This tourist-filled metropolitan city located in the center of the country is the capital of the Netherlands. Here, you can find art, entertainment, history and nature, all within the confines of this seemingly small city. Much like in the rest of the country, Amsterdam is filled with beautiful canals lined with picturesque bridges, boats and traditional 17th-century style houses. There are bicycle paths all over the city and there are more bikes than any other mode of transportation. Even on the rainiest of days, the narrow/cobblestoned city streets are filled with tourists and locals alike who loves venturing it by bike.
The city is known for many things: its canals, its fascinating Dutch/traditional architecture, its tulips, its local world-renowned artists, like Rembrandt or Van Gogh, its bicycle paths, and its permissive laws, to name a few. Beside its attractions, Amsterdam has also gained popularity for being an important trade location in Europe, one of the main port cities in the Netherlands and as of recently, a modern, cultural hub.
Some of the most visited tourist attractions in Amsterdam are very true to Holland and the Dutch.
For nature lovers…
In a country known for its flowers and its canals, the city’s floating flower market displays a beautiful large variety of flowers, more specifically tulips, in hundreds of colors. Visiting the countryside of Holland in the Spring is magical as you can easily lose yourself amidst a beautiful tulip crop, but should you come during any other time of the year, you can attempt to recreate that experience at Amsterdam’s Bloemenmarkt, located in the center of the city in a popular area known as ‘Grachtengordel’. In this central area, you will also come across the Amsterdam Canal Belt, a body of water made up of four main canals that run through the center of the city. This area was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010.
If you are looking for accommodation in the downtown area, the DeWallen area is near the Grachtengordel and is a stone’s throw away from Dam square, the main town square in the city. Hotels in this bustling part of Amsterdam, such as the Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, have all the historical charm and modern comfort for the perfect stay in Amsterdam.
For history buffs…
The famous Anne Frank House is a popular attraction in Amsterdam. Now a historic landmark, in this biographical museum in honor of Jewish diarist Anne Frank, you can find out about her life as a young Jewish girl who went into hiding for two years during the holocaust period. In this museum, you can experience how she lived and survived the wartime during this tumultuous period in approximately 48msq, along with 7 other people.
An important attraction also worth mentioning, although not located in Amsterdam, is Madurodam. With a short train or bus ride, you can arrive in the Hague’s Madurodam miniature park and visit Holland and its main sites. Here, every object was built at a scale of 1:25.
With this in mind, If you wish to stay a little further away from the downtown area but still close enough to get to the city center by train, we recommend the stylish and modern Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam City West on the West Side of the city, near the Anne Frank House, or the Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam Airport, Schiphol next to the airport, 30 minutes from Amsterdam city. Getting transportation from and to the city center are easy at both these locations.
For art enthusiasts…
If you are an art connoisseur or enthusiast, the Rijksmuseum is home to some of the world’s most famous artworks and it is one of the largest and most popular museums in the country. This museum displays numerous amounts of works by renowned Dutch artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Havicksz. Steen, Frans Hals and more. In the same location as the Rijksmuseum, you can also visit the Van Gogh Museum, a museum dedicated to the life and tragic story of Vincent Van Gogh. The museums also display an extensive collection of his works.
In Amsterdam, you can also find something quirkier and more different, if history and art sights are not for you. Among some of the most popular quirky attractions that you wouldn’t expect to find are Madame Tussauds, the Dutch branch of the renowned celebrity wax museum franchise; Ripley’s believe it or not, a museum franchise dedicated to surprising and bizarre real-life records; and lastly, Body Worlds, the exhibitions that teaches everything you need to know about the human anatomy using real-life bodies.
If the unusual is not your thing either and you want to experience something gorier, we recommend visiting the Amsterdam Dungeon, a unique and interactive attraction that brings Amsterdam’s darker history to life.
Once you are done sightseeing, I recommend you enjoy a bit of the Amsterdam nightlife. End your afternoon at the Heineken Experience, the museum/former Heineken Brewery, where you can enjoy a cool pint of beer and discover the history behind the world-renowned brand. Or opt for House of Bols, a one-of-its-kind museum that not only educates you on the history of liqueur and spirits but also offers you an interactive tasting experience, from the traditional Dutch Jenever ‘Gin’ to more modern signature cocktails. Both tours last approximately an hour.
For the curious…
Amsterdam has gained popularity for a lot of very interesting attractions. So, for those of you looking to also explore the more curious and controversial side of Amsterdam, you can venture through the numerous Coffee Shops that can be found throughout the center and wander down the Red-Light District to sneak a peek at the brightly lit red neon windows along the canals to see what all the fuss is about.