Exploring the Best of Amsterdam’s Art and Culture — Without Breaking the Bank

AmsterdamFamous for its bikes, intricate canals, and beautiful architecture, Amsterdam has cultivated just the right backdrop for tourists to celebrate its best features: its culture and its people.

Multiculturally diverse and LGBT-friendly, the Dutch city has a reputation for welcoming people from all walks of life and from all around the world. This is one place where there really is something for everyone. So if you just go with what interests you, you can’t get it wrong.

Here are some suggestions on how to experience some impressive elements of Dutch art and culture, without breaking the bank.

Stay Somewhere Artsy

It’s not hard to find a place with some kind of story in Amsterdam and the Dutch are proud to share it! The Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is a historic building with a great location on the waterfront, and offers 118 unique rooms to suit both the value-conscious and luxury traveller.

The library at The Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is accessible to guests for 24 hours

The library at The Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy is accessible to guests for 24 hours

The hotel takes advantage of its institutional-like characteristics by featuring an impressive in-house restaurant, large patio, and charming library. The hallways tell the history of the building and its inhabitants, whereas the eclectic mix of guest rooms each express a unique and creative vision of a different Dutch artist or interior designer.

Travel On Two-Wheels 

Photo: Crystal Lahan

Photo: Crystal Lahan

If you want to get a true sense of everyday Dutch life, then you must ride around on a bike! Bike rental shops are sprinkled throughout the city, making it easy to rent a bike for a few hours and go on your own bike tour.

Before you ride, prepare yourself for the organized chaos of cars, bikes, and people that make up Amsterdam canals and streets. With an estimated 800,000 bicycles in a city of 811,000 residents, you’re riding in a city of advanced-level cyclists! Follow the traffic rules, go with the flow, and you’ll do just fine.

Go People Watching

Amsterdam is well-known for being one of the most socially diverse cities in the world; hence, the neighborhood people-watching is on a whole other level. Our Dutch tour guide even told us, “If the sun is out, then the Dutch are out!” and it proved to be true on the sunny days that we were there.

Photo credit: By Yair Haklai via Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: By Yair Haklai via Wikimedia Commons

A great spot to scope out other humans is at Rembrandt Square (Rembrandtplein), located near the centre of the city. Its flagship 19th century cast iron statue of the famous Dutch painter stands prominently over the groups of revellers out to enjoy the rare patch of urban green space. With many shops and restaurants nearby, this is a great place for holding an impromptu picnic or striking up casual conversation.

Take Advantage Of The Visitor Centres

Mix up your traditional sightseeing itinerary and find out what kinds of cultural events and festivals are happening in the community at one of the I amsterdam Visitor Centres.

The entrance to the Rijksmuseum in Museum Square

The entrance to the Rijksmuseum in Museum Square

While there, consider purchasing the I amsterdam City Card; it gives you free or discounted admission to plenty of popular museums and tourist attractions– including a free canal cruise! Plus the card doubles as your transit pass, so you can also use it to ride the metro, trams, and buses for free.

If You Go

For more information about the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy or for reservations click here.

For travel information on the Netherlands including Amsterdam, visit www.holland.com and www.iamsterdam.com.

The writer was a guest of the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy. The hotel did not review or approve this article.

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