There are a lot of reasons to jet to Europe this year (we highly recommend a jaunt to Marseille-Provence as it puts on a big show as European Capital of Culture). Another not-to-miss spot in 2013: Amsterdam. The historic city is celebrating a number of milestones, most importantly, the 400th anniversary of the canals themselves, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also notable: Van Gogh’s 160th birthday party and the 40th anniversary of the Van Gogh museum.
Perhaps the biggest news is that the world-famous Rijksmuseum will unveil the fruits of a 10-year renovation in April, with a wing devoted to Vermeer and Rembrandt. Don’t miss a glimpse of the museum’s most celebrated painting, Rembrandt’s Night Watch.
Erina Pindar, an award-winning travel agent with Smart Flyer in New York, describes another reason why the city is a hot spot for 2013: “Amsterdam is experiencing a bit of a hotel boom these days. The super sleek Conservatorium was one of the first on the scene, followed by the uber chic Andaz Amsterdam which opened in late October and already receiving a lot of buzz. Waldorf Astoria is next, expected to open in 2014.”
Amsterdam is accessed by nonstop flights from major U.S gateways, or via high-speed trains from London or Paris hubs.
Pictured: Andaz Amsterdam, designed by superstar Marcel Wanders