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Autumn – getting cosy in Amsterdam
Autumn in Amsterdam means enjoying warm, hearty treats and taking in the city’s wealth of culture. Discover it all with your Mastercard at the ready! Why not hop on a bike and head into the city’s parks to see the colours change? Both the Vondelpark and the bigger Amsterdamse Bos put on a spectacular natural show as the leaves take on autumnal hues and begin their fall. Exercise calls for a sustenance top-up, and Dutch cuisine really comes into its own as the days get colder. Warm up and savour hearty traditional dishes and updated versions with modern twists at an array of Dutch restaurants. In addition, Amsterdam’s fine dining scene is up there with the best. If you’re wondering about tipping in the Netherlands, a five to 10 percent tip is normal if you’re satisfied with the service you received. Check out more handy tips and tricks for your Dutch stay here.
The autumn months also ring in the start of the new cultural season, with many of the city’s world-famous museums, theatres and galleries launching their programme for the coming year. Make things easy and use your Mastercard to purchase tickets and meals.
Winter – warming ways for the festive season
It’s the holiday season: a time of gift-giving, sharing wonderful times with friends and family, ice-skating and shopping! Amsterdam’s great mix of eclectic shops makes finding presents for loved ones (and maybe yourself?) a pleasurable task. The city’s 9 Straatjes (Nine Streets) neighbourhood is a great place to start, offering independent boutiques and hip cafes, bars and restaurants. Then there’s the luxurious De Bijenkorf department store, the P.C. Hooftstraat with its big-name fashion designers and haute couture shops and the enchanting Spiegelstraat for art and antiques. The city’s marvellous Christmas markets in December are not to be missed, either! Shopping’s a breeze with your Mastercard, and tax-free. Find out how to claim your tax back.
Every winter, locals wish for a cold snap that will see the canals freeze over. And should that happen, they’re ready to take to the ice with sharpened skates. But if it doesn’t come to pass, hit the ample ice-skating spots across the city for an authentic social experience on ice. Afterwards, head to one of the city’s traditional pubs for a warming nightcap.
Spring – head out into nature
The days are getting longer and warmer, which can only mean a floral spectacular is about to unfold. Across the city and further afield, dazzling colour blankets the Netherlands, a country well known for its passion for flowers. The best place to experience the bloom bonanza are the Keukenhof Gardens, where in 2019 a ‘Flower Power’-themed extravaganza marks Keukenhof’s 70th anniversary. Tickets can be purchased online, making it as easy as pie to take in the floral fancy. Speaking of celebrations, King’s Day is the biggest party you’ll ever attend, a day full of activities, markets and parties.
Spring is also the perfect time for day trips. Experience Haarlem’s charms and medieval history, Alkmaar’s lively cheese markets, or the traditions of Old Holland just north of Amsterdam. If you prefer going your own way, why not hire a car and stop off wherever you want? Discover castles, small villages and beachside cafes – and don’t forget to Mastercard’s debit and credit tips to make purchasing things easy and economical. It also makes car hire effortless.
Summer – sunny terraces and adventures on water
Nothing says Dutch summer more than taking to the water. There are myriad ways to enjoy the canals, from tour boats to sailing independently, from canoes to cruise ships – and they all provide picturesque perspectives to ensure your memories live on. Summer also means enjoying the sun, and there’s no way to do that that’s more Dutch than hitting the terraces and watching the world pass by. It’s here the city’s vibrant socialising culture really comes to life. Pull up a seat, grab a drink and sample typical Dutch bar snacks: bitterballen, krokets and kaasstengels. With your Mastercard in hand, there’s no need to go Dutch: treat your friends and family!
Summer also means festivals, and Amsterdam alone stages some 300 of them each year. From music to theatre, food to dance and sports to film, all genres and tastes are covered. Nab your place and grab your tickets online.
Our tips will help you get the most from your vacation to the Netherlands, and along with your Mastercard, they’re the best way to discover Holland effortlessly, safely and economically. Enjoy your trip!