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Amsterdam is a popular destination all year round, but there is something really special about visiting this fantastic city in the spring. As the temperature starts to rise and the first buds of spring appear, so does the lifestyle of the city switch from inside to out. The terrace cafes start to buzz, canal boats appear as if by magic, and the many delightful parks fill with families making the most of the sunshine.

As the days begin to lengthen, Amsterdam starts to bloom. Countless trees of verdant lime green line the streets, and the air fills with the scent of the masses of narcissi, hyacinths and crocuses that burst from every spare inch of soil. Of course, the true stars of this natural show stopper are the famous tulips - large and brightly coloured, and so quintessentially Dutch. It is a local sport to try and predict when these wonderful flowers will reach full bloom, whether in the local Keukenhof gardens, or further afield in the acre upon acre of bulb fields out of town.

Spring is the perfect time to visit Amsterdam for a whole variety of reasons. Accommodation and flights can still be found relatively cheaply. Generally speaking, as the temperature gets higher, so do the prices, so travelling before April can certainly cut your costs. Most of the nature tourists hoping to see the tulips in their full glory also arrive in mid-April followed in May by mini breakers from all over Europe. May is also spring break for American students, many of whom descend on the city for a relaxing break from their studies.

A spring break in Amsterdam is the perfect way to draw a line under the terrible wet winter we have had. Amsterdam is a vibrant and welcoming city year round, but exudes a special magic at this time of year. Spring also marks the beginning of the city's enviable programme of cultural events, plus the start of the eclectic festival season. At the end of April on King's Day, the whole of Amsterdam comes together to celebrate, and the atmosphere is fantastic.

The start of the warmer weather is also the ideal time to get active in the city - you could perhaps hire a bike - which the perfect way to discover the beauty of the surrounding countryside, or head to the beach to catch some rays. After a busy day of exploring and sightseeing, there is nothing more delightful than settling down in one of the many friendly cafes to watch the world go by and the sun slowly set over this unique place.

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