Places to see in Amsterdam
Amsterdam, the capital of Netherlands also known as ‘the city of tulips’, is home to world-class museums, quirky festivals, delightful bars and restaurants, amazing art galleries, visually pleasant parks and what not! Nothing in this world compares to a spring spent in Amsterdam. Having adopted cycling as a way of life, it is probably the only city that has more bicycles than people in it! From over-crowded food streets to tranquil flamboyant parks, from sacred ancient buildings to modern wonders of architecture, from far stretching canals to flat green meadows; you’ll never run out of places to see in Amsterdam.
#1 of 15 Places to see in Amsterdam – Anne Frank House
Anne Frank House is a dedicated biographical museum based on the life of Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. During World War II, Anne Frank with her family hid from the Nazis in this very house. This museum was inaugurated on 3 May 1960. Attempts were made to demolish this building but The Anne Frank Foundation succeeded in safeguarding this place of paramount historical importance. The hiding place has been preserved and an exhibition on the life and times of Anne Frank is displayed. The audio guide really helps in understanding the premises of the museum. There is a special pathway for disabled people to go upstairs. Also, a history lesson giving complete information about the Frank family is delivered in a private room. This whole experience can best be described as humbling, eye-opening and heart-rending at the same time. Those of you who have read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank will better be able to take in the essence of this place. If you want to avoid standing in long queues, book your tickets online beforehand.
#2 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – Rijksmuseum
Rijksmuseum was founded in 1809 and is known to be the most important art repository of Amsterdam. Since then, this place has accommodated the country’s biggest collection of most significant art and antiquities. It was completely renovated in 2013. Rijksmuseum is housed in a splendid building with amazing interior design, wonderful exhibitions, lively events and much more for its visitors. Many people describe Rijksmuseum as ‘the place where uncanny artists find inspiration for their contemporary art from the sculptures and antiquities of the past’. This place is not only a representative of Dutch art but also portrays various aspects of European and Asian art.
#3 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – The West Church
With its 85-meter tower, called as “Langer Jan” (Tall John), the West Church is famous as the location of former Queen Beatrix’s wedding in 1966. Its architectural features make it stand out from the rest of the churches in Amsterdam. Langer Jan is the highest tower in the city. On its tip is the replica of the emperor’s crown. This tower is regarded by many as the symbol of the city. You can visit the West Church from 11am-3pm on all weekdays except Sunday. On Sundays, there is a religious service in the church at 10:30 am. The church is often the venue for classical music concerts made enjoyable by the remarkable acoustics of the church. You can also climb to the top of the tower and view the city in all its glory.
Take a look at this map to better understand the location of The West Church.
#4 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – Van Gogh Museum
Your visit to Amsterdam is not complete if you don’t go to the Van Gogh Museum. Only a few men in history had the imagination of Vincent Van Gogh. This museum is housed in the modern building of Museumplein where more than 1000 of Van Gogh’s paintings, drawings and letters are displayed. Some of his paintings are so famous that you don’t need a second look to recognize them. Roughly, one and a half million visitors come to this place each year and some of them, quite inspired by Van Gogh’s work, decide to lay their imagination on the canvas. Numerous works from his contemporaries are also included in the display.
Check out this amazing and very famous painting, the starry night, by the legend himself – Vincent Van Gogh.
#5 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – Emperor’s Canal (Keizersgracht)
There are three main canals in Amsterdam of which Emperor’s canal is the middle one. Named after emperor Maximilian of Austria, it is 31 meters wide – the widest canal in the inner city. The whole canal freezes in Winter and sailing is prohibited to keep the ice undamaged. When the ice becomes thick enough people come out to ice skate on the canal. Above all, the canal’s convenient location makes it easier for you to visit many attractions in a minimal amount of time. It is located near Anne Frank House. The Dam Square and New Church are also located nearby.
#6 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – Keukenhof Garden
Known as the ‘City of Tulips‘, Amsterdam has some most visually pleasant flowers housed in Keukenhof garden. This garden is also known to be the ‘Most Beautiful Spring Garden in the World’. Hectares of land covered in different colored flowers is the most beautiful sight you’ll ever witness. Different events are arranged for visitors to enjoy – flower shows, treasure hunt and it also has a playground for children. You can take your family there for a picnic or it could be your friend’s day out. You can also take a leisurely walk by yourself among the bright colored flowers.
Check out this amazing video showing all the colours of Keukenhof garden.
#7 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – The Begijnhof
The Begijnhof is probably the inner-city’s oldest backyard ignored by many tourists enticed by the vibrant life of the city. Begijnhof is easily the most tranquil spot of the city. Dating back to the 14th century, it consists of a group of houses built around a secluded courtyard providing modest homes to the Beguines – a group of unmarried religious women who lived together in a close community under vows of chastity. The last of these women died in 1971. The oldest of these houses is begijnhof 34.
