• Switzerland's news in English
 

Top ten reasons to be amazed by Amsterdam

Published: 14 May 2013 09:00 GMT+02:00

1. Run rings round the canals
The picture postcard of the Dutch capital is captured by 100 kilometres of waterways, which stretch under 1,550 bridges and encircle 90 islands. It has been 400 years since construction began on the city’s famous canal ring, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parades and festival are among various activities will be organised on and around the canals throughout 2013.

2. Meet the masters
Stare a real Rembrandt in the eye at the Rijksmuseum, the national museum that houses works of art from all over the world. The main building has opened its doors again after a decade's worth of renovation and has 8,000 objects of art and history back on display. The collection is most famous for the masterpiece paintings by the country’s Golden Age artists including Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer

3. Catch a jubilee concert
Celebrating its 125-year anniversary, the Concertgebouw or city concert hall is considered one of the world’s finest thanks to its finely tuned acoustics. Built in 1888, it is a classical powerhouse but has played host to the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who and Pink Floyd in its time. Over 700,000 music lovers visit annually and this year the venue has a perfectly pitched programme of jubilee concerts, with a number of live performances screened at locations around Amsterdam.

4. Tune into the city orchestra
Cited as one of the world’s small select group of top symphony orchestras, the resident Concertgebouw orchestra was given royal approval by Queen Beatrix in 1988. The ensemble dates back to the same year as the concert hall and is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a 48-concert tour covering six continents. The orchestra has over 1,000 recordings to its credit and is complementing its 2013 schedule by performing 70 concerts at home in the Netherlands.

5. Holiday in the African savannah
Yes, even in Amsterdam. Wildebeest, zebras and gazelles can be found roaming around the Artis Royal Zoo, situated in the heart of city. You won’t find a greener spot in Amsterdam; the country’s oldest zoo has the more nature per square metre than anywhere else in the capital. Home to 750 species of animals and 300 species of trees, this year the zoo really is blooming, with thousands of flowers planted especially to commemorate its 175th anniversary.

6. Head to Haarlem with Hals
To mark the centenary year of the Frans Hals museum, 50 key masterpieces by the Dutch Golden Age painter are being exhibited. The museum is situated in the city of Haarlem, 20 kilometres west of Amsterdam, where Hals lived most of his life.  Born in 1582, he is famed for his portraits and although he died penniless in 1666, a Hals original that once hung in Elizabeth Taylor’s living room sold at auction in 2012 for $2 million.

7. Revel in Russian relations
From trading partners to royal liaisons, the Netherlands and Russia have long shared special relations. So inspired was Tsar Peter the Great with the canals of Amsterdam, that construction began on the present day St. Petersburg to build a replica. The bond between the two cities was cemented in 2009 by the opening of the Hermitage Amsterdam, a satellite of St Petersburg´s famous museum, where a special exhibition dedicated to Peter the Great will run throughout 2013.

8. Get a glimpse of Van Gogh
One of the Netherlands’ most famous sons, the works of Vincent Van Gogh are back on display following the reopening of the Netherlands most visited museum, situated at Museumplein. “One must spoil as many canvases as one succeeds with,” the young Van Gogh is reported to have said and succeed he did. The museum hosts the largest Van Gogh collection in the world, with 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters. This year the museum is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

9. For an easy-to-find cultural fix
An architectural centrepiece gracing the Keizersgracht canal, the Felix Meritis building is in it 225th year. Its foundations began in promoting arts and science yet between 1888 and 1988 it served as a printing house, the headquarters of the Dutch Communist Party and a theatre. Its name translates to ‘happy through merit’ and it finally returned to its roots in 1988 when it was opened once again as an institution, now focusing as an independent European centre for art, culture and science.

10. Special offers on Swiss flights
Fly direct from Geneva, Zurich and Basel with KLM who is offering special prices on regular daily flights to Amsterdam during this celebratory year.
Six daily flights
Geneva - Amsterdam 
Amsterdam - Geneva
Zurich- Amsterdam
Amsterdam - Zurich

Three daily flights
Basel - Amsterdam
Amsterdam - Basel

Article sponsored by KLM

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Today's headlines
 HSBC boss backs Swiss account as profits slip
HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver. Photo: AFP

HSBC boss backs Swiss account as profits slip

HSBC's boss on Monday fended off criticism about receiving his bonuses through a Swiss bank account held by a Panamanian-registered company, as the banking giant reported a 15-percent drop in annual net profits. READ  

Fire destroys Valais discotheque and bar
Photo: Valais cantonal police

Fire destroys Valais discotheque and bar

An investigation is under way into the cause of a fire on Sunday night that destroyed a discotheque, bar and woodworking shop in Collombey-Muraz, a municipality of around 8,000 people in the canton of Valais. READ  

Federer caught up in bitter cricket rivalry
Federer holding up India cricket shirt. Photo: Roger Federer/Facebook

Federer caught up in bitter cricket rivalry

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has apologized for getting caught up in the bitter rivalry between Indian and Pakistani cricket fans after he was pictured admiring the blue shirt of World Cup champions India in a marketing photo-shoot. READ  

