Top-quality art on your doorstep
Amsterdam’s Museumplein is named for its three significant museums.
Within a short walk of each other are the elegantly restored Rijksmuseum, where Rembrandt, Ruisdael and Vermeer take centre stage; the Stedelijk, which is dedicated to modern art and design; and the Van Gogh Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of works by the Dutch post-Impressionist.
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Thriving classical music scene
As well as the classical repertoire, there are plenty of opportunities to catch performances of newly commissioned works. Local pubs called bruin cafés (brown cafés), some of which date to the 1600s, are good venues for a relaxed post-concert drink. For a more modern setting and sound, the Muziekgebouw is a glass-fronted concert hall on the IJ harbour with a focus on contemporary classical music.
Each year from May to September, the Vondelpark open-air theatre runs a programme of free shows, ranging from performances by the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra to cabaret and children’s theatre. Elsewhere in the 45-hectare park, look out for “The Fish” (1965), Picasso’s abstract concrete sculpture.
Built for the 1928 Summer Olympics, the Olympische Stadion is a prominent sporting venue: the start and finish line for the Amsterdam marathon and the venue for the 2016 European athletics championships. Beyond track and field activities, the Frans Otten Stadion across the canal offers lessons at the Amsterdam tennis academy.
Michelin-starred food with a view
Positioned on the 23rd floor of Hotel Okura, Ciel Bleu has breathtaking views as well as two Michelin stars.
The chef’s table provides an intimate opportunity to observe chefs Onno Kokmeijer and Arjan Speelman practising their art.
Photographs: John Kellerman, Art Kowalsky, Daryl Mulvihill, Cyrille Gibot/Alamy; Remko De Waal/AFP/Getty Images; Dreamstime; Popperfoto/Getty Images
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