Roving Report: Artsy Amsterdam
Amsterdam, the Netherlands' capital, attracted roughly 16.2 million tourists in 2017. So, what we want to know is why it's so popular? We sent Dan, our Roving Reporter over to scout out why it's so loved and where is the best place to stay.
I travelled down to London and met my group outside of the Eurostar Ticket Office at St Pancras. Once we were checked-in and had gone through passport control we departed – in Business Premier Class might I add where breakfast was served, the journey was 4 hours, so if you live outside of London I would recommend a flight. But if you're lucky enough to live in London then the Eurostar goes pretty frequently throughout the day. That's one of the most unique selling points for us Brits, it's very close and easily accessible from the UK.
Upon arrival to Amsterdam Central, we went for Lunch at the Skylounge Rooftop Bar, Hilton. The award winning Skylounge is a great spot for a unique panoramic view. Their sophisticated lunch menu was able to suit all, we were treated to a seven-course lunch banquet – as well as champagne. Apparently, this is the place to be later in the night as every evening they have a DJ and cocktail shakers to set the atmosphere amongst the city's nightlife.
Amsterdam is a city built on water – so what better way to discover the city than on a Dutch cheese and wine cruise. The lit canals are perfect backdrop to take in the city's highlights. The cruise lasted around 2 hours but was a good way to travel around the city as you can take everything in at a good pace. THIS IS HOLLAND wad the next attraction on our trip, here you can have a unique flying experience on a flight simulator where you can fly through Holland in a spherical ride. Get strapped in and view how astonishing special effects which are projected onto a huge dome with smells and water splashing to give you the feel of flying through the landscape.
Time to check in! For 1 night I stayed at the W Hotel, which is split into two unique buildings. Once inside I dropped my bags off and headed straight to the top of the building where the rooftop W Lounge and its 360-degree view lies. I then headed to my room, and although smaller compared to others, it was still very modern and aesthetically pleasing, and the staff are very welcoming! Wondering round the hotel I can see that there is lots of space for meetings, conferences and even a small exhibit.
The Grand, a hotel is where we met for a drinks reception and gala dinner, it really does live up to the name. In the centre of Amsterdam, the hotel is in a perfect location, upon arrival you walk through a beautiful courtyard and then into an entrance lounge which is decorated with artistic an modern furnishings. Apparently, this place is a great celebrity hangout spot, keep your eyes peels and you could meet someone interesting! There's supposed to be a fantastic spa and luxurious rooms, but unfortunately, I didn't get to view these. But the building itself was enough to impress. After the dinner we were given the choice to explore Amsterdam by night at our leisure or depart for your hotel. As I had been travelling since 5am, I thought it would be best to call it a day and retire to my room, to be ready for whatever the next day had in store.
After breakfast and check out, we had our first morning activity which was the A'DAM Lookout Swing, which is the tallest swing in Europe. It stands at a scary 100 meters above the ground, but the view and the adrenaline rush are worth it! We then has lunch after – which is probably a good idea if heights make you feel a bit queasy! Lunch was at Beurs Van Berlage which is a former Stock Exchange building but is now used for events, conferences and exhibitions for up to 1,200 people. This building also hosts much more, such as an 'Escape room' called Sherlocked and a New York Film Academy Café where you can have a taste of the roaring 20's.
After lunch we had the afternoon at leisure, so I decided to get in amongst it all and go for a walk down the canal, whilst trying to avoid many bikes. On my walk I noted how culturally diverse it is here, apparently there are over 178 different nationalities that reside. I feel that you could visit here in any season and it would be impossibly beautiful, from the quirky, crooked, coloured houses to the floating flower market on the canal.
It's finally time to start my journey back home. But Amsterdam is a brilliant place that really can cater for all, whether it's having a venue for a special occasion, a travel incentive or a team building trip – it's worth a visit.
Unfortunately I was only here for one night so didn't manage to cover everything that I wanted to do, so below find some more activities that you can do in Amsterdam.
1. Visit Anne Frank House – The front of the house is a thought provoking museum, but the back annex has been preserved to give an idea of what life for Anne and her family was like.
2. Beer Tasting
3. Van Gogh Museum – One of the worlds most popular Museums in the world, which houses the largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh including 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 700 letters.
If you want to know more about it, or organise a trip/any of these activities arranging, then please don't hesitate in getting into contact:[email protected]