Amsterdam has a broad spectrum of sights ranging from fascinating old buildings to more the unusual like the Hash Marihuana Museum. Museums are the main tourist attraction as Amsterdam has over fifty museums. There is something for everyone in Amsterdam. Its narrow streets, over one hundred and sixty canals and its seventeenth century buildings allow you to take a leisurely pace while walking and observing its unique architecture and street life. A ride on a canal boat is almost obligatory, and a great way of exploring the city.
Amsterdam Sightseeing Travel Guide
A canal cruise tour shows a different side to Amsterdam. The four main city center canals are Herengracht, Prinsengracht, Singel and Keizersgracht but there are numerous smaller canals. The most famous park in Holland, the Vondlepark, lies in the south of Amsterdam, five minutes walk from the Leidseplein and in walking distance from the Rijksmusuem.
A Trip to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a windmill. There are eight stunning windmills at the heart of the city just waiting to admired. There are plenty of small shops for browsing, and the Albert Cuypmarkt, in the Pijp district, is one of the best-known and busiest outdoor market in Europe, attracting thousands of visitors every day.
1. Oude kerk
23 Oudekerksplein, Amsterdam. Telephone – +31 20 625 8284 – Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Monday to Saturday, 1 pm – 5 pm Sunday.
The origins of the Oude Kerk date from early thirteenth century. It’s the oldest church in Amsterdam, and now a center of cultural activities.
2. Dam Square
Dam square is at the heart of Amsterdam. The Dam was the reception area for Napoleon and his troops during the 1808 take-over of the city. Its impressive history is documented in the Amsterdam Historical Museum. The Royal Palace, which dominates the square, was originally used as the town hall.
The Begijnhof can be reached through a doorway on the Spui. – Hours: 9 am -1 pm.
A narrow, vaulted passageway leads to this charming garden. The houses in the courtyard were once occupied by Béguine nuns. In the center of the lawns is a medieval church and at No.34 stands the oldest house in Amsterdam.
4. Artis Zoo
Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ; Telephone – +31 20 523 3400. Hours: Open daily from 9am – 6pm, closes at 4pm in summer.
Artis zoo is in the center of Amsterdam and is the oldest zoo in Holland. It consists of four main areas: Zoo, Planetarium, Botanical Gardens and Geological and Zoological museum. Adult admission €14.50.
5. Red Light District
A visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without a walk around the Red Light District. Prostitution isn’t the only attraction in the area. There is a mix of architecture dating from the Middle Ages. The areas to explore are Waterlooplein, Zeedijk and Nieuwmarkt Square. The Red Light District is like a sexual amusement park. The famous red window lights are striking against the old canal houses. No photographs are allowed.
6. Amsterdam’s canals
The number of canals has led Amsterdam to become known as the Venice of the North. A trip to Amsterdam is not complete without a boat ride. A canal tour is relaxing by day and romantic at night when many of the houses and bridges are illuminated.
The Jordaan oozes atmosphere with narrow streets, picturesque canals, brown cafes, art galleries and unusual shops.
The Vondelpark is located in the south of Amsterdam, just five minutes walk from the Leidseplein and in walking distance from the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum. With 10 million visitors a year, the Vondelpark is the most famous park in the Netherlands.