Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands
The Oude Kerk (translated from the Flemish Oude Kerk – Old Church) honestly deserves its name. The wooden chapel on the site of today’s church appeared in 1213, and the construction of the stone church was consecrated in 1306.
On Amsterdam’s busiest street stands the Berlage Bourse, one of the capital’s most important architectural monuments. You could even say it’s the building that gave rise to the city’s distinctive architecture.
Another symbol of the country (in addition to tulips and coffee shops) is undoubtedly the windmill. Many of these structures stand all over the Netherlands, giving a special flavor to the surrounding landscape.
Canals of Amsterdam
One of the distinctive features of Amsterdam are its canals, which form four concentric semicircles encircling the Old Town. Because of them, as well as more than 1500 bridges and about 90 islands Amsterdam got its nickname “The Venice of the North”.
Keukenhof – is a fabulous park and flower kingdom, spread across an area of 32 hectares in the tulip region, more precisely in the vicinity of the town of Lisse between Amsterdam and The Hague, has long been called the “Garden of Europe”. Obviously, this title Kekenhof deservedly received for its unique vibrant beauty.
Royal Palace in Amsterdam
Royal Palace in Amsterdam was built in the 17th century. The construction of this architectural work of art, as often happened with them in those days, proceeded rather sluggishly: from 1648 until 1665.
Amsterdam’s nightlife is concentrated here on the picturesque Leidseplein. There are many clubs, theaters, cinemas, stores and art cafés. Street performers and musicians stay out in the open until the early morning.
Van Gogh Museum
The largest collection of Van Gogh’s works is in the Amsterdam Museum, built by the famous Dutch architect in the 1920s. There are more than 200 paintings and drawings, as well as letters of that famous artist’s correspondence with his brother.
The Nieuwekerk (or translated as “New Church”) is a famous landmark of Amsterdam that has become a real symbol of the Dutch capital. Funny enough, but the name of the church has a very conventional character.
Dam Square is the central square of Amsterdam and one of the most famous and important places in the city. Dam Square gets its name from the dam built on the River Amstel in the 13th century, and was formed from two squares, the Middeldam and the Platte.
The main purpose of a visit to the Rijksmuseum is, of course, to see the paintings of famous artists such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Vermeer and Rembrandt. The tour culminates with a visit to the Gallery of Fame, where Rembrandt’s mesmerizing painting “The Night Watch” rises above the mortality of the world, silently surrounded by hundreds of tourists’ eyes.
Red Light Street
Red Light Street isn’t really a street – it’s an entire neighborhood affectionately called De Valletyes by the citizens themselves – once home to the city’s fortifications. Prostitutes took a fancy to this place back in the 14th century: it’s right in the center, and not far from the port.
In the center of the Red Light District, in the former home of Jan Hartmann, a Catholic church, dubbed the Church of Our Beloved Lord in the Attic (Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder), survives. The organ and interior have been carefully restored; on the lower floors are paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries and church utensils.
The center of Dutch soccer life is the Amsterdam Arena. PSV fans, for example, might argue with this statement, but you can’t argue with history. The best club in the country – the century-old Ajax – received a new home in 1996. The most interesting soccer matches of the domestic championship are held here.
In the Middle Ages the béguinage was a kind of dormitory for Catholic women leading an almost monastic life, but not taking monastic vows; there were many of them in Flanders. In Amsterdam, the béguinage is located within the city limits and is an enclosed courtyard where the béguinages lived and prayed.
In honor of the blue stripe on the Dutch flag, symbolizing the sea and maritime traditions, an entire bridge was erected in Amsterdam. The Blaubrug has long since lost its original appearance. It is no longer the blue bridge, and it is not even as blue as it was in the 1600s.
Amsterdam Botanic Garden
The botanical garden, founded in Amsterdam in the 17th century, originally served the needs of apothecaries and doctors – they grew medicinal herbs here. Merchants brought plant seeds from all over the world to the port city and the collection grew steadily.
Royal splendor and at the same time very elegant, the Western Church of Amsterdam is not by chance considered to be one of the most beautiful in the city. From the outside, its walls seem to be made of fragile Delft porcelain.
Wollendam is a small town near Amsterdam, which in the 19th century gained tourist fame. At that time it was a fishing village and also a port for shipment of cheese products from the nearby Edam to other Dutch cities.
Anne Frank’s House
Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who died in the Belsen camp shortly before the end of the war and who kept a diary describing life in the asylum during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam. In 1957, a foundation named after her opened a memorial museum in the very house where the Frank family hid from the Germans for two years.
