According to Clothesbliss, Amsterdam is a city of canals with over 600 bridges. Whatever one may say, one cannot pass by these important waterways in the capital of Holland. And don’t try: the most beautiful views are from the water. The most memorable photos are taken in the evening hours from the bridges. The most romantic memories – again from there. Walking along all the “grachts” (that is, canals) of Amsterdam is an activity for a marathon runner, it is enough for tourists to know a few “safe places”. Firstly, the Grachtengordel canal district – included in the UNESCO list, they are considered the most beautiful in the city. Secondly, the most picturesque bridges are Blaubrug and Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge). Finally, the Canal History Museum, where you can get to know this “water part” of the history of the Dutch capital.
With difficulty tearing themselves away from the water surface, tourists begin their walks around the city from a luxurious neo-Gothic red brick building – this is the Central Station. From there, the streets and “grahts” of the city scatter, including the main street – Damrak. Walking along it, the tourist will be able to get into two historical quarters at once – on the one hand lies the New Part with the church of 1408, on the other – the Old, where the temple with the grave of Rembrandt’s wife is located. There is also the Royal Palace with a museum, the Freedom Monument and the famous Madame Tussauds Museum. Nearby are the building of the Berlagy Exchange and the Amsterdam Footstock, the complex of buildings of the East India Company and the House of Shipbuilders. Approximately in the middle – the amazing beauty of Dam Square. Having paid tribute to the historical heritage of Amsterdam and its important architectural monuments, it’s time to go to the “nest of vice” – the Red Light District.
If you manage not to look at the shop windows blazing red, you can see charming old houses, slightly tilted over the water of the “grahts” – after all, this is one of the best preserved areas of the city to this day.
Neighborhoods are a special feature of Amsterdam. It is worth a trip to the amazing Keukenhof tulip park, to the Zaanse Schans open-air museum of old Holland or to the House of our Great Peter in Zaandam, who studied shipbuilding there.
8 things to do in Amsterdam
- Despite the fear of seeming a clumsy bumpkin compared to the natives, rent a bike.
- Go to the Red Light District in the morning to see how everyday and even boring the life of representatives of the most ancient profession looks like: young ladies fix their manicures, leaf through magazines and discuss the latest gossip.
- Swallow, like the locals, a whole herring.
- To drink real Dutch beer from a real Dutch glass, whose volume is equal to a mug of tea in kindergarten. 0.25 ml – it is in such a container that ice light Heineken is served.
- Finally seeing Van Gogh’s famous sunflowers in the original.
- Take a selfie in front of the huge red letters IAMSTERDAM.
- See the ascetic shelter of the first Russian emperor in Zaandam.
- Gain courage and try local legal weed at one of Amsterdam’s coffeeshops.
Museums in Amsterdam
The next obligatory point of the walk is the Museum Quarter. You must go to the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, the rest are optional. Outside this “highbrow” quarter there are other worthy collections – the Anne Frank House, whose tragic story can not be told better than the walls of this house. Or the Rembrandt House Museum with a first-class exhibition about the life of the great genius. As well as a branch of our St. Petersburg main collection – the Hermitage in Amsterdam. Quite amusing collections of the Erotic Museum, the Heineken Brewing Company, cocktails or the Cannabis Museum stand apart.
Amsterdam is famous for its nightlife and clubs, which are mainly concentrated in 3 centers: Leidseplein, Red Light District and Rembrandtplein.
On weekends, various interesting things are arranged in city parks: from fairs of organic products to mass roller skating.
One of the fun things to do in Amsterdam is to just sit at a table in an outdoor cafe and watch the crowds go by. You will not find such a number of extravagant personalities anywhere else.
Coffeeshops in Amsterdam are the most popular, overcrowded and expensive. They are easy to find by the coffeeshop sign and the bright red-yellow-green rastaman flag. Good places: Bulldog – a chain of coffee shops for tourists, Gray Area, The Bluebird – the best choice in all of Amsterdam, De Kuil (420 Cafe), Global Chillage, Barney’s, Rokerij, Kandinsky, Club Media (free fruits!), Katsu (nice atmosphere), The Greenhouse, De Dampkring, De Kroon, Abraxas and Homegrown Fantasy.
A few things to remember firmly – smoking is prohibited in public places, even simple nicotine cigarettes; in no case can you export cannabis outside the country; The Ministry of Health warns that smoking is dangerous to health. In addition, it is very easy for an unprepared and enthusiastic tourist to overeat pies with hashish and mushrooms from the Smart Shop (see packaging). It is worth remembering firmly: no more than 3 pies a day!
Amsterdam for kids
Mecca of toy abundance and children’s fun – that’s what Amsterdam is. With the exception of the Red Light District, almost every square here is a playground. The most interesting thing is that all overage children under 18 fall under the concept of a “child” in Holland, which allows them to visit some museums and attractions for free. But, alas, not everywhere: somewhere the free age is “cut” to 12 years.
Since Amsterdam is the cycling capital of the world, here even two-wheeled friends are offered for rent with child seats or entire trailers.
So, what to do in the capital of Holland with children? Culturally, Amsterdam has a plethora of museums that are accessible, exciting, and, most importantly, educational. The main one is NEMO, whose scientific and practical collection answers all the most important questions “why”, “how” and “what for”. Here you can touch, feel, twirl and shoot anything and everything. The second most popular is the Museum of Shipping, near which a ship with cannons from the times of the Dutch East India Company of 1749 is moored. The amazing Museum of the Tropics even has a separate entrance, where kids from 1 to 12 years old are invited. At the Amsterdam Resistance Museum, children learn about the terrible days of World War II in Holland through the lives of four children – Eva, Jan, Nelly and Henk – who lived during the Nazi occupation.
The scientific and practical collection of the NEMO Museum answers all the most important questions of children: “why”, “how” and “what for”.
Tired of museum collections, you can unleash your legs and go to one of the parks in Amsterdam. For example, in the Vondelpark, where there are duck ponds, a playground and fragrant linden trees. Two more crazy zones for outdoor games are located in the Sarfati Park and in the Western Park. Finally, you can look into the “Amsterdam Forest”, where children can climb trees, ride kayaks and canoes, and even look at a goat farm. In winter, it is mandatory to ride on artificial skating rinks, in summer – along the canals in an open boat. And, as a final chord, it’s worth going to the zoo (at least for the sake of “Microbia” – the land of microbes, where they will clearly show how bacteria jump from one mouth to another during a kiss and what organisms live in, sorry, anteater feces).
On a rainy day, which often happens in Amsterdam, you can go to a huge children’s playground under the roof – the TunFun children’s center (we can’t pull it out by the ears, we promise), to the grandiose pool with a vintage interior of 1912 Zuiderbad or to the Central Library (Centrale Bibliotheek Amsterdam). There is a whole floor dedicated to “activities”: books in English, toys, “soft zones”, computers and Wi-Fi for fastidious teenagers.