Our Travel Guide to a Weekend in Amsterdam

Travel to the dreamlike canal city this fall to enjoy car-free living, incomparable art, and exciting new boutique hotels.


amsterdam weekend travel guide

Photograph courtesy of Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

From the outside, you would never guess that six 17th- and 18th-century homes on the stately Herengracht canal comprise a single luxurious hotel. At the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, opened in 2014, guests enjoy centuries-old Dutch opulence and modern amenities in equal measure. The entry hall boasts an ornate staircase designed by Louis XIV’s architect Daniel Marot, while a Guerlain-branded spa features an indoor pool and steam room. Four on-site eateries and lounges include the two-star Michelin restaurant Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam.

Herengracht 542–546, waldorfastoria.hilton.com.

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Photograph courtesy of Waldorf Astoria

Sir Adam Hotel

A good friend says of the Sir Adam Hotel: “Super-duper hip and off the radar,” and that’s an understatement. Founded by the eponymous music impresario, this luxury boutique hotel, which was slated to open in late summer 2016, will keep the beat going with music-themed rooms, plenty of local art, and design by New York interior design firm ICrave.


W Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s first W hotel defines cool, starting with the ultra-designed lobby and ending with the city’s only rooftop pool among Amsterdam’s historical spires. Centrally located just off Dam Square, the hotel occupies former telephone exchange and bank buildings. Three restaurants and lounges and, of course, a superlative spa round out the experience.

Spuistraat 175, wamsterdam.com.


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Photograph courtesy of the Seafood Bar

The Seafood Bar

Complemented by a slick white interior, The Seafood Bar’s local takes on les fruits de mer are as fresh as can be. To whet your appetite, we recommend the Deluxe Plateau Seafood Bar for two, a shareable medley of smoked eel, Dutch shrimp, tuna salad, and salmon served two ways. Then move on to the shellfish: lobster, mussels, and a range of other delicious sea creatures, prepared to perfection.

Spui 15 and Van Baerlestraat 5, theseafoodbar.nl.

Bijenkorf Kitchen

Atop the shiny Dutch department store De Bijenkorf (translation: beehive) is a modern food court where shoppers wander from food station to food station sampling an elegant selection of global eats. Perfect for large groups with disparate tastes, the space also boasts majestic views of Dam Square.

Dam 1, debijenkorf.nl/food-en-restaurants.

Café Loetje

After a day spent at the recently renovated Rijksmuseum, take a well-deserved break at this meat lover’s paradise, known as the place to dig into gorgeous steaks from locally bred steer. The burger is easily the best we’ve ever had.

Johannes Vermeerstraat 52, amsterdam.loetje.com.


Housed inside a former tram station built in the Amsterdam School architecture style, the Foodhallen features more than a dozen stalls hawking everything from gin and tonics to bitterballen to bành mí.

Bellamyplein 51, foodhallen.nl.

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Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age. / Photograph by Evert Elzinga


Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age

During the Dutch Golden Age, patrons liked their art big. As in, really big. This fall at the Hermitage Amsterdam, marvel at the largest works created for 17th-century Dutch gentry—30 portraits in total—drawn from the collections of the Amsterdam Museum and the Rijksmuseum. This year marks the first time these enormous group portraits have been shown together.

Through 12/31/16, Amstel 51, portraitgalleryofthegoldenage.com.

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Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age. / Photograph by Evert Elzinga