Stay at a hotel spa

Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam Hotel Health Club Pool

Everyone needs a little pampering now and then, or a couple of hours of seclusion to recharge the batteries. In a busy city like Amsterdam, urban retreats provide an ideal solution. Some hotels like Andaz Amsterdam offer massages, facials and serene relaxation areas. Nagomi Spa at Hotel Okura offers Japanese-inspired pampering, such as bamboo massages and Shiatsu and InterContinental Amstel has one of the city's largest indoor swimming pools, with an impressive view of the Amstel River. 

Discover more wellness stays and hotel spas

Blow off some steam at a sauna

A couple of hours in one of the city’s saunas will evaporate your troubles away. The best thing is that many are centrally located on Amsterdam’s most beautiful canal streets, meaning you can book-end your visit with a lunch or shopping trip. Our favourites are Sauna Deco and Koan Float’s flotation tanks.

Find your zen in the city

Shop ‘til you drop

Negen straatjes Amsterdam

From luxury shopping streets to independent boutiques and some of the biggest international brands, Amsterdam has a lot to offer on the retail front. Dip into vintage shops, find something unexpected at a concept store or treat your mum to a designer buy.

Discover the best places to shop in Amsterdam

Catch a matinée show

Amsterdam’s packed cultural agenda and world-renowned venues mean there is a performance for everyone, any day of the week. Amsterdam’s Royal Theatre Carré offers a wide mix of musicals, cabaret, theatre productions, ballet and circus acts. The National Opera & Ballet puts on free concerts every Tuesday while the Royal Concertgebouw holds free lunch concerts on Wednesdays. 

Where to see English language theatre in Amsterdam

Ideas for pre-theatre dining

Enjoy an elegant afternoon tea

The British custom of tiny sandwiches, fluffy scones and dollops of clotted cream has reached Amsterdam’s shores. W Amsterdam’s The Duchess Tea Room is your destination for a luxury afternoon tea that would have impressed Marie Antoinette, while local favourite De Bakkerswinkel has a selection of delicious bites baked on site. The Conservatorium hotel’s 'royal afternoon tea' is every bit as majestic as it sounds and best topped off with a glass of Verve Clicquot.

See more places for high tea or Amsterdam's best cake shops and where to find the best coffee

Eat chocolate 

Puccini Bomboni on the Singel

If the key to your mother’s heart is chocolate, you’re in the right place. Discover the legendary creations of Puccini Bombini to sustainable bars from Amsterdam’s very own Willy Wonka Tony’s Chocolonely. Jordaan boutique Chocolatl holds chocolate tasting sessions, or try the  extraordinary flavour combinations at Ganache.

Best chocolate spots in Amsterdam

Dine in style

Sometimes the best way to repay your mum for feeding you all those years is treating her to dinner in return. And if you’re in Amsterdam, there’s plenty of options that mean you won’t be subjecting her to your own cooking. Push the boat out at acclaimed restaurants like Wils and Rijks or explore a new cuisine like Japanese, Middle Eastern or Mexican. There are also delicious breakfast and brunch spots in the city worth getting up for.

Discover more restaurants in Amsterdam

Toast your mum

Madam ADAM Tower AmsterdamCanalside terraces, wonky pubs and brown bars are on every corner in Amsterdam. For something extra special, consider a rooftop cocktail bar like MA’DAM, or jenever tasting, for a true Dutch experience. In the summer months, Amsteltuin Vineyard is a little taste of southern Italy just a 30-minute bike ride from the city. At weekends, they host a high wine with bottles from their own stock and matching bites.

Discover more bars in Amsterdam

Go green

Rather than a limp bunch of flowers from the supermarket, think outside the box this year. Urban farms, fields of flowers and spacious gardens are hidden throughout Amsterdam and its outskirts. Less than a 10-minute bike ride from Centraal Station, Zoku has a rooftop garden and greenhouse, or gaze at luscious palms from the raised canopy of the Hortus Botanicus. Guide yourself through Amsterdam’s green spaces, or pick your own fruit in the orchard at Gardens of West. Many museums have stunning gardens guaranteed to inspire green-fingered mums.

Discover more urban escapes

Take a day trip

Many destinations in the Amsterdam Area are only half an hour or so away by bus or train. Marvel at the endless rows and colours of flowers at the Flower Strip, get a healthy dose of fresh sea air at Amsterdam Beach or explore the architecture and boutiques of Haarlem.

Get more inspiration for day trips

Read more: Things to do with your parents when they visit Amsterdam