While j’adore Paris, a recent trip there felt triste, the militia -like police presence, endless sirens and parfum of fear sucking the romantic spirit from the city. Plus, I couldn’t shake the anxiety that a terrorist attack was very much in the realm of possibility during my visit. It made me think— The City of Light no longer felt like Europe’s ne plus ultra getaway. Could Amsterdam snatch the reins from Paris?


A room at the stunning Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam

It too is celebrated for it’s ethereal light, lively cafe culture, acclaimed food scene and world class museums that include smaller ones (like the Resistance Museum) devoted to specific moments in Dutch history. Between hipster-filled flea markets, chic coffee shops and standout local fashion, there is no shortage of style.

Dutch cheese

Dutch cheese

A powerful sense of design is visible throughout neighborhoods like the  Nine Streets  and historic buildings turned hotels like the just revamped The Dylan and the stunning HOTEL PULITZER AmSTERDAM , a block of interconnected 17th century canal houses with a secret interior garden. Then there is the fact that the Dutch are simply in a better mood than the French. It is a happier, sunnier place to visit.