Visiting Amsterdam This Spring

travelwyseStarred Page By travelwyse, 27th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>Netherlands>Amsterdam & Around

Here are some of our favourite things to do in Amsterdam in the springtime, including the exciting Queen's Day Festival.

The history of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the Netherlands largest city, with over 750, 000 residents from all over the world, it attracts approximately 3.5 million visitors each year. Amsterdam was founded in the thirteenth century, far from the rapidly developing city it is today, it was a little fishing village then until the 15th century, when the city enjoyed its Golden Age of commercial success. Some of the most important buildings of this time can be found in Amsterdam, such as the town hall of Dam Square (now the Royal Palace) and the Westerkerk Amsterdam church, towering above much of the city's old town.

The city remained the staple market of the world and the popular architecture which stands today reflects it's once affluent regime, with many rich canal houses and lavish buildings being built. Sadly, Amsterdam suffered at the hands of the recession until the Industrial Revolution which brought about a new Golden Age, in which the city's most famous canals were dug out and filled, bringing in merchandise from all over the world.

Springtime festivities in Amsterdam

Queens Day or Koninginnedag, is celebrated on the 30th of April in Amsterdam in honour of Queen Beatrix's official birthday. Despite the fact her birthday is in January, the tradition honours her mother Queen Juliana who would celebrate by taking to the streets for a floral parade, a custom which was abandoned by her daughter, who joins in the celebrations with the local people and addresses the Netherlands press.

Queen's Day has been celebrated since before World War II, with celebration of Queen Wihelmina in August 1949 and has long since become the celebration of the queen's birthday, which has remained on to this day in April, despite a change in royals because of the lovely spring time climate at this time of year.

The Dutch people take the opportunity to wear orange, the cities national colour and attend some of the many flea markets which pop up around the city in celebration of this holiday, as this is the only day of the year the government does not charge tax. Parties and parades line the streets on this special day, which brings around 700 tourists each year. Decorated boats line Amsterdam's canals and fireworks can be seen long into the night.

Exploring the city

The best way to see the city is most definitely to rent a bike and cycle through peaceful Vondelpark. If the rain comes on, catch a movie at the Netherlands Filmmuseum in the heart of this lush, green space or take a day trip to Haarlem with its fashionable boutiques and cute cafes.

The city enjoys a mild climate, reaching around 25 degrees in the summer and can be as cold as the UK during the winter, with ice and often snow, making spring the perfect time to enjoy Amsterdam holidays. Visit the famous Anne Frank Museum or take a tour of the Heineken factory and if that’s not to your taste then the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum should keep culture vultures occupied for hours.

Tags

Amsterdam, Queens Day

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author avatar travelwyse
Hello and welcome to Travelwyse, a travel blog staffed by a motley crew of writers and passionate globe-trotters. We’re based in Edinburgh, Scotland. http://travelwyse.co.uk/

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
29th Apr 2012 (#)

Wonderful write up on a beautiful and thriving city. Thanks - siva

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author avatar travelwyse
2nd May 2012 (#)

No problem! It was a pleasure to write - thank for the comment!

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