HSBC CEO 'kept millions in Swiss account'
Photo: AFP

HSBC CEO 'kept millions in Swiss account'

HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver, who vowed to reform the scandal-hit bank, kept millions of dollars in a Swiss account, the Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday. READ  

Same-sex marriage 'backed by most Swiss'
Photo: AFP

Same-sex marriage 'backed by most Swiss'

A majority of Swiss back gay and lesbian marriage, according to the results of surveys published on Sunday by two weeklies. READ  

Breakdowns cancel flights at Geneva airport
Photo: Geneva airport

Breakdowns cancel flights at Geneva airport

The Geneva airport struggled to return to normal operations on Sunday, a day after equipment failures, two fires and snow forced the cancellation of 35 flights and the rerouting of 22 others. READ  

Avalanche kills four skiers in Valais Alps
The avalanche buried five people. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Avalanche kills four skiers in Valais Alps

The death toll from an avalanche that swept away a group of Italian skiers in the Swiss Alps has risen to four after a man died from his injuries, police said on Sunday. READ  

Burkhalter: anti-terror measures a 'priority'
Burkhalter and John Kerry at a meeting last year. Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Burkhalter: anti-terror measures a 'priority'

Combating violent extremism is a “priority” in Switzerland, Swiss foreign minister and former president Didier Burkhalter has said, telling a counter-terrorism summit in Washington this week that Switzerland has measures in place to prevent the radicalization of youth and the financing of terrorism. READ  

Lausanne man gets 14 years for strangling wife
The trial took place in Yverdon. Photo: Sjaak Kempe

Lausanne man gets 14 years for strangling wife

A Swiss court on Friday sentenced a civil servant from Assens near Lausanne in the canton of Vaud to 14 years in prison for strangling his wife to death at their home and burying her body in a nearby forest. READ  

Updated: several injured in train collision
The accident happened at 6.45am on Friday. Photo: Michael Buholzer/AFP

Updated: several injured in train collision

Two trains slammed into each other in the Swiss town of Rafz north of Zurich early on Friday, leaving passengers injured and train carriages upturned, police and media said. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
New study finds Switzerland is world's best place to retire
National
Army official calls for Swiss women to undergo military training
National
New Swiss health campaign combats smoking as 'norm' for too many
National
Swiss federal government unveils EU immigration quotas bill
Sponsored Article
Avoid the costs of wild Swiss currency swings
Business & Money
HSBC Swiss private bank revelations 'tip of iceberg': whistleblower
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
Phil Collins' paralyzed ex-wife files lawsuit after Swiss complications
Culture
Gauguin on display in Basel touted as 'most costly painting ever'
Business & Money
Swiss Leaks: HSBC Swiss private bank 'catered to terrorists and crooks'
International
What's keeping British expats in Europe from voting in UK elections?
Business & Money
Trade balance bulges as Switzerland smashes record for exports in 2015
National
Swiss town's ploy against workers living in Italy 'not racist'
National
Architects propose skyscrapers for new Geneva 'urban centre'
Culture
Renowned Israeli conductor dies during symphony in Lucerne
International
Population of Swiss citizens abroad continues to expand
National
Vaud property salesman jailed over costly gambling addiction
National
Right-wing group seeks citizens' vote for national face veil ban
Health
Swiss doctors 'worst' for leaving foreign objects in patients
Features
Anglophone expats in Switzerland mine creativity to earn crust
National
Number of 'immigrants' swells to third of Swiss population: report
International
Pricey Switzerland tops latest global cost of living study
National
Swiss travel agents and retailers cut prices after franc surge
Technology
Solar Impulse team unveils round-the-world route for its plane
Business & Money
Swiss central bank's shock move to let franc rise sparks debate
National
Markets panic as Swiss National Bank scraps euro rate cap
National
VIDEO: Swiss soldiers publish pictures of antics on internet
National
A portrait of modern Switzerland in ten stats
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Features
Geneva-based expat pens seismic novel about Haitian homeland
Features
Tons of explosives finally removed from hundreds of Swiss sites
International
'Don't succumb to fear': Swiss President Sommaruga on terrorism
Sport
Federer claims historic 1,000th win at Brisbane tennis tournament
National
Swiss newspapers condemn deadly Charlie Hebdo terror attack
Business & Money
Hackers steal client information from Geneva cantonal bank
National
Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris sparks Swiss rallies
National
Pop star Madonna leaves her mark during Swiss mountain holiday
National
Disassembled Solar Impulse heads to Emirates in jumbo jet
National
US ambassador in Bern sparks flap over Swiss ski lift line 'chaos'
National
New President Sommaruga lauds 'bold' Swiss democracy
National
Hopes fade of finding missing Scottish researcher still alive
National
Scientists in Lausanne and Belgium step up search for alien life
National
Nude 'selfie' mayor heads Switzerland's top ten scandal list
Features
The Local's top ten snow sport alternatives to skiing in Switzerland
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,483
jobs available