Samuel Krief 04.04.2024 Corporate Retreat In Amsterdam

Amsterdam… A cosmopolitan capital, whose venerable canals, lined with opulent homes, have remained unchanged since the Dutch Golden Age. In the old “Brown Cafes”, an art of living from the past is cultivated. At night, the interiors are lit up, fully embodying the concept of “gezelligheid”, an untranslatable term that encompasses conviviality, well-being, and respect. But Amsterdam is also - and above all - a place brimming with life, full of surprises and with a bustling cultural scene that will delight the eyes. Discover a list of extraordinary activities and experiences that we will make you and your colleagues live through during your team retreat in Amsterdam…

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Discover an incredible haven of peace

Entering the Begijnhof, the oldest of Amsterdam’s beguinages. A brick chapel in the middle of a large lawn, surrounded by about forty houses shielding it from the outside hustle… It’s the enchanting cultural interlude provided by this beguinage during your corporate retreat in Amsterdam. Your colleagues will be surprised upon entering through the Spui gate, topped with Saint Ursula, the patron saint of Amsterdam. Founded in the 14th century, this refuge island housed a community of Beguines for centuries, with the last representative passing away in 1971. These ladies, devout Catholics, whether single or widows, lived in prayer and offered their help to the destitute and the sick. They didn’t belong to any religious order and could freely break their vows of chastity and obedience.

Exploring the grand canals by bike

To grasp the opulence of the Golden Age merchant houses, you will, of course, come to admire Amsterdam’s grand canals. They add charm to the city. The three most beautiful, Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht were built at the beginning of the Golden Age, adding a residential belt (the Grachtengordel) to the city. The construction lasted over 100 years. Unfolding in a half-moon around the city center, they are lined with magnificent homes, mostly built in the 17th and 18th century. Baroque, Renaissance, Neoclassical or Art Nouveau, the diversity of styles reigns, to the great delight of your colleagues! This canal belt has been inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO.

Strolling in the Jordaan district

A neighborhood that holds a special place in the hearts of Amsterdamers. You will love its atmosphere with its small cafes, alleys, and markets. Once marginal, the Jordaan has now won over the hipsters, artists, and students. Abutting the north of the grand canals, full of charm and Bohemian tranquility, calm and lively at the same time, it’s a kind of city within the city, which will offer a relaxing moment to your colleagues. As you can see, the Jordaan is above all an experience to be savored with all subtlety.

Be dazzled by the colors and shapes.

Tortured creations from the palette of the fabulous Vincent Van Gogh at the museum dedicated to him. Built in 1973 by the great Dutch architect Guerrit Rietveld to house the master’s works, it is an exceptional museum. Over 200 paintings and 500 drawings are gathered here, representing nearly a quarter of Van Gogh’s total production. Add to that works by artists who influenced him or were influenced by him, such as Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Rodin, Pissarro, Signac, to name just the most famous. Throughout this fabulous journey into his inner world, your team members will find explanations and perspectives on the selected themes and the masters who influenced Van Gogh throughout his life. For the more festive among you, note that on Friday evening the museum welcomes DJs, an unusual way to admire the master’s canvases… with music! Discover the Stedelijk Museum, where you’ll find one of the most important collections of modern art and design in the world. After 8 years of renovation, its reopening in 2012 was a major event: it’s an understatement to say that this renovated and expanded building does not go unnoticed. With its appearance of a giant acrylic “bathtub”, the futuristic extension dominates the museum district’s landscape. Despite appearances, everything is a quest for harmony. The combination of old and new construction has been carefully composed. Organizing a corporate retreat in Amsterdam is to offer your teams a journey during which they will experience unique cultural experiences. Right from the start, it’s dazzling: Cézanne and the Mont Sainte-Victoire, Monet and the House through the Roses, James Ensor and Carnival in Flanders, Marc Chagall and the Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers… Aside from all these masterful pictorial works, the museum presents everyday objects reimagined in their design through new shapes and materials. Products from industrial design will delight fans of the genre. Admire the wonders of the Rijksmuseum, the temple of Dutch painting from the Golden Age. This vast building from 1885, designed by Cuypers, the architect of the central station, houses one of the most beautiful museums in Europe, equivalent to the Louvre, but smaller. It owes its renown to the big names of Dutch painting from the Golden Age. Large paintings, large spaces… 80 rooms take you through 800 years of Dutch history, across some 8,000 works. A bicycle path cuts through the museum from one end to the other, and the four floors of the new building thus tell you, better than any speech, about the Dutch universe, mixing paintings, prints, drawings, photography, by placing in their context Delft costumes, porcelain. To end the visit, the museum offers your team members a moment of relaxation in a pavilion surrounded by water and a historic garden of over 14,000 m2.

