Top 20 places to visit in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a dream city, the embodiment of freedom, lightness and beauty. In the capital of the Netherlands, there are sights on every corner. And yes, everyone should be here at least once in their life. What to see in Amsterdam for maximum immersion in its atmosphere and culture, find out in this article.
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Where to go in Amsterdam first? Certainly the Rijksmuseum. It’s a top place to explore the history of the country and one of the most recognizable buildings in the city. There you’ll find paintings by Dutch masters of the Golden Age, as well as really interesting exhibitions on crafts and art. Younger visitors are sure to love the exposition of doll’s houses of the XVII century, fully reproducing the architecture and furnishings of everyday life of the Golden Age.
- The museum is open daily from 09:00 to 17:00.
- Admission to the museum is costly: adult ticket costs €17,50, children under 18 years old are admitted free of charge.
Museum of the Tropics (Tropenmuseum)
Do not be confused by the word “tropics”. Despite the name, there are no crocodiles and parrots or aquariums with exotic fish. But this anthropological museum is one of the largest in Europe. There are eight permanent exhibitions, plus many temporary exhibitions of contemporary and traditional art and photography. So if you want to get a closer look at the world’s palette of nations and cultures, you’re welcome!
- Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday 10:00-17:00. On Mondays, holidays and vacations also from 10:00 to 17:00. On December 24 and 31 the museum is open until 15:00. December 25, January 1 and April 27 – days off.
- Ticket price: €12.50
Canals of Amsterdam
A trip to Amsterdam would not count without a photo in front of the famous canals. Don’t be lazy and visit the most beautiful ones – Singel and Grachtengordel. Take a walk along the water, see the fabulous old houses or enjoy an evening view of the canal from one of the many bridges. It’s a great treat, and it’s free! Want to see Amsterdam from the water? Not a problem at all! You can take a boat trip or something more interesting: a guided private tour on a captain’s boat.
Van Gogh Museum
It’s a real crime to ignore this famous museum in Amsterdam. Which is something, the famous painter’s amazing canvases are definitely worthy of your attention. If you don’t know much about the great artist’s career, take the unique “Understand Van Gogh” tour. It was developed by a guide, drawing on the writings of art historians and psychiatrists. To understand what attracts art lovers to Van Gogh’s paintings, take the “Mystery of the Sunflowers” tour.
- The museum ticket costs €17 for adults, admission is free for children under 18 years of age (but you must show proof of age).
- Opening hours are from 09:00 to 17:00 (until 22:00 on Fridays).
- You can get to the museum from the Central Station by streetcar number 2 or 5.
A striking example of Amsterdam’s creative freedom is the Python Bridge, which connects the Sporenburg Peninsula and the island of Borneo. The futuristic construction looks especially spectacular in the evening in the light of the lights – this location also deserves a place in your Instagram.
When you’re in Holland in spring, be sure to visit Kekenhof Park, a true tulip paradise. It’s outside of Amsterdam, so set aside a day for the trip. We promise, the scale of the beauty will amaze you. The park, for the record, has 4.5 million tulips in a hundred different varieties of all kinds of colors and shades.
Kekenhof is a great place to walk and relax from the bustle of the city. Three greenhouses (with orchids, roses, daffodils and lilacs), canals, alleys, lawns and ponds – everyone can find a corner here to his liking. If you get tired and hungry, cafes and restaurants will come to your aid. Or rather, you will come to them.
- You can get to Keukenhof Park from Amsterdam by a special bus “Keukenhof Express” (leaves from Damrak Street).
- The cost of admission is €19, for children aged 4-11 – €9. For children under 3 years old admission is free.
- Opening hours of the park in 2020: from March 21 to May 10.
What else is interesting in Amsterdam? The Royal Palace deserves attention. Since its inception and to this day, the palace remains one of the most important and largest buildings in the Netherlands. Important events, such as the transfer of the throne from one monarch to another and royal weddings, take place here. It is also the place where official receptions and various award ceremonies are held.
Paintings by the great Dutch masters Rembrandt, Jordaens, Lievens, and Bohl, as well as other works of art, are on display in the magnificent halls.
The construction of the Royal Palace belongs to the so-called “Golden Age”. The building is supported by piles driven under the foundations, their number is almost 14,000. They allow such a large structure to stand firmly in the swampy soil of the city.
- Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 12:00-17:00, on Mondays and on the days of official events of the Royal House, the palace is closed.
- Cost of admission: €10, free for children.
- Address: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147.
This museum is dedicated to the Amsterdam Canal Ring, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you can learn about the most interesting facts and events regarding the city’s canals over 400 years. After visiting it you will definitely find it easier to get your bearings in the city.
- The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 to 17:00. Adult ticket costs €15, children (4-12 years) €7.5.
Museum of Shipping
Here you can learn the richest 500 years of seafaring history of the country. Paintings on maritime themes, seventeenth-century maps, weapons, antique globes and navigation instruments are exhibited in the museum. The museum takes great pride in its impressive collection of model sailing and rowing boats. And in the museum’s docks you can climb aboard the beautiful ship “Amsterdam” (a copy of the East India Company ship) and see how the navigators of those times lived on the expeditions.
