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Top Rated Attractions in Amsterdam

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Lucky Jack

This gambling hall is situated right in the center of the city, near the famous Rembrandt square. Although it is rather small, they still have a good selection of slot machines. The atmosphere at Lucky Jack is rather informal and both the interior and the exterior of the place look quite modern. When you enter, there is a booth where you can change your money into coins. Unlike most other gambling halls in Amsterdam, the minimum entry age at Lucky Jack is 21.

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With origins that date back to the 14th Century, Begijnhof is Amsterdam's oldest hofje, or inner courtyard. The Medieval Courtyard was originally laid-out as a Beguinage, or dwelling for the Begijntjes - a Catholic sisterhood of single women. When the practice of the Catholic faith was deemed illegal in the 16th Century, the Beguinage was forced to surrender its chapel. A "hidden church" was built in its stead, concealed behind residential facades. This chapel still exists and is a cherished place of pilgrimage. Most of the other buildings that fringe the Begijnhof were built in the 17th and 18th Centuries, except for the Houten Huys. Constructed in 1528, this medieval timber house is Amsterdam's oldest and offers a glimpse into the city's architectural past. The courtyard also hosts the medieval home of the English Reformed Church and several historic stone plaques. Isolated from the bustle of the historic city center, the Begijnhof remains shrouded in an air of mystery, a rare, hidden gem that has survived the march of time. The entrance to the secluded courtyard is located at Spui.

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The Jordaan

One of the city's oldest neighborhoods, the Jordaan traces its roots to the 17th Century as an area built for the working class. Unchecked immigration and neglect over the years led to it being one of the poorest areas of the city. The neighborhood has since been revived and has transformed handsomely into an upscale quarter. Today, the Jordaan is a harmonious blend of the old and new, with charming historical courtyards, stellar art galleries, and great dining options. Of particular interest are the markets regularly held at Noordermarkt, Lindengracht and Westerstraat, the Jordaan Museum, and the Westerkerk with its lofty bell tower. Over the years, the neighborhood's diverse makeup has also given rise to a distinctive musical style that is still celebrated through performances at the Jordaan's many bars and cafes. Down the streets and along the canals of Jordaan, quaint historic homes and contemporary attractions vie for the attention of passer-bys.

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Anne Frank House

The story of Anne Frank is one that is known the world over; an emblematic personal account of the Holocaust that is now preserved at the Anne Frank House. Born in Germany, Anne Frank moved to Amsterdam, where she spent the majority of her truncated life, upon the advent of the Nazi Regime. Spurred by the German occupation of the Netherlands, and the subsequent persecution of Jewish community, Anne went into hiding with her family on July 6, 1942. The family sought refuge in a series of concealed rooms hidden behind a bookcase in the building where her father worked. Here, they lived in isolation for over two years with the help of sympathetic aids until they were discovered by the Gestapo in 1944, just a few months before the fall of the Nazi regime. Over the course of these two years, Anne maintained a diary detailing life in the Annex, her hopes, and dreams; a moving account that was eventually published by her father. Although the German occupants removed all the furniture from the Anne Frank House when the inhabitants were detained in 1944, films and other sources, including Anne's diary, present a vivid picture of what life was like during those trying times. The museum opened on May 3, 1960, and the enormous visitors' center was constructed in the 1980s.

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This cultural phenomenon located within a short distance of the Leidseplein occupies a former dairy. That explains its name, which translates to "Milky Way." Melkweg is renowned for both its size and eclectic performers. In addition to a dance floor and 2000-person capacity, you'll find a gallery, cinema, theater, and concert stage. Bands are often followed by DJs who play tunes ranging from house to drum and bass. Its diverse audience is a mix of locals and tourists. The atmosphere is relaxed with plenty of space to dance or mingle.

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Many internationally-acclaimed artists have performed at Paradiso, formerly a church. It features a spacious dance floor and a balcony offering excellent views of the surrounding balustrade. Every week, this venue hosts different bands in action, from regional musicians to world-famous artists like the Rolling Stones. Occasionally, the stage on the first floor is reserved for smaller indie bands that draw an eclectic crowd of locals and tourists.

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