Amsterdam Travel Guide


Museums in Amsterdam are the main tourist attraction. The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum are the most popular choices, but there are many, many more. Amsterdam has over fifty museums, which attract millions of visitors every year. Alongside the wealth of magestic Golden Age paintings, you'll find exciting modern art, press, film, theatre and photography museums and some unique Dutch treats like the Heineken Experience, the Ajax Museum and the Houseboat Museum. And Amsterdam wouldn't be Amsterdam without the likes of the Sex, Erotic, Hash or Torture museums.
For kids there is the impressive NEMO; a hands-on, science and technology museum housed in an unmissable, boat-shaped building. The Shipping Museum is also worth a visit with its replica of a Dutch trading ship, docked at the front. Museums such as the Tropical museum and Jewish museum also include children's sections.

Oude Kerk
This old church with little houses clinging to its sides, remains a calm heaven at the heart of the freneric Red Light District. Its buildings, especially the Gothic-renaissance style octagonal bell tower, was used by sailors to get their bearings.

Dam square
Dam square Amsterdam The Dam is the very centre and heart of Amsterdam, although there are arguably prettier sights in the city. As an historical site however, it is fascinating and worth taking the time to appreciate. The Dam has seen many historical dramas unfold over the years, and was for example, the reception area for Napoleon and his troops during the 1808 take-over of the city. The impressive history of the square is well documented in the Amsterdam Historical Museum. The Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) which dominates the square, was originally used as the town hall and its classical facade and fine sculptures were intended to glorify the city of Amsterdam and its government. In contrast to its turbulent history, the square is now a peaceful place and is home to hundreds of pigeons and tourists resting their tired feet.

A narrow, vaulted passageway leads to this charming garden surrounded by old houses. The houses in the courtyard were once occupied by devout celibate Béguine nuns and are still home to single women today. In the centre of the lawns is a medieval church and at No.34 stands the oldest house in Amsterdam. The entrance is on the Spui and is indicated by a carved sign. Entry is free.

Magere Brug
Magere Brug, Skinny bridge Amsterdam Of Amsterdam's 1280 or so bridges, the Magere Brug, or “ Skinny Bridge” is the most famous. It is a traditional double-leaf, Dutch draw-bridge connecting the banks of the river Amstel. Approximately every twenty minutes, the bridge opens to let boats through. The original bridge was built in 1670, but as the traffic on Amstel increased, a wider bridge was built to replace the narrow one.

Artis ZOO
Artis Zoo AmsterdamRight in the center of Amsterdam, you can also find the oldest Zoo of Holland. It consists of four main areas: Zoo, Planetarium, Botanical Gardens and Geological and Zoological museum. In the zoo itself you will find animals from all over the world. In addition, a unique canal aquarium shows you which animals roam the canals of Amsterdam. The planetarium offers children a trip trough the universe. In the peaceful gardens, you can find many old trees and statues of contemporary artists and aswell as an impressive, tropical rainforest greenhouse. The Geological museum shows you how the planet has evolved over the past 4 billion years.

Red Light District
Red Light DistrictBeer and party atmosphere, sex for sale, and limitless people-watching. The stores are full of hardcore videos, magazines and sex toys. The Red Light District is somewhat of a sexual amusement park and often not taken too seriously by the hordes of tourist who frequent it. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the Red Light District, is that it’s actually quite pretty. The famous red window lights are striking against the quaint, old canal houses and even the fairy lights that line the bridges at night are coloured red. Although it is generally considered to be a very safe area, care should still be taken when walking through the quieter streets of the area. There is a strict “No Photography” policy.

Condom shop Het Gulden Vlies
This shop is a kingdom of condoms. It has all colors, shapes, sizes and flavors. Some are even hand painted and are for decoration only. You can find a surprising amount of information and books about our rubber friend, and there is even has a small condom museum .

Amsterdam's Canals
Canal Keizersgracht Many visitors to Amsterdam are surprised by the sheer amount of water in the city. The enormous number of canals have led Amsterdam to become known as “The Venice of the North”. And thus, a trip to Amsterdam is not complete without a boat-ride. A canal-tour can be both fascinating and relaxing by day and enchanting and romantic at night when many of the houses and bridges are illuminated.

The four main city center canals are Prinsengracht, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Singel. There are also numerous smaller canals, of which the Brouwersgracht, the Bloemgracht and the Leliegracht are especially pleasant.

Once a working class area, Amsterdam’s Jordaan has become greatly sought after. The converted warehouses are especially popular, and the Jordaan is now inhabited by a colorful mixture of students, well-to-do businessmen and creative professionals.
The Jordaan oozes atmosphere with its narrow streets, picturesque canals, brown cafes, art galleries and unique shops. You can easily lose yourself in a pleasant stroll in through the enchanting streets that connect the 3 main canals.

Leidseplein The Leidseplein or Leidse-square is one of Amsterdam's most popular centres for nightlife. With many restaurants, clubs, coffeeshops, cinemas and theatres in the area, the Leidseplein is vibrant and colourful. On warm summer evenings, tourists and locals alike take advantage of the pubs’ outdoor seating for a long, lazy drinks with friends.

Street musicians, jugglers, fire-eaters and other performers liven up the square, often till the early hours.

Rembrandtsplein Rembrandtplein is lined with pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels and is thus a tourist magnet. A popular centre for nightlife, it also includes traditional Dutch pubs which play real Dutch music. In summer, the terraces are packed with people enjoying a drink and watching the world go by. In the centre of the square is a small but pleasant park where you can relax or pay homage at the statue of the Great Master. Around the area you’ll also find quality night clubs, gay venues, respectable diamond dealers and the inevitable tacky souvenir shops.

Amsterdam VondelparkThe Vondelpark is located in the south of Amsterdam, just five minutes walk from the Leidseplein and in walking distance from the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum. With 10 million visitors a year, the Vondelpark is the most famous park in the Netherlands.
Albert Cuyp market
Albert Cuyp marketThe Albert Cuypmarkt is arguably the best-known and busiest outdoor market in Europe. It attracts thousands of visitors every day, and is especially popular on Saturdays. There are over 300 stalls and goods range from fresh produce, to clothes, to odds and ends, with prices among the cheapest in Amsterdam. The market is located in the Pijp district, surrounded by many pleasant cafes and small shops.

A trip to Amsterdam just wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a windmill. Believe it or not, there are 8 stunning windmills at the heart of the city just waiting to admired. Don’t forget to take your camera.

Stadsschouwburg AmsterdamAll year round, every night of the week, you can find quality, English-language theatre in Amsterdam. Most of the major theatres are centred around the Leidseplein, within an easy stroll of each other. The easiest way is to drop by the theatres' box offices, where you can browse programmes, ticket prices and availability.

Amsterdam has over 50 cinema venues, where films are shown in their original language, with Dutch subtitles. The Tuschinski Theater deserves a special mention. Constructed in 1921 as exotic mixture of Art Deco and Amsterdamse school style, it features a luxurious foyer, and is regarded as one of the most beautiful cinemas in Europe.

Amsterdam is burstling with live music, it is the city with a rich tradition in classical music and opera. In summer concerts can be enjoyed in one of the city's beautiful parks.

Ballet and dance
There are two world-class ballet companies in the Netherlands. The renowned Dutch National Ballet is one of the resident groups in the Muziektheater, the repertoire encompasses both classical and modern dance. Another one, the Netherlands Dans Theater regularly performs in venues throughout the city.

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