Exploring Europe with National Express
We're making improvements to our European services so you'll be able to book our great value fares from 18th January 2018. If you need to book return travel from Europe before this date, click here.
With a range of fare types on our coaches from £22 one-way, affordable travel to the Netherlands’s vibrant capital has never been more tempting. If you’re able to be flexible with journey times you could enjoy extra discounts, even if you’re only booking three days in advance.
Scroll up to buy your cheap tickets to Amsterdam – meanwhile we’ve listed some tips below for how to spend the cash you’ve saved.
Please note: From Dec 31 2017, our coaches to Amsterdam now terminate at a new location at Sloterdijk Rail Station. For further information, please download our Amsterdam stop guide.
There’s so much more to Amsterdam than bikes, canal boats and wooden clogs. Check out our recommendations below to discover the best of what this beautiful city has to offer.
Founded by top Michelin star chef, Gert Jan Hagement, De Kas is the perfect blend of Dutch haute cuisine and stunning surroundings. The restaurant sits inside a renovated 1920s greenhouse and boasts a beautifully tranquil garden backdrop – ideal for escaping the rush of Amsterdam’s busy streets. Changing daily, the menu is based around fresh produce from De Kas’s onsite nursery. Open Monday to Saturday.
De Silveren Spiegel
For something more traditional, De Silveren Spiegel (meaning ‘the silver mirror’) serves up the authentic Amsterdam experience by the bucket load. Enjoy a variety of seasonal Dutch delights, from succulent veal steak to hearty potato soup, before washing it down with a refreshing red wine sorbet. And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite, the restaurant is set in an enchanting 17th century building – perfect for those who want to soak up the real Amsterdam.
As the Netherlands’s first indoor food market, Foodhallen Amsterdam has something for everyone. The 20 street food vendors offer everything from wood-fired pizzas to artisanal burgers, all served up in a relaxed setting loved by locals and visitors alike. Every Tuesday evening head along for live music performances – and for those of you who want to carry the evening on into the small hours, the Foodhallen even hosts live DJ sets every Friday and Saturday.
Explore the vibrant streets of Amsterdam Oost
Dubbed as one the city’s coolest neighbourhoods, the east of Amsterdam is the perfect place to soak up the city’s evening buzz. The once dingy quarter is now a hub of bars, restaurants and social spaces, making it a firm favourite for hip young Amsterdammers. Sit back and relax with a G&T at Bar Bukowski, the founding member of a new wave of eastside bars, or catch a gig at Q-Factory as you sip on a refreshing pint.
Experience the bohemian vibe of De Pijp
Whatever your favourite tipple, the lively neighbourhood of De Pijp certainly won’t disappoint. Try a local beer (or three) at Kingfisher Café or attend a tasting session at Brouwerij Troost de Pijp, the city’s second largest craft brewery. Alternatively, if champagne and cocktails are more your thing, head to Twenty Third Bar – located at the top of Hotel Okura. The bar boasts panoramic city views, so you can enjoy your bubbly in true metropolitan style.
Wander across the beautiful bridges of Jordaan
Just west of the city’s Central Station, Jordaan is possibly the most famous neighbourhood in the Netherlands. Working-class locals brush shoulders with the rich in an area known for radical politics shared over a pint. If you’re looking for a traditional Amsterdam pub, enjoy a foamy beer or a glass of wine on ’t Smalle’s waterfront terrace – or for something a little more upmarket, why not sample the elegant craft cocktails at Vesper Bar?
Just a five minute walk from Amsterdam’s Central Station, Dam Square is a fashion lover’s paradise. On the surrounding shopping streets, international clothing brands from Topshop to Monki boast spacious showrooms – and for a little taste of luxury, head into De Bijenkorf, one of the city’s largest department stores and home to the likes of Ralph Lauren and Chanel.
If antiques and art are more your thing, Amsterdam’s Spiegelkwartier is an absolute must. Offering over 70 independent galleries and specialised dealers to choose from, the district is a treasure-trove of unique pieces to add to your collection. And with cosy cafés and casual eateries on almost every corner, why not make a day of it?
For a one of a kind shopping experience, head towards the Singel Canal to visit the world’s only floating flower market. Founded in 1862, the market evokes Amsterdam’s shopping heritage – and bursting full of bouquets, bulbs and traditional souvenirs, it is one of the most colourful, fragrant places in the city: the perfect addition to your holiday photo album.
Take a trip back in time at the Anne Frank House
Delve into Europe’s troubled past and see first-hand where the Frank family hid from Nazi persecution during the Second World War. See the original pages of Anne’s world-famous wartime diary as you enjoy a history lesson like no other.
