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Top Things to Do in Amsterdam

Top Things to Do in Amsterdam - feature photo

One of the great things about Amsterdam is that no matter your age, gender, or outlook on life, the city has something to offer. From beautiful architecture to concerts, great food to beautiful seasons, you can enjoy Amsterdam on your own, or take loved ones along for a wonderful holiday. Here are some suggestions of the top things to see and do in amsterdam during your holiday.

Food

Whether you are in the mood for something casual or something elegant, Amsterdam has everything that you need to make your idea of a great dining experience happen.

For those who just want to rest and relax, packing a picnic lunch and heading to the Vondelpark is the ideal solution. Easily the largest park in the city, the facility is named after the city’s best known poet, Joost van den Vondel. Sports enthusiasts can work off some of the food by participating in cycling or football, or enjoy a brisk walk through and around the park. Visitors can also enjoy the Nederlands Filmmuseum, or any of the various dance festivals that are held in the park during the summer months.

For those that want to give herring a try, heading to the Museum Quarter is a good idea. The Old Centre is also an excellent choice. You can also ask the concierge at the hotel for ideas on where to find the best herring in the immediate area. There are a number of locally owned shops throughout the city that offer herring that is fresh and prepared to perfection.

Amsterdam is noted for its rich and varied cuisine. It is possible to enjoy Indonesian, Surinamese, and Chinese food alongside traditional Dutch dishes. The rich blends of herbs and spices can tantalise just about any palette. For vegetarians, there are plenty of options that do not include any type of meat and fish.

History

Amsterdam is the site of the house where the world famous World War II diarist, Anne Frank, hid with her family from the Nazis. Now a museum, the guided tour includes visits to the secret rooms where the family hid, along with a new wing that provides information about the war, the persecution of the Jews, and the rise of fascism during that era.

Cruising the canals that run throughout the city can also be a great way to spend the day. These waterways make it easy to reach many of the key districts around the city, as well as providing the ideal opportunity to enjoy all the sights and sounds that Amsterdam has to offer, including churches and other structures that date back several centuries.

Nightlife

When visiting Amsterdam, enjoying the nightlife offered in the cafes and clubs around the city is essential; there is something to suit any taste. Families can find places that offer music, dance, and selections of food and drink that are ideal for every member of the group. Couples looking for romantic out of the way spots can also find what they crave. For the adventurous, there are also a number of adult entertainment spots, making Amsterdam a popular destination for people from all over the world.

Music is always part of the entertainment scene around the city. Visitors can enjoy traditional music as well as more contemporary sounds at the various clubs located in different districts. Musical theatre is also found in a number of locations, offering everything from the comedic to the risqué.

Culture

In order to learn more about the Amsterdam of today, visiting any of the museums found around the city can be extremely informative as well as entertaining. Amsterdam’s Historisch Museum covers over 700 years of Dutch history, giving visitors the opportunity to learn all about the creation of such uniquely Dutch products as wooden shoes (clogs).

A trip to the Rijksmuseum to see the works of the Old Masters from the 17th century all the way through to the dawn of the 20th century is recommended. Housed within its walls are over forty Rembrandt’s, as well as four Vermeer’s. All in all, the museum has the largest selection of artwork of its kind to be found in the nation, making it an essential stop during any holiday to Amsterdam. Recently Damien Hirst’s For the Love of God a Diamond encrusted human skull.

If your tastes run to more modern sensibilities, plan a trip to the Stedelijk Museum. Here, the works of some of the finest artists of the 20th century are found. Works by artists such as Chagall, Picasso, and Matisse are on display there. Artists who came onto the scene during the latter half of the century, such as Judd, Lichtenstein, and Warhol are also represented among the artwork found at the Stedelijk.

While touring around the city, be sure to enjoy the tulips found along the Singel, as well as the wonderful cheeses that are made in and near the city. You can also visit historic windmills, and learn of their role in keeping the city safe and dry. For those who prefer to venture out from the confines of an organised tour group, it is possible to rent bicycles in many places around the city, and thus stop wherever you like for as long as you like.

When planning a trip to Amsterdam, the best approach is to fly into the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Located in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, only a short distance southwest of the city proper, the airport is one of the largest in the country, and routinely receives flights from just about every country around the world.

Many hotels operate shuttles to and from the airport, making it easy to settle into your accommodation before you venture out into the city. It is also possible to rent vehicles, take taxis, and hire private tour guides at the airport.