Without visiting Amsterdam it’s almost impossible to understand why it is the 7th happiest country in the world and the prettiest city in the whole of Europe. What makes this small, most versatile and vibrant, culturally and historically, city a heaven for the tourist?
The list of interests and attractions is long, museums, rich history, contemporary art, web of canals and bridges, tulip-mania; combine flavoured colonial cuisine, bike riding, cruising and its notorious Red Light District, are some of the magnetic powers to pull the tourists to Amsterdam around the world.
Amsterdam is an easy accessible and economical destination for British tourists who strive to explore more in a limited time. This capital city of Netherlands is an amazing combination of old fashioned historical buildings dated back from the 13th Century and emerged beautifully into modernisation.
Amstelrdamme (Amsterdam) provides a great satisfaction to all tourist tastes, from exploring the history, canal cruising through the skinny bridge looking at the tall, narrow and old houses tilted on the canals to suck up the goodness, alongside colourful boathouses, lined up trees to thousands of parked bicycles. Whether chilling out in a bar with family and friends or tasting the finest Dutch delicacies. Or enjoying nature walks, cycling through the narrow streets and alleys or hoping on a tram in search of world class shopping markets.
There are more than 50 museums and most of them are a must see when visiting Amsterdam. The Rijks Museum is great to time travel into centuries and its night watch is most desired section amongst visitors, Ann Frank House with a secret annex where Ann hid for years with her family and friends and wrote her famous diary. The Royal Palace, the Verzets Museum and the Jewish Historical Museum are some must see sites. If you have interest in becoming a diamond expert, you must visit the Diamant Museum which is situated between the Van Gogh Museum and Rijks Museum.
Modern Art lovers have so much to consume in Amsterdam. Its most-visited, the Van Gogh Museum is a tribute to the post-impressionist painter. Van Gogh’s sympathetic subject matter and inventive technique has given him endless fame. The Stedelijk Museum is another can’t miss site for the modern art admirers. Its Erezaal is bejewelled with classic canvases from Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Yves Klein and other eminent artists.
Amsterdam has more canals than Venice and more bridges than Paris. You should not miss out on a water-borne tour of the splendid canals which aren’t just picturesque attraction, but had played a vital role in defence and transportation back in the 17th century.
For young people there are a number of attractions like Madame Tussauds, Amsterdam Dungeon, Cheese Museums, Arena Stadium and Body Worlds. You can hire a bicycle for a day and enjoy the ride while exploring the city. Also keep an eye on motorcyclists, when they pass through the city centre in hundreds.
In Amsterdam Icebar, experience living on the Mercury 1596 and resist the hardships of the extreme cold when the ship stranded on the arctic Island of Nova Zembia where natural ice is used to make the coastline of the island. See if you can beat the record of the crew on Mercury who suffered and survived for nine months.
Another attraction for the visitors is Albert Cuyp Market, this more than a century old, open air street market is best for everything one can think of buying. As stores are closed on Sundays, do not worry just pop to the Antiekmarkt Nieuwmarkt a famous antique and flea market which only opens on Sundays.
Amsterdam’s Flower Market, floating atop a canal, is on a short walk from the famous Dam Square where you buy all sort of garden plants, seeds and Dutch bulbs to take home.
While you are in Amsterdam beside tasting the unique flavours of cheese, try traditional Dutch cuisine, like Erwtensoep, Stamppot Boerenkool and pancakes topped with ham, bacon and all stuff which we can’s associate with a pancake. French fries; you might try there, but you have to wait in a long queue to get them as they are in high demand. The Dutch delicacies can be enjoyed in various traditional cafes and restaurants. Go for a Dutch colonial invention like Indonesia and Suriname. Others including, South American dishes with Afro-Caribbean, South Asian and Chinese flavours to satisfy your taste buds.
Being the largest Anglophone city in the continental, Amsterdam has the distinction; the Dutch speak really good English which makes this city more welcoming and open to tourists.
Amsterdam has plenty for every age, taste and demand. It’s always best to plan your trip in advance to see and absorb more and to save your time and money.