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Romantic Amsterdam

Cozy Retreats
Romantic Amsterdam
Old-school romance springs from every crooked brick and cobblestone in Amsterdam. Cuddle with a loved one in a canal house during the winter, or wander along the waterways together in the summer.
By Hannah Wijana, AFAR Staff
Photo courtesy of Café de Prins
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    Cozy Retreats
    Cozy Retreats
    Like Parisians, Amsterdammers know the value of a romantic hideaway. The city abounds with intimate cafés and bars where you can recharge. Popular spots include Hannekes Boom, on the IJ River, offering cozy seats in front of a roaring fire during winter and a waterfront deck to lounge on in summer. Find an intimate nook at Pulitzer’s Bar and canoodle over craft cocktails. And with just a handful of seats, the tiny Café Belgique is a snug spot to enjoy a drink with your significant other.
    Photo courtesy of Café de Prins
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    Leisurely Walks
    Leisurely Walks
    Romance isn’t hard to come by in Amsterdam. Just strolling along the canals hand in hand, getting lost amid the winding cobbled streets, or stopping to sit together in a quiet café is all you need to kindle a spark. It’s easy to lose track of time as you take in the elegance of the canal houses, the arched bridges, and the light that bounces off the water. And evening walks along the beautifully lit waterways and streets are just as romantic. The most picturesque views can be seen from the Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht canals in the Canal Ring.
    Photo courtesy of Darren Baker/Amsterdam Marketing
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    Love in Bloom
    Love in Bloom
    The Bloemenmarkt—the world's only floating flower market—is one of Amsterdam's most famous sites. Since 1862 the covered houseboats on the Singel canal between Koningsplein and Muntplein have made up the market and supplied central Amsterdam with fresh, fragrant blooms year-round. The market can be touristy, but a trip to Amsterdam isn’t complete without seeing the stunning tulips that Holland is so famous for. Buy a bunch of the flowers for your companion or arrange to have some bulbs shipped home. Then take advantage of the striking backdrop for a photo op.
    Photo courtesy of NBTC Holland Marketing
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    Picnic in the Park
    Picnic in the Park
    Hanging out in one of Amsterdam's many parks is a summer highlight. You’ll see families, friends, and couples lounging on the grass as they chat, play, and snooze. Amsterdammers and the Dutch government are proud of their outdoor spaces and keep them well-tended and safe. Vondelpark is the largest and busiest of the parks and often has live music and entertainment in the summer. Or visit spacious Westerpark, where a 19th-century neighborhood park has been united with a defunct municipal gas plant to create a lively cultural space, Westergasfabriek. Pack your bicycle basket with treats from a local deli, grab a bottle of wine, and prepare to laze with the one you love.
    Photo courtesy of NBTC Holland Marketing
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    A Bicycle Made for Two
    A Bicycle Made for Two
    Romance doesn’t have to be about staring into each other's eyes over a candlelit table or walking hand in hand down cobbled streets. Try something new with your partner to add excitement to your relationship. In the pursuit of novelty, why not rent a tandem bike and hit the road for a leisurely city tour? Tandems are easy to ride (especially if your partner can’t see how hard you’re pedaling) and can be found at most rental shops. You may feel a little silly at first, but you’ll see bicycles of every size, shape, and color and with all types of crazy decorations in Amsterdam, so don’t be shy.
    Photo by Alvaro Leiva/age fotostock
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    Romantic Dining
    Romantic Dining
    When you’re traveling with someone you love, a special dinner should be an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Amsterdam has plenty of restaurants with that little something extra to set them apart, from great canal views to innovative designs and interesting uses of unusual spaces. Michelin-starred options include  relative newcomer Rijks, which prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients in its innovative cooking. Boasting the oldest dining room in Amsterdam, The White Room offers creative, artfully presented dishes in a gorgeous white-and-gold space. Lion Noir is a cozy, casual spot to grab a drink or bite in a stylish, slightly eccentric atmosphere.
    Photo courtesy of Amsterdam Marketing
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    Intimate Nights Out
    Intimate Nights Out
    After a romantic dinner, the question is always what comes next? Luckily, in Amsterdam the options are boundless. For drinks, try the intimate lounge Bar Oldenhof, or for a livelier scene, head across the IJ River to the trendy nightspot The Butcher Social Club, which features DJs and billiard tables. Atop the Volkshotel, seven stories up, is Canvas Club, another hot spot for DJs and dancing. Looking for something more low-key? Check out the splendid Art Deco movie palace Theater Tuschinski; all English films are subtitled in Dutch, so you'll have no problem enjoying the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
    Photo courtesy of Amsterdam Marketing