There are many things to do in Amsterdam, but there are also many things to see. That’s why I have created a Top 10 list with the city’s best attractions!
Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh museum is one of Amsterdam’s most famous museums. Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch post-impressionist painter who lived in Paris for a long time and became famous all over Europe. He is known for painting colorful portraits, still-life paintings, and sunflower paintings. Next to his paintings, you can find some letters from Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo, who worked at an art gallery in Paris at that time. You can also see a piece of his famous sunflowers painting in the museum’s back, which he made in Arles (France). In total, there are almost 200 pieces of art by Vincent van Gogh in the museum! The Van Gogh Museum is located near Museumplein, and it’s open from Tuesday until Sunday from 10:00-17:00 hrs.
Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is the most famous museum in Amsterdam. It’s one of the most visited museums in the world. The museum is located in an old house, where Anne Frank and her family lived during World War II (1940-1945). Anne Frank was a Jewish girl, and she kept a diary throughout their hiding period. After the Nazis discovered them, her father, Otto Frank, decided to publish the diary and became famous worldwide. In total, about 1.2 million people visit this museum every year! The entrance fee for this museum is 15 euros (Adults), 13 euros (Pensioners) and 7 euros (Children). The entrance starts at noon and ends at 20:00 hrs.
Rijksmuseum is one of Holland’s biggest museums with over 8,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, etc. One of its main attractions is artists like Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, and Johannes Vermeer. Other artists like Matisse and Mondriaan also have a few paintings in the museum. The Rijksmuseum is open from Tuesday until Sunday from 9:00-17:00 hrs.
The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe. It’s located near Dam Square and next to the National Monument! It’s a palace for three different branches of the Dutch royal family: House of Orange-Nassau, House of Wettin, and House of Lippe-Biesterfeld. You can visit this palace for free every day from 11:00-16:00 hrs. However, it’s closed on Sundays. There are guided tours in English, but you can also walk around freely inside the palace! You should visit this place if you’re coming to Amsterdam because it has a nice architectural design and it’s very interesting to see how people lived back then.
The Flower Market
The Flower Market is the biggest in Europe! It’s located near Leidseplein, and it’s open from Monday till Saturday from 9:00-18:00 hrs. There are about 300 stalls in this market, where you can buy flowers, vases, etc. You can also get some nice shots at this place! People come here to get flowers for their wives/girlfriends or decorate their homes with these beautiful flowers. It’s recommended to visit this market if you’re coming to Amsterdam.
Madurodam Miniature Park
Madurodam is a miniature park in Holland, where you can see all different kinds of buildings on a 1:25 scale (half size). This miniature park is very popular among tourists and children. If you like architecture, it’s worth visiting this place because you can find all kinds of famous buildings like the Eiffel Tower, White House, Chrysler Buildings, Big Ben, etc. Some Dutch buildings like the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Amsterdam’s Royal Palace. It’s open every day from 10:00-17:00 hrs, and it costs 7 euros (Adults), 5.50 euros (Children), and 4 euros (Seniors).
The Kazerne Dossin is a former military barracks used by Nazis to imprison about 1,000 Jewish people during World War II! They were brought here from all over Europe, and they were executed here as well. In total, there were about 3,800 Jewish people who died in this military barracks. There are still some wall paintings on those walls that can tell you stories about those times. You can find the Kazerne Dossin just next to the Anne Frank House, and it’s open from Tuesday till Sunday from 10:00-17:00 hrs.
The Heineken Experience tour
The Heineken Experience tour is a guided tour through the brewery where Heineken beer is made. It’s located in the former factory of Heineken, which was closed down in 1988. The tour lasts about 1 hour and costs 15 euros (Adults), 13 euros (Pensioners) and 8 euros (Children). You can buy tickets for this tour at the entrance, but you can also book them online in advance! The Heineken Experience is open every day from 9:00-18:00 hrs.
The Pancake Bakery Museum
The pancake bakery museum is one of Amsterdam’s most famous museums! It’s located near Leidseplein, and it’s open from Tuesday till Sunday from 10:00-17:30 hrs. There are about 20 tables inside this museum where you can eat pancakes for free! If you want to taste the best pancakes in town, then you should visit this place! You can also buy pancakes that are prepared by professional cooks here. There are about 1.5 million pancakes sold here every year! It’s a very popular tourist attraction in Amsterdam, and it’s worth going there!
