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  Amsterdam British Airways fr £85
  Amsterdam KLM Airlines fr £85
  Amsterdam Air France fr £65
  Amsterdam BMI Airlines fr £83
History, art, a head of beer and a roll-your-own.

Amsterdam is one of the world's best hangouts, a canny blend of old and new: radical squatter art installations hang off 17th-century eaves; BMWs give way to bicycles; and triple-strength monk-made beer is drunk in gleaming, minimalist cafes.

The city seems to thrive on its mix and, despite hordes of tourists, still manages to feel quintessentially Dutch. The old crooked houses, the cobbled streets, the tree-lined canals and the generous parks all contribute to the atmosphere.


Amsterdam's summer months are wonderful, as the weather turns soft and balmy and the whole city seems to live outdoors. From mid-October to mid-March the climate is miserable, with so much rain you'll have trouble distinguishing street from canal. Spring is pretty damp too, but redeemed by the delightful profusion of bulbs in the window boxes and markets.

A Top Day in Amsterdam

There's a gorgeous blue sky above the rooftops of the Old South. I unlock both chains on the junky but trusty bike and ride through the stately Spiegel Quarter to a late breakfast in the Jordaan with a friend. We browse the Noordermarkt and swing down to the Negen Straatjes to window shop. The bells of the Westerkerk remind us to break for coffee or a biertje with the two perfect fingers of foam.

The afternoon is for stretching out, and nowhere better than a grassy stretch in the Vondelpark, or people watching at the Round Blue Teahouse. Dinner is in Chinatown, before the show (and the architecture) at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ.

Afterwards, we'll club, or at least chill, at 11 (a bar-restaurant-club), the rooftops of the whole city spread out at our feet and twilight's last, orange glow over the harbour.

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Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed [in this brochure/on this website]. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: