For a European city break, Holland has long been a favourite destination for British travellers. For pretty canalside scenes, great bars and a lively nightlife, book a cheap Amsterdam flight from Edinburgh.
EasyJet (easyjet.com) flies from Edinburgh to Amsterdam, with outward fares starting from £21.99 and inbound fares at £20.99, including all taxes. There will be an extra charge for credit card purchases and for luggage, but if you travel light you can often find a round trip fare for under £50.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Cityhopper (klm.com) flies from Edinburgh to Amsterdam Schiphol. Return flights are readily available from £79 including taxes.
From Schiphol, fast trains take you into Central Station. As you emerge from the concourse, stop for a moment to wonder how the owners can ever retrieve their bikes from the thousands piled up outside. Then hop on a tram (number 2 or 5) past the sleazy distractions of the Red Light District to the airy cultural halls of the Rijksmuseum (rijksmuseum.nl).
An hour or so spent in the company of the masterpieces of Vermeer, Franz Hals, and Rembrandt will equip you for enjoying the architecture and atmosphere of this beautiful city.
Stroll the old artisan quarter of the Jordaan (jordaaninfo.com), a gentrified historic area clustering around the canals, where old warehouses have been turned into shops, cafes, tiny galleries and studios.
Dutch cuisine can be as tasty and filling as any northern European cooking, with dishes designed to be comforting. For something a little more exotic, Amsterdam offers a great range of ethnic restaurants. In Indonesian restaurants, the rijstaffel is a great way to taste small samples of numerous different dishes, and is often on offer at very reasonable prices.
For detailed information about shows, special events, festivals, cinema seasons or exhibitions that will be on in the city for the weekend of your Amsterdam flight from Edinburgh, visit the dutchamsterdam.nl site.