Amsterdam, the perfect city to go to for a short break, that is packed with so much to do and see. This wonderful place with its picturesque streets of narrow houses and gabled facsades and miles of canals, is a perennial favourite for city breaks and it is so easy to understand why.
The Capital of The Netherlands, this city is relaxed and easy-going with an attitude that says, we love life and are going to enjoy it. From its famous red light district and weed cafe’s to its tulip museum and Van Gogh Museum, this truly is a capital that offers something for everyone!
So whether you are going for a long weekend, a day trip or an extended break, prepare to be amazed at all Amsterdam has to offer just don’t be surprised if you don’t get chance to fit everything in.
The great thing about visiting Amsterdam is that it is a city that you can go to at anytime. It has an oceanic climate which means that it typically has mild Summers and Winters which means that there is no bad time to see the place. If you go in the Winter months then you will be treated to wonder Christmas Markets whilst in the Summer months there is no better time to stroll through the streets or ride a bike around this most charming of Cities.
What to do in Amsterdam – 5 Top Picks
There really is so much to do in Amsterdam that it is a good idea to have some sort of plan before you go. Like so many great European cities as well as the Museums and Galleries, just strolling through the old streets is all part of your visit. That said there are some places you should really think of paying a trip to so let’s have a look at 5 of the best on offer.
1. The Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.
The Museum of the Netherlands is a museum that is dedicated to the arts and to the history of Holland so where better place to start your journey of this magical city. Here you will discover history and arts dating from 1200 to 2000, in all 1 million objects are contained within the museum with roughly 8000 pieces on display at the moment. There is a large collection of paintings from The Dutch Golden
Age with particular note to Rembrandt, Frans Hols and Johannes Vermeer. This is the most visited museum in The Netherlands with about 2 million visitors a year but it is well worth a visit. It is to be found in Museum Square and is close to the Van Gogh Museum which is worth visiting whilst you are in the area.
The Van Gogh Museum is seen as a tribute to his life, more poignant when you know that he received no acclaim for his work whilst alive but in death his works have become some of the greatest masterpieces of modern times and have sold in access of $152.0m for such works as The Portrait of Dr Gachet. The Museum holds the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in the world and is the second most visited Museum in The Netherlands.
2. Visit The Floating Flower Market.
As well as being famous for Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Holland is of course well known for tulips. Famed for the tulip mania in the 17th Century, when the cost of a single bulb could be 10 times the price of a skilled craftsman’s annual salary, now the prices are much more affordable and the flowers are enjoyed the world over.
If flowers are your thing then a trip to the Floating Flower Market is just the thing for you. The Bloemenmarket is the only floating flower market in the world, with the flowers being sold from stalls that are set on house boats. A trip here will leave you with an everlasting image of your trip to Amsterdam with the most wonderful array of colours and scents to wow you.
3. Oude Kerk.
If it is your first visit to Amsterdam then you should really take a trip down to the heart of Amsterdam in the red light district and visit Oude Kerk. This is the oldest building in Amsterdam and has been standing here for 800 years.
This ancient stone church is dedicated to St Nicholas, the city’s Patron Saint. Built around 1300 this impressive building has one of the best views of the city if you climb its tower. For those feeling less inclined then take a look inside where you will discover the floor that consists entirely of grave stones as well as what is considered to be one of the finest Baroque organs in Europe.
4. Take a tour on the Canal.
Amsterdam is famed for its canals and so taking a tour on the is a must when visiting. The city is home to 165 historic canals and a tour on them is a wonderful way to get another view of the city in a relaxing and pleasant manner.
The history of Amsterdam runs throughout its famous canals, they were built to help stimulate trade and transport and since 2010 the canal ring has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. The canals provide a stunning backdrop to the city and it is a great way to discover the historical sites and all the attractions that the city has to offer.
Whilst in the city it is well worth paying a visit to Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s most famous park. This beautiful park which dates back to 1865 is a wonderful green space to go to have some time to relax and reflect on your trip to Amsterdam. If you are around from June to August then go and take in a show at the open-air theatre, where performances of music, dance and theatre will be performed to entertain and delight you.
In the centre of the park is a stunning rose garden which was created in 1936. This is the most famous park in The Netherlands and around 10 million people each year visit it and whether you are going for a stroll after visiting the Museums close by or to look at the imposing statues that are situated there, it is a really pleasant place to while away a couple of hours.