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With almost 35,000 kilometres of cycle paths, the country of the Netherlands is truly a country of cyclists. The city residents know that the best way to get around and discover Amsterdam is by bike. Almost 63% uses their bike every day. We would like our guests to experience Amsterdam like the locals do, so we have collected 15 great spots for you to cycle to!

  1. Street art tour

Park your bike near the Spuistraat and walk through the side streets full of coloured artworks. Or cycle to the NDSM-werf (shipyard) across the IJ. You will find former ship halls here which offer a raw environment where the street art colours seem extra powerful. In the Marnixstraat behind the fire station there is also an inlet full of graffiti artworks.

  1. Vondelpark

The Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam. Many activities are organized here and you will find various cafes here. Cycle through it at ease, past ponds and bridges, and stop for a snack and a drink at, for example, the Blauwe Theehuis (Blue Teahouse).

  1. Port area

Four recreational cycling routes run through the port of Amsterdam called ‘Havenfietsen’. The routes have been created, each with its own character and are provided with information boards at prominent points in the port.

  1. I Amsterdam

You can’t ignore – even if you wanted to – the red and white I Amsterdam letters on Museum Square. They are more than 2 meters high and extend in width over 23.5 meters! The letters have quickly become the symbol of the city. Visitors to Amsterdam photograph themselves in, around and on top of the letters.

  1. Along the Amstel River

Amsterdam owes its name to the Amstel, so a ride along the river is a must do during your visit to our capital. Cycle along the Blauwbrug (Blue bridge) and along imposing canal houses, the National Opera and Ballet and Koninklijk Theather Carré (Royal Theatre). You can also pass the city borders and cycle towards Ouderkerk aan de Amstel to discover the natural environment.

  1. Through the Jordaan

The Jordaan is a real working-class neighbourhood. Young entrepreneurs, artists and students like to meet in one of Amsterdam’s typical pubs here. You will also find the famous gay monument, the Johnny Jordaanplein (square) and stately mansions along the beautiful canals.

  1. De 9 straatjes (9 streets)

The 9 Straatjes, located in the Jordaan and in the middle of Unesco World Heritage, count numerous monumental shops. Trade, craftsmanship and culture predominate in these streets. You will find small, original and exclusive stores here.

  1. Dam Square

At Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam you will find the Paleis op de Dam (Palace on Dam Square), the Nieuwe Kerk (church) where high-quality exhibitions are organized, Museum Madame Tussauds, the war memorial and the luxury department store De Bijenkorf. Have a break on one of the benches or the stairs of the palace and look at the diversity of street artists before you move along.

  1. Amsterdamse bos

In the Amsterdamse Bos (forest) you can find more than 50 kilometres of cycle paths. For example, follow the red poles, this is a cycling route of 14 kilometres long along some of the most beautiful spots in the forest. Make a stopover for something to eat or drink at one of the two farms in the forest.

  1. Jewish Cultural Quarter

Impressive synagogues, buildings and memorial places adorn the streets of the old Amsterdam Jewish quarter. In the heart of the neighbourhood is the Jewish Cultural Quarter, formed by the Jewish Historical Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue with the ancient library Ets Haim, the Hollandsche Schouwburg and the National Holocaust Museum.

  1. De Diamantbuurt (De Pijp)

Near the Jewish Cultural Quarter is the Diamantbuurt (Diamond Neighbourhood). In the past, many diamond cutters used to work for the Koninklijke Asscher Diamant Maatschappij. Today, emperors, kings, queens, presidents and other dignitaries visit the building to marvel at all the beauty. Unfortunately you can’t go inside as a tourist, but the building itself is already admirable.

  1. Weesperzijde

If you’re in the area anyway: the Weesperzijde – on the other side of the Amstel – was voted the number 14 of most beautiful streets in Amsterdam by the readers of the newspaper Het Parool!

  1. Prinseneiland

The Bickerseiland, Prinseneiland and Realeneiland are also called the Western Islands of Amsterdam. They form a world themselves. The Prinseneiland is not yet discovered by tourists, but definitely worth a visit. You will see beautifully renovated warehouses and buildings that used to serve as storage facilities for grain, tobacco, wine and salt.

  1. Chinatown

Like many big cities, Amsterdam also has a Chinatown. The first Chinese who settled in Amsterdam worked on large passenger ships. When this industry slowly disappeared, the Chinese opened shops and eateries in this neighbourhood. The best Chinese products and food can be found in the old city centre. It is also the place to celebrate Chinese New Year in Amsterdam.

  1. Nieuwmarkt (Chinatown)

In 1614 part of the canals in Chinatown were drained and the Nieuwmarkt was created. The square fills daily with stalls and every Saturday you will find a variety of organic products on the organic market. On the square you will also find the striking building ‘De Waag’. And the largest Buddhist temple in Europe, built in traditional Chinese palace style, is just around the corner at the Zeedijk.

Special offer: free use of our Htel bikes!

