Spring is in the air

Coming to Amsterdam in spring means seeing the city on the up, green shoots blooming into tulips, the sky blue and bright and canals full of boats as Amsterdammers emerge from the winter months. Even better, in Durgerdam, the huge, clear skies mean the quality of light is superb. Views stretch over the glinting water, casting every detail in hyper-reality.

Our Picks: Things to Do

  • See hints around Durgerdam of its past as a fishing village and take your interest further by exploring the Zuiderzee Museum, located 45 minutes’ drive from the hotel. An indoor and outdoor museum, learn about the Zuiderzee’s history as told through historic ship collections, artwork, traditional craft and clothing. Hear the stories of hardship at the hands of the turbulent sea and the construction of the dike that changed everything, meaning an end to storms and floods.
  • Enjoy the freedom of the open road on a bike ride in fresh air. In Durgerdam, the ‘road’ is in fact an elevated uitdammerdijk, with both the watery lowlands and the IJmeer on either side, offering an impossibly scenic ride. Cycle through Uitdam and on to Marken where the red-tipped lighthouse will guide you to a traditional fishing village where authentic stilted houses greet you and little cafes offer the chance for coffee and cake. 
  • Surrounded by the watery world of Durgerdam, take advantage of the spring climate and follow the lead of the locals to get out on the water. Board a classic salon boat to sail into Amsterdam or weave your way through Amsterdam’s network of pretty canals. In Durgerdam itself, join the sailing set and charter a yacht to explore the IJmeer lake admiring the sails that billow in the breeze. 
  • With a tranquil, greenery-enclosed location overlooking a pond, Distillery 't Nieuwe Diep is housed in a former 19th century pumping station in Oetewaler Polder in Amsterdam's Flevopark. Springtime is the perfect time of year to sit on its terrace, sampling gins and liqueurs, of which the distillery produce around 100. An off-the-beaten track location means this hidden gem is one you won’t find crowded with tourists – enjoy your neat liqueur in peace. 
  • Enter the tulip fields of Keukenhof, a blooming paradise close to Amsterdam. Stroll through colourful gardens and let the magical scent guide you. Jump on a canal boat that cruises past windmills and villages. Or hire a bike and discover endless fields. Be it walking, boating or cycling, the spring magic of Keukenhof is waiting for you. 

Our Picks: Restaurant & Bars

  • Spring marks a great time to visit De Kas, a Michelin-starred restaurant that is housed in a vast, light-streamed greenhouse in Amsterdam-Oost. Growing enough to supply their own restaurant, De Kas brings new meaning to farm-to-fork, with produce harvested in the morning and served up that afternoon. Veg, herbs and fruit headline the menu, with the occasional piece of meat or fish to supplement. Food just tastes better at De Kas.
  • Combining two of the Netherlands’ finest emblems, spending time alongside Amsterdam’s biggest windmill while drinking Dutch craft beers is quite the experience. Just across the water from Durgerdam, Brouwerij t’IJ taproom also has a suntrap terrace which is great as the weather warms up in spring. As well as a range of home crafted beers, enjoy a selection of Dutch cheeses and sausage. 
  • On a tiny islet opposite De Durgerdam, ‘lighthouse island’ also known as Vuurtoreneiland welcomes guests by boat for an extraordinarily immersive meal in its greenhouse, encircled by verdant island greens, the thrashing sea and elemental weather. Cooked only on a wood fire, the six-course menu can be described as food with soul, including home grown vegetables, meat on the bone, whole roasted fish and all manner of pickled, fermented and smoked delicacies. 
  • For Michelin-starred prowess you can’t go wrong with the artistry of chef Richard van Oostenbrugge (who also happens to be our consultant at De Mark). For innovation set against classic French cuisine, try De Juwelier bistro, while De La Mer’s unpretentious atmosphere belies the exquisite seafood you’ll be served at this Parisian-style bistro.
  • An exclusive cheese tasting in a private room of Fromagerie Kef in De Durgerdam, complete with views of Lake Ijmeer and beautiful hinterlands? You know where to go. The finest Dutch cheeses paired with exquisite wines, guided by an expert cheese monger who will be sharing stories of tradition and craftsmanship. Immerse yourself in this unique setting, surrounded by vintage labels and loved ones.