Cheap flights to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam Travel Guide
Head to the land of tulips, windmills and red light attractions by taking a cheap flight to Amsterdam, capital of The Netherlands. Fans of this small but bustling European city in the province of North Holland have a lot to appreciate, from world-class museums to nearby tulip fields bursting with color in the spring. Dubbed the "Venice of the North," this cozy metropolis is built around a labyrinth of picturesque canals dotted with tour boats, paddleboats and houseboats that serve as permanent dwellings.
The museums alone are worth the price of a flight to Amsterdam. Home to more museums per capita than any other European city, Amsterdam boasts the Rijksmuseum, where hometown hero Rembrandt's "The Night Watch" is on permanent display. Located on Museumplein, or Museum Square, the Rijksmuseum's neighbors include the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum with its contemporary art and other renowned cultural attractions. Musical performances at the Concertgebouw and concerts at Paradiso and the Melkweg are the inspiration for many Amsterdam flights as well.
If you tire of the highbrow culture and crave something a little more down to earth, Amsterdam has plenty of other options. Sidle up to the bar at a neighborhood dive and order a ginever for a uniquely Dutch experience. This Dutch gin may be the drink of choice for an older generation, but ordering it alongside locals gives you a sense of gezellig - loosely translated as the coziness that embodies Dutch culture. The allure of this unique atmosphere is at least partially responsible for the popularity of the city.
Of course, Amsterdam's nighttime activities inspire many a reservation for a cheap flight to Amsterdam from nearby European countries and abroad. The Red Light District's infamous attractions motivate even the most mild-mannered tourists to pop in for a peek. If your curiosity takes you to this old Amsterdam neighborhood, don't fear for your safety. Its many hotels and the families who live there make it just another busy part of the city.
Home to Ann Frank, gable houses and Golden Age canals, Amsterdam is steeped in history and culture. Amsterdam is one of the most travelled-to city in Europe making it highly populated year-round. Students book airline tickets to Amsterdam to roll their own in the smoking coffee houses while businessmen woo clients after a monumental board meeting. Travel to Amsterdam during the spring and you’ll witness the tulips blooming among the canals; summers are packed full of people enjoying the outdoor environment and winter, while cold, can be the best time to book cheap flights to Amsterdam.
Known to many as one of the world’s best hangouts, Amsterdam boasts something for every traveler. The city is an idyllic blend of old and new. 17th century buildings coexist with 20-something students and generation Y tourists. Millions of travelers’ book trips to Amsterdam every year to take part in the well-known parties throughout city. But after a romp through the Red Light District, take a tour through some of Amsterdam’s historic sites, or relax and join the Dutch in a brew at one of Amsterdam’s outdoor cafes on the canal. Get plenty of rest on your trip to Amsterdam – whether you’re heading to the Dutch city for business or pleasure, there’s much to do and see. Here are some tips to help you plan and enjoy the smoothest possible trip.
What’s the weather like in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam's weather varies based on the time of year. Spring welcomes blooming tulips and fields of flowers, but rain showers are possible, especially in March. The summer months see extreme heat and humidity, but it's also when Amsterdam is packed with tourists and there's always something happening in the city or along one of the famous canals. The weather turns cold in the winter and fairly rainy, but this is the best time to book cheap flights to Amsterdam.
When is the best time to fly to Amsterdam?
Netherland’s cosmopolitan capital has much to offer tourists with its picturesque canals, 17th century architecture and wide range of art museums. Travelers who book cheap flights to Amsterdam will discover a long list of historical and cultural attractions, so if you’re tight on time narrowing it down can be difficult. First time visitors will want to include the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s House for starters. Many people book flight tickets to Amsterdam for its laidback and liberal approach to life, which is reflected in its eclectic cafe culture and nightclubs. Suffice to say, go with an open mind! Here are some details on when the best time to fly to this beautiful city is, and what periods you may want to avoid if you can.
What is known as tulip season in Holland, which starts around mid-March, generally marks the start of tourist season in Amsterdam. The daffodils and tulips break through the winter weather, blanketing the city and surrounding fields, welcoming spring. Everyone - including locals - wants to be out and about. Make your arrangements for flight tickets and accommodations well in advance if you’re visiting at this time as large numbers of tourists’ flock to the city to view this colorful natural attraction.
All in all, peak season runs from the start of tulip season to September (encompassing spring and summer) when the temperatures are at their best, with plenty of open-air dining on sidewalks and canal boats to enjoy. Consequently, accommodations are hard to come by and the city is very crowded, especially in July and August when the temperatures are at their peak. It pays to bear in mind the city’s weather can be temperamental and summer isn’t a guarantee of sunshine but it is more likely. Conditions in the summer range from clear and sunny, to warm rainy periods and days of high humidity. Beaches, outdoor cafés and parks are popular leisure destinations for both locals and tourists. Flights to Amsterdam and hotels book up fast during the peak season so it's wise to plan ahead, and even then it may be hard to come across any cheap flights.
