Next week, the World Poker Tour heads to one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. Whether you’re visiting a new European city or heading to Amsterdam for the first time next week, the 2023 WPT Prime Amsterdam stop in the beautiful Dutch capital is a chance not only to win big money but drink in the sights and sounds of a stunning city. There’s plenty else to do away from the felt, including a few choice picks below.
Enjoy the Amstel Canal
It would be criminal not to visit the Amstel Canal as you travel through Amsterdam, which for the last half a millennia has been host to arguably Europe’s most beautiful canal route. By day, a stroll up and down the Amstel will provide you with a magical mystery tour of sights, such as bookshops filled with rare treasures (I once found a Roald Dahl first edition on sale a quick hop from the canal’s edge).
When evening descends, taking a planned canal cruise is a really popular activity. A few drinks and the well-lit waterways are transformed into the perfect way to get around his historic city. Food is not something that the Dutch are famed for, but this is perhaps an outdated opinion, with some excellent places to eat dotted along the route of the canal.
One of the most popular ways to see the canal is the All-Inclusive Canal Tour which is presented by ‘Captain Jack’ – a tribute to Johnny Depp from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. You’d be ‘Arrrd pushed to find a better way to spend the day.
The Keukenhof Gardens
Amsterdam, like the Netherlands in general – is well known for its flowers. From the humble tulip to less recognised botanical wonders, there’s no better place to take it all in than the Keukenhof Gardens. You can get a superb, guided tour for less than €100 that lasts a full nine hours with cheese tasting at the windmill village in the Zaanse Schans and a wooden shoe demonstration in the wooden shoe factory.
It’s not only the Dutch national flower that is evident around the grounds, which are visited by 800,000 people every year. Around the 15 kilometers of footpaths and 32 hectares of gardens, millions of bulbs are planted every 12 months. From the tulip to the daffodil and everything in between, the gardens feature regular themed displays and have an English landscape garden and a Japanese country garden along with the historical garden that provides the centerpiece of the attraction.
Bike Around Beauty
If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam before, then you’ll know that bicycles are the dominant vehicle for travel in the city. So much so in fact, that the phrase if you can’t beat them, join them springs to mind. Driving through Amsterdam is — like chasing a runner runner straight — akin to insanity, but biking around the city is something to cherish and it’s much easier to go with the flow.
Booking yourself onto a bike tour of the city is cheap at around €40 for a great one lasting three hours. This will take you around the ring of canals that have been in place since the 17th Century in the capital of the Netherlands, with areas of interest dotted around the route. There are a number of parks and attractions along the route, with a stop near the Royal Dutch Concert Hall digging deeper into the fascinating past of one of Europe’s most historic locations.
The Van Gogh Museum
Masters of many artistic genres are present in the city, such as Rembrandt, and our favorite place to drink in artwork is the Van Gogh Museum. With the largest collection of Van Gogh’s artwork in the world, there are over 200 paintings in place, as well as exclusive drawings and letters from the irrepressible Dutch master’s life.
Van Gogh’s inspiring story will delight any art lovers and this is the second most visited museum in Amsterdam every year. His most popular creation, Sunflowers, is by far the most popular of his paintings on display, but the whole exhibition is exquisite and will provide you with a very different pace to a day off between WPT Prime events.
Honor Anne Frank’s Memory
If there’s one thing you should do when you take time away from the poker felt to explore Amsterdam, it’s visit Anne Frank’s house. Now converted into a museum, it is a poignant and tragic location which continues to inspire and comfort millions of visitors every year.
Anne Frank’s diary, which was written in the house before she was taken and killed in a concentration camp at the age of just 15, is one of the world’s most important books and the museum honors that tome with a stunning collection of her life that has been converted into a museum.
Having lived in hiding for over two years during the Second World War before her capture, Anne Frank’s plight is bound to the area and it is a touching tribute that the aspiring journalist’s words have since made her famous as a writer posthumously.
If you’re playing in the 2023 WPT Prime Amsterdam events, then you can read all about what’s happening in on the World Poker Tour next week in Amsterdam here. Split your efforts at the felt with some adventures in Amsterdam and the perfect European poker trip will be yours. Good luck!