Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most unique cities, where beautiful architecture from the 17th century blends with a liberal spirit that is almost unparalleled anywhere else on Earth. Amsterdam is the city of Van Gogh and the city of the Red Light District. It is where we relive Anne Frank’s tragic story and where we wonder at the rainbow-colored Floating Flower Market.
It’s impossible to see everything that Amsterdam has to offer – this is a city that pulses with constant shows, exhibits, and all kinds of cultural offers. But to make your visit to Amsterdam even more special, don’t miss our suggestions and tips about what to do in this floating city:
ANNE FRANK HOUSE
We all know the tragic story of Anne Frank as she told it to us in her Diary; a story which reflects the experiences of the millions that were persecuted and victimized by the Nazi regime. It is an indescribable moment to be able to enter her museum house and to know the house and the secret annex where she hid for so many years. Buy your tickets online to avoid the waiting lines.
Amsterdam deserves to be seen through its canals so there’s nothing better than to take a cruise at sunset! There are many companies that offer this service but we went with Amsterdam Canal Cruises and we definitely recommend them! Here, you can see the city from a unique perspective. We flowed through its historic canals and discovered Amsterdam from its founding until today. We saw floating houses we didn’t even know existed, couples strolling by the canals and a beautiful sunset. A must!
Wooden bridges, gazebos and plenty of lakes make this colorful park a favorite among locals. Located in the city center, it’s not unusual to find people here picnicking in the greenery, riding their bikes, roller blading or skating through the park. We were even lucky enough to catch a post-wedding wedding shoot which we loved!
Stretching for almost 2km, the exhibition rooms at the Rijkmuseum house some 7,000 pieces of art, among which the masterpieces of artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer. Its main attraction is Rembrandt’s painting, De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch), where Captain Frans Banning Cocq’s militia is portrayed (on Rembrandt Square you’ll find a replica of this painting). Again, we recommend that you book your tickets online to avoid the lines and get a discount!
VAN GOGH MUSEUM
Telling the story of one of the greatest Dutch painters from his beginning in painting until his death, the Van Gogh Museum also houses the biggest collection of pieces by this artist in the world. You will also find paintings by famous artists such as Monet and Gaugin, among others. The lines can get very long so you already know what we’re going to say: get your tickets online!
RED LIGHT DISTRICT
The Red Light District today is a legalized tourist spot in Amsterdam. The sex shops, the sex shows and the famous window displays with sex workers are not only sought after by those who want to enter, but also by tourists of all ages who want to experience the city’s liberal spirit. A tip: taking photos of the window displays can mean losing your camera for good – the best thing to do will be to just pass by without taking any photos directly.
FLOATING FLOWER MARKET
If the Netherlands are considered the country of flowers and this is their most famous market, you can just imagine how good it is. The original market with its floating boats dates back to the 19th century and it is still open today. Purchase flowers here to bring back as a souvenir like we did (many flowers are sold as bulb roots to be planted!).
For all fans of Heineken or of beer in general, the old Heineken factory was transformed into a experience museum. Here, you can learn the whole story behind Heineken’s production, see the whole manufacturing process and taste a good beer, among other interactive activities. Our favorite part was the 4D show where we were “transformed” into a beer and we felt what it was like to be processed and bottled!
When you think of the Netherlands, you think of its tulips! And here in Amsterdam you can visit its museum and learn all about how this flower was been grown in Holland from its early days, passing through the famous “tulip fever” era until today.
You can’t go to Amsterdam without taking a photo by the famous iAmsterdam sign! Right in front of the Rijskmuseum and near the Van Gogh Museum, you’ll find the bright red sign where thousands of people gather to take a photo. There are, in fact, so many people that it may be difficult to take a good photo. Our tip: at the Schipol airport you can find the same sign and here it’s easier to take a good photo!
Located a few blocks from Central Station, this library is impressive not just because of its architecture but also because of its concept. Here, there aren’t just books but also shows, live music, newspapers, magazines, libraries, computers, CDs and DVDs. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb to the top of the building and enjoy a drink or a meal at V&D La Place restaurant – the view from the terrace on the city of Amsterdam is amazing!
Have you guys been to Amsterdam? What other place would you recommend us to visit?
honeymooners, Amesterdam 04/2014