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Amsterdam is a European capital with an ancient history and a unique ambiance. It attracts millions of tourists every year with its spectacular architecture, numerous boutiques, water canals, and red lanterns. This article contains tips for a tourist visiting this beautiful city: the best activities to do there, and the main sights to see.
To make it easier to plan your future journey, here’s a service that allows you to compare hotel prices in Amsterdam, as well as to book an excursion.
Famous tourists attractions of Amsterdam
If you’re willing to feel the spirit of freedom, visit the floating market of tulips, plunge into the ambiance that inspired Van Gogh, you definitely should visit the sights of Amsterdam. The description of the main sights of the city will let you plan a perfect trip and visit the places you’ll love.
Van Gogh Museum
While choosing what to visit in Amsterdam, pay attention to the prominent Vincent Van Gogh Museum, where you can see a collection of 200 and 500 sketches made by the genius. You can also admire hundreds of artworks of Picasso, Gauguin, Monet, and other artists of the Epoque.
The building of the museum was created in 1973. The exposition zone was added at the end of the century, and therefore the appearance of the building hasn’t changed and it keeps impressing tourists with its futuristic look.
Moving from hall to hall, you can notice the evolution of the artist’s talent and the reflection of his emotions. In the earliest works, dark shades prevail, reflecting the depressive condition of both Van Gogh himself and the characters of his artworks. And on the later canvases, you can see incredible landscapes in a rich and bright palette.
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Rijksmuseum is one of the 20 most famous museums in the world. It has countless halls that reflect the history and the culture of the Northern Netherlands since the 15 century. There you can see the creations of brilliant artists born in the country: Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer, Cornelis Trost, Frans Hals, Jan van Goyen, and many others. The artworks reflect the appearance of noblemen, as well as scenes of ordinary people’s daily life. The most famous exhibit of the museum is “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt.
Rijksmuseum’s collection also contains masterpieces by Dutch jewelers, wooden and stone statues that used to be exposed in temples, clothing embroidered with golden threads and precious stones, countless engravings, photographs, and artifacts.
The building of the museum has a recognizable appearance: this immense red brick building with peaked roofs is located on the shore of a canal.
This is the central square of Amsterdam where the most significant events are organized: for example, concerts, festivals, grand ceremonies, or sometimes even protest rallies.
Amsterdam’s attractions that are located on the square include few cultural objects and an amusement park that works even at night. The most significant buildings are the royal palace and the Madame Tussauds Museum.
Another interesting building on the square is the New church where you can listen to organ music or admire contemporary art. The church lost its religious functions at the end of 20 century.
In the center of the square, you can see the national monument built in memory of the Dutch soldiers who perished in World War II.
The Royal Palace
The royal palace is one of the most renowned sights of the city. The royal family doesn’t live there constantly, so the palace is open to tourists most of the time. But some events are still held there, like coronation ceremonies, receptions of foreign delegations, weddings of monarchs, and others.
The interior of the palace gives a unique impression thanks to the abundance of gilt and marple. In the large Civic Hall, you can see a statue of the mythical titan Atlas with the globe on his powerful shoulders. A map of the Earth and celestial spheres are depicted on the floor of the hall. The hall symbolizes space, it has the map of the Earth on its floor.
The palace hosts a museum that contains many historical documents and clothing of the Dutch aristocracy in different historic epoques.
Vondelpark is a major natural sight of the capital. In the park, you can admire the beauty of landscapes that have been skillfully maintained for ages. Amazingly beautiful and rare trees can be found there: red chestnuts, catalpa, shrubs, graceful birches, and grasses. A large winding pond located in the park is a natural habitat for birds: herons, swans, and ducks.
The park has various walking and cycling paths, peaceful lawns, and shady alleys where you can relax sunbathe or have picnics. And the main decoration there is a splendid rose garden with more than 70 species of roses.
In the center of the park, you can find a monument to the Dutch composer Joost van den Vondel. On the territory, you can also see a huge sculpture “Fish” by Picasso.
Top-5 things to do in Amsterdam
In addition to the famous places to see, Amsterdam proposes various captivating and fun activities. We offer you a list of 5 captivating and non-standard things to do that will give you truly remarkable memories of the trip.
Visit the tulips market
What is the symbol of the Netherlands? Tulips! So, while visiting the capital, you can admire numerous sorts of these beautiful flowers or buy yourself a bouquet. On the Siegel canal, there’s a whole floating market of tulips named Bloemenmarkt. And in the north of the city, there is Zwarte Markt, which is the biggest flower market not only in the Netherlands but in Europe.
Explore the city from the water
Amsterdam is a city of canals, almost like Venice. So one of the most romantic things you can do here is take a tour on a boat, a catamaran, or even on a river tram.
The government of the Netherlands feels concerned about environmental protection, so one of the activities offered to tourists is fishing plastic out of the water. This is both a distraction and a way to keep the city pure, why not take advantage of it during the trip?
Ride a bicycle
While in Amsterdam, it’s almost impossible to deplace by food: there are thousands of cyclists on the streets, and even their looks are motivating enough to join them. You can feel yourself a true Dutch while being on a rapid ride together with countless like-minded people. There are special agencies that organize cycling tours around the city.
Enjoy the cuisine
If you go to Leidseplein, you’ll find many cozy restaurants there. The traditional Dutch cuisine is present, as well as exotic dishes: from Indian to Greek. The city is also famous for its bars, pubs, and taverns.
You also have an opportunity to taste the local cheese. Just go to any supermarket, you’ll be able to choose from diverse sorts of Dutch cheese, as well as French or Norwegian sorts. In addition to the cheese, you can purchase warm pumpkin bread or fresh croissants.
One of the gastronomic specialties of the Netherlands is herring. You can buy it in a street stand or on the market in the Jordaan district.
If Zara and H&M can’t impress you, and Beijnkorf is crowded with tourists, you can always find alternative places to go shopping. For example, De 9 Straatjes where you can find various items made by Dutch designers: from shoes to perfume, from lingerie to cosmetics.
If you enjoy reading, you should check out Spui. This is a quarter where Amsterdam’s 3 best book shops are located: Athenaeum Boekhandel, Waterstones, American book center. That’s a real paradise for book lovers!