Amsterdam. This word alone reeks of coolness, the smell of tulips and oil paints. Determine the purpose of your trip – that’s the first task of the tourist. Because it’s a city of many faces, and to see all of its attractions is not an easy task. Let’s try to break down the components of the possible trip.
Cathedrals of Amsterdam: Oude Kerk is the oldest church in Amsterdam. Rembrandt’s wife is buried here in the church cemetery. Westerkerk: In addition to being the tallest building in the city, it contains Rembrandt’s own tomb. The Begijnhof is one of the most famous sights in Amsterdam. Until now, the date of its creation is still unknown. The first mention dates back to 1346, and already then the nuns lived there. Plaques with biblical commandments have been preserved on the walls here.
Yes, the houses themselves are a sight to behold in Amsterdam. Look closely-they’re crooked! And it’s not an audacious idea of the architect, it’s a natural creation. The ground here is soft, and the houses are built with piles that rot over the years, so the buildings are sometimes even too noticeably sloped.
In addition to these unplanned distortions, each house has a well-founded slant – forward. No, not to surprise and frighten tourists, but for the convenience of moving. Doors and stairs do not imply the comfortable lifting of large things.
Look closely – on the roof you can see a hanging beam with a hook. That’s how newcomers pick up furniture.
Walking through the streets of Amsterdam, do not forget to look through the windows. Here it is not considered improper. On the contrary – the residents of the city do not hang curtains, so that passersby was more convenient to consider their homes.
When walking through the streets of Amsterdam, do not forget to look through the windows. Here it is not considered indecent. On the contrary, the inhabitants of the city do not hang curtains, so that passersby could see their homes more easily. In the old days, it was believed that honest people had nothing to hide, and if you hide behind a rag, it means you’re unclean. To this day, the exhibition of life in the window is one of the favorite pastimes of the Dutch.
Holland is the home of tulips. In the 17th century you could buy a huge house for one tulip bulb, flowers were a kind of currency. In memory of this crazy time, only a flower market is left. Check it out!
You can visit the red light district on your own, but an experienced guide knows a lot of interesting stories and facts that you can share with your friends afterwards. Lovers of painting will enjoy a trip to the Van Gogh Museum or the Rembrandt House Museum.
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and one of the largest historical cities in Europe. Some people come here for good shopping, others crave to see the unique museum collections, others are attracted by the availability of easy drugs. Some dream more likely to visit the Red Light District, and some go to a raucous nightclub. Romantics enjoy strolling through medieval alleyways along colorful canals, and the young enjoy the atmosphere of freedom.
Save on a trip to Amsterdam!
Head & Tails: Amsterdam
Amsterdam is located in the northwest of Holland at the mouth of the Amstel and Eee rivers. The name of the city comes from the words Amstel and Dam, which means “dam on the Amstel River.” The first mention of Amsterdam refers to 1275, when it was a modest fishing village, which thanks to the dam built, later turned into a port.
In XVI-XVII centuries, Amsterdam became a commercial center of world significance. In the next two centuries, the city had to repel the claims of France and England. In the XVIII century, Amsterdam was invaded by France, many buildings during this period were destroyed. From the late nineteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century, the city experienced a decline that lasted until the end of Hitler’s occupation.
Today, Amsterdam is a cosmopolitan city, a major cultural and financial center with a population of about 814,000 people. The Dutch capital is a city that has developed immunity to racial, sexual and religious discrimination, where representatives of almost 200 nationalities peacefully coexist.
Amsterdam is located 4 meters below sea level, all its buildings are built on huge piles. The city is called the “Venice of the North” – within Amsterdam there are 150 channels connected by 1200 picturesque bridges. On the banks of canals moored almost 3000 floating houses, which are equipped with comfortable apartments. These homes on the water are official, each with a postal address.
Amsterdam’s climate is influenced by its proximity to the sea. The city is often dominated by wind, bringing rain clouds. Summers are warm, but without the exhausting heat, the average temperature ranges from +18 ° C to + 22 ° C. Winters are windy but not frosty, with average January temperatures around zero. Autumn is usually foggy and rainy. Amsterdam has a high humidity of 80%.
Amsterdam Red Light Street
Attractions in Amsterdam
Dam Square with its historic buildings is Amsterdam’s main square and a venue for large-scale events and festivals. The square has nothing to do with the ladies – its name comes from the word “dam”. Crowds of tourists come here to look at the Royal Palace, the residence of the Dutch Queen. Some parts of the palace are open to the public except on the days when official receptions are held there.
