Romantic Things to do in Amsterdam for Valentine’s Day
Looking to whisk your other half away to Amsterdam for Valentine’s Day? Romance in the Dutch capital definitely doesn’t hit you straight in the face, but that’s just the beauty of it. Canalside bike rides, art deco cinemas, cosy beers in a local pub, a look around the world’s first sex musuem… There are more than enough things to fill a Valentine’s weekend in Amsterdam whether you’re after a romance-filled getaway or just a good excuse to visit the greatest city in Europe. Here we have the best things to do in Amsterdam for Valentine’s Day.
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Start with Brunch
Kick off your weekend getaway with a delicious, hearty brunch in Amsterdam. The city whips up some seriously tasty brunch options that’ll probably out-do most dishes consumed by even the biggest brunch fans. Whether you’re feeling some oozy eggs or fully-loaded pancakes, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Bakers & Roasters in De Pijp, Little Collins in Oud-West and Dignita in Vondelpark are just a handful of the unreal places that know how to cook a 10/10 brunch.
Check out the Best Brunch in Amsterdam
Jordaan is one of the most picturesque districts in Amsterdam, especially if you’re after a little romance. You could stroll the pretty paved streets for hours weaving in and out of the charming boutiques and stopping for a canalside al fresco coffee. If you’re around on a Saturday, don’t miss the Lindengracht Market - a proper local, Dutch market selling all sorts of fresh, local produce from fish to cheese to flowers as well as a few stalls for a snack as you browse. Check out the world’s only houseboat museum (Woonbootmuseum), eat the best and most famous apple pie in Amsterdam at Winkel 43 and sift through the clothes at Westerstraat Market on Monday mornings.
Watch a movie at an art deco theatre
From the second to reach even the exterior of Pathé Tuschinski, you’ll see that this won’t be any old average Valentine’s Day cinema date night. This old school style movie theatre is considered to be one of the most beautiful cinemas in the world. Along with the enormous screen there are floor to ceiling curtains, a stage and even an organ. Take a seat in the plush red velvet auditorium and enjoy a new film in an art deco theatre. Tickets aren’t even expensive!
Scout out the hofjes
Escape the hordes of tourists around Dam Square and the Rijksmuseum and venture a little off-the-beaten track to Amsterdam’s secret courtyards. These hidden gems are little tucked away peaceful gardens called hofjes which are dotted around the city, mainly in Jordaan. While a number of them won’t cost you a penny, some do ask for a bit of cash - they’re people’s own homes after all. Claes Claesz Hofje, Zon’s Hofje and Hofje van Brienen are just a few examples of the stunning tiny gardens hidden away from the tourist track. You could spend ages scouting them out and seeing how many you can tick off in a day without the help of Google.
Cycle through Vondelpark
If there’s one thing everyone in Amsterdam has to tick off, it’s a bike ride through Vondelpark. Hire a bike for cheap and follow the cycle paths to the city’s biggest, most famous patch of green. If it’s a nice sunny day for February then pack a picnic and take your time cycling around until lunch time before stopping off for a feast on the grass. Vondelpark is always brimming with young locals, tourists and dog walkers making the most of the fresh park air.
Take a Canal Tour
Cruise Amsterdam’s canals along a route that’ll show off some of the city’s most famous sights. There are loads of companies that run canal tours but we recommend City Canal Cruise. Just hop on board and sit back and relax while you soak up a little Dutch culture for an hour and 15 minutes. See the Golden Bend, the Skinny Bridge and the historic city centre while gliding down the 400 year old canals.
Beers at a cosy Brown Bar
A ‘brown bar’ in Amsterdam is a local pub that has aged like a fine wine (but it probably doesn’t sell any). Dotted across the city, these old school pubs are the cosiest spots for a real local brew. An old wooden bar, just a couple of beers on tap, nostalgic keepsakes all over the walls, the owner pulling pints behind the bar and a crowd of locals enjoying the atmosphere is what you can expect from any brown bar. Cafe Slijterij Oosterling, Café ‘t Mandje and Café Chris are a few of our top picks so sit back with a beer and a plate of bitterballen to experience one of the most authentic atmospheres in Amsterdam.
Taste a few more beers at Brouwerij ‘T IJ
To the east of the city centre, find the large wooden windmill with a brewery right next door. This brewery (Brouwerij ‘t IJ) was once a public bathing house, but now it serves up some of the best beer tasting panels in Amsterdam. Take a tour of the brewery between Friday to Sunday for €6,50 and then sit down for a taste of the good stuff on their terrace while admiring the biggest windmill in Amsterdam right next door.
Visit the Sex Museum
Don’t want the entire weekend to be taken over by lovey dovey stuff? Step inside Amsterdam’s Sex Museum for a bit of a change of tone… The Venustempel aka Temple of Venus was the first sex museum in the world and will take you on a journey of sex through the ages including more than a few shocking (and quite hilarious) artifacts.
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Article by Darcy King