You may also want to research any events that may be going in the city during these times as well, as they may impact flight and accommodation prices and availability. Many cultural events are scheduled from September through June, such as the Jordaan Festival (late September) and Museum Night (November), and Christmas is a popular time for tourists to take flights to Amsterdam to experience the festivity of the city. Expect banks, shops, and many museums to be closed during this period.
October to March is considered off season for Amsterdam because it gets much colder and, therefore, less crowded. The weather can be quite unpredictable during this time but, the one constant is the rain. So if you're flying to Amsterdam during this time make sure to pack plenty of rain gear.
Cheap flights to Amsterdam are usually found during the winter months of December through February, when the weather is extremely cold. If you go during the cold months of November/December through March, there will be plenty to do and fewer people trying to do it. Plus, if one of the canals freezes during your trip, which they sometimes do, you can join the Amsterdam residents on skates - a lovely way to see the city. You may also get to enjoy some snowy weather during this time too.
When is the best time to book a flight to Amsterdam?
There’s no bad time to book a flight to Amsterdam, but for cheaper flight tickets and fewer crowds, any time outside peak season is favorable. This includes late autumn (late September to late October) and early spring (early March to early April). Massive crowds gather from the end of April to the beginning of May to celebrate Queen’s Day and Liberation Day. Outside of these festivals, you can find some good flight deals.
How long is the flight to Amsterdam?
If you're lucky enough to snag a nonstop flight, you can fly from Los Angeles to Amsterdam in about eleven hours. A one-stop flight may push that to fifteen hours or more. Chop about three hours off those times if you're flying from New York or Washington, D.C.
Which airlines fly to Amsterdam?
You have the greatest choices of nonstop flights to Amsterdam if you're flying from New York, where you can choose from KLM, Delta and United. KLM and United also fly nonstop from Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Houston, and KLM is your best choice if you're departing from Los Angeles.
What should you pack for a flight to Amsterdam?
If you're taking advantage of those lower prices to travel to Amsterdam in fall or spring, you definitely need a waterproof jacket and shoes, as well as an umbrella. Everyone walks or bicycles everywhere in Amsterdam, and they're definitely not wearing wooden shoes when they do it, so make sure you bring comfy shoes. Because Amsterdam's an older city, its streets can be confusing, so a good map is also a good idea. Dress appropriately in the summer when the temperatures are much warmer.
Getting to and around the city of Amsterdam
The main airport that services the city is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (MAS), located around 10 miles southwest of the city. The airport has a single-terminal with three departure halls. The city is easily reached from the airport, thanks to direct rail and bus routes. Taxis and car rental services are also available.
Train services: Dutch Railways operates trains from a station that is directly beneath Schiphol airport. Passengers are able to buy chipcards, either for single-use or as an OV-chipkaart, from the yellow machines at the station and on Schiphol Plaza. An alternative that is quicker than the usual domestic train routes is the Intercity Direct service, which is also available from Schiphol.
Buses: Line 197 (otherwise known as the Airport Express) will take you to Amsterdam city center from the airport and operates every fifteen minutes.
Shuttle: The airport also offers a hotel shuttle service from directly outside the terminal (stand A7) and it can take you to your Amsterdam hotel.
Once you’ve settled in to your hotel and are ready to explore the city, you’ll find that it’s easy to walk around Amsterdam in just a few hours. You need to keep an eye out though – cars have the right of way and bikes, trams and buses crisscross the city.
Amsterdam is a very bike-friendly city as well. Rent a bike to speed up your pace without turning the city into a blur. Bike lanes and bike racks are plentiful. Make sure the light on your bike is working; you can be fined for riding without a light after dark. To travel beyond the city, it’s easy to take the train or bus. If you’re traveling on from Amsterdam, the station beneath the airport has international train connections to the likes of Belgium and France. You can also take a taxi or rent a car, as the Netherlands highway system is very good.
What are some things to do in Amsterdam?
Exploring Amsterdam from a bicycle makes you feel like you belong in this quaint yet cosmopolitan city. Take a ride through the charming Jordaan neighborhood to explore antique shops and art galleries, or catch a ferry to Amsterdam North for a hip scene along the banks of the IJ (which is either a river or a lake, depending on whom you talk to). You'll also find intriguing specialty shops along De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets). Amsterdam is filled with fun street markets and flea markets in most neighborhoods, where you can find antiques, vintage albums, clothing and books. A special market is the Food Hallen in the Oud-West neighborhood, serving hipster street food to delight any taste buds. End your day of shopping and exploration by downing an artisan beer at Brouwerij‘t Ij, a microbrewery built right into one of the city's famous windmills.
