5 Ways to Wellness: Amsterdam

Although perceived by many visitors as an adult playground, Amsterdam is a city with much more to offer than its open-minded lifestyle. Hands down it is one of the best places to wander and get wonderfully lost. 

PHOTO: PAIGE HALLELAND

PHOTO: PAIGE HALLELAND

Stress Reduction

Boating. Relaxing on one of the many waterways is mesmerizing and a moving meditation in its own right. Looking for a romantic way to see this city? Holland International offers a two-hour candlelight tour that takes you through the entire UNESCO Heritage site. Traveling on a tight budget? Do as we did and take advantage of the benches that line canals. Sit to unwind, read a book, or just appreciate nature. The tranquility of water always helps our worries drift away. 

Physical Activity

Cycling. Obviously no trip to Amsterdam is complete without joining the Dutch way of travel. Despite it’s small size, there are 400 km of bike paths within the city. Rent a bike by the hour or a week to tour the city on your own or join in an organized group and get a history lesson. One of our favorites is Mike’s Bike Tours and Rentals because they offer both city and countryside excursions. Conveniently located in the city center, the guides speak to their own passions, which offers a truly genuine experience. 

PHOTO via amsterdamnow

PHOTO via amsterdamnow

Food Education

Restaurant De Kas. If you’re in town from May through October, Restaurant De Kas is a must visit. Guests are welcomed to tour the restaurant’s nursery and garden or attend a workshop in the field to learn more about the growing food. The greenhouse grows the restaurants vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers - giving new meaning to ‘from field to fork’. No menu is printed as the restaurant serves Mediterranean inspired dishes, which change daily based on the harvest. Don’t fret; you’re in great hands with the Chef as the courses just keep arriving. 
 

Spiritual Connection

The Begijnhof. Off-the-beaten-path, this enclosed courtyard dates back to the early 14th century. Home to several interesting religious buildings including Amsterdam’s oldest surviving house, Het Houten Huis, it is known to locals as a serene oasis and peaceful escape from the chaos of the city center. Cut off from Amsterdam’s traffic noise, visitors are asked to respect the courtyard’s silence. Pop in for a few moments to ground yourself and enjoy the stillness in the midst of the vibrant bustling city that is Amsterdam.

StEDjlik Museum | Photo: Paige halleland

StEDjlik Museum | Photo: Paige halleland

Cultural Involvement

Museumnacht. The first Saturday of November, museums and art galleries participate in National Museum Week leaving their doors open until 2 a.m. In addition to the special exhibits, you’ll find music, dancing, eating, and full on revelry. Tickets range from 14 € - 17 € and offers access into over 42 locations. Use the website to plot your path and find out where the after parties are if you are not ready to go home. 

Pravassa’s 5-tenet wellness philosophy is rooted in these core concepts: physical activity, stress reduction, food education, spiritual connection, and cultural involvement. These principles have guided our company’s wellness practices from inception and informed how we create our itineraries. While we don't currently plan trips to Amsterdam, you can clearly see we live our philosophy even on vacation. – Paige Halleland