Easygoing Amsterdam!

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September 2015 – Looking for an easy European destination to escape for a few days? You like art, design, food and want to keep it simple?  Amsterdam may just be what you need! Here are a few tips from my last trip there!

Arriving by plane: Schiphol Airport is one of the best airports in the world and only a 15-minute train ride away from downtown Amsterdam. Just buy your ticket at one of the ticket machines near the platforms and get on the train! One of the easiest airports to travel to and from!

Hotel : we had the chance to stay at the lovely Canal House on Keizersgracht canal. A 23 room boutique hotel, in a historical building, renovated for the 21st century, in a great location!

Museum : the Rijksmuseum re-opened in 2013 after a 10-year renovation. The building is beautiful and the art!! Rembrandt, and my favorite Vermeer (Milkmaid) are among the masters waiting for you here!  If Van Gogh is your man, you will find his museum at the other end of the Museumplein! Time saver tips for both museums : (1) buy you tickets in advance at your hotel to avoid long lineups (2) go early!

If the weather is cooperating, rent a bicycle! Amsterdam is bicycle heaven!! You can even cycle through the Rijksmuseum! There are a lot of paths and in streets where there are none, bicycles have the right of way. If you’re a bit nervous dealing with cars like I am, I suggest renting during the weekend (less trafic). There are several places where you can rent bikes and the rates are pretty much the same. We rented our bikes at Green Budget Bikes and had a blast!

Food : while riding our rented bicycles, not very far from the train station, we noticed Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant Fifteen and stopped for lunch.  The food was great and very fresh. But what makes Fifteen special is that all its apprentices are young people who faced difficult challenges, who are given training and a new chance on life. The sommelier was super nice, knowledgeable, funny and very greatful for the opportunity.

Amsterdam est la destination parfaite pour s’évader quelques jours sans tracas: arrivée dans un des meilleurs aéroports au monde et un transfert simple et rapide au centre-ville; séjournez dans une maison historique au Canal House Hotel, sur le bord du canal Keizersgracht; le Rijksmuseum est un incontournable depuis sa ré-ouverture en 2013; s’il fait beau, louez un vélo; pour un bon repas à l’heure du lunch, le restaurant 15 du chef Jamie Oliver offre un menu tout en fraîcheur et permet à des jeunes d’apprendre un métier et d’avoir une seconde chance!