Abdul Muqeet Waheed
The beautiful city of Amsterdam is home to many markets, museums, top-notch restaurants, and lively bars. It is referred to as a party city, full of wild nights and shady depravity of all types. The Dutch capital is one of the most vibrant capitals in the world with its gorgeous canal network, homes and buildings from the 17th century, rich history, and pulsating cultural life.
The Dutch people are highly flexible. Before the same trend gained traction in various areas throughout the United States, coffee shops were already selling marijuana legally. The Red Light District used to be a highly popular place to go “window shopping,” and prostitution is permitted there. You must get an Amsterdam City Card if you adore art for entry to many museums in one convenient tourist pass.
Amsterdam is among my favorite places in the entire world, and I’ve been plenty more times than I can count. But the city offers more than simply a good time in the town.
We constantly enjoy ourselves. Here are a few of the greatest stuff in Amsterdam to try during your first visit.
You may explore 250 rooms in this building, including a collection with far more than 35,000 books.
It is one of the most well-known museums in the world and is home to several masterpieces. In addition, the museum also shows the collection of other classic Dutch painters, like Frans Hals and Jan Steen. The largest museum in the country, it has over 1 million objects and over 8,000 on display.
The most well-known are:
- The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer
- The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn
- Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat by Van Gogh.
Rijksmuseum (or State Museum)
The Netherlands’ national museum, The Rijksmuseum, was founded in 1809. A majestic structure with architectural similarities to the Centraal station, housing thousands of works of art, antiques, and historical artifacts from the 15th Dutch Golden Age to the present—the country’s largest collection.
Read More About My Experience at Rijksmuseum A Short Visit to Rijksmuseum
Anne Frank House / Museum
The Anne Frank House is the actual building where Anne Frank wrote her world-famous diary. Her diary portrays the tragedies of WWII through the eyes of a little Jewish girl growing up in hiding from society.
This canal house is now turned into the Anne Frank House Museum. During World War II, Anne, her mother, father, sister, and four other Jews all lived together in a small space of only 450 square feet (42 square meters) for two years and one-month to avoid being captured by the Nazis.
The most well-known autobiographical story of the horrors of the Holocaust is undoubtedly Anne Frank’s. When her family fled to safety above her father’s workplace, she was just 13 years old. Her journal depicts a young girl through incredible hardships.
There is also a thorough analysis of how Anne’s writing has affected the globe in the years after her passing.
There might be a wait, but that’s only because what’s inside is so interesting.
The actual building where Anne and her family hid does not contain a museum dedicated to her, but it does include rebuilt rooms, various artifacts from the time and the original residence, and even a recreated bookshelf that was utilized to hide the entrance to the family’s secret annex.
The city’s most visited tourist spot is this. It’s a significant and tragic location to visit, but it’s also quite busy. You simply walk from room to room, never really taking the time to process what you are seeing. Although I believe the Jewish History Museum is doing a better job of presenting her life, this place is still worthwhile visiting because it is so well-known and significant.
Van Gogh Museum
This museum is devoted to Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries’ artwork. The museum is near the Rijksmuseum and situated on Paulus Potterstraat, not far from Vondelpark. The biggest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings, numbering over 700, is housed in this Gerrit Rietveld-designed building, including “Sunflowers” and “Almond Blossom.” It also includes works by painters like Monet, Manet, Matisse, and Gauguin who influenced him.
It also includes works by painters like Monet, Manet, Matisse, and Gauguin who had an influence on him. Along with the great pieces of art, there are a number of letters and sketches, as well as details regarding why he is such a well-known and iconic personality.
The museum offers a close-up view into the lives and thoughts of the creative genius with more than 200 paintings, 500 sketches, and 700 letters. In addition to his well-known works, such as Self-Portrait and The Bedroom, you’ll also see some of his less famous but still compelling paintings.
I must admit that going to a museum is not my favorite leisure activity, but if you’re traveling in the Netherlands, you must stop by the Van Gogh Museum.
