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Top Things To Do in Amsterdam

By: Cityseeker
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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.

Museumplein 6, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1071 DJ
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. 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 eventually 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.

Westermarkt 20, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1016 DK

Rijksmuseum, also known as the National Museum, is considered a true national treasure. It features a vast collection of artwork and historic artifacts from the Middle Ages through to contemporary times, creating a veritable cornucopia of cultural riches. Its exhibits include the paintings of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen from the Netherlands' 17th-century Golden Age. Rembrandt's Night Watch is the museum's centerpiece. You'll 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 has been 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.

Museumstraat 1, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1071 XX
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

The Stedelijk Museum curates and presents modern, contemporary art and design, and thereby inspires national and international audiences. It combines the roles of a traditional museum along with that of a platform for contemporary visual arts, playing a key role in the cultural and social context of Amsterdam. With the help of its unique collections, it reaches out to art enthusiasts through a multifaceted program of shows and exhibitions. A prime fixture in the city's art scene, this museum is worthy of every itinerary. Admission prices vary based on season.

Museumplein 10, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1071 DJ
Amsterdam Museum

The Amsterdam Museum is nestled in a 14th-century building, which was originally an orphanage. Through its artworks, maps and models, this museum narrates the 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 Athenaeum Museum Shop on-site.

Amstel 51, Kalverstraat, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1012 PH
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. Nowadays, it functions as the Heineken Experience and serves as a company museum and a meeting and information center. It shows you the history of Heineken breweries; the tour also includes interactive displays as well as product tastings.

Stadhouderskade 78, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1072 AE

This large, green oasis was created in the second half of the 19th Century, and named after the poet Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679), a statue of whom was unveiled here in 1867. Today Vondelpark, one of the most-visited spots in the city, is a restful haven for citizens away from the city's chaos. Come here for inline skating, let your children play in the large playground or have a cup of coffee on one of the four terraces.

Vondelparkbrug, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1054 GK
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 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 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-byes.

The Jordaan, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1015 RM
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 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.

De Wallen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1012 LH
Amsterdam Canal District

Grachtengordel, also known as the Amsterdam Canal District, is the cultural hub of Amsterdam. The network of canals which date back to 17th Century - has been deemed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This neighborhood is also noted for its impeccable urban planning, which has stayed unmarred, even after four centuries. A major landmark situated in this area is the Anne Frank House, which is a museum dedicated to Anne Frank - the Jewish writer.

Grachtengordel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1017 GB
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