The Westerkerk is a beautiful church near the Anne Frank House, built between 1620 and 1631. It’s one of the oldest churches in Holland! Unfortunately, you can’t take photos inside the church because it’s said to be disrespectful. The entrance fee for this church is 5 euros (Adults) and 3 euros (Children). The entrance starts at 9:30 hrs and ends at 17:00 hrs.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city built on the River Amstel. It is situated in the province of North Holland, which means that Amsterdam is one of the twelve official capitals of the Netherlands.
The origins go back to 1275 when Count Floris IV built a dam across the Amstel river. This dam became known as Oude Dam or Old Dam and gave its name to the settlement, gradually growing around it. People began building their houses on artificial mounds called dykes—which were high enough to stay dry during floods—and therefore remained safe from floods.
The actual name “Amsterdam” was first mentioned in ducal charters dating from 1275. It refers to the dam on the Amstel River, a small river that runs through the city. The name was given during constructing a new fortification near the Dam square; originally, “Aemstelredamme.”
The town was probably built around this fortification. The original village (in Dutch: gracht) was surrounded by earthen walls and protected by a moat and drawbridge (the remains of which can be found in the Amstelkring shopping center). The village had its church, several farms, and houses, but perhaps most importantly, its dairy (right next to today’s Vondelpark). A small wooden bridge across the moat led to what is now called Leidseplein; then, it was a village square.
In the 13th century, the city began to grow quickly. The population increased from 3,000 in 1300 to 10,000 in 1400. The town’s economy also improved: several markets were established, and trade flourished. In 1428, it became an official city. It was granted the right to have its port and shipyard and other important privileges for trade.
In 1499, the construction of a new dam across the Amstel River began. This dam closed off the river from the sea and created a large body of water known as the Amstelhoek. It also turned Amsterdam into a seaport and led to further growth of the city. Because of its strategic location on the Rhine-Amstel canal, Amsterdam became an important trade hub.
In 1618, a great fire destroyed most of the city center. Hendrick de Keyser quickly designed a new town plan, and soon after, construction began again. In just ten years, new churches, canals, and streets were built – giving it its famous 17th-century architecture – including the famous canals that you see today.
In 1879, a major railway station was opened at Central Station (the current Central Station), which connected Amsterdam to other European cities and made it easier for tourists to visit Amsterdam. In 1880, more than 3 million tourists visited, and the city earned its reputation as the “city of canals.”
It remained a small town until the 20th century, when it grew rapidly and became one of the largest cities in Europe. This growth was large because Amsterdam was spared during WWII. The city served as a refuge for many people who were fleeing Nazi occupation. While most of Western Europe lay in ruins after the war, Amsterdam quickly restored some of its former glory thanks to the post-war economic boom that took place throughout Europe.
The airport Schiphol opened in 1916 but only really began growing after WWII had ended. In 1947, Queen Juliana officially opened Schiphol Airport for passenger flights; this boosted tourism massively and led to the rapid growth that Amsterdam is now enjoying.
Amsterdam is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The city has four UNESCO World Heritage Sites (including the canal belt, De Wallen, and the old town center). Millions of tourists come each year and spend a lot of money on hotels, restaurants, and other tourist attractions. This is why the city’s government is constantly trying to balance Amsterdam’s reputation as a city for tourists with its reputation as one of the most livable cities in Europe.
Amsterdam’s Top 3 Attractions
Amsterdam is famous for its canals, which are lined with beautiful 17th-century houses and monuments. These canals were dug in the 17th century to make Amsterdam a major seaport. They’re now used mostly for tourism, as well as water management. These “canals” aren’t canals at all – they’re large lakes that have been turned into a canal system. The canal belt is larger than Venice! It has more than 100 kilometers of canals, and it’s connected to the North Sea by three rivers: the IJ, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht (which also contains the famous Jordaan district).
The Red Light District (De Wallen)
The red light district is located in the Oude Zijde (Old Side) district known as De Wallen. The official name for this neighborhood is De Walletjes, but everyone knows it as De Wallen. This area is a major attraction for tourists, especially those outside of Europe.
Dam Square / Nieuwmarkt / Waterlooplein
This square is probably the most famous in Amsterdam. Many people call it the “crown jewel” of the town. It’s situated at the end of Damrak (a famous canal that leads into the heart of Amsterdam). On this square, you can find the Royal Palace (now home to Queen Máxima and King Willem-Alexander) and several other monumental buildings.
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