The Netherlands

Things to do in The Netherlands

The seat of Dutch government, the royal family, the International Criminal court, and the country’s diplomatic community, this city is a jewel that’s an easy half-hour train ride from Amsterdam Centraal. It’s smaller in size than the capital but, many say, far more sophisticated.

This hip museum celebrates a vanished Dutch past.

The earth-toned lounge and treatment rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the runways are Zen with a minimalist edge.

Built as a brewery in 1662, this nightclub on the Singel Canal in central Amsterdam served as a concert hall, cinema, and auction hall, all of which are noticeable in the exposed wood beams, ceiling paintings, carved stucco, and Greek columns.

Central Rotterdam is compact and easily explored by metro, tram, bike, or foot—but the most thrilling way to do it is by water taxi.

Summer’s mild days see chic Amsterdammers decamping for one of the many long, sandy beaches nearby: of these, Bloemendaal is far and away the coolest, with several beach clubs with an Ibiza sensibility (the sun beds, umbrellas, and cabana boys are augmented by DJs and dance floors, sushi and cock

Stationed within the Dylan Hotel, this elegant, brasserie-style bar is a popular spot for lunch, dinner, and business meetings over cocktails. The space includes both the fireside Bar Badou and a lounge with comfortable, low profile furniture.

Licensed massage therapists offer 10- or 20-minute fully clothed chair massages; or you can wrap yourself in a waterproof blanket for an aqua massage. Expect a quick revitalization as 36 jets spray you with water at different pressures and temperatures. Ten-minute chair massages start at $23.

With the exception of making it on the guest list, the doorman’s favor is necessary to enter this top-of-the-line lounge and nightclub off the Leidseplein, Amsterdam’s version of Times Square.

Well-edited contemporary Dutch design.

Though Abraham Tuschinski was killed along with his family at Auschwitz, his spectacular cinema in Amsterdam survived and remains the largest in the Netherlands. Today, it’s the extravagant mix of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Moorish, and Oriental styles throughout the theater that ensures its fame.

High atop the temporary HQ of the Stedelijk Museum, in the edgy eastern docklands, sits this anomaly of dining and entertainment: occupying a full floor of a vast warehouse building, it has the merest hint of décor (some cheery yellow-green paint here and there, long picnic tables).