- The museum is a 15-minute walk from Grand Central Station and is open from 09:00 to 17:00 daily. The ticket costs € 15.
Windmill is one of the symbols of the country. To see this attraction, go to Zanse-Schans. You can get there from Amsterdam by bus or train in about an hour.
Saanse-Schans is actually an open-air museum with, among other things, different kinds of mills. Many of them are still in working order today – beating oil or grinding grain. You will have the opportunity to observe the process, and also to visit a classic Dutch farm, where real Dutch cheese is made, and also to look into the workshop where they carve traditional shoes – “klompas”.
- Saanse-Schans mills are open to visitors from 10:00 to 17:00.
- From Amsterdam you can get here by bus number 391, which leaves from the central station every hour. The train is faster (17 minutes), but you’ll need to get off at Koog-Zaandijk station and walk another 15 minutes.
Here you can find everything from expensive cheeses to bicycle locks. But even if you’re not buying, you can still wander the aisles and listen to the locals talk and laugh, taking in the light-hearted atmosphere of Amsterdam.
- The market can be reached from the Central Station by streetcar number 4, 16, 24 or 25. The market is open Monday through Saturday from 09:00 to 17:00.
Thinking about where to go in Amsterdam with kids? Any local will suggest going to the zoo. If you need an argument, catch it! There are 6,000 species of animals from around the world, a planetarium, an aquarium, a botanical garden and even a geological museum. That said, the atmosphere is absolutely magical, the animals are in great conditions, and the zoo staff genuinely love their jobs. You will feel it immediately.
- You can enter the zoo from November 1 to March 31 daily from 09:00 to 17:00. From April 1 to October 31 from 09:00 to 18:00. The ticket costs €20, for children 3-9 years old €15.95.
- To get there you can take streetcar number 9, 10, 14, bus number 56 or the special “Artis Express” to the stop Plantage Kerklaan.
Concertgebouw Concert Hall
The Concertgebouw is notable for its extraordinary acoustics. Every year around 900 concerts are held here, making the Concertgebouw the second most visited concert hall in the world (first place goes to Rome’s Parco della musica). One of the highlights of the Concertgebouw season is the annual New Year Concert of the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (Netherlands Wind Ensemble), a new, modern answer to the traditional Vienna Ball (Waltzfest).
By the way, the Dutch are great music lovers. In Amsterdam, they often organize concerts right in the parks and in open areas. Often these events are completely free.
Amsterdam is incredibly romantic. You’ll see that when you stop by the Jordaan district in the western part of the city. The narrow medieval streets, canals with residential barges and hidden courtyards, and cozy coffee shops on the waterfront look simply magical. Especially in the light of evening lights. All in all, don’t even doubt, Amsterdam will be the love of your life.
St. Nicholas Church
One of the largest cathedrals in the country is located in the heart of the capital near Station Square. And it’s beautiful, not only from the outside, but also from the inside. We recommend stopping by and examining the details. The stucco, mosaics, carved ceilings and stained glass windows in the church are impressive, and the sound of the 19th century organ penetrates deep into the soul.
- The cathedral is open to visitors on Mondays from 12:00 to 15:00, Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 to 16:00 and on Saturdays from 12:00 to 15:00.
Anne Frank 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 hiding 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 had been hiding from the Germans for two years.
The main exhibit of the museum is, of course, the diary itself. The original.
- Address: Prinsengracht, 267
- Opening hours: November to March – daily, 09:00 to 19:00 (until 21:00 on Saturdays); April to October – daily, 9:00 to 22:00.
- Admission: €10.5, for children 10-17 years old €5.5, free for children under 10.
Amsterdam Flower Market
Why go here in Amsterdam? The answer. Well, first of all, it’s beautiful. Secondly, the flower market in Amsterdam is one of the oldest in the country, it is more than 300 years old. Thirdly – it is the only floating flower market in the world. And here you can buy the bulbs of real Dutch tulips, and it’s the best souvenir! The market is located on the Singel Canal, not far from Dam Square.
To get to know Amsterdam as the locals see it, take the “Welcome to My Amsterdam” tour.
If you have already managed to see all the attractions of Amsterdam, and still have a couple of free days, pay attention to excursions to the suburbs: Haarlem is called one of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands, in Delft you can get acquainted with the works of Vermeer, an excursion to Edam will be interesting gourmets, because this city is considered the birthplace of Dutch cheese.
NEMO Science Museum
This museum, in the shape of a huge ship, is a real find for children of all ages. Here in simple language and with the help of understandable items in the exhibition explain how the world works, talk about information technology, the mysteries of genetics and biochemistry, the functioning of the economy. Many exhibits at NEMO come to life only if they are rotated and twirled, that is why you should forget the general rule: “Do not touch! Touching is a must.
If you plan to be in Amsterdam with children during the vacations, prepare for the fact that in the science museum there will be a lot of schoolchildren.
- Address: Amsterdam, Oosterdok. The NEMO center can be reached on foot from the central station in 15 minutes. There are also buses 22 and 48 (Kadijksplein stop).
