Amsterdam manages to combine the best attributes of Europe’s most romantic cities into one: you have the canals of Venice, the elegant architecture of Paris, and the vibrancy of London, but all on a more intimate scale.
It’s impossible not to be seduced by the tree-lined waterways and twinkling bridges, as well as its unique artistic history and culture. Here’s our selection of some of the most romantic things to do in Amsterdam.
Cruising on the canal
A candlelit dinner is reassuringly romantic, but put it on a river boat and send it gently cruising along Amsterdam’s waterways and you have something infinitely more special. In the evenings, the city’s bridges and waterways illuminate with fairy lights to create an enchanting atmosphere. Speak to one of the hosts of the Conservatorium Hotel to arrange classically elegant surroundings on an antique boat.
Romance in the Rijksmuseum
Spend an afternoon in one of the world’s most incredible art galleries and get some relationship inspiration at the same time at the Rijksmuseum. Start with the delightful Portrait of a Couple by Frans Hals, showing the smiling, relaxed sitters in the first bloom of marital bliss. There’s also Rembrandt’s ‘Isaac and Rebecca’ portrait, capturing a tender moment in a grandly historical setting.
Blooms at the Bloemenmarkt
A romantic trip to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without flowers, and the place to get them is the historical Bloemenmarkt. It’s been floating in the same spot on the city’s southern canal ring since 1860, when growers would navigate their barges up the Amstel to sell to Amsterdam’s citizens. Pick up a beautiful bunch of tulips in the spring, or roses in the summer, or a wooden tulip at any time of the year.
Picnic in the park
Amsterdam is home to many beautiful public parks, perfect for a romantic picnic or just lounging on the grass with an ice cream on a lazy summer afternoon. Vondelpark, just around the corner from the Conservatorium hotel, is the most popular, with restaurants and cafes and even an open-air theatre. Beatrixpark in the south of the city is often a less crowded option, but has just as much verdant charm for a romantic picnic or a stroll.
Magic at the movies
A trip to the cinema may sound like an uninspired choice for a romantic date, but the Pathe Tuschinski theatre really is something else. The building itself is a 1920s fantasy with strong Art Deco influences, but with a style all its own, including the stunningly ornate ceiling in the main auditorium. The films on offer are a mix of old Hollywood classics and independent cinema, adding to the stylishly retro atmosphere. If you want to make your date even more special, you could even book private balcony seats.