10 Top Tourist Attractions in Amsterdam

Martina Rosado
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Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam

De Wallen

Known as the Red Light District, Wallen is the most famous spot to visit in Amsterdam.

People of all ages visit this district to see all the 200+ red-lighted windows. These red-lighted windows are hidden behind shutters so that only the people inside can see out.

Just looking at these windows can add some spice into a relationship. Some people indulge in a tryst with another person inside the window as a caged kitten watches.

However the windows can be used for different purposes. Many food stalls and restaurants are found inside the wholesale curtains and also a lot of people like to sit on the steps of the window and have a cigarette.

The buildings found around this district are not only historically important, but also beautiful to look at. Many of the red-lighted windows found in this area date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

The architecture to the buildings is simple but elegant. The buildings feature gothic, renaissance, and rococo designs. Some buildings even feature a combination of these style.

These buildings are also some of the most famous landmarks in the Netherlands. Many different architecture houses have been converted to museums, restaurants, or offices in the area.

Scheepvaartmuseum

If you want to see how the Golden Age of Sail began, then make your way to the museum at the Amstel Canal (Scheepvaartmuseum, Amstelstraat, Amsterdam. This museum takes you through the history of ships dating back to the Stone Age. You will be amazed by the size and detail of some of these ships. You will also learn how some of the things we take for granted today, such as safety, came into being during the history of sailing.

This museum was built in the 17th century on the site of the former monastery of the Augustinians who helped in the rescue of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Now, here is a history lesson for you…back in 1588, there was no such thing as the "all-you-can-eat buffet" where you could eat your fill and never have to worry about what was on your plate. Today, there are many museums in Amsterdam for a reason: Amsterdam is a student of history.

The museum is laid out in four floors, each floor telling a different part of the story of ships. The fourth floor depicts the 20th century at sea and the changes that took place in technology, on the seven open decks. The museum also provides an exhibition room for temporary exhibitions on naval history.

Vondelpark

This is one of the most visited parks of Amsterdam. Spread over two square kilometers, this recreational park in Wieldrecht consists of several grassy cafes, picnic areas and playgrounds. Over 500,000 visitors flock to the park every weekend to relax and take in the sights and sounds.

This popular tourist spot is named after the Dutch writer and poet Joost van den Vondel, known particularly for his pastoral allegories. It is an open space in which many locals go to stroll and relax.

Get close to nature and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin by strolling around the park, taking in the vibrant mix of plants, flowers and landscapes.

The park consists of three different squares including the Keizer Karelplein, the Linnaeusstraat and the Botanical garden direction.

This popular park is very well known for the snack bar on the Linnaeusstraat called the Kiosk. Here you find ice cream, popcorn and feel free to go in and browse the collection of books that make the Kiosk the perfect place for a rest.

Bored?

The unique feature of the park is the fact that you are never too far from an attraction and/or a cafe. In some areas, you can find a stop with a live DJ. Ample opportunity to get to know more about the city and to have a few laughs.

Bloemenmarkt

The Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market) is one of the largest markets in the World, and certainly the most prominent one in the city of Amsterdam. It is located on Dam Square and the local population is used to seeing flowers paraded through the city streets every spring.

This international trade of flowers stems from 1732 when the Grand Duke of Tsarist Russia brought with him enormous wealth. As a result, a number of ship owners in Amsterdam opened up cargo ships for transportation of this high-grade Hanoverian floral plants.

In 1807, the Netherlands was invaded by France, and lot of the trading houses and merchants moved from Amsterdam to London. Thus in 1810 when the French retreated from Europe, the Amsterdam firm returned with it’s cargo of English flowers.

The Bloemenmarkt has many avenues of flowershop, but also the street itself is "stepped" with flower bazaars and stalls.

C9. Vondelpark

The Vondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam. The park is located in the heart of the city center of Amsterdam, in the same district as the canals and many other city attractions of Amsterdam.

The park is also marked by the presence of the De Rode Hoed theatre, which specialises in contemporary plays.

C8. Rokin

Anne Frank House

Begijnhof

Van Gogh Museum

You may wonder why you should go to the Van Gogh Museum instead of the Rijksmuseum. If you’re not interested in experiencing the works of the post-impressionist Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, then there wouldn’t be much point of making the pilgrimage. But if you do want to experience his story and it just so happens you’re in Amsterdam, then the Van Gogh Museum will be well worth the visit.

The collection of over 200 paintings is arranged chronologically, starting with Van Gogh’s early works and finishing with his final works. The museum also houses drawings from the family archive. It is open from 10am to 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Admission is ‘12 for adults and ‘11 for students; free admission for children under 16 and for those 65 and over.

When you experience this five-hour itinerary of the museum, you’ll walk away with an appreciation for his life, his postures, his works, and his struggle.

Rijksmuseum

The national museum was founded in 1798, and today, it is the largest art museum in the Netherlands. It includes paintings and sculptures from the fifteenth century to the present day. Many of the works date to the Dutch Golden Age.

Apart from a large collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings, the museum also has a large collection of French art, Asian art, and Italian Renaissance art, including works by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Leonardo da Vinci.

It is said that every year, about 3.5 million visitors tour Amsterdam’s museums, which makes it the most-visited museum in the country. Just check out the small Statue of Liberty in front of the Rijksmuseum.

It is one of the most recognizable symbols of Amsterdam, along with the red-and-white-striped tram and the Belastingdienst tax office building, which shows the Dutch flag.

At the Rijksmuseum, you can see the Thomas Cole 1846 Inspired America:Kenton Falls,New York, and the Thomas Kinkade's Romantic Garden, New York series. One of the largest collections of art in the world, the museum has over 800,000 pieces in its collection.

How to get there:

Canals of Amsterdam

The canals of Amsterdam are known as some of the most famous in the world due to the architectural innovations associated with their building. They are broad, roomy and paved with cobblestones, which softens the harsh effects of the water they cross.

While the canals of Amsterdam come with Amsterdam canal trips, they can be explored on your own by renting a bike, a boat or other means of transportation.

The canals connect to one another to create neighborhoods, which are often the first place that visitors spend time exploring. Many friendly cats, dogs and ducks can also be found in the canals.

If you are looking for a home to rent, it is best to check out what the rental prices are between May and October. While there are other times that are cheaper, the opportunities to enjoy the summer in Amsterdam is best met in these months.

The canal houses for rent are often called “villas”. Many people choose to move in permanently. While there are online classified ad sites, many of the people who have “villa”s on the market and who you may want to rent from are not yet on these sites. You will find them by contacting “villa” owners directly.