Romantic Amsterdam

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Romantic Amsterdam
Old-school romance springs from every crooked brick and wobbly cobble in Amsterdam. Cuddle with a loved one in a canal house during the winter, or wander along the waterfront together in the summer.
Photo courtesy of Café de Prins
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    Cozy Cafés
    Like Parisians, Amsterdammers know the value of a romantic nook. The city abounds with intimate cafés where you can recharge. Just about every one in the Jordaan has a corner that's ideal for unwinding. Popular spots include Café de Prins, on the Prinsengracht canal, and Papeneiland, on Prinsengracht and Brouwersgracht, which has been around since 1642, and is where Bill Clinton famously washed down a hunk of apple pie. Hannekes Boom, on the IJ River across from the Science Center NEMO, offers cozy seats in front of a roaring fire during winter and has a waterfront deck to lounge on in summer.
    Photo courtesy of Café de Prins
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    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 on the western canal belt.
    Photo courtesy of Darren Baker/Amsterdam Marketing
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    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
    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. For somewhere more serene, head to Sarphatipark in De Pijp or Beatrixpark in the south. 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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    Diamond Craftsmanship
    For more than 400 years, some of the world's most talented diamond craftsmen have called Amsterdam home. Sephardic Jews brought the trade with them when they moved to the city in the 16th century and monopolized the market until World War II. Coster Diamonds, next to the Diamond Museum off Museumplein, and Gassan Diamonds, near Waterlooplein, are Amsterdam's oldest and most famous workshops. Both run tours, and if you think a diamond tour might be boring, think again. Diamonds have a magnetism that few are immune to, and you may have the opportunity to slip on some jewelry at the end. If you're willing to open your wallet, you don't have to leave empty-handed.
    Photo courtesy of Amsterdam Marketing
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    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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    Cruise the Canals
    It doesn't get much more romantic than an evening cruise on Amsterdam's illuminated canals. Escape the rest of the city as you gently wind your way through waterways and under bridges. Many companies offer nighttime cruises with dinner and a tour guide—but for uninterrupted time together, consider a private trip. Getting alone time can be on the expensive side, but it’s worth it. Private Boat Tours offers intimate saloon boats that are luxuriously furnished and cater to your every need, even if that means just leaving you be for a couple of hours. For something less pricey and more adventurous, rent a pedal boat at outlets throughout the city and captain your own vessel, with friends as crew.
    Photo by Javier Larrea/age fotostock
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    Michelin-Starred Romance
    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 Ciel Bleu on the 23rd floor of Hotel Okura Amsterdam, relative newcomer &samhoud places, and the intimate Vinkeles at the boutique Dylan Hotel. For something a little quainter, grab a table at the very Parisian, art nouveau De Belhamel on Brouwersgracht and dine along the canal.
    Photo courtesy of Amsterdam Marketing
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    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 top-notch bar Bubbles & Wines, which offers an extensive champagne and wine list, or head to The Butcher, where a reservation gets you into a "secret" cocktail bar. To end your night on a musical note, Amsterdam has plenty of intimate venues, including North Sea Jazz Club, which gets big names but manages to stay low-key, and Alto Jazz Café. Another option is a movie at the beautiful Pathé Tuschinski theater, where you can snuggle up on a love seat or in a private box and order a glass of wine.
    Photo courtesy of Amsterdam Marketing
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    Unwind Together at the Spa
    After walking the canals, you and your partner will be ready to relax. Indulge in a variety of treatments offered by such luxury hotel spas as the holistic Akasha spa at the Conservatorium and the more traditional Health and Fitness Club at the InterContinental Amstel, which features a Roman-style pool and classical statues. City Street Spa, an urban oasis for young professionals and travelers, is a modern and cozy option. For a decadent experience, Sauna Deco on Herengracht is a must. The beautiful art deco interior dates from 1920 and was salvaged from the famous Au Bon Marché department store in Paris.
    Photo courtesy of Deco Sauna