The Dutch capital has plenty to offer travellers who desire cheap holidays and interesting city breaks on the continent. Famous for its museums, nightlife and picturesque canals, Amsterdam is also the centre of Dutch sporting life. Sports fans travelling to Amsterdam have the choice of visiting a few destinations that explain the illustrious sporting history of the Dutch capital. The Amsterdam arena is easily the best known of the city’s sporting venues, home to Ajax and occasionally the Dutch national football team. Stadium tours are available for 12 Euros and take an hour in either Dutch or English.
Holidaymakers should be aware that facilities may be slightly limited on game days. The best thing to do if travelling to the city on game days is to book a ticket through a local shop or through a hotel. Tickets for international matches cost upwards of thirty Euros for reasonably good seats. The Netherlands is a football loving nation as tourists will notice on game days when Amsterdam is flooded with revellers in orange outfits and suit jackets embroidered in the colours of the national flag. As if wearing orange wasn’t enough there are usually revellers in even more elaborate fancy dress letting their hair down with the rest of the city’s residents.
For visitors who have booked cheap flights to Amsterdam the easiest way to get to their hotels in the centre of the city is to get a train direct from the station in Schipol airport. Travel passes cost seven Euros for 24 hours and are definitely worth the money as they are valid on the Busses, trams and on the metro system. The travel pass takes visitors as far as the business and retail park that houses the Amsterdam arena and the impressive Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA station. The station is busy even when there are no games on because of the nearby Heineken music hall and the Amsterdamse Poort, one of the city’s largest shopping districts.
For a taste of the city’s early sporting history tourists can head to the Olympic stadium. The easiest way to get there is travelling on tram numbers 16 or 24 to Stadionplein from Centraal station. The stadium was originally built for the 1928 Olympics and was expanded before becoming home to the Dutch national team and the famous Ajax team of the 1970’s. The Olympic experience has displays that include the sporting life of Fanny Blankers-Koen, the first Dutch athlete to win an Olympic medal.
Koen, known as ‘the flying housewife’ was the star of the 1948 Olympics in London where she confounded her critics and walked away with four gold medals, the highest total for any athlete at the London games. After a visit to the Olympic stadium tourists can head back in to the centre of the city for lunch in the Leidseplein or near Rembrandt square before enjoying an afternoon or evening walk around the canals or by the river Amstel. A trip to Le marais restaurant on Jodenbreestraat for an evening meal is one to do before taking flights back to England.