Oozing with Luxury, History, Haute Couture Styles and Van Gogh Masterpieces
Dam Square: You read it right and it’s the best area for shopping in Amsterdam. Find main department stores including De Bijenkorf located at Dam 1; it’s one of the city’s best for designer wear and haute couture. Explore the area for a variety of styles, and while you’re at it, sit down at a local restaurant to enjoy some food, wine and prime people watching.
Anne Frank House: On July 6, 1942, Otto Frank moved his family into the secret annex of this building located at #263 Prinsengracht in the heart of Amsterdam to escape Nazi terror.Frank was with his wife and two daughters, and shortly thereafter was joined by the Van Pels Family and Fritz Pfeffer. They hid together until August 4, 1944, when they were arrested and deported to concentration camps. Otto’s daughter Anne immortalized that frightful chapter of their lives in her legendary memoir, The Dairy of Anne Frank. This museum traces the Franks’ life and gives each visitor an up-close view of 1942 Amsterdam under Nazi rule. www.annefrank.org
Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum: Amsterdam’s largest museum, the Rijksmuseum, houses an unforgettable collection of 17th century Dutch masters, including some ingenious paintings by Rembrandt. From photographs to prints and an array of traveling collections, this admired museum should be on everyone’s Amsterdam itinerary. And since he is the artist synonymous with Amsterdam, make another stop at the Van Gogh, to see the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh masterpieces (more than 700!) Serious art lovers, rejoice! www.rijksmuseum.nl, www.vangoghmuseum.nl
Sofitel Amsterdam The Grand: Oozing with luxury and history, this is Amsterdam’s Grand Dame and what a dame she is! Offering an array of stunning rooms and suites and some of Holland’s best cuisine, the Grand is also incredibly well located. Travelgirls, you will also love the spa, already amazing, and undergoing an exciting renovation. Stop in for a moisturizing facial before you get back on the plane to head home; you’ll return with a coveted European glow. Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, 1012 EX AMSTERDAM; www.sofitel.com
Canals: City landmarks worthy of Savvy Six distinction, smart travelers know that they are as vital to the Amsterdam transportation system as bicycles. Canal cruise boats were once a royal privilege, now, the experience is a Dutch treat anyone can enjoy. Consider purchasing a day pass, it’s a good value at 16 euro; sit back and take in the sights as you are ferried from one canal to another. Efficient and scenic, this mode of transport is a leisurely and fun way to traverse this charming city. www.canal.nl
Travelgirl tip: Check out the “I amsterdam” card options at www.iamsterdamcard.com — it’s a visitor’s key to the city.
Keukenhof Gardens: Open March through May, Keukenhof Gardens is awash in more than seven million tulips heralding springtime in a spectacular kaleidoscope of colors. Countless events happen at the gardens, including flower parades and the largest lily show in the world. There’s even a petting zoo for the kids. Sculptures, daffodils and an abundance of bulbs and greenery complete a landscape that’s a sight to behold. One of Holland’s premier attractions, this vibrant destination is tops for a springtime tour. www.keukenhof.nl