Destination of the week: Amsterdam

Next on our stop this week is the amazing city of Amsterdam, a city where history is melded with modern flair so elegantly. Full of Seventeenth-century buildings visitors can expect to be surrounded by architectural masterpieces. There are also more than enough museums for you to visit including the Van Gogh Museum, which has the world’s largest collection by Vincent Van Gogh. Everyday life  in Amsterdam is full of great experiences, whether it walking down and unknown street or admiring the many beautiful sites; you’ll have more than enough time to revel in all the city has to offer, but remember to pause and truly take it all in.


Our hotel of choice in Amsterdam is Hotel Okura, where you will have everything you need and more under one roof.  Hotel Okura provides its guests with luxurious hospitality in Amsterdam but with a soft touch of Japanese culture. The hotel is located in the middle of 'De Pijp', the lively Quartier Latin of Amsterdam and has 23 floors with rooms that offer fantastic views of over the city’s criss-crossing canals, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 


The hotel also features a new Nagomi Spa & Health facilities and a private boat jetty that will make your stay even more luxurious. You’ll be delighted to know that the hotel has four amazing restaurants (two of which have been awarded Michelin stars), two bars and even a culinary cooking centre. Every room has been designed to make your feel comfortable and relaxed and to ensure the highest standards of luxury.

Suite bedroom

Oude Kerk is the oldest surviving building in Amsterdam (from 1306) and was built to honour its patron saint, St Nicholas. The tower is arguably Amsterdam’s most beautiful and has a magnificent view which happens to include the Red Light District, something we can say is a definite moral contradiction, but you never know it might be there to keep a watchful eye or be a beacon of hope for lost souls. Inside the building there is also a beautiful Müller organ, gilded oak vaults and stained-glass windows from 1555.

Oude Kerk

Oude organ

The Anne Frank Huis is the Western Canal Belt’s most popular attraction drawing in about 1 million visitors each year. The overall experience is very powerful as you get an insight into what life was like for her, you even get to see a reconstruction of Anne’s melancholy bedroom and her actual diary – sitting alone in its glass case. The main focus of the museum however is the  achterhuis (rear house), which is also known as the Secret Annexe, an airless and dark space that the Franks and others observed in complete silence during the daytime and also where they read Dickens and put photos of Hollywood stars on the walls up until their passing.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank's Diary

If you love zoos and you love history then you’ll be sure to enjoy the Artis Royal Zoo. It’s The oldest zoo on the European continent, and has an alphabet list of wildlife from alligators to zebras. The zoo is beautifully laid out with winding pathways, delightful ponds and lovely statues. The themed habitats are definitely a winner with visitors, as they are more than convincing particularly the African savannah and tropical rainforest. In the aquarium, you get to witness the Amsterdam canal from a fish’s point of view and well as view the shark tanks. There is also a place for kids in the petting zoo and a planetarium.

Artis Royal Zoo

Artis Royal Zoo

You can’t not come to Amsterdam and not go and nee the marvellous Van Gogh Museum. The museum was opened in 1973 to house the collection of Vincent’s younger brother Theo, but now it consists of almost 200 paintings and 500 drawings by Vincent Van Gogh as well as his friends and contemporaries, such as Gauguin, Monet, Bernard and Toulouse-Lautrec. Visitors should come before 11 am or visit on a Friday night when a cultural event is held here.

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

There are so many places to eat but we recommend stepping out of your usual restaurant habits and trying something different.  De Kas is a restaurant that is admired by gourmets citywide and has an organic attitude to match its chic glass greenhouse setting. The restaurant grows most of its own herbs and produce, resulting in incredible organic dishes wish pure flavours and innovative combinations. Visitors can expect a set menu each day, which is dependent on what is being harvested, but we guarantee you’ll enjoy it.


't Smalle dates back to 1786 when it was a jenever (Dutch gin) distillery and tasting house, it was then restored during the 1970s with antique porcelain beer pumps and lead-framed windows. The bruin café (bar) is one of the locals' favourite and one of Amsterdam’s most charming. 't Smalle Is right by the canal, which means you can dock your boat right next to its pretty stone terrace, which we have to say is the perfect idea for a romantic evening.

't Smalle