For an authentic Dutch experience that goes far beyond the city’s infamous red light district, Amstelveen makes for a unique day trip or accommodation hub. Officially, Amstelveen is classed as a metropolitan area of Amsterdam. Though with its modern art museums, pretty urban parks and avant-garde performing arts theatres, it serves up a charm all of its own.
Thanks to its beautiful network of public green spaces, 2014 saw Amstelveen honoured as the Greenest City in Europe in the Entente Florale awards. The forested Amsterdamse Bospark is a favourite with horse riders and canoers, with its open-air theatres hosting a fantastic line-up of summer events. The Cobra Museum celebrates contemporary Dutch artists, while the Clara Maria cheese farm and clog factory offers visitors a glimpse at world famous Dutch traditions.
From Amsterdam city centre, the easiest way to reach Amstelveen is by tram. From Centraal Station, the 5 and 51 both take just 35-minutes. Alternatively, some visitors prefer to embrace the local mode of transport and bike to Amstelveen using the well-marked cycle lanes. By car, Amstelveen is a quick 25-minute drive, with the A9 running right through the city centre.
Like Amsterdam, the name Amstelveen refers to the all-important Amstel River. Though instead of “dam” the city uses a “veen” suffix, which translates to fen, peat, or moor. While in the early 20th century Amstelveen was little more than a small rural village, today it’s a cosmopolitan hub that’s rapidly gaining popularity. In fact, it was recently voted as the most attractive city in the Netherlands, with locals flocking to become a part of the colourful Amstelveen community.