Attractions of Amsterdam
The luxury of the canal tours and the intriguing museums that dot the landscape are the places that visitors tend to head to first in Amsterdam. But the city has much more to see than just that. Here is just a short taste of the hidden wonders that this marvellous city has to offer:
Albert Cuyp Market
Albert Cuyp, one of the leading 17th century Dutch landscape painters is also synonymous with the best-known and busiest outdoor markets in Europe. The Albert Cuyp Market has attracted thousands of visitors every day since 1904. The market is situated along a wide street called De Pijp where over 300 stalls and goods sell a wide variety of goods. The items range from bric-a-brac to clothes to fresh produce and everything else in between at excellent pricing.
Amsterdam Royal Palace - Koninklijk Paleis
The Royal Family uses this palace for state visits. It is so elaborate and opulent, that it is sometimes referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World. The neoclassical Koninklijk Paleis is dates back to the Golden Age of The Netherlands when it was used as the Town Hall. The Royal Palace houses one of the world's most complete and well-preserved collections of Empire-style furniture and decorative arts. All of the impressive 17 bedrooms, halls and galleries are opened to the public.
Beer Bike Tour
Cycling in Holland is the premium mode of transport to locals. There are at least half a million bicycles in Amsterdam alone. Many tourists are eager to try bike based tourism at least once on their journey. A truly unique option for a relaxing way to see the sights while cycling along the canals is with an Amsterdam beer bike. Besides touring while enjoying a beverage, the tourist can also exercise the brew’s calories away. The beer bike is a large mobile bar that typically seats between 10 and 20. Its concept begin in the late 90’s as a unique way to tour and has remained wildly popular 20 years later.
As unexpected as it may seem, Amsterdam is a diamond capital of the world. Coster Diamonds is one of the oldest factories still operating as the premium in diamond polishing and has handled some of the most valuable world's diamonds. Even the Crown Jewels belonging to the British Royal family passed through its doors. Coster Diamonds also holds the distinction of polishing the famed Koh-I-Noor diamond. Tour among the halls and view the diamond polishers at work who still use the same techniques and tools since the 1850s.
De Gooyer Windmill/ Brouwerij 't IJ
A visit to a windmill for at least a photo op is mandatory for tourists. Built in 1725 as a flour mill, the De Gooyer Windmill is one of only six windmills remaining in Amsterdam today and is the closest one to the city center. The mill was fully renovated in 1925 and it now serves as a private home. Next to the windmill is the Brouwerij 't IJ brewery. The brewery serves a five beer taster as well as single brews. They are all brewed on the premises and are certified organic. The brewery is a pleasant place for tourists to relax on an outdoor terrace while viewing the De Gooyer Windmill.
There are nearly 50 miles of canals which are considered Amsterdam’s most famous tourist attraction. Keizersgracht, known as the Emperor’s Canal is named for Austria’s Emperor Maximilian. This is one of the most photographed areas of all of Holland. Stand in the middle of a crossway for a complete panorama. Besides up and down the canal, the tour takes visitors to several museums, three Greenland Warehouses from the 17th century and the former home to the first ambassador of the USA in Holland and former President, John Adams Haus comes into view. Keizersgrach executes a compelling imagery that can be found only in Amsterdam.
Meaning “old church”, this attraction lives up to its name. The Oude Kerk is a 600 year old Protestant church. It was originally consecrated under the Catholic religion with its patron saint being Saint Nicholas. Following the Restoration of 1578, the church separated from Catholicism and changed to Calvinism. It is located in the Oudekerksplein, right next to the Red Light District. Oude Kerk is not only used as a religious venue, but also as a place for enriching activities. A wide variety of performance and visual arts take place year round.
Rembrandtplein was established in 1668 as a Botermarkt (Butter Market). It is named after the Dutch painter Rembrandt, iconic creator of works such as “The Night Watch.” In its center square, a cast iron statue of the famous 19th century artist represents him as the artistic guardian overlooking the city. At the turn of the 20th century, the square transformed into a popular hotspot for nightlife, “hip” cafes and entertainment. It has maintained its popularity for a century, with some 21st century advancements. The square houses Europe’s largest interactive video screen; a 15-meter wide display that allows passersby to post messages and access interactive features via Bluetooth.
For those who want to see all facts of life, not just those confined to The Netherlands, the Tropenmuseum is the right place to go. Translating to “the museum of the tropics”, this museum is divided up into several sections. Several of these sections are Southeast Asia, Oceania, Western Asia and North Africa, Africa and Latin America. Artifacts of each area are displayed in their natural environment and reconstructions ensure that everything in the museum is as accurate as possible.
Designed and built in 1850, Vondelpark was at first known as "Nieuwe Park." It was renamed in honor of the 17th century Dutch writer Joost van den Vondel. The park draws approximately 10 million visitors annually of tourists and residents alike. Enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, jogging, roller-skating and picnicking. During the summer months, the Open Lucht Theater has performances in theatre, dance and music. There are several sculptures scattered through the park including the 1965 abstract concrete ‘Fish’ by Pablo Picasso.
Commonly called the Venice of the North, Amsterdam is a haven for tourists, still harboring a strong bohemian atmosphere. Take the time and enjoy the entire city whether by boat, bike or foot.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Matthew Shine