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Coronavirus: Things to do in Amsterdam during the outbreak

van gogh museum Amsterdam watching the sun flowers

Coronavirus: Things to do in Amsterdam during the outbreak

 

The unthinkable has happened. You’ve arrived in Amsterdam for a romantic getaway and to immerse yourself in its magical culture and nightlife. But, due to the coronavirus, all of the restaurants, many shops and museums are closed and you are not yet able to fly home. What do you do? To help you through this time, I have created for you a list of amazing things to do in Amsterdam that can (mostly) be enjoyed in your hotel room, whilst still absorbing the culture and romance of this beautiful city. 

 

Visit a Virtual Museum

 

For many of us, a walk through a museum with our loved one, enjoying time together, being inspired by art and history in a new city is a must. And even more so in Amsterdam, being home to so many famous artists throughout the ages. The city and its buildings, canals and museums are alive with this rich history.  So while you cannot physically visit one, we have a couple of suggestions to fill your senses and inspire you.

 

Van Gogh Museum Virtual Tour

 

 

Perhaps the most famous Dutch artist, Vincent Van Gogh has made an incredible contribution to the world with his paintings. Through this virtual tour you can experience the art, but also learn about his love life, his relationship with his brother, his life and inspiration. 

Van Gogh Virtual Tour

 

Rijksmuseum Virtual Tour

 

 

Amsterdam’s iconic museum showing many Dutch masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer has partnered with Google to show you over 150,000 art pieces, from paintings to sculptures, all online. Together in the comfort of your hotel room, you can discover the museum, zoom in on details and get to know the art like never before. 

Rijksmuseum Virtual Tour

 

Best books about Amsterdam 

 

The Anne Frank House officially opened its doors to the public on 3 May 1960. In the first year, 9,000 people visited the hiding place of Anne Frank and now, 50 years later, the museum attracts around 1 million visitors annually. The Anne Frank House will be marking its 50th anniversary in several ways. On 28 April there will be a formal reception and program for invited guests in the Westerkerk church, to which Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will be the guest of honour (broadcast live on NOS and NPS TV). On 3 May there will be a special day for museum visitors. Anne’s father Otto Frank, who played as central role in founding the museum, will be honoured in the events to mark the anniversary. Photo Cris Toala Olivares

 

One amazing way to absorb yourself into a new city and culture is through reading about it. There are many books, both fact and fiction that capture the essence of Amsterdam or a moment in history that still touches us today. In the city, there are many English bookstores on the Spuistraat, but if you can’t get to them, you can have them delivered to your hotel room via bol.com.

 

The first and most known is The Diary of Anne Frank. Learn about the life of Anne Frank, a Dutch Jewish girl hiding from the Nazis in wartime Amsterdam. There is also a love story connected and in its essence is a snapshot of the life and people of this unforgettable moment in our collective history.

 

Would you like to discover the true soul of Amsterdam, traced through history? Amsterdam A Brief Life of A City is an amazing guide, sharing stories of what made Amsterdam what she is today. Written by a famous dutch writer, Geert Mak.

 

Amsterdam is known throughout the world for its liberal heart, Russel Shorto’s seminal work Amsterdam, is here to reveal its origins. 

 

Best movies shot in Amsterdam from your hotel room

 

What is more cosy and romantic than a movie night cuddled up with your loved one? Here are a few beautiful movies (with links to their trailers) that were filmed or based in Amsterdam that you can watch together and laugh, perhaps cry and be thrilled together. 

A Girl with a Pearl Earring

A dreamy and romantic imagining of how Vermeer’s famous work came to be. 

 

At Eternity’s Gate

A beautiful and artistic study of the mind of Vincent Van Gogh

 

Ocean’s Twelve 

Filmed largely in Amsterdam, showing the city’s architecture and nightlife, this witty heist movie will entertain you with a very funny scene in a coffee shop. 

 

A Fault in Our Stars

A moving and romantic story of two teenagers battling serious illness, filmed partially in Amsterdam. In the movie, there is an iconic scene on an Amsterdam bench where the male lead Gus reveals he is sick again. Heartbreaking and beautiful. 

 

Kidnapping Mr Heineken

A famous true story of a kidnapping of the owner of the famous beer brand, filmed in Amsterdam.