On the west side of the square are Madame Tussauds, the War Memorial and the New Church with its impressive facades.
Rembrandt Square attracts visitors to Amsterdam with many bars, summer cafes, famous discos; many are curious to see the largest in Europe LCD screen. The square is adorned by a composition of a statue of the artist and twenty-two bronze figures representing characters from Rembrandt’s famous painting “Night Watch”. If you want to get in touch with the artist’s life and work, you have to go to the Jodenburt quarter, where his House Museum is located.
Rembrandt Square Windmill Molen Van Sloten
The concentric canals that delineate the city boundary and lead to the Singelgracht quarter are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the 16th-17th centuries the local marshes were drained and replaced by a unified architectural ensemble, which for many years was considered the standard of town planning. Today the canals appear to us in their original form.
One of the symbols of Holland, windmills, you can admire in the outskirts of Amsterdam, where there remained 8 of these colorful structures of the XIX century. The windmill Molen Van Sloten is open daily from 10.00 to 16.00. At the brewery next to the Fuenmolen Mill you can sample beer brewed according to traditional Dutch recipes. The mill is available for inspection, and every first Saturday of any month it demonstrates its work.
The picturesque place Vondelpark is famous for having sex here in the evenings.
Canal Singel all permeated with fragrant aromas Floating Flower Market, where tourists in large quantities buy bulbs of all kinds of tulips. Nearby are the Museum of Torture and the Coin Tower.
Throughout the city you can see the structures of the Defence Line of Amsterdam. All the forts of the Line are historical monuments and are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Vondelpark – a romantic place Museum Square Amsterdam (Musemplein)
On Amsterdam’s famous Museum Square you can find four museums at once: the Diamond Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, the City Museum of Modern Art and the Rijksmuseum.
On Museum Square
In front of the Rijksmuseum are two-meter red and white letters for the slogan “I Amsterdam”, a modern landmark that appeared in 2004. It is a phrase loved by all who share the liberal spirit of the Dutch capital. In 2012, this slogan appeared at Schiphol Airport.
You can get to the square by taking streetcars number 2, 3, 5, 11 and 12 at Central Station.
I Amsterdam Boat House Museum Audeckerk Church
Also worth a visit: Historical Museum of Amsterdam; House-boat museum, which gives an idea of life in a house-boat; Maritime Museum, where all the ships are exhibited life-size; Nieuwe Kerk – place of exhibitions and concerts of organ music; Marijuana Museum – exhibition of different types of cannabis and products made from it; Heineken Brewery Museum with beer tasting.
Men from all over the world rush to the Red Light District, for the exhibition of feminine charms and for carnal pleasures. The red light pours out of the large shop windows, in which the toilers of commercial sex sell their wares. Interesting places to see in the area besides the women are the gothic Oude Kerk, the Vodka Museum, the Sex Museum, and the Casa Roso, an erotic theater. It’s easy to get here – you have to walk from the Central Station along Damrak Street. After passing the pier of the river streetcars, turn left and after a block you will be at the place.
Stroll along Damrak Street and linger in this remarkably beautiful spot with colorful, colorful houses standing right in the water. Check out the stores on this street – you’ll be delighted with the prices of shoes, clothes and souvenirs.
A famous attraction in the city is the Begeinch Nuns’ Asylum, located next to Spøy Square. In the yard of the orphanage is the oldest building of the Dutch capital – Wooden House No. 34, built in 1470.
Street Damrak Amsterdam-Arena
A book fair is held at Spøy Square on Fridays, and on Sundays you can buy paintings by local artists in this colorful place.
A squirrel in the Amsterdam Woods
At the Hassan Diamonds Diamond Factory, you can see the birth of diamonds. Admission to the factory is free, and you can buy a gemstone in the store located there.
For a typical Amsterdam city view, head to the Jordaan neighborhood – you’ll be charmed by its streets, courtyards, and unique stores. The neighborhood is home to one of Amsterdam’s most famous museums, the Anne Frank House, dedicated to the Jewish girl and her diary she kept during the German occupation.
A popular vacation spot for citizens and tourists is the Amsterdam Forest, a huge park with a lake, boat trails and bicycle paths.
On the three rooftops of the River Station is the largest bicycle parking lot in the world.
Soccer fans will be interested to see the home arena of the club Ajax – Amsterdam Arena, located next to the Bijlmer and Strandvliet metro stations.
