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Why Amsterdam Remains One The Most Beautiful Places In Europe
What’s Not To Love About This Amazing City?
Amsterdam is definitely in the Top 3 of my favourite cities in the world. I have been here a total of four times now, and have loved this city more and more each time! This city is filled with so much cultural diversity, and so much to do.
From festivals and nightlife to exhibitions and museums, you are left with little time to be bored.
Not to mention the plethora of restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping, and attractions.
You won’t miss out on anything if you don’t want to. There is something here for everyone, 365 days a year.
Cycling is probably the most fun way to explore the city. Did you know that there are roughly 800,000 bikes in Amsterdam? 63% of Amsterdammers use their bikes daily. It’s incredible. Single or tandem bikes can be rented for under 10 Euro a day.
We had the option of renting bikes but chose to get the ‘Iamsterdam City Card‘ to explore the city via public transportation.
The Iamsterdam City Card gives you unlimited use of buses, trams, and the metro for the duration of validity. Do not visit Amsterdam without getting this card for your trip. The amount of money you can save is unreal!
Not only that but with the card you are also given free entrance to Amsterdam’s major museums & attractions.
But wait – there’s still more – a free canal cruise, a detailed city map, as well as discounts on attractions, concerts, theatre, rentals, and restaurants.
Excellent value for your money with choices of 24, 48, 72, and 96-hour cards.
Top 10 Sights To See In Amsterdam
The National Museum dedicated to Dutch Arts and History. It has been going through an almost 10-year restoration.
The Rijksmuseum has at its core a Royal Collection. Approximately these almost 200 paintings and artefacts used to be displayed in The Hague in 1800.
The museum is a work of art in itself and each group of paintings has helpful cards in English and other languages describing the paintings. A must-see in Amsterdam is Rembrandt’s special collection of paintings on the upper floor.
In order not to miss out on great spots in Amsterdam, I urge you to download the GPSmyCity app free of charge.
This app is great when travelling because it has travel articles from a vast range of towns and cities. Here’s my article on Amsterdam, which you can download now using this link: GPS-guided travel article – Amsterdam. You can read it whenever you want without using the internet. The best part? You will never get lost again.
You can use GPS-guided travel articles two different ways, by either selecting a particular article of choice or browsing by city! The only guide you will need for your vacation. Try it out today!
2. Anne Frank House
See the place Anne Frank went into hiding from Nazi persecution during World War II; the location where she wrote her world famous diary.
For more than two years Anne Frank and her family lived in the annexe of the building at Prinsengracht 263.
It is generally advised to book online as the queues get pretty long, especially during high tourist season.
I tell you, it’s so bad that people actually post YouTube videos about the long lines outside the Anne Frank House.
If you do not book online and do not want to wait too long, your only other option is to get there an hour or two before closing. In July and August, the museum stays open until 22:00. Until 21:00 from April to June, and September to October.
3. Dam Square
The heart of Amsterdam surrounded by beautiful and historic buildings.
Although it is called Dam Square it is rectangular in shape.
Dam Square was originally two squares: the actual dam, called Middeldam; and Plaetse.
The Dam Square is just a few minutes walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station. Several times a year the square is the site of a funfair. During December, the city’s main Christmas Tree is set up at the Dam Square.
To the right of the square, you will find the royal palace.
Brilliant architecture, with audio guides, so you can wander at your own pace.
The Palace is used by the Dutch Royal House and therefore closed at times for royal events.
The other sides of the square are home to lots of shops places to eat, and souvenirs for purchase.
Madame Tussaud’s is located here, and the Amsterdam Dungeons are only a few minutes walk away.
Street performers perform here on a regular basis – and they are extremely talented.
Don’t hold back on giving them a few Euros.
As a “busy bee”, how can I not mention “De Bijenkorf” (literally, “the beehive”).
It is a chain of upscale department stores in the Netherlands with its flagship store on Dam Square.
The largest city park in Amsterdam, and certainly the most famous park in the Netherlands.
it is also home to home to a selection of restaurants and cafés, including the Blauwe Theehuis, Café Vertigo, Vondelpark3, and the Groot Melkhuis.
The Vondelpark was designed by landscape architect L.D. Zocher and has been awarded national heritage status.
