during starry-eyed nighttime walks to the culturally rich activities, the always smiling locals to the buzzing epicurean scene, you’ll see that perhaps there is more than just one reason to love Amsterdam with all the things to do in Amsterdam.
While our previous visits to Amsterdam had been in the summer months, this time, we made sure to plan our time for the spring to overlap with the magnificent Keukenhof Gardens. These world-famous gardens are only open from March – May (specific dates TBD by Keukenhof). As we took public transportation 45 minutes out of the city to the countryside of Keukenhof, we were greeted by tulip fields filled with colors of the rainbow; brilliant reds, vivid orange, bright yellow, and intense purple.
After passing through the gates of Keukenhof, our jaws dropped. We had never seen so many tulips. Tulips of all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. Sure, there were bright reds, violets, and yellows. But then there were the others; Ice cream tulips, Van Gogh tulips, Aphrodite tulips, and Holland Queen tulips. The scent was mind-altering, transporting us into a state of pure bliss. The sun shined down on us on an unseasonably warm 80-degree day. A live band played romantic music in the background. Walking through Keukenhof was like walking through a dream. Keukenhof was built like a fantasy, but it was indeed the most beautiful reality we’ve ever walked through.
The rest of our time in Amsterdam was spent exploring the magical city. Mornings were spent biking through Vondelpark, afternoons were spent admiring the lovely artwork at the Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum, and evenings were spent walking hand-in-hand alongside the dozens of canals. The city of Amsterdam is simply spectacular in every sense.
We were luck to have the sun shining on every single day of our vacation to Amsterdam. Temperatures soared above 70-degrees (Fahrenheit) and the city was buzzing because of it. While there are so many amazing adventures and activities in Amsterdam, one of our favorite things to do was be with its people. Extended lunches at outdoor cafes, sharing drinks on canal boats, reading in Museumplein, and people watching in its various outdoor public spaces.
One of the greatest parts about Amsterdam is its juxtaposition of order and class right alongside its vices. Amsterdam is a city that is so clean, orderly, and safe, but it still effortlessly possesses its sensual side. After rousing our intellect at museums across the city, we would walk a few streets over to stimulate our sensuality in the Red Light district.
I don’t believe that we have ever visited a city that could rival the zest for life that Amsterdam possesses. Everyone is always enjoying life – whether they’re on bikes, at cafes, cruising the canals, or enjoying the public space, the residents of Amsterdam truly lead a life worth living.
Our time in Amsterdam was one for the romantic record books. We only just left and we’re already planning our return back. From the magnificent tulip fields of Keukenhof to the plethora of illustrious art, the charming canals to the enjoyable epicurean scene, Amsterdam is the picture-perfect for starry-eyed surprises and adoring escapes. Our time was filled with enchanted starry-lit nights, long walks by the canals, and the time with one other.
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