Cycle through the beautiful Vondelpark
Hire a bike and ride through the city’s largest park in true Dutch style. Hunt for the famous statue of the park’s namesake, Joost van den Vondel, before discovering the beautiful rose garden – home to over 70 floral species. And after all that cycling, why not stop off at The Blue Tearoom for a warming cup of coffee?
The Van Gogh Museum
Explore the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in one of Amsterdam’s most popular museums. With free guided tours (in both English and Dutch) and an in-house cocktail bar open every Friday evening, it’s the perfect place to meet other art-enthusiasts to discuss the city’s rich artistic culture. To beat long queues, book tickets in advance. Highlights include Van Gogh’s world-famous masterpiece, ‘Sunflowers’.
Treat them to a puppet show at Koos Kneus
Every Sunday and Wednesday, Koos Kneus puts on traditional puppet shows, suitable for ages 2 to 8. Performed in Dutch, the shows are the perfect way to immerse the kids in Amsterdam’s rich culture – and once the performance is over, fancy dress costumes and face painting are available for all to get involved in.
Meet the animals at Speelboerderij Elsenhove
Discover both familiar farmyard animals and rare Dutch breeds in this family friendly farm located south of the city. Will you spot the North-Holland blue hens or the Dutch belted cows?
Fill them up on the Amsterdam Pizza Cruise
See the city’s finest attractions by boat whilst enjoying freshly cooked pizza on a scenic evening cruise. With free Ben & Jerry’s and unlimited drinks, even the hungriest family members will be content.
If it’s your first time in Amsterdam, it might seem like a bit of a challenge to take in the best of the city’s offerings all in one day, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Here are some top tips for making the most of your day out in the Dutch capital:
Travel around by boat or bike
The complex canal system has defined Amsterdam’s landscape since the 17th century, and with over 90 islands and 1,500 bridges, what better way to see the city than from the water? Most cruises are hosted by local tour guides to teach you about Amsterdam’s vibrant history, so sit back, relax and absorb the city’s sights and sounds. Alternatively, do it like the Dutch and hire a bike for the day. Not only is cycling a great way to get around, it’s also an integral part of the true Amsterdam experience – and with a range of bike rentals and guided cycle tours to choose from, it couldn’t be easier.
Enjoy a spot of culture the Muesumplein
Several of the most popular museums in Amsterdam surround the Muesumplein so, if you’re looking for a bit of culture, this square is a must. The Stedelijk Museum is one of the greatest European institutions of contemporary and modern art or, for something more traditional, take a tour of the Van Gogh Museum. Alternatively, the Rijksmuseum offers a wide range of art and history from the Middle Ages to the present day – great for when you just can’t decide. You’ll also find the famous ‘I AMsterdam’ sculpture here, so be sure to fit in a quick photo stop before you leave.
Grab a bite to eat at the Albert Cuypmarkt
Although Amsterdam’s dining scene is world class, a sit down meal is not always the most time convenient way to try the local cuisine. Instead, head to the biggest and most popular outdoor market in the Netherlands to sample traditional Dutch delicacies, such as raw herring or freshly pressed stroopwafels. And when you’ve finished tasting the local treats, why not browse the market’s 260 stalls for that last minute souvenir?
King's Day - 27 April 2018
How do the dutch celebrate their royalty? With the biggest street party of the year of course!
Enjoy all-orange-everything as far as the eye can see with plenty of fun to be had, both day and night.
Hemeltjelief Festival - 10 May 2018
Dance music rules the Netherlands, so catching this one day festival packed with Amsterdam's best DJ's is a must for electronic fans.
Plus, there's a host of other theatrical entertainment for festival-goers of all ages.
Urban Sports Week - 5-8 July 2018
Enjoy Amsterdam's showcase of the alternative side of athletics and you marvel at skateboarders, BMX riders, freerunners and much more.
There'll be plenty of opportunity to have a go at sports yourself too, if you're brave enough that is!
Alternative museums: from teapots to kittens
If traditional history and classical art are not your thing, don’t worry – Amsterdam has plenty of eccentric alternatives to offer. On a tiny alleyway just off of the Spuistraat, you can sample high tea in the city’s secret teapot museum or, if you’re an animal-enthusiast, meet the five live-in cats in KattenKabinet – a museum dedicated entirely to our furry feline friends.
Amsterdam’s smallest houses
Spot Amsterdam’s miniature houses on the Westerstraat. Squeezed between numbers 54 and 70, the seven model buildings playfully rectify the ‘missing’ section of the street. A great photo opportunity – if you can spot them.
Hidden under a bridge in Vondelpark, the Vondelbunker was originally built as a Cold War bomb shelter. Today, it plays host to a variety of exciting counterculture activities, from cinema nights and concerts to art exhibits and dinners – and there’s even an onsite microbrewery.
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