Where to go this summer? This seems to be the question that's currently on top of everyone's mind right now, especially with summertime just around the corner. For the people who live far from the tropics and up north of the equator, summertime usually means hieing off to enjoy the sunkissed beaches of tropical countries to get a brief respite from the biting cold of the weather in the Northern Hemisphere.
Popular summer destinations include resort towns in the Mediterranean, Cancun and Acapulco in Mexico, island countries in the Caribbean and select countries in Southeast Asia which are giving their more established counterparts some stiff competition being relatively cheaper, with an air of the mysterious and exotic and a lot less crowded than holiday destinations found in Europe.
For those who prefer to stay closer to home and don't fancy shelling out a lot of money for a few days worth of fun on the beach and buzzing all night parties, Amsterdam- the Netherlands capital city, financial center, cultural and creative hotbed rolled into one, is a summer destination definitely well worth considering! Conveniently nestled between the neighboring countries of Germany, Belgium and the UK, Amsterdam can be reached by train from various cities in Europe. Trains from Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the Thalys(Amsterdam-Brussels-
For those unfamiliar with Amsterdam's myriad tourist landmarks and attractions, it may pleasantly surprise you to know that, yes, Amsterdam does indeed have beaches! Well, 3 of them in fact, namely Strand Zuid, Strand West and Strand IJburg . Out of these 3, only one, Strand IJburg allows swimming in its beach and as an added attraction, surfing and windsurfing equipment can be rented by the more adventurous and watersports enthusiasts from Surfcenter IJburg.
These 3 beaches share something in common: a wide variety of restaurants, bars and cafes that dot the promenade and beachfronts. It's the place to go if you are looking for a place where you can leisurely enjoy sipping cocktails or nurse a cold beer while you watch the sun go down. Hammocks, lounge chairs and bean bags can also be found aplenty along the shoreline of Amsterdam's 3 beaches, throw in a few beach volleyball courts and voila, you've got all you need for a great day at the beach!
Holland has always been renowned for its beautiful flowers and here in Amsterdam, you'll find the country's most famous flower market at the Singel, a canal which displays bright colorful flowers and different botanical and ornamental plants piled right on top of floating barges. You'll find traditional Dutch tulips, plenty of ornamental bonsai plants, indoor cypresses, geraniums and different varieties of roses in all manner of hues and colors. If you're fortunate enough to have rented apartments in Amsterdam which are located near the Singel Canal, a stroll might prove a wonderful idea especially if you love curio shops and souvenir stalls which can be found at Amsterdam's famed floating flower market. The floating flower market is open everyday of the week from 9am to 5:30 in the afternoon except Sundays when it opens from 11am till 5:30pm.
When it comes to the range of shopping options for indoor markets and outdoor bazaars, well lucky you, Amsterdam has a lot of these! If you fancy your summer getaway to the capital city of the Netherlands to be one leisurely spent bargain-hunting and looking for various knick-knacks, mementos and souvenirs to bring home for family and friends, you'll go gaga at what you'll find here in Amsterdam.
From flowers of all shapes, colors and varieties at the Floating Flower market to vintage pieces of used clothing, sunglasses, books, old records and other curiosities at Waterloo to all kinds of merchandise ranging from gadgets, fashion items, cosmetics and yes, even pieces of furniture you will find these and more at Europe's largest indoor market aptly named the Bazaar. Vendors here are well-known for their unique take on Amsterdam humor and a round of friendly banter while haggling is fairly common practice to seal a particular deal. Albert Cuyp Market and Noordermarkt are also other fine examples of markets you can visit while in Amsterdam.
These are only three among the offbeat attractions you can include in your itinerary when you come over to Amsterdam for a visit these summer. Of course, the famed Red Light District of De Wallen, the Van Gogh Museum, lovely Vondel Park, the works of the Old Masters at the Rijksmuseum, the elegant houseboats moored in many of Amsterdam's canals are always there for you to enjoy. You'd better make plans to extend your stay here during the summer if you plan to take in all the sights and attractions amazing Amsterdam has to offer. Pack your bags and head on over to Amsterdam, you'll definitely have a summer getaway you won't be forgetting anytime soon!