The Venice of the North
Discover the enchanting appeal of the canals of Amsterdam, one of Europe's most romantic capitals. The canals define the city – along with the bicycles ! The city is not particularly large, but is packed full of museums, restaurants and cafes. It's ideal for sightseeing, either on foot, or by boat. Amsterdam combines all the attractions of a large metropolis with the calm, relaxing and welcoming atmosphere of a smaller town.
Direct flights between Rennes and Amsterdam
NEW : Amsterdam will be desserved by direct flights with Air France from 2016, March 27th. Flights will be operated everyday from Monday to Sunday. In Amsterdam, many connections will be available with Air France/KLM.
You can also fly to Amsterdam all year round via Paris-CDG with Air France.
Climate: oceanic, due to its proximity to the North Sea. Summers are pleasant (22°C on average in August, occasionally climbing to 30°C). Spring is the ideal season to visit, since April and May are the two months when there is the least chance of rain. Moreover, this is the best time of the year to see the famous displays of flowers. Autumn can be cooler and windy, but the changing colours of the leaves on the tree lining the canals have a special charm. Finally, winter (from mid-November to mid-March) tends to be cold and rainy.
Time difference with France: none
Official language: Dutch
Travel document requirements: valid passport or national identity card
Tourist information: http://www.amsterdam.info
A rich historical, cultural and architectural heritage
There are more than 50 museums to visit in Amsterdam. They include the famous Van Gogh museum, dedicated entirely to the Dutch painter and exhibiting more than 200 paintings and 500 drawings, and the renowned Rijksmuseum, whose displays focus on fine arts, art & crafts and the history of the Netherlands. Another must-visit attraction is Anne Frank's house, where the young girl and her family hid for more than two years during the Second World War. While in hiding, Anne wrote her famous diary.
Amsterdam is considered as a model example of town planning. Its architecture is surprising, with elegant facades, numerous catholic and protestant churches, and the oldest church in Amsterdam (Oude Kerk).
Its 17th century canals are on the UNESCO world heritage list, and its many parks and green spaces are perfect for a stroll in a friendly and welcoming setting.
Cycling in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a historic city, with many interesting places to discover. Since the city is not very big, the bicycle rules, and is the ideal means of transport. It lets you gets around easily, with uninterrupted views of the scenery. It's also perfect for longer excursions along the canals. The cycle paths and lanes have their own traffic signals to make cycling safe and uncomplicated. What's more, there are almost no gradients, which makes it easy to get around without exhausting yourself. Ask for an "Amsterdam on the bike" map from the tourist office, which gives you all the information you'll need (routes, repair shops, restricted areas, etc.).
A bike tour is a great way to get to know the city and explore its various quarters. Don't miss: the Jordaan (the most well-known and the most picturesque), Pijp (the most lively), the city centre (with the Royal Palace, Dam Square, Amsterdam museum…), the Red Light district (whose reputation precedes it!), China town, the Jewish quarter, etc.
Seeing the city from the canals
Amsterdam and its history are intimately linked to water. A tour of the city's canals is an impressive and magical experience. The canals embody everything that is so appealing about the city, so make sure you include a cruise in your itinerary. You will discover the city from another, somewhat unusual perspective, and will take away some unforgettable memories. There are many departure points across the capital, with several companies offering guided tours in several languages.
If you are feeling fit and up for a challenge, rent a pedalo to explore the canals at your own pace via this practical and original means of transport.
Finally, floating accommodation is also available for your stay! Amsterdam's houseboat hotels enjoy an excellent reputation. Chic and authentic, one or more nights spent actually on the canals will no doubt leave you with a treasured memory of your trip.