Go List 201325 PLACES TO GO IN 2013
Why Go Now Amsterdam's Canal Ring (a UNESCO heritage site) turns 400 this year, making it the perfect time to experience this gorgeous feat of urban planning that helped the city blossom. Along with the 125th anniversary of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the 175th anniversary of the Artis Zoo, and Van Gogh's 160th birthday, the city is ready to celebrate with concerts, exhibits, festivals, and sport events designed to embrace the spirit and culture of Amsterdam. Residents and visitors alike have also been waiting ten long years for the reopening of the Rijksmuseum, planned for April, and its completely restored building with masterpieces organized chronologically. –by Amanda Sadlowski
Where to StaySince opening in late 2011, the Conservatorium Hotel—a Fodor's 100 Hotels Award winner—has made its mark as one of the most stylish yet accessible hotels in the city. With its location across from the Van Gogh museum and its hip, glass-topped atrium bar, it's the perfect place to begin your museum-hopping and to end your bar-hopping. Art lovers will also appreciate the brand new Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, which boasts the world's largest video-art collection.
Insider TipStarting in mid-January, stores will be encouraged to open their doors on select Saturdays from midnight until midnight for Amsterdam 24H, a program designed to highlight local businesses; some restaurants will also offer special 24-hour menus.
Word of Mouth "They call Amsterdam the Venice of the North for good reason," says Fodorite PalenQ. "The old city center is ringed by stately canals lined by stately facades of canal townhouses—and these are typically only facades with everything behind having been demolished—but a stroll along any of the main canals like Prinsengracht or Kaisersgracht especially is just so, so romantic."
Plan Your Trip Start planning using Fodor's Amsterdam Travel Guide.