Amsterdam is renowned for its network of canals, tiny streets and bridges, its bikes and barges, its architecture and art galleries. Perhaps most of all it is known for its laid-back, tolerant attitude. Famous for its red-light areas and cannabis cafés, due to the city’s free-thinking approach these are not seedy areas to be avoided but instead for many visitors feature alongside the other tourist attractions.
This is a tough event through Amsterdam’s landscape – from the central canal rings to the suburbs and parks; at approx 26 miles, it forms an enormous challenge for walkers. With a free day to relax afterwards, this makes a wonderful weekend and an unique way to discover Amsterdam.
- DAY 1: We meet at St Pancras, London, and take an early evening Eurostar to Amsterdam, via Brussels. After checking into our central hotel you are free to enjoy Friday evening in Amsterdam!
- DAY 2: We start our walk early near the Central Station and set off through the old part of town, seeing Oudekerk (Old Church) before the red-light district and Chinatown. We pass the colourful Buddhist temple on Zeedijk, and continue south to Niewmarkt, an old market square dominated by De Waag, the Weigh House.
Continuing south, we pass Rembrandt’s house and pass through the old Jewish Quarter before turning north alongside a canal which takes us to the docks and the impressive Maritime Museum. Passing one of the city’s many breweries and the De Gooyer windmill, we loop back towards the city, walking through the Plantage district and crossing the River Amstel on the old Magere draw-bridge. Heading through the Museumplein, we pass the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk, the museum of modern art.
Our route now takes us to Vondelpark and via the wide straight streets of Olympiaplein to the Amsterdamse Bos, a large area of park and forest which we walk through for several miles. We then head through the quiet suburbs of Bovenkerk and Amstelveen to the River Amstel. We come to the bohemian ‘latin quarter’ of De Pijp. Reaching the inner canal network of the city again, we walk alongside some of the city’s oldest canals. We follow Reguliersgracht, appreciating the famous view of the seven bridges, and pass the floating flower market and the Royal Palace on Dam Square. Our last few miles pass Anne Frank’s house and Noorderkerk (North Church) as we follow canals and cross bridges back round to our finishing point.
- DAY 3: You are free to enjoy the city before we meet later for the train back to London.