Take a boat tour through the canals
Experience Amsterdam from the water and surprise yourself with a 60 minutes canal cruise around the canals of Amsterdam. In a cruise boat, you are taken along beautiful imposing canal-side houses with clock, spout and neck gables, the Zevenbogenbruggengracht, the Magere Bridge over the Amstel, the VOC-ship and the docks. A few of the most notable canal cruise operators include Lovers and Canal Company.
Visit to Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam’s grandest museums and it showed off its new (and old) look by their opening in April 2013, following 10 years of extensive restoration and renovation. Designed by renowned Dutch architect P.J.H. Cuypers (also the architect of the Central Station), construction of the monumental building began in 1876 and it finally opened in 1885 as the largest museum in the Netherlands. And from 1 November 2014, the museum expand further with the opening of the new Philips Wing.
The Rijksmuseum's internationally revered collection features some of the nation’s most famous works, including world famous art by Vermeer, Frans Hals, and perhaps most notably Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’, which takes pride of place in a beautifully lit hall allowing visitors to enjoy every tiny detail.
Take a stroll through the Vondelpark
The Vondelpark. is Amsterdam's most popular park, attracting tourists, residents, and everyone in between. The park is home to a selection of restaurants and cafés, like the 1930s modernist Blauwe Theehuis or Vondelpark3 in the former film museum. You’ll also find a skate rental shop, an open-air theatre and a rose garden with more than 70 types of roses in the park. The Vondelpark was designed by landscape architect L.D. Zocher and has been awarded national heritage status.
Visit the Van Gogh Museum
Vincent Van Gogh might just be the Netherlands’ best-known contribution to the art world. Drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year, everyone from avid art historians to casual enthusiasts consider the Van Gogh Museum one of Amsterdam’s ‘must-see’ attractions. Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of pieces by Vincent van Gogh in the world. In total, the permanent collection includes 200 paintings, 500 drawings and more than 700 letters, plus his collection of Japanese prints. In addition to the works of Van Gogh, the museum has a rich and varied collection of 19th-century art. The artists represented include Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, artists who inspired Vincent or drew inspiration from him, as well as his friends and contemporaries.
Take a walk along the canals
The three 17th-century canals -- Herengracht (Gentlemen's Canal), Keizersgracht (Emperor's Canal), and Prinsengracht (Princes' Canal) -- are the very heart of Golden Age Amsterdam. Each deserves at least a morning or afternoon to itself. You stroll along miles of tree-lined canals, crisscrossed by smaller canals, and you'll pass innumerable 17th-century canal houses with gables in various styles (bell, step, clock, neck, and variations), classical facades, warehouses converted to apartments, houseboats moored along the banks, bridges, museums, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, offbeat stores, and battered bikes secured to lampposts.
Visit one of the canal house museums
Stroll through Amsterdam’s charming Canal District and discover the city's hidden gems. The city's elegant canal-side mansions house some of the most fascinating museums with collections ranging from stately to quirky and including everything from ancient artefacts to cutting-edge art.
Enjoy a stroll through the Jordaan & Nine Streets (Negen Straatjes)
The Jordaan is probably the most famous neighbourhood in the Netherlands. Akin to the reputation enjoyed by London’s Cockneys, this once working-class bastion was renowned for tight community bonds, radical politics and a love for drink and over-the-top sing-a-longs. Gentrification of decades past worked to attract more galleries, restaurants, specialty shops and upwardly-mobile residents to its higgledy-piggledy scenic streets.
Located in the heart of the city's historic canal district, this area of nine narrow streets called the Nine Streets was constructed during the 17th century. The Nine Streets intersect the main canals between the Leidsestraat and the Jordaan district, and are dotted with great restaurants, cafés, art galleries, jewellers, boutiques and vintage stores. With an exceptional array of styles, trends and prices, this area is truly a shopper’s paradise.
