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Top Things To Do in Amsterdam

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From its scenic canals to its vibrant nightlife, Amsterdam offers visitors endless avenues for exploration. Often known as the 'Venice of the North', this lovely 17th-century European gem is the home of exquisite art, culture and architecture. Explore its world-class museums, soak in its storied heritage, or wander its bike-friendly streets for an experience that will stay with you. 


Van Gogh Museum

This museum in Amsterdam has the world's largest collection of famous Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh's works, from paintings to sketches and even letters. The museum chronicles the artist's career, from his years living in Nuenen, Netherlands, beginning in 1880, up to his years in France and till his death in 1890. Some of Van Gogh's most famous works are on display in these galleries, including The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, and Bedroom in Arles. The museum also chronicles works by some of Van Gogh's artist friends and inspirations, including Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin, with whom Van Gogh had a close friendship, and Jean-François Millet.

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Anne Frank House

The story of Anne Frank is one that is known the world over. Featuring an unforgettable personal account of the Holocaust, it is now preserved at the Anne Frank House. Spurred by the German occupation of The Netherlands and the subsequent persecution of the Jewish community, Anne went into hiding with her family on July 6, 1942. Over the course of two years, Anne maintained a diary detailing life in the Annex, that was later published by her father. Although there aren't many memorabilia, films and other sources—including Anne's diary—present a vivid picture of what life was like during those times. The museum opened on May 3, 1960, and the enormous visitors' center was constructed in the 1980s.

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Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum, also known as the National Museum, is considered a true national treasure. It features a vast collection of artworks and historic artifacts from the Middle Ages to contemporary times, creating a veritable range of cultural riches. Its exhibits include the paintings of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen from the country's 17th-century Golden Age. Rembrandt's Night Watch is the museum's centerpiece. Visitors will also find works from the Middle Ages and the 18th and 19th Centuries, superb collections of silver and Delftware ceramics, old doll houses, and fantastic examples of Asian art. After undergoing renovation, the museum's 1885 Renaissance Revival building was diligently restored and revamped to accommodate modern infrastructure. The museum building itself is a masterpiece of art and architecture, designed by Pierre Cuypers and ornamented with sculptures, paintings, tile tableaus, and stained glass that allude to the nation's rich history.

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Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

The Stedelijk Museum curates and presents modern, contemporary art and design, thereby inspiring national and international audiences. Striking a great balance between traditional and modern roles, the museum also acts as a springboard for the city's contemporary visual arts scene. With the help of its unique collections, it reaches out to art enthusiasts through a multifaceted program of shows and exhibitions. Some of its collections feature artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as works of eminent artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. A prime fixture in the city's art scene, this museum is worthy of every itinerary.

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Amsterdam Museum

The Amsterdam Museum is nestled in a 14th-century building that originally operated as an orphanage. Through its artworks, maps and models, this museum illustrates the cultural expansion of Amsterdam through seven centuries. The Civic Guard Gallery is among its most popular features, replete with historic group portraits dating back as far as the 16th Century. Do not miss their exhibits such as The Little Orphanage and Amsterdam DNA. Visitors can also enjoy a cup of piping hot coffee at the Café Mokum or shop for memorabilia at the museum shop on site.

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Heineken Experience

Established in the late 19th Century, the building on Stadhouderskade ran as a brewery for the Heineken brand for almost a century, till it shut down in 1988. Following its closure, the brewery was transformed into a visitor center. Today, it functions as the Heineken Experience and serves as a company museum and a meeting and information center. It offers an opportunity to delve into Heineken's history and heritage; the tour also includes interactive displays as well as product tastings.

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Vondelpark

Established in the 19th Century, this large park is one of the most-visited spots in the city. Sharing its name with the poet Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679), whose statue was unveiled here in 1867, the park features a picturesque landscape defined by lush lawns, scenic lakes and leafy trees. Tranquil and serene, Vondelpark is a restful haven for citizens away from the city's hubbub. Come here for inline skating, let your children play in the large playground or enjoy some refreshments at one of the park's restaurants.

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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. The neighborhood has since transformed 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 weekly markets 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 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 passersby.

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De Wallen

The Red Light District, or De Wallen as it is called in Dutch, is one of Amsterdam's oldest neighborhoods. The area, which operates at all hours, is at its most vibrant at night. Red lights line the windows facing the canal and the streets surrounding the red-light district also offer shopping and theaters, as well as a museum devoted to erotica. This district has gained global recognition over the years owing to legalized prostitution and the sale of cannabis. As a result, one may find a bevy of shops here that cater to these themes, including sex shops, coffee shops offering cannabis, peep show theaters, and more.

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Amsterdam Canal District

Grachtengordel, also known as the Amsterdam Canal District, is one of Amsterdam's cultural hubs. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this district comprises four principal canals, namely the Singel, the Herengracht, the Keizersgracht, and the Prinsengracht canals, a historic network that dates back to the 17th Century. This neighborhood is also noteworthy for its impeccable urban planning, which has endured for centuries. A major landmark situated in this area is the Anne Frank House, which is a museum commemorating the Jewish writer Anne Frank.

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