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Two Days of Winter Magic in Amsterdam Before Jetting Off to Cairo

When thinking about a place to stop before heading to Cairo for our Egypt River Cruise, we decided to visit a place that loved but had never experienced in the winter.   We'd visited Amsterdam many times before, but this time, we were experiencing it in an entirely new light – the low season, when the crowds were sparse, and the city took on a different, more intimate charm.

Our hotel was the splendid Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam. From the moment we stepped through its doors, we were greeted by beauty and elegance that defined luxury. I must extend my heartfelt gratitude to Kees, Maxime, and their remarkable team for their exceptional care and service throughout our stay.

Day 1: A Night of Lights and Italian Delights

Our first night in Amsterdam was nothing short of magical. We kicked off our adventure with the Festival of Lights boat experience. This year's theme was "AI and the Impact of Technology," and the illuminated installations along the city's iconic canals were both thought-provoking and visually stunning. Did you know that the Festival of Lights has been lighting up Amsterdam's winter nights since 2012, and it attracts visitors from all over the world?

After our boat tour, we headed to Casa di David, one of our all-time favorite Italian restaurants. The cozy ambiance and delicious pasta dishes warmed us up on this chilly evening, making it the perfect end to a delightful day.

Day 2: Shopping, Pampering, and Fondue Delights

The next day, we decided to take it easy and explore Amsterdam at a leisurely pace. We began with some shopping along the charming streets and boutiques.  Anne bought some new glasses from our favorite eyeglass store, Polette.

In the afternoon, we treated ourselves to a pedicure at the hotel's spa preparing for our upcoming river cruise. 

Lunchtime led us to Cafe Jaren, a quaint café where we enjoyed a delightful meal while gazing out at the picturesque canals. But what's a winter trip to this part of the world without indulging in some authentic Fondue? At Het Karbeel, we savored rich, creamy cheese fondue that left us stuffed!!

Our evening concluded with a visit to Cafe 't Mandje, a local gay bar known for its welcoming atmosphere and vibrant crowd. The cozy, quirky space was the perfect spot to unwind with a drink and visit with friends.

As our winter stop in Amsterdam came to a close, we couldn't help but dream of returning. Our next visit would be even more special as we would be hosting our group at the exquisite Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam before setting sail on our Uniworld Windmills and Tulips cruise, a journey that promises to immerse us in the beauty and culture of the Netherlands with all of our amazing guests.

Amsterdam in the winter may be chilly, but the lack of crowds and the unique experiences it offers are truly a gift. We left the city with our hearts warmed by its charm, eager to embark on the next leg of our adventure in Cairo, knowing that we'd always carry a piece of Amsterdam's winter magic with us.


Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam

If you book this hotel through me, you will receive these amazing perks:

Exclusive Amenities

  • Full Breakfast for two daily, Also Available through room service

  • $100 USD Food and Beverage credit, per room, per stay (Valid only from Superior room category and above)

  • Welcome Culinary Amenity

The following amenities are subject to availability at the time of booking:

  • Upgrade

The following amenities are subject to availability at the time of check-in/departure:

  • Early Check-In

  • Late Check-Out


Casa di David

Het Karbeel

Cafe Jaren


Cafe ’t Mandje


Polette Eyewear


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