Visit the Anne Frank Huis
Visit the hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her diary during World War II. For more than two years, Anne Frank lived secretively with the other people in hiding in the back part of her father's office building at Prinsengracht #263. The secret annex has been preserved in its original state. The front part of the Anne Frank House - the offices where the 'helpers' worked - has been restored to the style and ambiance of the war years. Quotations from the diary, photographs, films and original objects belonging to the people in hiding and those who helped them all serve to illustrate the events which occurred at this location. Anne's orignal diary is on display in the museum along with some of her other notebooks. The museum's interactive 'Free2choose' exhibition explores the present-day boundaries of freedom.
Visit to Hermitage Amsterdam
The Hermitage Amsterdam is the Dutch branch of the world-famous Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Located on the banks of the Amstel River, the Hermitage Amsterdam is an exhibition space and cultural education centre with a focus on Russian history and culture. Hermitage Amsterdam displays rotating selections of pieces from the Hermitage collection in Russia. These include paintings, graphic works, sculptures, applied art and archaeological discoveries. Hermitage Amsterdam has a special children’s section and regularly holds workshops focused on fun and creativity.
Take a stroll through the Red Light District
The majority of people have heard about Amsterdam’s Red Light District well before their visit. Leaving nothing to the imagination, some stereotypes about this area are true: there are plenty of sex shops, peep shows, brothels, an elaborate condom shop, a sex museum and prostitutes in red-lit windows. But the heart of Amsterdam is much more than that. New opportunities are setting in place a future for the city centre that will show the many qualities.
The Wallen, also known as the rosse buurt to Amsterdammers and the Red Light District to visitors is actually the oldest part of Amsterdam. The neighbourhood is chock-full of interesting shops, pubs, fantastic restaurants, leaning gabled houses and the city’s most charming canals. Don’t miss the vibrant Nieuwmarkt square, the gothic Oude Kerk or a walk along the centre of Amsterdam’s Chinatown, the Zeedijk (also home to an impressive Buddhist temple). Another site not to miss in this area is in the Oudezijds Armsteeg. There are six beautiful restored Delft Blue houses in a row.
Another nice idea is to go bargain hunting for fashion in de Red Light District. Several former prostitute’s windows in De Wallen have been transformed into exhibition spaces and studios for talented clothing, shoe and streetwear designers.
Visit the museum Our Lord in the Attic
Our Lord in the Attic is one of the oldest and most remarkable museums in Amsterdam. Behind the characteristic facade of the house lies a largely original 17th-century home and a completely hidden church. This hidden church in the attic was built during the Reformation, when Catholics were forbidden to hold public services. Today, the church and the house form the backdrop to a succession of striking exhibitions highlighting religion and contemporary art.
Take a look at the Albert Cuyp Market
There's no place like the Albert Cuyp street market to discover Amsterdam’s typical sense of humour and laid back atmosphere. With 260 stands stretching down one long street, the Albert Cuypmarkt is the largest and most popular outdoor market in the Netherlands. Since 1905, the 'Cuyp' has fascinated Amsterdam's residents, home cooks, tourists and anyone looking for a bargain. The market provides hours of entertaining shopping and browsing, with stands selling everything from shoes and luggage to fresh vegetables and fish. You’ll also find typical Dutch treats like raw herring or warm, freshly made stroopwafels. The market is situated in the heart of the De Pijp district, one of Amsterdam's liveliest areas, filled with (ethnic) shops, cafés, restaurants, and cosy bars.
A tour and tasting at the Heineken Experience
The former Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam, a national monument and listed in the European Route of Industrial Heritage, offers some 3000 square metres of special exhibition space. Millions of hectolitres of Heineken beer were brewed here until 1988, when the Heineken brewery in Zoeterwoude took over production from the Amsterdam brewer.
The Heineken Experience takes up four floors and has 18 attractions with several interactive exhibits. Here you'll experience Heineken's rich history and the tradition and craft of brewing. You'll also learn about the people behind this multinational company, now the biggest international beer distributor in the world. Attractions Attractions at the Heineken Experience include a mini brewery, a tasting bar, as well as the 'Stable Walk', where visitors can access the stables to view Heineken's iconic Shire horses which still deliver beer throughout the city. A visit to the Heineken Experience attraction takes about 90 minutes, and two drinks are included in the admission price.
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