Amsterdam is the capital and the largest city in The Netherlands with over 1.2 million inhabitants. Most people around the world know The Netherlands by another name, Holland. Amsterdam is a beautiful city that welcomes over 3.5 million tourists each year.
Everyone speaks English in Amsterdam. Moreover, the Dutch people are really fun to talk to and you would enjoy hanging out with them too. When you’re in the heart of the city, it’s so picturesque that you will feel like you’re in a historical open-air museum.
Many of the canal houses and old warehouses in Amsterdam date from the Golden Age as Amsterdam was the center of the world economy in the 17th century. You will also come across certain areas in the Red Light District of Amsterdam that even date back to the 13th century. The iconic Dam Square which is only a short walking distance from the Central Station was built nearly 750 years ago. That’s how the city got its name: Amster Dam. You can see the National Monument which is dedicated to the many Dutch victims of World War II from the Royal Palace which dominates the square.
The infamous Madame Tussauds’ wax museum is also located at the Dam which combines the humor with an insight into Netherland’s gripping history. You can also visit the old hiding place of Anne Frank or listen to the fragments of her famous diary to understand what life was for Jewish families during the Nazi occupation. There are at least 165 canals that are crossed by thousands of bridges dividing the compact city center. That’s the reason why Europeans call Amsterdam ‘The Venice of the North’.
When in Amsterdam, you will get to hear a popular saying used by the Dutch people that is ‘Just get on your bike’ as the best way to see the city center is by foot so we recommend that you forget about cars. You can also take the tram across the city to the Museumplein. It’s true that you haven’t seen Amsterdam if you haven’t seen the paintings by the Dutch masters that are on display at the Museumplein. And, it’s a must-visit for any history lover.
You should also visit the Rijksmuseum that focuses on Dutch painters from the Golden Age. It is really impressive as there are over 200 rooms with over 1 million artworks on display in the museum.
Also, located nearby is the Van Gogh Museum, which is dedicated to a poor but legendary 19th-century painter. Unfortunately, Van Gogh didn’t live long enough to see his work become world-famous.
If you love diamonds then you have to witness the fine art of transforming rough stones into sparkling jewels in the Diamond Museum. Amsterdam was the diamond polishing center of the world for hundreds of years.
We also recommend you to take a short and gentle 10-minute walk northwest to the popular Vondelpark. Especially on sunny days, the Vondelpark is bursting with local life and many tourists also come here to just relax and enjoy watching the people within the park.
I know you have been waiting for this perhaps, but if you are a beer lover just like me, then you need to get yourself over to the old Heineken Brewery. You can get a sample of the world’s most popular lager beers. And, trust me when I say this, you will love to submerge yourself in the interactive Heineken experience.
Do not forget to visit the Nieuwmarkt that is northeast of the tulip-filled stalls of the Flower Market. Simply follow the broad canal to the northeast to reach Nieuwmarkt. The Dutch traders used to come here to weigh in their butter and cheese.
When you are leaving the Nieuwmarkt, you can walk through Chinatown to the Central Station, or take a short detour to ‘De Wallen’ which is one of the world’s oldest and most famous Red Light Districts. The coffee shops and adult emporiums keep the ‘anything goes’ spirit of this neighborhood alive.
For a buzzing nightlife with live music, head to the Leidseplein, after the sun goes down. Before you go back to your hotel, take a romantic moonlit walk at the canal district.
Amsterdam is a place that you won’t easily forget. It’s a city like no other. It has much to offer from its seafaring history, charming gabled houses, remarkable art, and cosmopolitan people.
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