When Amsterdam’s canal bridges light up at night and the frost sparkles on the branches of the trees, it’s like a film set for lovers. Valentine’s Day, on the 14 February, is the perfect excuse to explore all things romantic in the city. Deborah Nicholls-Lee has 14 ideas to get you started.
Dinner with a view
Hop on the ferry at Central Station and take a trip across the IJ to the imposing A’DAM Tower. Ride the elevator to the revolving Moon restaurant on the 19th floor and enjoy fine dining and panoramic views while Amsterdam rotates around you.
For old-fashioned elegance and candle-lit dining Belhamel in the Jordaan is hard to beat. Its art nouveau furnishings add a soupçon of Parisian romance while the splendid double canal view showcases the very best of Amsterdam.
View the city from the water on a luxury canal cruise. Jewel Cruises’ attractive antique river boat is more intimate than the long tour boats and there’s no tannoyed commentary to disturb your à la carte meal.
If the expansive views of the IJ at Restaurant Stork don’t elicit romance, then make sure you sample the aphrodisiac oysters on the menu of this shellfish specialist.
Side by side
The 1920s interior of the tiny Uitkijk cinema , with its table lamps and plush red seats, creates a cosy and romantic environment for watching a film.
If you want to cuddle up at the back of the cinema, the love seats at the art deco Tuschinski cinema are perfect. Your ticket includes table service and a choice of snacks and drinks.
Hand in Hand
The Jaap Eden ice rink is open until March 26 so there’s still time to take your lover by the hand and glide across the ice like you’re in the movies. Afterwards, you can enjoy a hot drink or a meal at Café Jaap.
For dancing à deux, head over to the Kompaszaal on the KNSM island for one of their Salsa, Tango or Swing nights. If you’re feeling really romantic, you can even get married there as it’s an official trouwlocatie.
Let the conversation and fine wine flow by booking High Wine at the Dylan Hotel. This tasting of four wines, paired with beautifully-presented canapés, makes for a special evening.
For cocktails in chic surroundings, sneak off to Door 74, an exclusive speak-easy behind a hidden entrance. Access is by same-day telephone reservation only.
Music, the food of love
The Concertgebouw is holding a special concert on February 14 entitled Valentine Classics at the Movies. This eclectic programme of hum-along classics from Bernstein, Gershwin, Tchaikovsky and others is sure to warm the heart.
The North Sea Jazz Club at the Westergasfabriek is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a three-course dinner accompanied by sultry jazz from singer Sazz Leonore.
At the chic Zuiver spa in Amsterdam-Zuid, the second person comes free in a special offer running until February 26. Swim, sauna, and relax in the whirlpools or get steamy in the hamman.
At the Wellness Garden, the Fashion Hotel’s fitness and health club, you can book treatments and massages that can be enjoyed in pairs. Follow up with a stroll round the Rembrandtpark and then dinner on the Amstelveenseweg.