Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I know I said walkable cities are great for solo travel, and while Amsterdam is very walkable, it’s even more wonderful to take in via bicycle. Not only will you feel like a local, but this way, you could spend less time getting to the neighborhoods outside the city center and more time roaming them. Oud-West, to name just one, is right-angled by Vondelpark on the south and Rembrandtpark to the east—two excellent places to picnic with a book and some stroopwafel you pick up along the way. While you’re there, tuck into Surinamese food at Waterkant, a striking, zebra-like structure with a refreshing tropical vibe (even in the winter), and browse the clothes and home goods at Scandi-cool Johnny at the Spot.

It goes without saying that the city’s museums and markets can easily swallow hours of your day, but do save an hour or two for the theater; Orange Theatre Company produces contemporary English-language plays in venues across the city.

While you’re there, you may as well take a day trip to, say, GOUDA (all caps because cheese), where you can all varieties of this world-famous cheese and study the town’s lesser known eponymous style of pottery, distinctive for its Art Nouveau-style colors. Punt your way through the car-free city of Giethoorn, with its distinctive thatched-roof farmhouses, or visit Haarlem, which is known for its cozy boutiques and the Teylers Museum, probably the only collection in the world that carries old masters like Michelangelo and Rafael and still manages to be cozy. All these destinations are two hours or less by train."... stroke="none" stroke-width="1" fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd">
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