Amsterdam – Art, culture and architecture as far as the eye can see and definitely worth a trip. Our colleague Carina Kates from product management and I can confirm this. Carina visited the capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands over Christmas 2015 with Mini-Perillo in her luggage; I set off to explore the city last July – sadly without Mini-Perillo.

The best way to explore Amsterdam is by bike or you can take in the atmosphere of the city from the water: The typical canals criss-cross the heart of the city and over the course of history they have been one of the main routes for transporting people and goods. If you visit Amsterdam, you really must take a traditional boat trip on the canal. For this gives you a completely different, wonderful perspective on the city.

What are striking are the predominantly narrow, tall houses that lean forwards and line the cityscape. The reason for their existence is that the taxes levied on a building used to be determined by its width on the canal and therefore buildings were built narrow to save money. As there was no room for wide staircases in these small buildings, even today many of them still have pully blocks that can be used to transport bulky objects and items of furniture. The buildings, which you might fear are about to topple forwards at any moment, are deliberately built this way. The Dutch call this “op vlucht”. The little Perillo blended into this very unusual architectural style perfectly for the odd photo – as a designer object it felt very much at home in such unusually configured surroundings. The canal is also a very popular place to live – here you will find numerous houseboats which are – or at least used to be – cheaper because in earlier times the width of a boat on the canal was not yet subject to any taxation.

Art lovers also very much get their money’s worth in Amsterdam. Countless museums such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House or the Moco Museum invite you to marvel and immerse yourself in the history, and provide an interesting day’s itinerary if the weather is bad. And last but not least, just enjoy wandering around. Go for a stroll down the nice little alleyways or chill out in Jondelpark, for example, and enjoy the city at a relaxed pace.

VERDICT: Get away from your daily routine and head to Amsterdam. Embrace the motto of “Discover yourself….!” The city offers plenty of options for party animals, art lovers and city trippers to take a break from their everyday lives – almost regardless of the time of year.

COUNTRY   Netherlands
CITY    Amsterdam
NATURE OF STAY  city trip
PLACES OF INTEREST  Lots of museums; the typical canals; a variety of buildings and gable designs from four centuries (from around the 15th century) – most of them have a pulley system for transporting furniture

PARTICULAR HIGHLIGHT Definitely go on a tour of the canals – although it is very touristy, the view you get of the city from the water is unique; Amsterdam is incidentally built on around 5 million wooden piles as it is around 40 cm below today’s sea level (or around that level). Dare to have a look at the “Magna Plaza” and “de Bijenkorf” buildings (shopping centres) and the main railway station, which boast great architecture.  The “Oude Kerk” (Old Church) dating from the 13th/14th century is the city’s oldest building.

LOCAL SPECIALITY  In the Netherlands you will find hearty meals, meat with a side dish, on the menu

INSIDER TIP   Enjoy breakfast or a snack in between times in the public library – it boasts a great view across the city. But be aware that the seats with a view are in short supply! 

TEXT Lena Winter IMAGES Carina Hoppe