An aerial view of the spring tulip fields in Holland
The famous tulip festival draws many tourists to Amsterdam’s Keukenhof park each spring, but my husband and I spent last New Year’s in the Dutch city and found that, like Venice, it’s the perfect place for a winter vacation. We stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer, an extraordinary collection of 25 restored 17th and 18th century canal houses that have been converted into a single luxury hotel. It’s well located—we wanted to be on a canal—and is next door to the Anne Frank House, which we visited and found a very emotional experience.
Amsterdam is a great city to get lost in (which is easy to do—even the locals occasionally lose their way) and, essential map in hand, we walked endlessly, seeing the sights, browsing markets and shops, and stopping at charming cafes and restaurants. Major destinations included the Rijksmuseum, with its incomparable collection of Rembrandts, Vermeers, and Hals, among other Flemish masterpieces; the Van Gogh Museum, the main part of which was designed by Gerrit Rietveld; the floating flower market; and the notorious Red Light District.
Amsterdam has wonderful night life. We rang in the New Year at Boom Chicago, a terrific sketch and improvisational comedy troupe in the historic Leidseplein Theater. Founded almost 20 years ago by Americans (hence the name), it’s full of hip, young, talented performers (Seth Meyers and Jason Sudeikis are both alums). We stayed for an enjoyable dinner and dancing after the show. And we had a memorable meal at Le Pêcheur, a serene fish restaurant that several people had recommended.
In Amsterdam, Laura and her husband stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer, which consists of 25 interconnected 17th and 18th century canal houses.
The Pulitzer’s guest rooms, many overlooking the canal, are full of character.
A visit to the Anne Frank House, which is next door to the Hotel Pulitzer, was a moving emotional experience.
The Rijksmuseum, one of Europe’s greatest public art galleries
One of the Rijksmuseum’s incomparable treasures, Woman Reading a Letter, by Johannes Vermeer, ca. 1662-63, has recently undergone a major restoration.
The main building of the Van Gogh Museum, which opened in 1973, was designed by the great Dutch architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveldt.
View of Auvers, 1890, in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Laura saw in the New Year at Boom Chicago, a sketch and improv comedy show in Amsterdam’s historic Leidseplein Theater.
Located in a former coach house, the serene main dining room at Le Pêcheur, one of Amsterdam’s best fish restaurants.