Thousands of bicycles are a trademark of Amsterdam. You can see just about anything you can imagine on the streets of the city – antique cars, fancy sports bikes and cargo tricycles.
Leisure & Entertainment
Amsterdam is a city of festivals and celebrations. In late August the Dutch capital is filled with visiting musicians, artists and actors – the art festival Uitmarkt begins. Stages are set up in the squares for countless theatrical productions and concerts, and master classes are held for those wishing to attend.
Uitmarkt guest The festival is held on the first weekend in August Living statues
If you are in Amsterdam on the second weekend in September, try to take part in the Open Monument Days, when places that are usually closed to tourists are available to visit: private castles, old farms, chic homes. There is no admission fee.
In the twenties of September, Robodock, an annual contemporary art festival, takes place in a former shipyard warehouse. During this event you can see a lot of unusual things and performances, give in to crazy dancing on the nonstop working dance floors, and marvel at the colorful pyrotechnic show.
Pyrotechnic show at the Phoenix Robodeck, destined to burn Optical Effects
In the same dates in September, you can also visit a five-day contemporary art show featuring works by artists from the U.S. and Western Europe.
On the first Saturday in August, the Gay Festival, also called “Pink Saturday,” starts in Amsterdam. The parade of sexual minorities is the brightest weekend in the Dutch capital. The festivities take place on canals, squares and bars. The culmination of the festival is a parade of several dozen large boats, sailing through the canals past the cheering crowd.
Pink Saturday Cannabis Cup.
From November 20 to 24, Amsterdam becomes the site of the Cannabis Festival, or Cannabis Cup, where those who wish to do so showcase their marijuana growing success. A team of 2,000 judges judge the participants’ achievements. This competition is accompanied by avant-garde exhibitions, theatrical shows and screenings of films about cannabis. Tourists enjoy sampling marijuana dishes, purchasing souvenirs, clothing and cannabis oil.
“On April 30, the entire city turns orange – celebrating Queen’s Day” is roughly the description found in most guidebooks. However, travelers who arrive in Amsterdam and dress in all orange on that day are in for a treat. In 2013, Beatrix abdicated the throne in favor of her eldest son Willem-Alexander.
Thus, since 2014, Holland has had a new holiday – King’s Day (Koningsdag). The holiday is held on April 27, his birthday. Residents of the capital still take to the streets wearing orange, opening countless fairs and dance floors.
Orange is the traditional color of King’s Day A stroll along the canals Everyone celebrates the holiday.
Herring is as much a symbol of Amsterdam as windmills, canals and tulips. If you are in town in early June, welcome to the Herring Festival on the first Saturday of the month. This is when boats with the first catch of the year of this beloved Dutch fish come into port. The main activity at this festival is eating herring.
Bruno Mars Herring Festival (Flag Day) at the Paradiso Club
Apart from the cultural life, many visitors to Amsterdam are also interested in the nightlife. There are plenty of clubs to choose from. One of the biggest is Escape (Rembrandtplein 11), a short walk from Dam Square. You can get to the club by streetcar number 4, 9, 14 and get off at the Rembrandtplein stop. On the first Friday of each month the club is given over to gays who hold crazy parties there. And every last Friday of the month people come to the “Night of Urban Sounds and Latin Rhythms”. The ticket costs from 5 to 16 €, depending on the theme of the party.
The popular youth nightclub Paradiso is located in a former church at Weteringschans, 6. The nearest stop is Leidzeplein, which can be reached by streetcars 1, 2, 5 and 6.
The Sugarfactory club, a favorite of locals and tourists alike, is housed in a former sugar factory. The same streetcars go here as to Paradiso, the stop is the same. The club holds parties with music for all tastes: techno, funk, r’n’b, house, disco from the 80s and 90s. Entrance fee – from 3 to 8 €.
Lovers of unusual experiences can be advised to look into the Ice Bar Xtra Cold, where the entire room is decorated in winter style. It is not cold in the main lounge and those who want to freeze go to the ice bar for 20 €. For this money they will offer you a couple of vodka cocktails and will let you watch a 3D cartoon. Address of the bar: Amstel, 194 (streetcars number 4, 9 and 24, stop Diemen).
Club IT (Amstelstraat 24) hosts only gay discos, but everyone can dance to house music on Fridays.
Xtra Cold Coffee Shop on Rembrandt Square Lollipops with cannabis
Tickets to nightclubs are sold throughout the city at Free Records Shops and at the Ticketshop on Leidzeplein, 16.
