Cheap flights to Amsterdam (Schiphol International Airport) are available from Perth, Melbourne and Sydney via Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines. Flights exiting Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth could also include a stopover in Singapore when travelling with Singapore Airlines. Cheap flights offered by Cathay Pacific typically transfer through Hong Kong and are available for departures from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Cheap flights from Sydney with China Southern Airlines may include a transfer through Guangzhou. Flight options departing Adelaide may route through Dubai on carrier Emirates or Kuala Lumpur on flights operated by Malaysia Airlines. Schiphol International Airport is approximately 18km from the Amsterdam city centre. Book car hire in advance for a pick up outside the arrivals hall. Purchase a ticket at the Amsterdam Shuttle Desk for the convenient Connexxion shuttle, servicing most major hotels. Trains depart for central station every 10-15 minutes and with a 20 minute journey, this is a quick and economical option. The taxi rank is located just outside the arrivals hall and whilst this may be slightly more expensive, it is perhaps the most convenient option at this busy airport.
Amsterdam has a well organised public transport system. The metro (tube/train), tram and bus services are all operated by the one company. Purchase an OV-chipcard for discounted and convenient travel, similar to Melbourne’s myki card electronic touch-on, touch-off system. Driving in Amsterdam can be chaotic and parking is both limited and expensive. Within the city centre walking, cycling or using the tram are the best ways to move around. Bus services are cheap and if you don’t favour taxis, these run throughout the night.
Marvel at Oude Kerk and the magnificent changing architecture that is Amsterdam. Visit Amsterdam’s Historisch Museum, Museum Amstelkring and Joods Historisch Museum. Enjoy the art offerings of the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Rembrandt’s House. Picnic in Vondelpark for a cheap afternoon of nature-filled, charm and calm. Venture out of traditional tourism at alternative fluorescent art museum, Electric Ladyland, the Torture Museum or the Museum of Bags and Purses. For a left-of-centre experience, immerse yourself in the dramatics of The Amsterdam Dungeon. Learn to ski, year-round just outside the city at indoor playground SnowPlanet. Amongst the Gothic/Baroque/Renaissance reflection of this beautifyulcity, remember just how colourful it’s past with an eerie, breathtaking and somewhat heartbreaking visit to Anne Frank House.
The city centre has an incredible array of retail offerings. For high-end and boutique buys try the shops lining P.C. Hooftstraat. Batavia Stad is an outlet shopping complex about an hour out of Amsterdam in Lelystad, housing designer labels and big brand names. Visit the Waterloopienmarkt for an unforgettable flea market experience where light-hearted haggling is whole-heartedly encouraged. Book a table by the window and enjoy seafood at Ciel Bleu or the dessert menu at La Rive. Feast on Indonesian cuisine at Kartika Restaurant, cheap sandwiches at Broodje Bert or the home-style Dutch menu at Moeders. Party with the laid back bohemian crowd at Café Sound Garden, or at popular Melkweg. Sip champagne in absolute style at Bubbles and Wine or experiment with whisky-based ‘Penicillin’ cocktail at trendy Vesper Bar.
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