Top 10 Places to Visit in Amsterdam

With so many things to do and see, Amsterdam is the perfect destination for singles, couples, families, and seniors. Amsterdam has culture and charm that is not replicated anywhere in the world. The city is also home to a number of astonishing places to visit that simply cannot be missed.

1. Museumplein

Located in Amsterdam South, Museumplein is the place to be for museum lovers. The square boasts three of Amsterdam’s major museums. The Rijksmuseum has collections that include important pieces from Dutch history as well as well known works of art from artists like Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt.

The Van Gogh Museum, dedicated to the famous artist, is Amsterdam’s most popular museum. Along with Van Gogh’s famous works, like Sunflowers and The Yellow House, the Van Gogh Museum has works from such artists as Rodin, Gaugin, and Monet on display.

Stedelijk Museum is Amsterdam’s modern art museum, which is also accessible from Museumplein. Works from artists like Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and many others are on display at the Stedelijk.

Museumplein

2. Dam Square

When people speak of visiting “The Dam” they are not referring to a large water barrier. Rather, they are referring to what is arguably the most famous spot in the entire city. This historic city center is frequented by locals and tourists each day.

Centraal Station, the Royal Palace, and Nieuwe Kerk are only some of the important buildings that tourists can access from Dam Square. Visitors can also look forward to funfairs that take place in The Dam several times throughout the year.

Dam Square

3. Oude Kerk

Ereceted in 1306, The “Old Church” is the oldest building in Amsterdam. Tourists can see the church’s many monument, memorials, and famous paintings. Oude Kerk is open to tourists throughout the year, though the Tower of the Old Church is only open to the public from April through September.

4. De Wallen

De Wallen

The famous, and sometimes infamous, red light district is formally known as De Wallen. After a visit to Oude Kerk, Amsterdam tourists can simply step outside to see Belle, the bronze statue erected in honor of the most famous workers in the area.

Tourists are welcome to explore this area that is known for prostitution and cannabis cafes. Also within De Wallen are museums that are devoted to opiates and night life.

5. Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank’s famous diary details the daily struggles of a young girl living in hiding during the Holocaust. Frank lived with her family in a hidden area of her father’s office building on the Prinsengracht Canal. That building is now a museum that also hosts a book shop and cafe. The secret annex in which the Frank family and others were hidden is preserved and can be toured.

6. Coster Diamonds

Amsterdam is known for many wonderful and diverse activities. One of Amsterdam’s great claims to fame is its history of diamond polishing factories. Coster Diamonds is one of the oldest continuously operating diamond polishing factories in the country. Visitors to Coster Diamonds can take part in a free tour as they watch the cutting and polishing of these exquisite gems.

7. Heineken International

Heineken

Let’s face it – if you are a beer lover, no visit to Amsterdam should pass without paying a visit to the place where one of the world’s most popular beers is produced. The Dutch brewing company, Heineken International, is luckily headquartered in Amsterdam.

A visit to Heineken International takes tourists through the brewing process in a manner that is a combination of education and interactive fun. Guests can make their own videos, create a personalized Heineken bottle, and take part in a beer tasting.

8. Leidseplein

Leidseplein is the square to visit for those who wish to see what the nightlife of Amsterdam is all about. Tourists can watch street performers, enter one of the many pubs or nightclubs, do some shopping, or visit the Stadsschouwburg, Amsterdam’s famed theatre. In the winter months, Leidseplein hosts an outdoor skating rink as well.

9. Waag

The Waag is the oldest non-religious building in Amsterdam. Part of the original city gates, the walls were constructed in the late 15th century. As the city grew, the walls no longer served the purpose they once had. The Waag then, as its name suggests, served as a weight house. Later it also became a fire station and a workhouse.

Today, the Waag is the home of the Waag Society, a group that experiments with the latest technology. Visitors can enjoy a meal at the cafe that is now on the Waag’s ground floor.

10. Natura Artis Magistra

The oldest zoo in the Netherlands is Artis, located in the city’s center. Artis was founded in 1838 and opened to the public in 1851. Within the zoo are more than 900 animal species as well as an aquarium, planetarium, and zoological museum. Artis is also home to the Amsterdam Botanical Garden.

Thanks to places like those above, Amsterdam is one of the most interesting cities to visit in the world and it boasts some of the most diverse activities of any city in Europe.

You can easily find an affordable Amsterdam hostels online, and Holland’s capital is fun, friendly and clean. So, why wait? Start planning your trip to one of the most colourful European capitals!

Image Sources:

Museumplein
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nh53/6261486817
Dam Square
http://www.flickr.com/photos/abir82/3802888341
De Wallen:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/faceme/3528302517
Anne Frank House
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdhansay/7316070160
Heineken
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tigergirl/4093220109