Another unique way to see Amsterdam is from the water, since the city is built along a whole network of canals. Take a romantic canal cruise, or choose a hop-on, hop-off tour that lets you explore the city at your own pace. During spring, you don't want to miss picking up some tulips at the Bloemenmarkt, a flower market that floats on a canal, or head out of the city to visit the tulip fields.
Amsterdam is home to some noted museums, with the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum at the top of the list; the Van Gogh museum provides a remarkable experience as its 1,000+ paintings and letters walk you through the great yet tortured artist's life. Many of the city's museums cluster around Museumplein, an open-air square that hosts its own informal art exhibitions, while on the southern shore of the IJ, the EYE Film Institute hosts contemporary film exhibits. On a more somber note, Amsterdam is home to the Anne Frank House and Museum, where the famous diary writer hid with her family during World War II.
Tips for your stay in Amsterdam
- Vereniging voor Vreemdelingenverkeer (Association for Foreigner Travel), abbreviated to VVV (pronounced fay-fay-fay), is nationwide. VVV Amsterdam provides information, has brochures and maps, makes reservations for hotels and tours, and sells reduced-rate passes for attractions.
- You can buy an all-day pass for the Canal Bus, which takes you to Amsterdam’s major attractions and provides historical commentary along the way. If you have less time or want to spend a day going only to museums, the Museumboot (Museum Boat) takes you to most museums, and the ticket includes half-price entry.
- Museumplein and Vondelpark are the area where you will find the three major museums - the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum—as well as the Concertgebouw concert hall, a variety of restaurants, Amsterdam's most elegant shopping area, and its best-known park. There are also small hotels that are a much better bargain than those along the canals and in the center of the city.
- Hoge Veluwe National Park is the Netherlands’ largest national park. It boasts marshlands, forests and sand dunes and the Kröller-Müller Museum, which is world-famous for its large collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh.
- The Anne Frankhuis, the building where the Franks and two other families hid from the Nazis for two years, is just as they left it, and remarkably like the descriptions in Anne’s diary. The adjacent building contains exhibits about the occupants of the hiding place, including the original diary.
- If you walk along the canals after dark, you will see Amsterdam at one of its loveliest times. Subtle lighting bathes many of the 17th century houses, and bridges are festooned with lights.
- The Jordaan is an up-and-coming area of Amsterdam that still houses artists and students but is home to an increasing number of trendy restaurants and boutiques.
- The tour of the Heineken brewery gives you a good view of beer-making, and the entry fee entitles you to some of the product.
- Amsterdam-Noord is also known as the Williamsburg of Amsterdam, where art projects, organic restaurants and warehouses bring flavor to an otherwise forgotten neighborhood in the North.
- The Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace) in Amsterdam is one of three palaces in the Netherlands. The luxury of its elaborate style and furnishings makes it one of the city’s most popular attractions.
Finding Flights from Amsterdam
From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, you can catch flights taking you all over Europe, including to London, Berlin, Milan, Madrid and Prague, as well the rest of the world. Visit https://www.cheapflights.co.uk for the top flight deals for routes out of Amsterdam. Flights are available from carriers such as KLM and other European airlines, and many more.
Don't forget to arrive at the airport early enough to go through security and customs. the best way to travel to the airport from your hotel is via the highly reliable public transportation system. If your hotel has a shuttle to the airport, that is the easiest option however.
Once you choose a destination, be sure to check out our Amsterdam airport guides for more detailed travel information and helpful tips.
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This is useful information about Amsterdam
More useful information about Amsterdam
- Buy an all-day pass for the Canal Bus, which takes you to Amsterdam’s major attractions.
- Amsterdam is a booming metropolis welcoming millions of tourists a year.
- Many one way flights to Amsterdam land at Schiphol, which is 8 miles southwest of the city.
- A popular time to take a direct flight to Amsterdam is from the start of the warm weather when the tulips bloom.
- EasyJet serves passengers looking to fly to Amsterdam.
- After booking your flights to Amsterdam, plan a day to explore the city's vast canal system.
- Be sure to visit the Anne Frankhuis, the building where the Franks hid from the Nazis for two years.
- If you take a last minute flight to Amsterdam in the Spring, make sure to walk through the Keukenhof Gardens.
- There's a distinct difference between coffee houses and cafes in Amsterdam.
- While there, walk along the cobblestone streets and admire the crooked houses that line the city.