While Paris gets the Spring time hype, Ibiza all the summer rave, and the Greek islands still dominate August's European vacation market, urban Amsterdam sits quietly in the background raking in backpackers and seasoned travelers looking to experience the sights and sins of the Netherlands. From frites drenched in mayonnaise to tasty cakes from the local coffee shops to some of the prettiest canals this side of Venice to art museums filled with classics to vats of fresh Heineken, Amsterdam does not disappoint. Travel deals this summer and fall to the Netherlands' top drawing destination won't disappoint either. Some great deals can be had to the city that usually hosts the least expensive air travel to Western Europe.

Europe ASAP (tel. 415/750-5449; has an Amsterdam-London combination special for this fall starting at $1,758 for double occupancy (or $879 per person) for an 8-day/6-night trip out of New York that splits time with three overnights in each city. You need to purchase this trip before June 15, 2005 with travel good anytime between September 15 and October 31, 2005. Air is included as is the flight from London to Amsterdam. Accommodations in Amsterdam are at the Acro Hotel, a quaint 64-room mansion-hotel in a residential area a very short walking distance (as in a few steps) to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum. Also, the well-known night-life area Leidseplein and the Lido Casino are a few blocks away from this centrally located hotel. Other hotels are available for additional fees, but the Acro comes highly recommended for its manageable size, location, amenities and architectural beauty. Traveling alone on this air-land trip out of New York starts around $1,089. Air taxes and departure taxes are not included. If you just want to hit Amsterdam, a similar 4-night trip starts around $529 per person for people traveling in two. Just purchase your travel before June 12, 2005 and depart anytime you want before March 12, 2006. The Acro is available for this trip at the above price, but you can stay at the elegant Hotel Estherea, a family owned hotel with a 17th Century fa├žade looking out onto one of the canals, for $829 per person for the air/land deal.

Octopus Travel (tel. 866/462-8678; has a Summer "budget" trip to Amsterdam that starts around $909 for an air/land five night trip. The trip includes round-trip air out of New York and other selected U.S. gateways, five nights hotel accommodations at your choice of properties, daily continental breakfast and all hotel and service charges. Hotels vary with most in the three-star range and air travel is with Air France through Paris. See Octopus's website for the cost of your trip from your selected departure city. Travel is good from June 1 to August 31, 2005. A five-night similar trip not listed as budget starts at $979 out of New York with accommodations at more deluxe properties. Of course, the more deluxe the property, the higher the price increase for the total cost of the trip.

Go-Today (tel. 800/227-3235; has several single-city trips to Amsterdam starting at low prices for the air/land package. The four-night "Amsterdam Escape" good for travel up to June 30, 2005 starts at $1,029 if you buy your tickets by June 16, 2005. Travel from July 1 to August 31, 2005 costs slightly less coming in at $999 with the same ticket purchase deadline. Hotels for this deal include many center city locations and range from low-level three-star (but comfy) to four-star slightly upgraded accommodations. The above prices are out of New York with add-ons from other departure cities coming to $30 from Boston, $40 from Philadelphia, $110 from Miami, and $220 from Allentown, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland. See the Go-Today Website for prices from other departure cities. As with all the above trips, air and departure taxes are not included in the package price while hotel and service taxes are.

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