 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

An action-comedy, filmed partly in Amsterdam. 

 

For a Netflix series that could be quite scary for some is the Dutch series, Ares. Shot in various locations around the city, it is an opportunity to watch a series from the Dutch perspective and language. 

 

Here is a list for you if you would like to watch more movies filmed in Amsterdam.

 

 

Explore the city and nature surrounding the city

 

 

If you are in the city and the weather is lovely, why not take a walk around your neighbourhood? There are some beautiful streets in the city with amazing architecture. One area is the Amsterdam Canal Gordel, a stunning place for couples to walk together next to the canals. Now that many of the shops and all of the bars and coffee shops are closed and the streets are very quiet, a wonderful place to visit is the Old District of Amsterdam the Red Light District. 

Why not hire a bike from your hotel and travel through the parks and nature areas in the city. There are so many lovely places to enjoy a picnic! Here are a few with links:

 

Vondelpark

 

Twiske

 

Amsterdamse Bos

 

Prinseneiland

 

Nieuwendammerdijk

 

Vliegenbos

 

 

If you’d like to travel a little further outside of the city, why not visit the beach? You can still use public transport (if you want to). Or you can hire a car, my recommendation is Nedcars to take a short journey for a romantic walk along the beach.

 

Zandvoort Aan Zee 

 

Bergen Aan Zee

 

And another place closeby with very quaint and typical Dutch-style windmills is Zaanse Schans. Remember that the museum, shops and windmills are closed, but you can still take a walk in this picturesque and captivating location just perfect for couples.  

 

 

And of course, please stay as safe as you can. I’m sharing here the regulations now for COVID-19 specifically in Amsterdam by the local authorities. 

 

Take an audio tour through the city

 

One amazing tip if you had planned a tour through the city, but can no longer enjoy this due to COVID, let me share with you the izi travellers app. Why not download it and take a tour of the city, either by foot or from the comfort of your hotel room.

 

Cheese and beer tasting in your hotel room

 

 

Dutch cheese and beer are world-famous, from Gouda to Heineken and beyond there are so many delicious ways to immerse yourself into dutch food culture without visiting a restaurant.

 

As the smaller shops may be closed why not visit a supermarket? In Dutch supermarkets (Albert Heijn you can find all over the city) you can buy Dutch cheese. You could buy a few different kinds of cheeses and make your own cheese platter, we have different flavour strengths, young, medium and old. It is lekker (dutch word for yummy) and to enjoy the cheese with a local beer enhances the experience. Brouwer ‘t IJ is a lovely local beer and can be found also in our supermarkets. 

 

Another heavenly Dutch delicacy is the stroopwafel (caramel waffle). A personal tip that I love to share is to take your wafel, place it over a steaming cup of tea, hot chocolate or coffee and allow that steam to melt the caramel. If you have a love for sweet, this is an exquisite and a really romantic way to enjoy Dutch food.  

 

Take a moment to share with a loved one

 

 

It is a challenging time for so many people at the moment and for you, it could be an opportunity to spread a bit of love and connection from your trip to those loved ones at home. One magical and thoughtful way is with a postcard, you can buy postcards from your hotel or closeby perhaps showing the beauty of the city and sending a message to your friends and family. You can also find postcards and stamps at our local post office here

 

Amsterdam a city of romance

 

 

As you can see, Amsterdam is, even in these uncertain times, a place to relax, discover the city and be together even within your hotel room. I hope these tips make your stay more enjoyable and the passion, art, beauty, romance and culture will invite you back to visit us again in different circumstances. 

 

And if you do return, as a passionate local guide, I organise both romantic group tours and bespoke tours to help couples fall in love with Amsterdam and each other – all over again! I also have helped plan many anniversaries, honeymoons and marriage proposals in this beloved city. I’d be delighted to help you arrange a romantic surprise, whatever your needs or budget. Come with me and uncover a side to Amsterdam you’ve never seen before! 

 

If there’s anything I can help you with please get in touch at [email protected] and me and my team do whatever we can in these challenging times

For now, I wish you a special stay in Amsterdam and stay safe and healthy.

 

 

Rocco

Creator of Romantic Tour Amsterdam