This park is a short walk from the Dam and is worth a visit. A true oasis in the middle of the city
5. Heineken Experience
We had a great time here, and we were able to learn about how the beer is brewed. Go through the tour and at the end you can make your own bottle of beer, customized with your name on it for six Euros.
A lot to watch and learn, games to play, pictures to take. We spent approximately two hours here.
We had pre-bought our tickets so there was no issue. Many people were standing in line to get in, but we were able to bypass that queue easily. It is a great facility and two free drinks are included in the ticket price.
I am not a beer drinker but had a taste anyway.
The Begijnhof is one of Amsterdam’s best-known hofjes (almshouses).
It consists of a group of houses built around a secluded courtyard and garden. The courtyard which dates back to the early 14th century was originally built as a sanctuary for the Begijntjes, a Catholic sisterhood.
This convent provides a look into an old slice of Amsterdam’s history with the grounds well kept.
Remember to keep your voices low and be respectful of the signs delineating the public and private parts of this area.
Worth a brief detour if you are in the area around the Spui.
The biggest church in Amsterdam, built in 1619 – 1631, the Westerkerk, or in English, The Western Church, is the most important Protestant church in the city. The belltower – the Westerkerk Tower remains the pride of Amsterdam and is regarded by many, as the city symbol.
The 17th-century Protestant church is the largest of its kind in the Netherlands. Several Dutch artists are buried here.
We visited the tower and climbed up to see the entire city! Beautiful!
8. The Red Light District
I have to mention this as it is prominent in Amsterdam, and anyone visiting would have heard about it.
Hardly is Amsterdam ever mentioned, without touching on the subject of the Red Light District.
The RLD has been there reputedly since the 15th century.
The most famous one is a short walk from Centraal Station. Amsterdam is safe both day or night.
You can take guided tours of the RLD where the tour guide explains the history of the area in great detail.
One of the most famous and major squares in Amsterdam – named after the famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn.
Rembrandtplein is one of the busiest squares in the city.
10. The Windmills
Holland is famous for its’ windmills which played a crucial role in the development of Holland.
Windmills are know to create land, build ships, produce flour, oil and mustard!
See original working windmills in action is in a little village named the Zaanse Schans, just outside of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is great, but not venturing outside of the city would mean missing out on amazing experiences and sights. From the 400-year old cheese-weighing tradition, a medieval village, the world’s largest flower garden, and even Belgium! There are plenty of train and bus connections, tourists can easily plan day trips.
If you want to be really comfortable, and spontaneous, book a car with Easy Terra!
This car rental comparison site compares prices from well-known car rental companies so you are guaranteed to save time and money.
We went to Bruges and loved it. Bruges is a well-preserved medieval town in the northern region of Belgium surrounded by beautiful canals and old city walls. You will adore it.
UPDATE – May 2019 Back in Amsterdam!
A Three Day Weekend In Amsterdam with My Bestie
Got back from Amsterdam last night. Spent the weekend there with my darling friend.
The weather was perfect, except for Friday night when it was a bit windy. Otherwise, clear blue skies and a LOT of sun.
This time, I did so much walking. Less sightseeing, but more exploring the city and eating lots of good food.
If you like waffles, make sure you stop at Pancakes & Waffles. You will never want to have waffles elsewhere again.
A small and cosy place near Amsterdam Centraal station. The walk takes about 5 minutes.
For dinner, I recommend the MIU Restaurant. A stylish and modern restaurant with an interesting all you can eat concept.
We stayed at the Grand Hotel Amrath An excellent 5-star hotel with large and very spacious rooms. The superior deluxe room offers comfortable beds, two bathrooms, free mini bar and breakfast included in the room price. Ask for a room with a canal view.
FIVE INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE NETHERLANDS
– The ‘Netherlands’ means “Low Country” in Dutch. About half of its surface area is less than 1 metre above sea level. Its highest point is 321 metres (1,053 ft) above sea level.
– Dutch people are the tallest in the world, with an average height of 184 cm for men and 170 cm for women.
– The national flag of the Netherlands dates from 1572 and is also the oldest tricolour flag.
– Rotterdam, in South Holland, is the largest seaport in Europe.
– Gin was invented in the Netherlands under the name of Jenever. It was first sold as a medicine in the late 16th century.
Have you ever been to Amsterdam or plan on going sometime soon? How did you enjoy it? Share with me in the comments below.