Top sights and attractions in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Concertgebouw.

The Rijksmuseum is the largest and most important art museum in the country. The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer.

Rembrandt’s masterpiece Night Watch is worth the price of admission alone. The museum also has a small Asian collection which is on display in the Asian pavilion.

Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum is an art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It is located at theMuseum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Concertgebouw.

The museum’s collection is the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world. the museum is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Amsterdam and the 31st most visited art museum in the world.

Two hundred paintings from the Dutch Post-Impressionist occupy the second story of the museum. Displayed chronologically, the artwork offers viewers an intimate look at Van Gogh’s evolving style. The third story contains information about the artist’s troubled life and about the efforts taken to restore his paintings. Works by Van Gogh’s contemporaries, including artists like Millet, Gaugin and Daubigny are exhibited on the top floor.

Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is a writer’s house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to theWesterkerk, in central Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

During World War II, Anne Frank hid from Nazi persecution with her family and four other people in hidden rooms at the rear of the 17th-century canal house, known as the Secret Annex. Anne Frank did not survive the war, but in 1947 her wartime diary was published. In 1957, the Anne Frank Foundation was established to protect the property from developers who wanted to demolish the block.

The museum opened on 3 May 1960. It preserves the hiding place, has a permanent exhibition on the life and times of Anne Frank, and has an exhibition space about all forms of persecution and discrimination. The museum is the 3rd most visited museum in the Netherlands, after the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. 

Vondelpark

The Vondelpark is a public urban park of 47 hectares (120 acres) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the borough of Amsterdam-Zuid and situated west from the Leidseplein and the Museumplein. The park was opened in 1865 and originally named the “Nieuwe Park”, but later renamed to “Vondelpark”, after the 17th-century playwright and poet Joost van den Vondel. Yearly, the park has around 10 million visitors. The park serves as a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists. It’s a place where people can relax, play sports on the grass, bike along pathways and enjoy a herring sandwich or Dutch beer at one of the park’s horeca facilities. In the park is an open-air theatre, a playground and several horeca facilities.

De Wallen

De Wallen is Amsterdam’s famous red-light district, the city’s designated area for legalized prostitution. The neighborhood covers several canals and side streets to the south of Central Station. More than three hundred one-room apartments are rented by sex workers who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door illuminated with red lights. Because of a strong police presence, the neighborhood is safe. Although taking pictures is not allowed, visitors are welcome.

The area also has a number of sex shops, sex theatres, peep shows, a sex museum, a cannabis museum, and a number of coffee shops that sell marijuana.

As the oldest section in Amsterdam, the district is also home to several historic buildings, including the city’s oldest church, the Gothic-style Oude Kerk.

Natura Artis Magistra

Artis, short for Natura Artis Magistra , is a zoo in the centre of Amsterdam. It is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and one of the oldest zoos of mainland Europe. Artis Royal Zoo is not just a zoo; it also contains an aquarium and a planetarium. Artis also has an arboretum and a fairly large art collection. A part of the art collection is on display in the Aquarium building of the zoo. Artis contains 27 monumental buildings, most of which are used as enclosures for the animals, making Artis a unique cultural heritage of the 19th century.

The Jordaan

The Jordaan is a neighborhood of the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the borough of Amsterdam-Centrum. The area is bordered by the Lijnbaansgracht canal to the west, the Prinsengracht to the east, the Brouwersgracht to the north and the Leidsegracht to the south. The former canal Rozengracht (now filled in) is the main traffic artery through the neighborhood.

Originally a working-class neighborhood, the Jordaan has become one of the most expensive, upscale locations in the Netherlands. It is home to many art galleries, particularly for modern art, and is also dotted with specialty shops and restaurants. Markets are held regularly at Noordermarkt, the Westerstraat (the Lapjesmarkt textile market) and Lindengracht.

Rembrandt spent the last years of his life in the Jordaan, on the Rozengracht canal. He was buried in the Westerkerk church, at the corner of Rozengracht and Prinsengracht, just beyond the Jordaan. The Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank went into hiding during World War II, is located on the edge of the Jordaan, on the Prinsengracht canal.

Heineken Experience

The Heineken Experience is located on Stadhouderskade, at Ferdinand Bolstraat. The brewery is easily accessible via tram to Stadhouderskade. Nearby attractions include the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum.

A visit to the old Heineken brewery is paramount to brew-worshipers and beer lovers. You will learn the history of the Heineken family, find out how the logo has evolved, and follow the brewing process from water all the way through to bottling. Along the way you can watch Heineken commercials from around the world, join a Heineken bottle on its life’s journey and drive a virtual dray horse.