The layout of the museum is excellent. A chronology of van Gogh’s life is located on floor zero, the main level. The first floor displays van Gogh’s formative years as an artist. The greatest floor is floor 3, while floor 2 has information about van Gogh’s family and personal life. The classic van Gogh style and the years spent in an institution before his suicide at the age of 37 may be seen on this floor. Maps are available at the Van Gogh Museum or you may download them online.
Taking Pictures in the museum is not Allowed.Note
In Amsterdam’s southwest corner sits Vondelpark. Just before the Amstel River, at the end of Buiten Singel, is where you may find it. The park was formerly a tidal inlet that was later put to farming use. It is named after the Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel.
The Vondelpark, the city’s largest green space, is the place to go in Amsterdam for outdoor activities like picnics, strolling, and people-watching when the weather is pleasant. There’s nearly always something happening there, and its fountains and sculptures make it picture-perfect.
Vondelpark, known as the “lungs of the city,” used to be the only public park in the world where it was legal to lawfully have sex, smoke marijuana, and barbecue. Don’t skip the stunning rose garden or the well-known open-air theatre where, with any luck, you could see a surprising performance. There are pubs, restaurants, and playgrounds in the over 45 hectares (120 acres) park. The very well-maintained paths may be explored on foot or by bicycle.
You may also glance at Vondelkerk church, a truly gorgeous specimen of neo-Gothic architecture, which is located on the border of the park. Unfortunately, it has been turned into offices, so you can’t get inside. The open-air theatre offers free performances, and you may rent a bike to ride along the many twisting roads nearby.
Red Light District
Red Light District or ‘De Wallen’ in Dutch is home to one of the oldest professions in the world. The city’s big draw is the Red Light District, which is unsurprising. Visit the area and stop by a peepshow. This is the epicenter of prostitution in Amsterdam, where women are paid for having sex and advertise themselves in the renowned, red-lit storefronts. Prostitution is at its highest level of acceptance and regulation. Just like any other worker, these ladies are obligated to pay taxes. Things may get rowdy and last into the wee hours since it is a popular destination for stag and hen-dos parties.
Thoughtlessly capturing pictures of the windows is disallowed.
Churches (be sure to check out the Oude Kerk, which means Old Church), monuments, and picturesque squares flourish in De Wallen and are well worth a visit.
The Red Light District maintains a balance between sexuality and seediness while also being a significant international tourist destination, although being much calmer than in past years. Even if it’s worthwhile to see, I’d advise you to leave quickly. The neighborhood is rather quiet and peaceful during the day, but at night the streets are crowded with drunken revelers and curious visitors. I didn’t go since I had zero interest. But even if it’s not your scene, I still advise you to visit the location. It’s undoubtedly special!
The Jordaan is the most iconic Amsterdam district. The 17th century saw the construction of this incredibly gorgeous area of Amsterdam as a home for artisans and laborers. This district is bounded by the Brouwersgracht, Prinsengracht, Leidsegracht, and Lijnbaansgracht canals, a few streets west of the city’s main railway station.
This fascinating location, formerly a worker’s quarter, is filled with attractive antique stores, odd galleries, historic buildings, courtyard gardens, and beery bars that serve some of the most fantastic cocktails. Even if many of the tenants have changed, buildings like the 1642-era Cafe Papeneiland still provide a glimpse into Amsterdam’s past (and, incidentally, serve some killer Dutch apple pie).
Jordaan is a modern neighborhood. Although it has gained popularity recently, it continues to be one of the town’s least visited areas. Rembrandt (1606-1669), a Dutch painter, spent his last years living in this part of the city. If you want to learn more about the city outside of its primary tourist spots, it is a peaceful place to go far from the people.
In addition to dining and socializing there, you may shop at the Westerstraat Market (on Mondays) or the Lindengracht Market (on Saturdays).
The Begijnhof in the heart of Amsterdam is a special instance of a hidden courtyard that is glanced over by a collection of medieval homes. In 1264, the Beguinage was first founded as a refuge for locals.