#8 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – Vondelpark
Amsterdam is famous for its lively parklife. Vondelpark is the most famous city park in Amsterdam which welcomes about 10 million visitors every year. Cycling is the typical Dutch way to visit the park. You will be informed of the history of the park by a guide like where the name Vondel comes from. Vondelpark is always full of people; sitting there enjoying a sunny day, dog walking, jogging, listening to music or having a picnic with the family. You can enjoy free concerts at the open-air theater. Other attractions in this park are: the statue of the poet Vondel, the Groot Melkhuis with a playground for children, the cast iron music dome, and the historical Pavilion with its restaurant Vertigo.
#9 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – The Jordaan
Having the same reputation as London’s Cockney’s, the Jordaan area was created in the early 17 century as a district for working class and immigrants. In those days Jordaan was nothing but a slum. A great renovation started and Jordaan found its new generation of occupants: artists, poets, students and young entrepreneurs. Jordaan owes its present reputation of ‘an oasis of peace’ to these new inhabitants. There are many highlights in this part of the city. You always have access to cafes, art galleries, and some scenic outdoor markets in the country. Among all this modernization, Jordaan hasn’t let go of its traditions. You can be a part of traditional sing -a-longs in cafes like Cafe Nol. Jordaan also offers a dynamic food scene with some highly regarded restaurants.
#10 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – Central Library
A great place to sneak away from the hustle bustle of the city and relax. Located near Central Station, the building opened in 2007 and was designed by a prominent Dutch architect Joe Coenen. The library attracts some 1.8 million visitors every year. The library is easy to reach on foot. From Amsterdam Central Station follow the signs leading to Oosterdok. Walking past the Double Tree Hilton hotel, you’ll soon reach the Central Library. Nemo Science Museum is also located near the Central Library. You can read all types of local and international newspapers and magazines in the library. Wi-fi is also available but the Central Library just started charging the non-members for internet access. Also, there is an area reserved for children. Guided tours are also available for the library.
Take a look at this map to better understand the geographical location of Central Library.
#11 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – Dutch National Opera and Ballet
This is a must visit place if you are in Amsterdam. The institution collaborates with both national and international companies and gives the most amazing performances including dance and musical theater productions. Refreshments are available at the location and you can also treat yourself to a buffet before evening performances. Performances are special each time. The staff puts its dire effort into making your experience memorable. You can’t help but let yourself be swayed by the rhythmic movements of the dancers or the tunes played by the orchestra.
#12 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – The Botanical Gardens and The Zoo
Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. It was established as Hortus Medicus as herb garden with medical plants for doctors and pharmacists of Amsterdam. Today, the Hortus Botanicus has become and attractive site with more than 6,000 different plants. It is a quiet and relaxing place to visit. Beautiful plants and peaceful environment make you feel closer to nature.
Established in 1838, Artis Zoo has maintained its charm through the centuries. Right among the hubbub of the city, Artis Zoo serves as the oasis of peace. It is also a safe haven for about 700 animal species and 200 tree varieties, some on the verge of extinction. The entry for the toddlers is free but comes at a price for children and adults.
#13 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – The Port of Amsterdam
The Port of Amsterdam is located almost 19 kilometers from the open sea on a former bay named the IJ. The port remains unaffected by the tidal activity and is a busy harbor. It is one of the most important logistic hubs. Today it’s Western Europe’s fourth largest port. The tactical and vital location in Europe makes the port easy to reach and offers excellent, obstruction free connections to the important markets of the world. In the evening, houses and bridges are illuminated and if you are on a cruise, you’ll be enthralled by one of the most enchanting spectacles of your life! Some of the top rated attractions of Amsterdam are also nearby.
#14 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – Westergasfabriek
Westergasfabriek is the throbbing artistic complex located in Westerpark. This complex of industrial buildings once served as the city’s gasworks but after a complete renovation in 2003, it reopened as a home to a variety of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. There are also some independent shops and art galleries in Westergasfabriek. There is always something going on in Westergasfabriek including exhibitions, food festivals, food markets and cultural events. You have to keep track of the schedule of Westergasfabriek to not miss your intended event. A Sunday Market is held on the very first Sunday of each month. You can enjoy your meals from any one of these food places in Westergasbafriek: Restaurant WestergasTerras, Pacific Parc, De Bakkerswinkel, Mossel & Gin, Rainarai, Espressofabriek. Entertain yourself at the Ketelhuis Cinema or North Sea Jazz Club.
#15 of 15 Places to See in Amsterdam – Kalverstraat & Leidsestraat: Shop until you Drop
Shopping is a mandatory part of a vacation. Amsterdam hosts many great places to shop, whether for luxurious high-end products, local crafts or fun, and happening souvenirs. Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat are the two main shopping streets in Amsterdam. The best known and the busiest shopping street is Kalverstraat. You’ll find plenty of brand stores; clothing, shoes, and accessories. There are a few shops where you can buy and taste some local cheese. The Leidsestraat runs from Flower Market to Leidseplein. These two streets are connected by the Heiligeweg, where you can find brands like Puma, Diesel and MAC Cosmetics. The streets are unusually busy on Sundays. To have a relaxed shopping experience, try to be in town before or around noon.
Some other places to see in Amsterdam:
- Body Worlds
- The Amstel
- Ziggo Dome
- Portuguese Synagogue
- Museum of Bags and Purses
- The Dam Square
And the list goes on!
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