Inside the brewery are fermentation tanks, each capable of holding a million glassfuls of Heineken, as well as vintage brewing equipment and tall malt silos. Unique attractions make the Heineken Experience a fun trip. You can see and feel what it’s like to be Heineken beer bottle, or take a (simulated) ride on an old brewery dray-wagon, pulled by Shire horses on a video screen in front of you. The ride rattles and rolls you through a short tour of Amsterdam.

If all this gets to be too much fun, you can wind down at the free tasting sessions at the end of your visit.

Allow 75 minutes for your visit, and expect lots of company. The best time to come is before 11am; after that, it can get crowded.

Dam Square

Dam Square lies in the historical center of Amsterdam, approximately 750 meters south of the main transportation hub, Centraal Station, at the original location of the dam in the river Amstel. It links the streets Damrak and Rokin, which run along the original course of the Amstel River from Centraal Station toMuntplein (Mint Square) and the Munttoren (Mint Tower). The Dam also marks the endpoint of the other well-traveled streets Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat and Damstraat. A short distance beyond the northeast corner lies the main red-light district: de Wallen.

On the west end of the square is the neoclassical Royal Palace, which served as the city hall from 1655 until its conversion to a royal residence in 1808. Beside it are the 15th-century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. The National Monument, a white stone pillar designed by J.J.P. Oud and erected in 1956 to memorialize the victims of World War II, dominates the opposite side of the square. Also overlooking the plaza are the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky and the upscale department store De Bijenkorf. These various attractions have turned the Dam into a tourist zone.

EYE Film Institute Netherlands

While the temporary events at the EYE film museum require tickets, in the basement visitors can immerse themselves in cinema at a free permanent exhibition. There is a huge collection of Dutch & foreign movies & film posters in contemporary, waterside culture center.

The Panorama room surrounds visitors with around 100 movie clips and scenes, which are projected on to the walls and can be browsed via seven control panels. Perhaps the most popular plaything (expect to wait a while for one to become free!) are the viewing pods – specially designed, futuristic cabins which contain a small sofa for visitors to watch films in. It’s also worth taking a close look at the EYE building itself, which moved to its current location in 2012 and now sports a dramatic new look with jagged angles and a shimmering white exterior.

The National Maritime Museum (Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum)

The National Maritime Museum is a maritime museum in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The museum is dedicated to maritime history and contains many artifacts associated with shipping and sailing. The collection contains, among other things, paintings, scale models, weapons and world maps. The paintings depict Dutch naval officers such as Michiel de Ruyter and impressive historical sea battles.

The map collection includes works by famed 17th-century cartographers Willem Blaeu and his son Joan Blaeu. The museum also has a surviving copy of the first edition of Maximilian Transylvanus’ work, De Moluccis Insulis, the first to describe Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage around the world.

Museum Ons’Lieve Heer Op Solder

Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (English: Our Lord in the Attic) is a 17th-century canal house, house church, and museum in the city center of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Catholic Church was built on the top three floors of the canal house during the 1660s. It is an important example of a “schuilkerk”, or “clandestine church,” in which Catholics and other religious dissenters from the seventeenth century Dutch Reformed Church, unable to worship in public, held services. Since 28 April 1888, the church is open as a museum.

Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam

One of three royal palaces in the Netherlands, the Koninklijk Paleis in Amsterdam is located on the western side of Dam Square in the center of the city. The 17th structure began life as the city’s town hall, but was converted into a palace during the Napoleonic Wars when Napoleon’s brother Louis was crowned King Louis I of Holland. Although the exterior was constructed by Jacob van Campen with sandstone to mimic the public buildings of Rome, the interior is a premier example of the elaborate Empire style of the early 1800s. The palace is still used by the Dutch Royal House for Royal events but is open to the public for most of the year.

Science Center NEMO

NEMO Science Museum is a science center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is located at the Oosterdok in Amsterdam-Centrum, situated between the Oosterdokseiland and Kattenburg. The museum has its origins in 1923, and is housed in a building designed by Renzo Piano since 1997. It contains five floors of hands-on science exhibitions and is the largest science center in the Netherlands. It attracts annually over 500,000 visitors, which makes it the fifth most visited museum in the Netherlands.

Amsterdam Dungeon

The Amsterdam Dungeon, in the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands, follows a similar format to the London Dungeon, York Dungeon, Berlin Dungeon and Hamburg Dungeon which are owned and operated by UK-based Merlin Entertainments and attempts to show history through an interactive adventure. Live actors, a ride, shows and special effects simulate historical dark and bleak times.
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