This year, Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday. The coming weeks we celebrate with special promotions. In October: free use of our Htel bikes when booking a stay at Htel Serviced Apartments! Htel Serviced Apartments is the perfect place to stay during a holiday in Amsterdam, so you can visit all of the above yourself. More information about the terms and conditions and to book your apartment: click here.

 

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Blog

The profile of international employees is changing. The highly-skilled worker who comes to the Netherlands for a few months and then flies out again is on the decline. Today, international employees are more eager than ever to adapt to Dutch life and live like a local. As Htel Serviced Apartments is an expert in the field of employee housing for 15 years, we’ve gathered 15 tips to live like a local when working abroad.

  1. Dutch lessons

Almost everyone in the Netherlands speaks English, but speaking even just a little bit of Dutch can really help make you feel like part of the community. Start with some key phrases in Dutch to thank the locals (“Dank je wel!”) or order your meals at restaurants in Dutch.

  1. Housing in residential areas

Stay in one of the quiet neighbourhoods just outside the tourist centre. By settling in a green environment with schools, sports parks, playgrounds, shops and parks, you will really feel like part of the community.

  1. Jump on a bike

Once settled jump on your bike to go to work, to do groceries or when you go out. As central areas aren’t congested with traffic as most people travel by bike, Dutchies go anywhere by bike! In your free time cycle to the Amsterdamse Bos (forest) for a picnic.

  1. Dutch snacks

While getting your kroket or a frikandel (Dutch snacks) out of the wall is described as a pretty touristy thing to do, every Dutchie gets their food out of the wall once in a while. Just pay a euro or two and choose your snack. Another tip: get yourself a freshly baked stroopwafel (Dutch cookie) from the market!

  1. Brown café

Visit a bruin café (brown cafe) with your friends. These traditional bars, complete with dark wood furniture, soft lighting and an abundance of antique clutter, make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. That’s what we call ‘gezellig’ (roughly means cosy).

  1. Sport club

Sport has a connecting factor. In the Netherlands fitness is the most popular sport. So the local fitness club is not only the place to exercise but also to make new friends. When moving to The Netherlands with your family: soccer is still the most popular sport among children and young adults.

  1. Housewarming

We also like to invite friends over in our warm and homely ambience to experience that gezellig feeling with friends, a couple of beers and a portion of bitterballen (Dutch snacks). Also Dutch: make an appointment first.

  1. Characteristic quirkiness

Step outside the comfort of the canals and explore the neighbourhoods that give Amsterdam its characteristic quirkiness, such as Amsterdam Noord’s industrial-artsy vibes or Oud-West’s culinary and cultural delights.

  1. Amsterdam weather

The weather in Amsterdam is unpredictable. One minute the skies are blue, the next it’s pouring rain. Fortunately, we’ve a great app called Buienalarm (rain alarm) that alerts you when a downpour is due so you can plan your journey accordingly.

  1. Terrace life year round

No matter if it’s overcast, cold, raining or snowing, you’ll always find people sitting outside on a terrace enjoying coffee, a beer or a snack. And there are plenty of bars and cafes in Amsterdam that prepare for these all-weather visitors by providing blankets and heaters.

  1. Sailing to secluded areas

The canals of Amsterdam are packed with official tourist boats, but you’ll often see smaller boats sailing by with just a few people enjoying the company of friends. Rent a boat yourself to sail around Amsterdam’s picturesque canals and escape the tourist trail by sailing to secluded areas.

  1. Culinary trip

Amsterdam is a cultural melting pot, which is summed up perfectly in its eclectic cuisine. After you’ve had your fill of Dutch treats and sweets, sample some of the foods brought to the city from around the world. Indonesian and Surinam food are particularly popular.

  1. Picnic at the park

The vast majority of tourists end up at the Vondelpark at some point. It is close to the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, and a good place to have a break. But we recommend a visit to the Westerpark. Pick up some local food from the market and enjoy a picnic.

  1. Albert Cuyp market

A huge open-plan market doesn’t necessarily sound like a place that is off the beaten track but at the Albert Cuyp Markt, in the Pijp district, you’ll quickly see it is the residents of Amsterdam that dominate its stalls, cafés and shops. If you want to feel part of the local culture, you should pop along here.

  1. Beach life

When residents of our capital want to escape the crowds for a bit, they go to the park or to the beach. The train to Zandvoort aan Zee leaves from Amsterdam Central Station twice an hour. The double-decker train takes thirty-minutes to carry you to the coast. On the outward journey, sit on the left-hand side for great views of Haarlem, a beautiful town that is well worth a visit too.

Htel Serviced Apartments is the perfect place for international employees (and their families) who come to the Netherlands for a short or extended stay. The apartments are spacious and our team will do anything to ensure that you feel at home when you are away from home. Our apartments are located in a quiet, green neighbourhood with schools, parks and other important facilities nearby. You can explore the neighbourhood on one of our Htel bikes, as true Dutchie. Like to know more? Click here.

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