There are a couple of reasons why I travel to Amsterdam. First, it has many insurance companies and it’s a sort of hub for innovation in the insurance space. Besides, it is close to London, which is home to me. Amsterdam is a city with a lot of tall people; you are easily identifiable as one of the foreigners. It’s modern in culture and a highly developed city—something that strikes you immediately.
I love staying at the NH Barbizon Palace. It’s in a 17th century building and I love the food they serve. Besides, it’s close to every major tourist destination in the city. There are quite a few Indian restaurants that serve good food. I like Memories of India in particular and highly recommend their lamb biryani.
In case you do not have an office in Amsterdam, the best place to have business meetings would be the hotel foyers.
The best way to get around the city is on a cycle. It also helps you stay fit while travelling.
I like to cycle or go for a run in Vondelpark in Amsterdam whenever I want to rejuvenate myself after a busy day. The city is unique with its cycling paths and waterways; they are straight out of a fairytale. This is how you would imagine living your life, in beautiful surroundings and in a quiet and peaceful environment.
When it comes to shopping in Amsterdam, a couple of my most memorable purchases have been my son’s first guitar and my daughter’s violin. There are some quaint shops that have good musical instruments, which are not outrageously expensive.
The one thing about Amsterdam I will always remember is how I returned to this city after 15 years and it was still exactly the same. These places have already developed so much, there is nowhere else to go, in terms of development. Compare that to any city in India, which becomes unrecognisable in 15 years.
On a slightly longer business trip, a relaxing day off would be a long cycling trip to Brussels, or even to Paris. The museums are an excellent way to spend the day but, unfortunately, art is just not my thing.
Anyone travelling to Amsterdam must be cautious and not get cheated. There are lots of little gangs and one must be wary of them. Amsterdam has one of the best cultures, people, and nightlife, so just soak it all in. This could arguably be the best place in the world for that.
Yashish Dahiya is the CEO and co-founder of PolicyBazaar.com
(Coordinated by Jasodhara Banerjee)