Spend Thanksgiving Holiday weekend in Amsterdam and avoid the rush at the airports, the crowds, the slaving away over the turkey (if you are female) and eating too much of it (if you are male). Instead relax over a candle-lit dinner in one of Amsterdam’s romantic restaurants.
See the wilder side of Amsterdam and pop into a coffee shop or wander through the Red Light District, if you feel a little naughty. Go shopping in the Nine Little Streets district where quirky fashion boutiques rub shoulder with antique shops and second-hand clothing stores. Throw in a handful of world-class museums, romantic canals and 17th century canal mansions, and you have your perfect Thanksgiving Holiday vacation.
Amsterdam in November
This time of year, most of the tourists have gone and the city feels less crowded. Airfares and hotel rates are at their lowest. Central European Time has ended and the days are getting shorter. This is the best excuse to spend more time in bars and restaurants.
The trees lining the canals have shed their leaves. Gable spotters have a great time because foliage no longer obstructs the architectural details of the canal mansions. November is the perfect time for sauntering and sight-seeing and finding the perfect place for a bite to eat. Check out concert, opera and ballet performances, or book a tablet at Boom Chicago (Leidseplein 12). Enjoy English-language stand-up comedians over dinner washed down with a few drinks.
5 Things to Make your Thanksgiving Holiday Memorable
- Window shop in the Red Light District. Join the locals and tourists and stroll past live-sex show theatres and gawk at window brothels. Late afternoon or early evening is the best time, unless you come for real business.
- Hop on a Wielertaxi and woosh through the city centre on a private sight-seeing tour. You can spot these westernised rickshaws all over the city centre. They have an environmentally friendly support motor which makes negotiating humpback bridges easier and carry up to two persons. Pick one up at Dam Square or Damrak.
- Sniff up culture at Rijksmuseum and marvel at the permanent exhibition, The Highlights of the Golden Age, showing works of art of one of the most glorious periods in Dutch painting. It includes Rembrandt’s master piece the Night Watch. Rijksmuseum is located at Jan Luykenstraat 1. Opening hours – 9 am – 6 pm. Admission €12.50.
- Amble through Amsterdam’s China Town, indulge in Peking Duck. Seek enlightenment in He Hua Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Europe, built in traditional Chinese style. The temple is at Zeedijk 106, free admission, opening hours Tues-Sat 12-5pm; Sun 10am-5pm; closed Mondays.
- See Anne Frank’s hiding place. Walk through the empty rooms and wonder how it was possible that the Frank family lived here for almost two years. Her diary is on permanent display. Anne Frank House is located at Prinsengracht 263. Opening hours in November 9 am – 7 pm. Admission fee, €8.50 ($12), buy tickets online to avoid waiting in the line.
Lodge in a Canal House
Hotel Brouwer has only eight rooms, and all overlook Singel canal. The hotel consists of two beautifully restored 17th century houses. The house has a long history. Its first owner was Mr de Swaen, a sea captain. He had offices downstairs, living quarters on the first and storage space on the upper floors, as was the case with many canal houses.
In the 19th century, the house became Hotel Het Blauwe Kruis (The Blue Cross) whose name indicated that alcohol consumption was not allowed on the premises. This custom has since long been given up. Narrow, steep, creaky stairs spiral up to the upper floors. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms and are different in size and style. They have been named after famous Dutch artists. Would not it be great to tell your friends that you slept in the Van Gogh room? Hotel Brouwer is situated at Singel 83.
Thanksgiving Meal Dutch Style
Tucked away in the narrow streets just off Leidseplein, you will find a plethora of restaurants. Choosing the right type of cuisine is an attraction in itself; Indonesian, Chinese, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, Indian, and also some Dutch restaurants. They all post their menu out front both in Dutch and English. Hop on tram 1, 2, 7 or 10 and mix with the locals at buzzing Leidseplein.
Book Your Thanksgiving Holiday Vacation Now
This time of year air fares are at their lowest and hotel prices won’t break the bank. Many airlines connect USA destination with Amsterdam on direct flights. Schiphol Amsterdam Airport is only a short train trip away from Amsterdam centre. Trams in Amsterdam whisk you off to your hotel. What are you waiting for? Book that bargain flight and enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday Vacation in Amsterdam.