Amsterdam is a popular holiday destination in Europe very well known for its art museums, historic canals, parks, nightlife, festivals and the various other activities and experiences that are offered here. The city is visited by millions of tourists every year. The city had humble beginnings as a 13th-century fishing area and is now a major business hub and centre for tourism and culture. Tourists can explore the hidden charm and character of this city through the various shops, cafes, museums and restaurants lining the streets here. There are a rich cultural life and diverse population residing in the city.
The months of April-May, September-October are some of the best times to visit this city. You can enjoy the sights and attractions of the city with pleasant weather while escaping the crazy crowd during this time.
Let’s look at some of the top reasons to visit this city:
Rich History and Culture
Amsterdam is known for its rich culture and history and is a city that is a major tourist attraction in the Netherlands. Flanked by the Royal Palace, the Dam Square, Amsterdam’s central public square is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. One of the most famous places in the city is the Anne Frank House which takes you through the life of the young Jewish diarist. The Renaissance era Protestant church, Westerkerk is where Rembrandt is buried. One travel tip is to make the 278-ft climb up the spire for incredible views of Amsterdam. The home of the Dutch Royal family, the Royal Palace which was built in 1808 is open to the public when not in use. One iconic street market to visit in order to experience the Dutch culture and food is the Albert Cuyp Market.
Amsterdam is the place to visit if you are a history buff. The Museum District in the city houses three of the famous temples of art. You can have a look at works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh at one of the most prestigious museums in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum. Another contemporary museum that is a tourist attraction is the Stedelijk which houses international collections and looks like a giant bathtub from the outside.
Some of the rare and sought-after work by the famous Post-Impressionist master Van Gogh can be found at the Van Gogh Museum. This museum contains over 200 paintings and 500 drawings and letters from Van Gogh and is the largest collection of his work anywhere across the world. The Rembrandt House Museum will take you through the life of the famed Dutch painter Rembrandt.
Well-known Art Hotels
The city of Amsterdam is where Van Gogh studied, so it’s no surprise that the city promotes and conserves artistic expression. Several art hotels in the city provide you with the rare opportunity to experience art while living in its quarters. Several hotels also hold regular art exhibitions for tourists and visitors.
Another reason to visit Amsterdam is for its famous cafes, restaurants and pubs that serve Dutch specialities. Some of the dishes one must try when visiting this city include Pofferties which are pillowy pancakes that are eaten with butter and powdered sugar. Bitterballen is savoury fried gravy that is a popular pub snack and often accompanied by a glass of beer. Stamppot which is a dish made of meatballs, sausages and vegetables is Dutch comfort food and a must-try. Another travel tip while visiting this city is to not miss trying the famous stroopwafel which is one of the most well-known Dutch treats. It is made by filling gooey caramel or syrup in between two layers of batter in a waffle iron.
The city is a tourist’s attraction for its ‘cafes’ which are not your typical coffee shops, but a place to throng to and grab a beer and a snack. These are popular spots among the locals here and would give you a chance to live and experience life in Amsterdam.
Best Quality Beer
The Netherlands is the world’s largest exporter of beer and is also home to the famous beer brand Heineken. The interactive tour through the former brewery at Heineken will take you through the brewing process and you will learn everything about the well-known lager. One travel tip for those who don’t prefer beer is to try ‘jenever’ which is a juniper flavoured gin that is also Netherland’s national drink.
The colourful festivals are one of the prominent reasons to visit this magnificent city. Amsterdam is a city where irrespective of what season you visit you are bound to find the streets buzzing with dance, music, food and art. Kings Day which is held on the 27th of April every year is dedicated to the King’s birthday where celebrations include street markets, parties and parties. Some of the other famous festivals include the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre shows, Kookt food festival and the Amsterdam Gay Pride.
Amsterdam has 165 canals that span over 60 miles and is rightly called the “Venice of the North”. The canal ring was also been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the popular tourists’ attractions, and one can cruise through it by a private boat or take a traditional canal cruise. You could also opt for a canal bike or hire your own mini boat. One travel tip is to use the Amsterdam Holland Pass discount for a free canal cruise. The canal is a hub for economic activity and movement through the city. A canal cruise is the best way to take in the experiences of the city.
Lush Green Parks and Gardens
In between all the jostling and the commotion of the city, you can find a moment of peace at one of the numerous parks in the capital. Hortus Botanicus is a botanical garden in Amsterdam and one of the oldest in the world. It was established in 1683 and holds over 4,000 plant species today. The largest park in Amsterdam is the Vondel park which is located in the Museum District. You can attend a free concert here in the summer at the open-air theatre and also go on a picnic with your friends or family in the vast open space here.
Another reason to visit this spectacular city is for its vibrant and eclectic nightlife. The clubs and pubs in the city offer big tunes, lasers and famous DJs. Leidseplein is one of the popular spots where one can find a large number of clubs and bars to hop into.
Close to the bustling Albert Cuyp market, you will find Sarphati park which is the perfect stop to rest and relax for tourists and locals alike.
Tulips are Netherland’s national flower and you can find these beautiful flowers strewn across the city. Keukenhof which is 30 minutes away from the city hosts a flower show from March through May. It is also known as the “Garden of Europe” and is a spectacular sight of windmills and tulips. At the Vondel Park, you can have a look at the annual tulip display at the tulip island from July to September. Annual Tulip display is one of the most popular tourists attraction in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is one of the perfect holiday destinations for shopaholics. Its local markets and stores offer you art, souvenirs and flowers. The Rembrandt Art Market and The Mercatormarkt are some of the most popular markets where you can shop for local produce. Several Christmas markets also line the streets of the city during the months of November through December offering a wide range of products and creates an atmosphere of fun.
Sports and Activities
The city offers numerous activities to immerse yourself in during your visit here. Amsterdam is the most bike-friendly city across the world and has over 500 miles of bike lanes and cycle paths to help you get around. You could hire bikes or also take a guided cycle tour offered here and take in the beautiful sights across the city. One travel tip to keep in mind is that you are likely to find old fashioned back pedal brakes on the handlebars of the bikes here and to prepare yourself accordingly.
Red Light District
Amsterdam legalized brothels in the year 2000 and since the 1300s when the city was a major trading harbour, prostitution or sex work has been widespread in the city. The infamous red-light district in Amsterdam is thronged to by tourists from across the world. The area is locally known as De Wallen and is a popular tourist’s distraction.