With more canals than Venice, more bicycles than people, a notable number of houseboats and over 1,500 cafes and bars, Amsterdam is a city like no other. From art and culture to a thriving nightlife scene, there is much to explore and enjoy on an Amsterdam holiday. Have a look at this handy tourist information guide for lots more interesting and helpful material.
1. Discover the Anne Frank Museum
The story of Anne Frank is one that has touched many and the Anne Frank Museum is one of the most profound reasons to visit Amsterdam. The secret annex in her Amsterdam home is the building which now forms part of the Anne Frank Museum, helping to bring her story to life.
During her two years of isolation, before she was arrested, she kept a diary that documented her life. While you can’t help but admire her spirit and bravery, her evocative story will bring a tear to your eye. Her diary was published in the Netherlands in 1947 and is considered to be a seminal read, worldwide.
2. Lose yourself at Rijksmuseum
Housed in a beautiful building that first opened for business in 1800, the Rijksmuseum has an Aladdin’s cave of artistic treasures which is the envy of many of Europe’s other galleries. In Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum and Rembrandt, perhaps the most famous of the 17th century artists, go hand in hand. The museum has the largest collection of his work, including his most famous painting, Night Watch. This is a must-visit spot for art-lovers and a Mecca for Rembrandt fans.
3. Say it with flowers
For something really different, visit the world’s only floating flower market. Amsterdam’s floral extravaganza, housed in a series of barges that are moored on the canal, is truly one of a kind and should be high on your list of reasons to visit. You can buy tulips during the spring months and in December, the firs and spruces announce the imminent arrival of Santa. It’s a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.
4. Feel like a king or queen at the Royal Palace Amsterdam
The Royal Palace Amsterdam is open to visitors, when the royal family is away. It’s a truly magnificent building, with some equally impressive works of art, including a huge canvas by Jacob de Wit, which tells the story of Moses and the promised land. You will be mesmerised by its beauty and the subject matter. The palace is also used for royal occasions, receptions and a host of other ceremonial occasions.
5. Explore Amsterdam’s canals
The Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2010. Today, you can take to the water on a glass-topped boat tour for an unrivalled view of Amsterdam. With so much to see, it’s worthwhile having the Amsterdam travel guide from Expedia on hand, to help explain things as you go along.
The kids will love it, in particular, when you tell them there’s a yummy Pizza Tour, featuring their favourite toppings, with ice cream to follow. When the sun goes down and the lights start to twinkle, there’s a romantic onboard gourmet experience to share with your special person. This will be the highlight of your trip.
6. Shop ’till you drop
From cheese emporiums to the ultimate in chic design, Amsterdam’s shopping districts might well have it all. If it’s luxury brands you’re looking for then De Bijenkorf is the place to go. Another high-end area is P.C. Hooftstraat, which is definitely worth exploring, for a slice of glamour.
For something a little different, check out the picturesque Nine Streets neighbourhood. Perhaps more lanes than streets, but nonetheless, the area is filled with small and authentic boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Or for an indulgent treat, get yourself along to Beethovenstraat to pick up some cheese, wine and handmade chocolates
What are your reasons for visiting Amsterdam? Let me know in the comments.