Spring and Easter is the perfect match. Even better if you get the chance to spend them in Amsterdam. And why? Because the attractions are endless: mouth watering chocolate shops, onboard treats, flowery picnics, classical music and refined breakfasts and brunches; all waiting for you on one of the most indulgent holidays of the year.
Here is a selection of five ways to enjoy Easter in Amsterdam. Although there’s much more happening around town, these are a few highlights you would be unhappy to miss:
1. Chocolate & bakeries route
Shall we begin with the most obvious of all? The city has incredible, cosy chocolate shops, which are usually attached to tea rooms as well. If you have a feeling these places will be packed during Easter, not to worry: pick your delights before the holiday starts. At the moment, they are still full of chocolate bunnies and chickens, decorated eggs and and of course, the good old bonbon. A few I’ve tried and tested (and approved) are:
Pompadur, right in the nine streets, this has to be one of the sweetest places in Amsterdam (both meanings applied); Puccini Bomboni is the go to shop for preservatives-free chocolate; Holtkamp, a Royal family favourite provides some of the city’s best cakes; Arnold Cornelis is a great destination to get you in the mood for Easter as you can smell their baking magic from the street. It offers cute bunnies for affordable prices too, all at around €6.95. For a more complete chocolate/bakery route also try: Chocolaterie ArtiChoc, Vanroselen Fine Chocolates, Van Soest Chocolatier, Metropolitan, Chocolatl, Unlimited Delicious and Van Velze’s Chocolaterie & Patisserie.
P.S. Most of these shops are walking distance from one another… why not do the whole route? It’s Easter after all!
Whether you are a first-time visitor or a local that has never experienced the boat experience before, maybe now is the time to try this city must. The Pannenkoekenboot (The Pancake Boat) offers indulgent all you can eat pancake cruises throughout the year, but on Easter they plan to offer even more than the delicious Dutch style pancakes. A brunch menu is included in the package as well. So what are you waiting for? Appreciating beautiful Amsterdam from a boat while eating delicious treats…does it get any better?
For another feast on the water, head to the Blue Boat, one of the main canal cruise operators in Amsterdam. They will also be offering an Easter Brunch Cruise with sandwiches, sausages, (real) eggs and more.
Check their websites for availability and prices.
If you’re looking for a more affordable Easter weekend, a picnic in the park is the perfect option. Go to Museumplein to be surrounded by the most beautiful museums in town. They remain open during the holiday so you might also want to stop by once you are there. Can’t be bothered to carry a picnic basket around the city? Just get your goodies from the nearest supermarket, Albert Heijn. You will find one very close to Amsterdam’s museum of modern art, Stedelijk. Another excellent spot for a picnic – and not far at all from Museumplein – is Vondelpark. At this time of the year, you’re likely to see daffodils blooming in the park, too.
If you are, however, willing to invest in this special occasion, Keukenhof, the largest garden in the world, is only 30 minutes away from Amsterdam. With no less than 7 million flowers planted every year it is one of the main attractions in the Netherlands. And they let you take your own picnic basket too!
But if you would rather stay within the city, Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam’s botanic garden is hosting “The Crown Jewels”, an exhibition on royal cycads and fairy-tale water lilies. One of the oldest botanic gardens in the world, it has over 4 thousand plant species to be appreciated by visitors. Although you’re not allowed to take your own food here, there’s an amazing outdoor museum café where you can expect to be surrounded by many rare and exotic plants.
Who doesn’t like to get treated to a fancy meal once in a while? Amsterdam holds many hotels that offer more yummy meals. Keeping it short and sweet, here is a list of some major spots hosting Easter breakfast and brunches: NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Sofitel Amsterdam The Grand, Andaz Amsterdam, Amstel Intercontinental Hotel and Grand Hotel Amrâth.
Looking for something to entertain the kids? Hard Rock Café could be the answer. Face and egg paint, bunny sighting and egg hunting are some of the attractions. Check their websites for availability and prices.
Essentially a religious holiday, even if not celebrated this way, there isn’t a better time than Easter to listen to Christ-inspired compositions. Churches are not the only good destination for listening to corals and concerts, but also the Royal Concertgebouw. The world renowned concert hall will play popular classical compositions, especially Bach’s St Matthew Passion, throughout the month. Ticket prices usually starts at €29, but check their website for further information.