There is probably no tourist who does not know about the availability of easy drugs, particularly marijuana, in Amsterdam. Many people think that coming to Amsterdam and not smoking weed is like not tasting oysters in France. If you decide to relax, go to one of the specialized coffeeshops. These establishments in Amsterdam are open to foreigners, unlike some Dutch provinces.
The most popular coffeeshops: Abraxas (Jonge Roelensteeg, 12), Greenhouse Effect (Warmoesstraat, 53), Amnesia (Herengracht, 133), Dutch Flowers (Singel, 387), Homegrown Fantasy (Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, 87 A), De Dampkring (Handboogstraat, 29). Buldog – a network of coffee shops designed for tourists. In these institutions, in addition to marijuana, visitors are treated to “fun” cupcakes and pizza.
In addition to smoking marijuana, in Amsterdam you can appreciate the mushroom or hash brownies sold at the Smart Shop. Remember, these products cause a mild hallucinogenic effect, it is recommended to eat no more than two pastries a day.
You may also come across stores that sell everything you need to grow marijuana. You will need to show your passport to make a purchase in a coffee shop.
To the east of the city center is the oldest zoo in the country, the Natura Artis Magistra, with a rich collection of animals. The zoo also houses the Planetarium, Botanical Gardens, Zoological and Geological Museums, and the Aquarium, where you will see the inhabitants of the Amsterdam canals.
Amsterdam’s Lion Chimpanzee at Natura Artis Magistra Lemure rests
If you want to swim and sunbathe, head to the beaches of Amsterdam. At 900 Stavangerweg, to the left of Central Station, is Strand West beach. Bohemian beach Blijdburg is located in the east of the island of Eyburg. Streetcar 26 from Central Station takes you there. You can also sunbathe on the sloping roof of the Nemo Science Center, on the right side of the station. After sunbathing come to the Science and Technology Center itself, where all the exhibits are allowed to be touched.
A great place to shop is the “9th Street Quarter” next to the Place des Dames. The Donna Fiera for women, Laura Dolls for lovers of vintage style, and Van Ravenschein for the Belgian designers. Lovers of classics should visit the boutiques of Italian designer Daniel Alessandrini. In the store under his brand “Museum of Glasses” you will find a huge variety of this accessory. Lovers of original cuts can find unique items in the Sky store. American brand The Paul Frank offers clothes in the Goods store, natural cosmetics can be bought in the Skins Cosmetics Lounge. Recreational women will buy sexy lingerie and a variety of erotic things in the “Scout” salon.
Pompadour tea store offers an excellent selection of chocolate products. In “What’s cooking” there is a good assortment of goods for the kitchen.
Delicatessen stores are a must: Patisserie Tout on Maasstraat, which offers delicious macaroons; Huize van Wely, a pastry shop; Feduzzi, the best Italian delicatessen store; and Tea Bar Haarlemmerdijk, a tea store.
Amsterdam’s pastry shop The Cheese Shop
Albert Cuypstraat market – a huge market with a 100-year history, where you can buy food, vegetables, inexpensive clothes, electronics, and souvenirs. Flea market of cheap clothes – Waterlooplein. Condom and condom store – Condomerie Het Gulden Vlies.
Large shopping centers with numerous stores of different kinds – Bijenkorf and Magna Plaza. Next to the flower market is the NEMA department store with democratic prices for everyday items. Large children’s goods chains are Intertoys and Bart Smit.
The most popular souvenirs, bought in Amsterdam: klompas (wooden shoes), cheese, wooden tulips, mills, crockery made of Delft porcelain.
Accommodation and Food
Hotels in Amsterdam are quite expensive, hotel rooms in remote areas cost at least 60 €. Be prepared for the fact that in most hotels facilities are shared. Many hotels are gay and smoking, so when choosing a place to stay, read hotel reviews in advance. You can book a hotel in Amsterdam on your own on any relevant website.
Hotel Fletcher Hotel CitizenM Hotel Andaz
In addition to hotels, you can find hostels, pensions and guest houses.
There are few places to eat Dutch cuisine in Amsterdam, but there are many good and affordable French, Italian and Indonesian restaurants.
If you’re a fan of Chinese food, check out Seedijk Street, a place where Asian cafes are concentrated. Nearby, on Damstraat, you can eat in Arab falafels.
Tip is usually included in the bill.
Not far from the Flower Market is the Luxemburg Cafe; the New York Times considers it the best cafe in the world. On the first Sundays of each month, the cafe hosts concerts and free snacks.