It was constructed for the Beguines, a society of single religious women who lived in seclusion and kept chaste vows, so they weren’t nuns, but their communities felt similar to convents.
A visit to The Begijnhof offers a break from the bustle of the city. It is a quiet, concealed garden that is encircled by high walls covered in ivy. While inside, it’s possible that you’ll even forget you’re in Amsterdam.
It contains a variety of buildings, many of which are traditional townhouses from the 16th century. Two of the churches are open as well for visiting.
I’ve been able to have a peep inside a few of them, from Haarlem to Gouda. The Begijnhof differs from many other hofjes because it is open to the general public (others frequently closed) and because it was once constructed as a beguinage or residence for the beguines’ religious society.
Common townhomes, many of which date to the 16th century, are among the structures in the Begijnhof. Additionally, two of the cathedrals are accessible. Look on the calendar for any special events; I got lucky and caught a piano concert at one of them.
Tour of Canal Ring
Amsterdam is a beautiful, picturesque city thanks to the scenic canals that break up the city’s sprawl. Its ancient canal homes may be found throughout the network of canals that essentially make up the city core. Amsterdam is best seen from the sea, so it goes without saying!
Amsterdam is more like Venice than Venice itself, with more than 165 canals that span a combined 50 kilometers and the wind beneath 1,28 bridges. The Amsterdam Canal Ring is a stand-alone UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the canals, you may explore stores, art galleries, museums, and 300-year-old cafés. Sit and view both locals and visitors cruising the area, or simply take in the sight of the houseboats moored along the banks.
165 canals surround the city and are connected by bridges. Combined, they offer a lovely and distinctive environment that is perfect for getting lost in.
A network of horseshoe-shaped canals known as Grachtengordel extends outward from the city’s core. The first of these waterways, Singe, used to be a moat that encircled the main city area. Three Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht are other canals that make up the central portion of the canal ring. As spokes on a wheel streets, bridges, and smaller canals divide these waterways into two halves.
I had a good time on the boat with my companions, and fortunately, the ship’s driver was both calm and kind. He leads us and instructs us on every aspect of the canals and the areas around them.
We enjoy going to food halls everywhere, from Rotterdam to Bordeaux. In essence, it’s like having a number of food trucks gather in a one-floor area. Food Hallen, a lively indoor food market that provides a range of high-end street food and beverages, is located in the trendy De Hallen cultural complex in the famous Oud-West area.
Foodhallen offers 21 distinct stalls where guests may taste anything from Dutch bitterballen to dim food, sushi, and Basque pintxos. There are also four bars where you may get your drink of choice, whether it’s craft beer or a luxury gin & tonic. We can also enjoy the live music and the local crowd—while everyone speaks English here, it doesn’t feel touristy.
This market hall, which serves dishes including Vietnamese summer rolls, wood-fired pizzas, and handmade burgers, is the perfect location to unwind while eating snacks and drinking beer. A huge island bar is situated in the center and is circled by tables and perches. If you keep going, you’ll come across specialty bars, additional rooms, and an upper seating area with wonderful views over the huge surface.
A’DAM Tower the 22-story skyscraper, across the River IJ from Centraal, was renovated as part of an effort to reinvigorate Noord. Shell’s former headquarters are now home to a variety of up-and-coming music, advertising, and events enterprises, as well as a few restaurants and bars (and even a hotel).
Enjoy a signature cocktail in the Skybar, dine in one of the two fine dining restaurants on the top floors (one of which revolves), and, if you’re feeling extra daring, head to the observation deck to Over The Edge, Europe’s highest swing, and take in the views as you rock back and forth 100 meters above the ground. The vantage point provides a panoramic view of the stunning canals, old buildings, and other magnificent locations.
Visit the restaurants and Sky Bar in the Tower if you’re one (like us) who isn’t quite daring. You may enjoy the amazing view while sipping a cocktail at MA’DAM and the Spinning Moon restaurant without having to worry about the swing.
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