If you would like travel to a city, to which there is no match in the whole world, Amsterdam is the right place. The city meets all European standards in terms of cultural heritage, transportation systems, availability of restaurants and entertainment centers, and nightlife. However, Amsterdam is more than just another European capital. It takes at least a several-weeks-long stay in the city, hours of marveling at its unique concentric buildings or sailing its canals, to get an understanding…
Top 10 Sights in Amsterdam
The museum is home to a great number of masterpieces dating back to the Dutch Golden Age. These include paintings, sculptures, furniture, silverware and other items, which depict local traditions and history, as well as the mentality of the Dutch.
Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam
Situated in the downtown area – in Dam Square – the palace is open to the public almost year round. Over its history, it has changed many roles: initially, it was built as the town’s hall, and during the Napoleonic wars it became a royal palace, and it retains the role so far.
Anne Frank House
This apartment house is the place where Anne Frank and her family – Jewish refugees – hid from the Nazis during the WWII. The diary, which she wrote here, is now exhibited in the museum. The interior has changed little since that time and it preserves the spirit of those grave days.
Amsterdam Canal Ring
The network of canals creates a tapestry of waterways, and the best way to explore the area is to cruise it in a boat. Canals are arranged in a curious cobweb-like pattern crossed by numerous bridges, and it takes more than one day to explore all the sights within the ring.
Vondelpark is an attraction for both locals and tourists, since it provides numerous facilities for sports and recreation. Here one can taste a unique local sandwich and have a glass of Dutch beer. The park gets its name from the monument to Joost van den Vondel, a renowned seventeenth-century playwright and poet, which is situated here.
The Port of Amsterdam
The port connects Amsterdam to Koblenz, Basel, Dusseldorf, etc., as ships head to these cities up the River Rhine. Here you can board a ship and start on an exciting cruise around the IJ bay and the canals. Cruises include visits to museums, such as the National Maritime Museum and the Science Center Nemo.
Bloemenmarks is the floating flower market situated on the south bank of the Singel canal between Koningsplein and Muntplein. Here you can buy all sorts of flowers the country is renowned for, as well as souvenirs.
The collection exhibited in Scheepvaartmuseum (the National Maritime Museum) is housed in the former naval storehouse building. It was thanks to sea trade that Amsterdam’s economy boomed in the seventeenth century. Here you can learn how the Dutch strengthened their position at sea and get an idea about old sailors’ lifestyle.
Amsterdam Brown Cafe
If you would like to indulge in a friendly atmosphere and take a closer look at Amsterdamers’ mentality, visit an old brown café, of which there are scores in the city. Watch its old-style interior, listen to quiet music and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of beer at an affordable price.
De Wallen is a red-light area designated for legalized prostitution. Red-lit windows signify presence of a sex worker and signal potential clients to use the service. Thanks to the police, there is no downright criminal activity in the area.
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When to Visit Amsterdam
Most tourists prefer to visit Amsterdam between April and October, when days are longer and most restaurants, hotels, clubs, etc., are open. Amsterdam is beautiful in all seasons, and it is not uncommon for tourists to arrive here during fall and winter months, when accommodation, airfares and other services are cheaper. Although it gets colder in winter, it is never extremely cold. Likewise, it does not get extremely hot in summer.
Where it is Located
Amsterdam is situated in the province of North Holland in the west of the Netherlands on the river Amstel. The river actually ends in the downtown area, collapsing into numerous canals, whose length totals about 100 km and which flow in the IJ. The long North Sea Canal connects it to the North Sea. One of the most notable things is that the city sinks 2 m below sea level, and it is protected by dams.