Amsterdam is one of the most visited cities in Europe due to its reputation as a tiny, beautiful, and cosmopolitan wonderland. The capital of the Netherlands is sometimes referred to as the “Venice of the North” because to the city’s abundance of canals (more than 100 in all).
Top 10 Places to Visit in Amsterdam
The intact and attractive architecture of the 17th century in Amsterdam provides a charming if incongruous backdrop for a city known for its modern, progressive outlook.
Amsterdam is a city full of intriguing and novel experiences, from the city’s excellent art museums to its colourful flower markets, from cannabis-selling “coffeeshops” to the red light district.
1. Canals of Amsterdam
The famed canals were constructed in the 17th century to redirect the Amstel River’s flow and provide the city with additional dry ground. The canals of Amsterdam quickly became a popular venue for the grand houses of Amsterdam’s wealthy merchant class.
Tourists can take it easy on a boat tour along one of Amsterdam’s 100 canals to take in the city’s classic Dutch buildings.
Over 2,000 houseboats, including houseboat hotels, call the canals, which are lined with elm and lime trees and bridged by more than a thousand bridges, home. Cruises can last anywhere from an hour to an entire evening, and tour companies offer them all.
The Rijksmuseum, located in the north-eastern part of Museum Square, is often considered to be the most significant cultural institution in the Netherlands. More over a million objects, mostly from the 13th century and later, make up the collection as a whole.
Before the architect Pierre Cuypers won a design contest in 1876 and construction began on the Rijksmuseum, the collection was spread out over the country in various locations for decades.
Paintings by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vemeer are among the highlights of the collection of this museum, which opened in 1885 and today houses over 8,000 artefacts. The price of admission to see Rembrandt’s masterwork Night Watch is money well spent.
3. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum, which can be found on the northwest side of Museum Square (also known as Museumplein), houses the largest collection of Van Gogh’s artwork and correspondence in the world.
The museum, which occupies a four-story structure created by Gerrit Rietveld in the 1970s, is a popular destination for visitors to Amsterdam. The museum’s second floor features two hundred works by Dutch Post-Impressionists.
The artwork is shown in chronological order, giving viewers a close look at Van Gogh’s developing style. The third narrative details the artist’s unhappy life and the subsequent efforts to rehabilitate his artwork. Artists like as Millet, Gaugin, and Daubigny, contemporary of Van Gogh, have works on display in the upper galleries.
Begijnhof, also known as Beguines Courtyard, is located in the geographic heart of Amsterdam’s ring of canals. The Catholic Beguines, a religious order, made their home in the region in the 14th century, when it was an enclosed courtyard.
Unlike typical convents, women at the Begijnhof might leave the order and marry if they so desired. The Begijnhof Kapel is a beautiful chapel with marble columns and stained-glass windows where the sisters began worshipping in secret after the confiscation of their chapel during the Reformation.
The English Reformed Church, constructed in 1392, can also be found in Begijnhof. The Begijnhof is also home to the oldest wooden building in Amsterdam, which dates back to 1465.
5. Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House, one of Amsterdam’s top tourist destinations, can be found on the Prinsengracht. Since 1947, when Anne’s father released the diary Anne wrote while hiding from the Nazi authorities, the building where Anne Frank and her family and four other Jewish people spent World War II has been recognised as a memorial to the Holocaust.
In 1955, when developers were going to demolish the building, a scheme to save it from destruction was conceived. In 1960, the structure debuted as a museum. The museum allows guests to see Anne’s actual bedroom, as well as displays that detail her tragically brief existence.
The Bloemenmarkt, situated on the south bank of the Singel canal between Muntplein and Koningsplein, is the only floating flower market in the world. Flower vendors work seven days a week to stock the world with the Dutch bulb and flower exports.
The Bloemenmarkt, established in 1862, is home to a wide variety of flower and garden merchants, as well as trinket vendors. Even though residents can be found browsing the stalls, the market’s primary target audience is travellers.
Visitors to Amsterdam can take home a piece of the city by purchasing tulip, daffodil, narcissus, and other bulbs that have been certified as export ready.
The National Maritime Museum of Amsterdam, or Scheepvaartmuseum, preserves and displays artefacts from the city’s long maritime tradition. The museum, which is housed in a building that served as a naval warehouse beginning in 1656, has 18 different galleries.
This multi-story museum shows how the Dutch commanded the seas with exhibits ranging from depictions of historical maritime battles to beautifully drawn maps and 17th-century armaments, all of which contributed to Amsterdam becoming the wealthiest city in the world during the 1600s thanks to sea trade.
Visitors can get an up-close look at the hobbies and pastimes of sailors through the museum’s collection of carvings. A model of the Amsterdam, a Dutch ship that travelled to the East Indies in the 18th century, is docked in front of the museum.
8. Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam
The western side of Dam Square in the heart of Amsterdam is home to the Koninklijk Paleis, one of three royal palaces in the Netherlands. Built in the 17th century, this structure served as the city hall until the Napoleonic Wars, when Napoleon’s brother Louis was anointed King Louis I of Holland and the building was turned into a palace.
Jacob van Campen built the exterior out of sandstone to resemble Roman public buildings, while the interior is a shining example of ornate 18th-century Empire design. The palace is available to the public for the better part of the year, but it is nevertheless occasionally used by the Dutch Royal Family for official functions.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Amsterdam is the house where the famous artist Rembrandt once lived. Here, you’ll find the largest collection of his etchings ever assembled, in addition to artefacts that inspired him.
Included in the price of admission is an audio guide that will take you on a guided tour of the house and provide a wealth of information on the artist’s life. The etching demonstrations, which take place three times a day, are a highlight of a visit to the Rembrandthuis. See how Rembrandt created his masterpieces.
10. Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder
The Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder provides one of the best glimpses of Amsterdam’s early culture. This structure, also known as the Museum of Our Lord in the Attic, serves as both a residence and a place of worship. The Alteration of 1578 outlawed open displays of Catholicism in the early modern period.
Instead, the upper three stories of this old canal home were occupied by worshippers. The church has been preserved amazingly well and now provides a unique glimpse into the religious life of early modern Amsterdam. The museum is still utilised for certain ceremonies, such as marriages, and features some magnificent works of art.