• Switzerland's news in English
 
Sponsored Article
Top ten reasons to be amazed by Amsterdam

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
Ex-banker admits lying over French tax fraud
Pierre Condamin-Gerbier. Photo: AFP

Ex-banker admits lying over French tax fraud

A man who acknowledged lying when he served as a key witness in a major French tax fraud investigation was sentenced to a two-year suspended prison term in the Swiss canton of Ticino on Friday. READ  

Swiss spills beans about guarding the pope
Photo: David Geisser

Swiss spills beans about guarding the pope

Although better known today for their colourful uniforms than their centuries-old reputation as fearless warriors, the Swiss Guards remain a powerful symbol of the Vatican. The Local speaks to David Geisser, one of the latest recruits, about a career protecting popes.
 READ  

Massive write-downs soak Axpo in red ink
Photo: Axpo

Massive write-downs soak Axpo in red ink

Swiss utility company Axpo said on Friday that eroding wholesale prices for electricity have forced it to write down 1.5 billion francs on the value of its power plants and energy supply contracts. READ  

Banks vow negative rates won't be passed on
Photo: Yoshiko Kusano/Photopress

Banks vow negative rates won't be passed on

Major banks in Switzerland say they have no intention of charging small savers negative interest rates in the wake of the Swiss National Bank’s decision this week to charge such rates to financial institutions. READ  

Suspected stabber Nabilla freed from prison
Photo: AFP

Suspected stabber Nabilla freed from prison

Swiss model and French reality TV star Nabilla Benattia left a women’s prison in Versailles, France on Thursday on conditional release while facing charges of attempted murder after stabbing her boyfriend. READ  

Swiss school grad 'hero' among café siege victims
Photo: César Ritz Colleges/Facebook

Swiss school grad 'hero' among café siege victims

César Ritz Colleges, a Swiss hotel management school group, issued a tribute on its Facebook page to a former graduate who died while trying to end this week’s café hostage-taking incident in Sydney, Australia that left three people dead and five people injured. READ  

Forecast cuts 2015 Swiss economic growth
What, me worry? Swiss economy seen as continuing to defy trend in eurozone. Photo: Credit Suisse

Forecast cuts 2015 Swiss economic growth

The Swiss federal government's experts' group says Switzerland's economic prospects remain favourable in a "risky environment" although it cut its growth forecast for 2015. READ  

French businessman plans takeover of Orange

French businessman plans takeover of Orange

Apax Funds has announced it is selling Orange Switzerland, the country’s third largest mobile operator, to NJJ Capital, a holding company owned by French businessman Xavier Niel for 2.8 billion francs. READ  

Switzerland cracks top ten list for business
Zurich, Switzerland's biggest centre for business. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Switzerland cracks top ten list for business

Switzerland ranks among the top ten best countries in the world to do business, according to Forbes magazine’s list for 2014. READ  

Central bank imposes negative interest rates
Photo: Michael Faes

Central bank imposes negative interest rates

With fresh turmoil in foreign exchange markets putting upward pressure on the franc, the Swiss National Bank announced on Thursday the introduction of negative interest rates. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
The Local's top ten snow sport alternatives to skiing in Switzerland
International
Swiss chocolate café at centre of hostage-taking drama Down Under
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Features
Exploring the 'most beautiful village' in French-speaking Switzerland
Business & Money
Italian thieves steal 260 tons of Swiss Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate
National
World's longest train tunnel — under the Swiss Alps — set to open in 2016
National
Switzerland's Christmas market season gets into full swing
National
Porn film on video screen spices up fare at Swiss McDonald's restaurant
National
Masturbation scene in Swiss TV ad for Media Markt draws complaints
National
Cantonal lawmakers end 'happy hours' tippling in Vaud pubs and bars
Politics
Former concert pianist Sommaruga elected as next Swiss president
Culture
Jailed German art forger's paintings go on sale at Bern gallery
Business & Money
Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad's family listed as Switzerland's richest
Features
Long-time expats face dilemma: to be or not to be a Swiss citizen
National
Switzerland's voters massively reject strict immigration limits
Business & Money
Pieces of Napoleon's auctioned hair to be put in Geneva luxury watches
National
Activists petition federal government for ban on eating cats and dogs
National
Swiss meat firm faces scandal over alleged false labelling of products
Sport
Federer victory gives Switzerland its first Davis Cup tennis title
Business & Money
Italy's PM upset over Swiss mogul's acquittal in asbestos deaths
Business & Money
University of Zurich study finds 'banker's oath' could spur honesty
National
Swiss National Bank chief calls proposal to boost gold reserves 'fatal'
National
Mudslides kill four people in Ticino and neighbouring Italy
Culture
British X Factor star seeks internet support for Swiss Eurovision place
National
Court overturns ban by backing right for schoolgirl to wear scarf
National
Swiss ranking for English skills worsens among non-Anglo countries
Culture
Swiss model and French TV star Nabilla held for 'attempted murder'
Travel
Switzerland's Zermatt voted best ski resort in the Alps by skiers
Sport
VIDEO: FC Zurich claims crime after 'vicious' tackle hospitalizes player
Tech
Federal government announces new '.swiss' internet domain name
National
Zany emergency: Basel firefighters rescue ass stuck in manhole
Business & Money
American jury clears former UBS top executive of tax fraud
International
Switzerland ranks second to Norway in global 'prosperity' index
National
Financial regulator bans former Coop Bank CEO for three years
International
Switzerland slips in World Economic Forum's gender equality rankings
National
Job candidates unhappy with hiring process in Switzerland
National
Glacier 3000 opens new foot bridge spanning two mountains in Vaud
National
Swiss seek special Unesco heritage listing for yodelling and watchmaking
International
Switzerland regarded as best place in world for expats: global survey
National
Red faces at Migros over Hitler and Mussolini coffee cream pots
National
Quarter of workers in Switzerland 'stressed out': new survey
Travel
Lonely Planet ranks Zermatt among top places to visit in 2015
Features
Eritrean asylum seekers find refuge in Swiss monastery town
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

2,045
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply