Have you ever wondered how Amsterdam looks like and some of the tourist attractions that it has? Well, if you have been doing this, it is time to get on the next plane to Amsterdam. I have been to Amsterdam quite a number of times, and all I can say is it is worth every penny. I have travelled many places over the years, and when I compare them, I can gladly place Amsterdam among the top ten best travel destinations that I have been to.
Once you start travelling, you discover that you can never have enough of it, and just like me, you may be forced to go back to some of your former destinations. In this particular article, I will cover some of the places to go to in Amsterdam. Also, remember to travel in April and May or September to October once you have made up your mind if you want to experience the best time.
Here are the must-visit places:
In case you would like to sample the museums in Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum should be at the top of your list. It is one of the most popular tourist baits in Amsterdam thanks to its vast collection of arts. This national museum has been around for quite some time ever since its opening in 1798. While here, you will get to see millions of cultural artifacts, some as old as 8,000 years.
The museum is also quite large, having 250 rooms, all filled with important paintings and pieces of art. This fantastic attraction also has over 35,000 books and manuscripts, detailing everything that you need to know about art culture in the Netherlands. If you like, you can get a tour guide to show you around. However, if you want to spice up the moment and make it more memorable, you should be part of the art history canal cruise taking or reserve yourself a table at the Museum’s restaurant.
ANNE FRANK HOUSE
Your visit to Amsterdam is not complete without stopping at this great establishment. If you love history, you definitely know that Anne is one of the most famous Holocaust victims. The Ann Frank House is where her family took refuge during the second world war. While at the house, Ann drafted a diary, which years later, gained recognition all over the world. However, at this time, Anne was already dead. She died at only fifteen years of age, just before the war ended.
This home reminds people of all that happened during the war. It has been kept in the same state over the years. If you are planning to make a stop at the place, make sure that you get your ticket early enough. After visiting this unique museum, you can stop by West Church which has been around since 1630. You will marvel at its gothic architecture and features that have attracted thousands of people.
Amsterdam is a beautiful place. Out of all its tourist destinations, one area manages to stand out-Dam Square. It is usually filled with thousands of tourists at any given time. Make sure that you become a part of it so that you do not miss out on the magic. Some of the fantastic scenes in this place is the Royal Palace, where the Dutch Royal Family used to stay. Nowadays, it has been made the official venue for all royal functions.
Dam Square also houses New Church, Madame Tussauds wax museum and the National Memorial Statue, which are all major tourist attractions. While here, you can eat in any of the several restaurants or buy a souvenir from some of the vendors around. Other entertainment options also exist, such as the Ferris wheel and street performers.
If you are looking for the right place to unwind and breathe, Jordaan is the best place in Amsterdam. It is mostly known for its perfect blend of residential areas, bubbly markets and the amazing boutiques and restaurants. You can try out several new activities while in Jordaan. If you need time alone, a stroll along the colourful streets will work the magic. You can also tour some of the tourist attractions in the place, and trust me; they are many.
While here, you should look for the Woonboots Museum, which is a floating museum for houseboats and to make your tour more enjoyable, stop at the Amsterdam Cheese Museum. How amazing can this be? You can wake up on Saturdays and attend the huge open-air market at Lindengracht. You can shop for flowers, local crafts and other items that you can use a souvenir. On Mondays, you will wake up to a flea market in Westerstraat.
Lastly, if you love music, restaurants and cafes are major sources of Dutch folk music.
VAN GOGH MUSEUM
There are several museums in Amsterdam, each offering a different vibe from the rest. If you are a lover of art and history, make sure that you visit this amazing museum. It is pretty new, having been opened in 1972. The Van Gogh Museum has an impeccable design and houses paintings and artwork from some of the best artists in the country. It contains several Van Gogh painting and artefacts that you need to see and feel.
This museum has over 200 paintings, 500 etchings and 700 letters, which were written to the friends and family of Van Gogh. You will also view artwork made by other artists such as Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Also, spare some time and look into the museum’s educational workshops.
What is a city without a park? The Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam. In case you are wondering how big it is, it occupies over 120 acres. While in the park, you will never run out of something to do. While here, you will enjoy the sight of several flowers. Other attractions are statues, playgrounds and recreational facilities, which include the Vondelpark Open Air Theater, which houses several musical and stage productions from May to September.
You can choose to come here for a picnic or to sample most of the restaurants in the area.
This is the oldest building in Amsterdam. It was built in 1306 and has over the years managed to stand tall. It was the first church in the whole of Northern Holland and boasts of incredible architecture. Most churches lifted construction ideas from it. Several additions were made over the years including the large side chapels and a portal which leads to the Iron Chapel.
Here you can see the development of Amsterdam over the years and some of the freedoms that it enjoyed over time. There are several features that you will enjoy within the church, including finely-carved wooden chair stalls.
THE NATIONAL MONUMENT
If there is a place that I will never forget during my time in Amsterdam, it is the national monument. It is located just opposite the dam and was put up immediately after the second world war as a memory of the lives that were lost during liberation. This monument has a rich history. It was designed by one of the best architects of all time. It resembles war, peace and resistance all having different symbols. A brief history into this monument reveals that Queen Juliana dedicated it on the national day of remembrance.
REMBRANDT HOUSE MUSEUM
This museum is named after Rembrandt, who together with his wife, spent a significant part of their lives in Jodenbreestraat’s house, where the Rembrandt museum sits presently. It is believed that while here, he found models for most, if not all, of his biblical themes and did some of his paintings.
His resident was later furnished with several etchings and personal objects. You can get tour guides if you would like to be shown around. A few meters away, you will see the Zuiderkerk, where some of Rembrandt’s children were laid to rest. This became the first protestant church in Amsterdam.
THE BOTANICAL GARDENS
If you love nature, you should visit the Botanical gardens. Located in the heart of the city, this is one of the oldest gardens in the world. It was founded in 1638 and was used as a herb garden for doctors and apothecaries.
Over the years, the garden has attracted several rare plants and trees, indigenous flowers and even a massive hothouse made of several tropical zones. While in the park, you can take a look at the lovely old pavilion and the palm housed, which boasts of its unique architectural style.
If you love plants, you can be sure that you will see some of the rarest of species. Visit the botanical garden and witness nature first hand.
You definitely need to visit Amsterdam. It has several tourist attractions that will leave you wishing for more. However, always remember to travel light when going to such places since some of the attractions are quite distant, and you may need to change residences. Also, give yourself some time to enjoy your vacation. Take three to four weeks and thoroughly explore this fantastic hub.