7. To go green at Vondelpark

The ideal place to unwind before (or after) visiting the major museums. A magnificent 48-hectare park, filled with beautiful trees, lush English-green lawns, lakes dotted with islands, and hidden spots that we will reveal to your team members. It’s a superb location for strolling and enjoyment. It is also perfect for jogging, inline skating, or a quick nap. And when the frost hits, it becomes a gathering spot for ice skaters! Birdwatching enthusiasts will be delighted and surprised to see so many birds in the wild… Indeed, curious birds as majestic storks mingle with mischievous woodpeckers and lime-green parrots… even in the heart of winter.

Crossing Continents

By admiring the remarkable collections of the Tropenmuseum, the museum of the Tropics. Excellently designed and housed in the large building of the former Dutch Colonial Institute, it’s one of our favorite spots in Amsterdam, especially since it is free from that nostalgic colonialism often found in museums of this kind… Today, besides its stunning collections, it opens up to research and ethnology questions, to development issues, especially in countries of the former Dutch colonial empire. In the magnificent hall, galleries on several floors are devoted to Southeast Asia, then Africa and Latin America. Original and colorful presentation, regularly updated. After visiting, you can enjoy delicious delicacies from around the world on the terrace of the Ekeko restaurant, on the ground floor of the museum.

Testing Cosmopolitan Cuisine

The cuisine of Amsterdam is inspired by its inhabitants, coming from all corners of the globe. With nearly 180 nationalities in Amsterdam, the impact on the cuisine is inevitably cosmopolitan! In fact, the Dutch have a passion for “world cuisines,” a fusion of traditions from the five continents. Moroccan, Afghan, South African cuisines have changed the city’s culinary landscape. In Amsterdam alone, there are estimated to be no less than 700 of these exotic restaurants. Your team members will be able to “eat in all languages” during this offsite in Amsterdam.

Taste a mild herring at a kiosk counter

Holding it by the tail to slide it into the throat as the Dutch do. Fish kiosks are an integral part of the city’s culinary map, found everywhere in the center, especially near the canals. They offer eel, shrimp, salmon, or the perpetual herring sandwiches all day long. To honor the tradition, pinch the tail with your fingertips, tilt your head back, and swallow in one gulp! To wash it down, try a small glass of chilled genever.

11. Sitting down to a lavish rijsttafel

A culinary relic of Dutch presence in Indonesia. A rather unique “table art.” There, you’re transported to Indonesia. Literally, rijsttafel means “rice table.” Indeed, this famous dish, originating from the island of Java, consists of dry-cooked rice and a myriad of small side dishes, containing meat, assorted vegetables, strange and mysterious ingredients, and strong spices… Your colleagues will peck at about fifteen different dishes. The rijsttafel is so hearty that one must push oneself to finish the meal.

12. Go to lunch in the old shipyard district

where new Amsterdam is being built… It’s in the north of the city where you’ll find the bars, restaurants, and terraces where all of Amsterdam gathers at the first rays of sun. One of the must-visit places in this space open to creation and restoration in all its forms is undoubtedly the old shipyard workers’ canteen, the IJ Kantine. Continuing with the astonishing, the Pllek, a restaurant with the false appearance of a squat created in old cargo holds, or the Noordelicht Café which has found its place in an old warehouse. The old NDSM shipyard is one of those “show” places where people meet to drink, eat, and take in the atmosphere.. An unusual spot that your colleagues won’t soon forget.

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