This goes without saying that Amsterdam is the most popular city in Holland. The rustic 17th century capital of Holland is filled with outstanding architecture, rich cultural history, lovely and comforting ambiance. From romantic canal cruises to lazy strolls through Vondelpark, everything seems magical in Amsterdam. With its canals, windmills, dikes, picturesque countryside, museums, historical centers, scenery, shopping, dining, and entertainment, it should be at the top of anyone’s list of “must-see” cities.
Exploring the inner city gives you a chance to discover old buildings, enjoy the budding talents of street artists, and stumble upon quaint shops to load up on souvenirs and indulge in authentic Dutch treats.
Amsterdam is notorious for its red-light district and a multinational city filled with people from many countries, nationalities, and cultures. This diversity alone gives Amsterdam a step up in what it can offer visitors in various and cultural experiences. This diversity is obviously well known as over four million tourists visit Amsterdam each year.
Besides being a city of diversity, Amsterdam, the city is an architectural wonder in how it is laid out in concentric circles formed by canals surrounding the old city center. These canals have a network of bridged roads that cut across them, and these have alleys connecting them to one another.
If you are interested in visiting museums while you are in Amsterdam, you will not be disappointed. The best museums in all of Europe can be found at the border of the canal district. If you are interested in financial investing, you won’t want to miss seeing Europe’s first stock exchange located in Amsterdam. Although there is no wheeling and dealing goes on any longer, the building is now being used as a concert and exhibition hall.
No description of Amsterdam would be complete without mention of maybe one of its most notable residents, Anne Frank. You can tour the home located in the Jordaan district where the famous author and her family hid during WW II. The museum associated with the house, Museum of Resistance, offers powerful information about the Holocaust.
As with many vacation locations, museums are the main attractions for visitors. Amsterdam has what seems like more than its fair share. Be sure to take time to visit the famous Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, and Stedelijk Museum, which provide a variety of offerings of contemporary art, film, photography, and video and design from after 1968. There are over 50 museums in Amsterdam, so you can be busy for as long as you have the time.
If you are an animal lover, the Artis Zoo should be on your itinerary. The zoo houses over 6,000 animals living in outdoor natural habitats. Be sure to visit the aquarium connected to the zoo to round out your fish and animal excursion.
The Science and Technology Museum offers both children and adults an opportunity to engage in hours of interactive educational experiences. Even if you are traveling with children, this museum is worth a place on your travel itinerary.
The Floating Flower Market is an absolute must-see experience for a visitor to Amsterdam not only because it is the only one in the world but because it is an absolute must-have olfactory (sense of smell) experience. The flower stalls are on houseboats that offer tulips, narcissus, and other bulb and flowers. Don’t worry about not being able to take these back to your home, and they are ready for export.
Yes, in Amsterdam’s Diamond District, you will find authentic diamonds. If you are interested, you will be able to find a free diamond cutting demonstration going on and be able to buy set and unset stones.
Dam Square is where the real heart of Amsterdam will be found. There are markets, street performers, and vendors every day waiting to entice you to listen and watch. You will find the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk, and the War Memorial in this part of the city.
The nightlife in Amsterdam is absolutely fabulous! The world-famous Red Light District is always open and ready for business – as they say. You can find any kind of club you like, and it will be open until almost sunrise. If you need a cup of coffee after clubbing or if you have insomnia and are walking the street, you will be happy to know they are open until almost sunrise too.
No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without drinking a Heineken, but to make that experience even better, drink it at the Heineken brewery. The Heineken Experience, a special program offered by the brewery, is a good way to learn about how the beer is brewed and get up close and personal with one of the world's biggest exporters.