10 reasons why Amsterdam should be on your 2018 travel wishlist

Rodney Bolt
With a host of new exhibitions, restaurants and events, Amsterdam should be high on your city break 2018 list - copyright 2013 Stanley Chen Xi

From performances in the acoustic-haven of the Concertgebouw, to new hotel openings and restaurant makeovers, and now with Eurostar offering a service from London to the Dutch capital, here are 10 reasons to visit Amsterdam in 2018 from our destination expert, Rodney Bolt.

1. Restaurant Bougainville

Open daily for dinner

Chef supremos Pascal Jalhay and Tim Golsteijn bring a delicate play of Asian and Middle Eastern flavours to more traditional haute cuisine in the wallowing comfort of the restaurant at the exclusive new Twenty Seven Hotel, close to the Royal Palace. Sommelier Lendl Mijnhijmer makes inspired and adventurous wine matches.

Location: Bougainville, Hotel Twenty Seven, Dam 27, Amsterdam

Price: menus from €65 (four courses) to €105 (eight courses); wine accompaniment €36-€72

Contact: 00 31 20 218 82182

Restaurant Bougainville in the new Twenty Seven Hotel creates a mix of Asian and Middle Eastern flavours

2. Dutch Masters from the Hermitage

Open daily 10am – 5pm

More than 60 Dutch Old Masters from the collection of the Hermitage in St Petersburg go on show this year, including six powerful and deeply moving Rembrandts. Rare paintings and some curiosities hang side by side in what promises to be the blockbuster exhibition of the year.

Location: Hermitage Amsterdam, Amstel 51, Amsterdam

Admission: €25

Contact: 00 31 20 530 8755; hermitage.nl

The Hermitage will host more the 60 rare paintings and other curiosities from the Dutch Masters Credit: Paulo Amorim/Paulo Amorim

3. Heading north

Amsterdam’s (very) long-awaited North-South Line – a metro connecting the city with an often ignored northern neighbourhood, across the waters of the IJ – starts running in the summer. Meanwhile, the north bank of the IJ has become a hip, buzzing new quarter (reached by free ferry) with the EYE film museum, the bars and viewing tower of the ADAMtoren, and artsy goings-on at the former NDSM shipyard.

Location: Amsterdam Noord

Contact: public transport websites: gvb.nl9292.nl; eyefilm.nl; adamtoren.nl; ndsm.nl

Amsterdam's new North-South Line connects the north of the city across the waters of the IJ Credit: ALAMY

4. Pestana Amsterdam Riverside

A new luxury hotel opened earlier this year in the former city archive, on the banks of the River Amstel. It offers both rooms and self-catering apartments, a spa with a large pool, special features such as a suite in the clock tower, and a restaurant supervised by Peter and Marieke Lute, already famed for their establishment in the nearby village of Oudekerk.

Location: Pestana Amsterdam riverside, Amsteldijk 67, Amsterdam

Prices: double room from €260 excluding breakfast (breakfast €25)

Contact: 00 31 20 3690617; pestanacollection.com

The River Amstel will play host to the opening of a the new luxury hotel, Pestana Amsterdam Riverside Credit: ALAMY

5. Haitink, Mahler and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

June 7-9

Bernard Haitink, renowned for his interpretations of Mahler, re-joins the orchestra he made into a world leader, in the concert hall said to have the best acoustics in the world, for performances of Mahler’s magnificent Ninth Symphony.

Location: Concertgebouw, Concertgebouwplein 10, Amsterdam

Admission: tickets from €38.50

Contact: 00 31 20 671 8345; concertgebouw.nl

The Concertgebouw, built in 1888, is famed for its near-perfect acoustics and its resident Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra


6. Van Gogh & Japan

March 23 – June 24

Vincent Van Gogh was enormously inspired by Japanese prints, and owned an impressive personal collection. A new exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum explores this major influence on the artist’s work.

Location: Van Gogh Museum, Museumplein 6, Amsterdam

Admission: €17

Contact: 00 31 20 570 5200; vangoghmuseum.nl

Head to the Van Gogh museum to reflect on the importance Japanese art had on Van Gogh's work Credit: GETTY

7. Café Americain

Open daily 6.30am – 10.30pm

The Art Deco Café Americain was once the hangout of artists and writers, but in recent years has somewhat slipped into the shadows. Now a radical makeover gives it new vigour and a fresh contemporary style, as the old café reclaims a place on the Amsterdam map.

Location: Café Americain, Leidseplein 28, Amsterdam

Price: three courses from €36

Contact: 00 31 20 556 3010; cafeamericain.nl

With a radical makeover, Café Americain is ready to reclaim a place on the Amsterdam map

 

8. Dutch Doubles

March 24, 29, 30 and 31 and April 5, 7, 8, 12, 14 and 15

Local choreographers (including the renowned Hans van Manen) collaborate with musicians from around the globe to produce three world-premiere dance pieces. The first Dutch Doubles, in 2014, was an enormous success, and a company much lauded for its innovative work looks set to repeat that.

Location: ‘Stopera’, Amstel 3, Amsterdam

Prices: €18 - €58

Contact: 00 31 20 625 5455; operaballet.nl

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9. Stedelijk BASE

Open daily 20am – 6pm (Friday 10am – 10pm)

The Stedelijk Museum’s extensive permanent collection (far too large to be seen all at once) gets a brand new showing on free-standing steel walls. The new design, by famed architect Rem Koolhaas, brings verve and more space, allowing work to surface from the depot.

Location: Stedelijk Museum, Museumplein 10, Amsterdam

Admission: €17.50

Contact: 00 31 20 573 2911; stedelijk.nl

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10. La Clemenza di Tito

May 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, 19, 21 and 24 

Peter Sellar’s pithy production of Mozart’s penultimate opera finds links with recent events in Paris and Brussels.

Location: ‘Stopera’, Amstel 3, Amsterdam

Prices: €18 - €58

Contact: 00 31 20 625 5455; operaballet.nl

La Clemenza di Tito will be performed by the Dutch National Opera this season and produced by Peter Sellar Credit: BELHAVEN/JOHN LAWSON