What to do in the romantic city of Amsterdam this February 14th? Who better to ask than a local who makes his living from knowing the atmospheric streets inside out. Rocco Vermijs, a seasoned tour guide, shares with us his favourite things to do for Valentine's Day in Amsterdam:
1. Explore Vondelpark. One of the most beautiful parks in Amsterdam is Vondelpark, also known as ‘the Central Park of Amsterdam’. The variety of trees, ponds and birds is incredible. We have our own lovebird; a ring-necked parakeet that, according to some stories, escaped from a cage and somehow survived the winter. Explore the park and try to spot the Dutch lovebird!
2. Walk by the canals. Go for a stroll with your loved one by the canals. The city centre and the canal belt were built in the 16th and 17th century; the houses are wonderful, and the setting is so scenic that you feel like you are walking in an open-air museum. If you go out for a walk at night, be sure to pay attention to the romantic street lights that keep the city illuminated, they emphasize Amsterdam’s unique atmosphere.
3. Visit the Amsterdam Waag, ‘weigh house’ in Dutch. Originally built in 1488, this characteristic building in Nieuwmarkt used to be a city gate but now houses a restaurant-café; In de Waag. With a beautiful interior design, and a great atmosphere, the restaurant is lit entirely by candlelight.
4. Watch a film in the most romantic cinema. Cinema Pathé Tuschinski was built in 1921, and its exterior and interior are a spectacular mix of styles; Amsterdam School, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. It is one of the most beautiful cinemas in the world. Here you can treat yourself to a double “love seat” on the balcony or a “private box”, where you can even order champagne! Visit their website for more information.
5. Cross the Magere Brug (“Skinny Bridge”). The most famous bridge in Amsterdam, between Carré Theater and Kerkstraat. It is said that those who kiss on the bridge will remain together forever. I cannot guarantee that of course, but I do guarantee that the bridge is breathtakingly romantic at night!
Photo: Jorge Royan
6. Go on a canal cruise. With its 165 canals, Amsterdam is often referred to as “the Venice of the North”, so it’s imperative to take a canal cruise during your stay in the city! My favourite, and the most romantic time of the day to go on a cruise is at sunset, when you get a low, warm sunlight shining on the 17th century houses. A truly magical moment to share with your loved one.
7. Have a drink in Café de Sluyswacht. Amsterdam has many leaning houses, but one of these stands out from the others, and that is the historical Sluyswachterhuisje (lockhouse). Just a few weeks ago, I was enjoying a drink here with some travellers, and indulging in this café’s unique atmosphere – which is especially palpable on the first floor! It is a warm and distinctive place with stunning views over the canals.
8. Take a photo at Bloemgracht. This is, in my opinion, the most beautiful canal of all – one of those places that’s not to be missed! The best pictures of Amsterdam are taken here, from the middle of the bridge. It’s in the picturesque and charming Jordaan district and, if you have the chance, I’d recommend you rent a small boat and visit the area.
9. See one of “The Fault in Our Stars” shoot locations. Just to give you an extra one! “The Fault in Our Stars” is a touching love story between two teenagers battling cancer. The couple shared a very special moment on a bench located near the intersection of two beautiful Amsterdam canals, the Herengracht and Leidsegrach. If you’re a fan of the film, sitting on this bench is sure to give you goose bumps!
If you’d like to discover more romantic spots and stories, join Rocco on his Romantic Walking Tour on February 10, 14 or 17 and fall in love with Amsterdam! For more information and reserve your spot, please send us an email to [email protected].
Happy Valentine’s Day!