- The center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 to 17:30.
- Entrance fee: € 17,5, children up to 3 years old free.
This is not just a beer museum, but a mix of an interactive platform, exhibition center and modern attraction. The museum is located in an old brewery building, but inside it looks just cosmic. Four floors are packed with historical exhibits, entertainment and, of course, barrels, bottles and kegs with beer of the highest quality.
An admission ticket gives you access to all of the museum’s halls and exhibits. You’ll also get a bracelet with three rivets that can be exchanged for two glasses of beer and a memento.
- Address: 78 Stadhouderskade, Amsterdam.
- Opening hours: Monday-Thursday from 10:30 to 17:30, Friday-Sunday from 10:30 to 19:00.
- Admission: €21, children €14.5 (adults only).
Amsterdam can be explored endlessly, but if you do tire of the capital, Wondela Park is perfect for rest and recuperation. The shady alleys, ponds, lawns, and open-air cinema and theater make you want to linger there.
The park is located in the southwestern part of the city. From the central station you can take bus number 170 or 172 (to stop Leidseplein) and walk another 15 minutes.
Attractions in Amsterdam
Moulin Rouge Madame Tussauds Museum Erotica Museum Red Light Quarter Schiphol Airport Vondela Park Van Gogh Museum Anne Frank House
This site contains Amsterdam sights – photos, descriptions, and tips for travelers. The list is based on popular guidebooks and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to questions: what to see in Amsterdam, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places in Amsterdam.
The Moulin Rouge is a show that is famous not only in Paris, but also in Amsterdam. The club is located on the Red Light Street. The street itself is located between the Central Station and the New Bazaar.
Here you can meet representatives of the oldest profession, numerous stores, cafes, souvenir shops, all sorts of shows and bars. For many years the famous show has been one of the main attractions of Amsterdam. Artists of different nationalities take part in this legendary sex show, which makes it even more vivid and memorable. This place is one of the most visited by tourists.
Madame Tussauds Museum
The first of the branches of world famous waxworks museum Madame Tussauds. It was opened in 1970. Here the Madame Tussauds Museum is not only the wax figures on display, but also a well staged show. It recreates, with characters that talk and move, the Amsterdam of centuries gone by.
The halls upstairs are dedicated to the history of Holland. Out of the darkness, a large talking figure appears before the audience, which is hung with the symbols of the country. There are canals, cows, ships, mills, and tulips.
The talking figure tells about the fight against the invaders from Spain, the history of the country and other historical events. Here you can also see a spice merchant, famous and rich characters, peasants in national dress. There is even a small real canal, and on it floats a fisherman in a boat.
There are traditional Madame Tussauds exhibits: political leaders of different countries (including the Dutch Queen Beatrix), movie stars, popular singers, artists, writers, athletes and many others.
Everyone can also take part in making wax figures in the mini-workshop located right there.
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Museum of Erotica
The museum of erotica exhibits everything that is most directly associated with the main nest of so-called Amsterdam debauchery – the world-famous Red Light Street. The museum occupies three floors, on which a variety of expositions in the form of statuettes, paintings, photographs and old engravings are arranged. All of them demonstrate either the sexual act itself or the sexual organs. Visitors of the museum can watch the movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, prohibited for TV demonstration, and an improvised private booth with a wax figure of the representative of the oldest profession.
You can take an original and even practical souvenir such as condoms of different colors, smells and tastes from a special machine or items from the souvenir store.
Coordinates : 52.37389500,4.89925300
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Red Light District
As a major port city, Amsterdam had to satisfy all the desires of the sailors who came here after long sea voyages. Besides drinking and gambling, women also enjoyed great success. The red-light district, an area where brothels and prostitutes were officially operating, owed its appearance to this circumstance.
A distinctive feature of the quarter – the huge windows-windows, in which women stand ready to provide services of a certain nature. Each one tries to look as attractive as possible, expose most of her body and entice the client with frank poses. This makes the quarter attractive not only to brothel visitors, but also to tourists from all over the world.
Besides brothels, there are also intimate stores, sex theaters, peep shows, an erotic museum, and a marijuana museum.
Coordinates : 52.37348400,4.89806200
Schiphol Airport is the largest airport in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe and in the world. It is located 20 kilometers southwest of the capital, Amsterdam.
Since its opening Schiphol has immediately taken one of the leading positions in Europe. It ranks fourth in the number of passengers transported and third in the intensity of cargo traffic. Over the years, Schiphol has won more than 120 international awards and prizes, was recognized as the best airport in the world seven times and held the title of the best airport in Europe for more than fifteen years.
This airport has many distinguishing features: Schiphol has five runways, all located below sea level. In addition, its control tower, which is 101 meters high, is considered to be the tallest of its kind in the world.
Among other things, Schiphol is very convenient for passengers – there are commercial trading halls providing travelers with a variety of services. And since 2006 you can get married right at the airport and go straight to your honeymoon.
Coordinates : 52.30805500,4.76416600
Wondela Park is a public city park in Amsterdam, opened in 1865. It was originally called Nieuwe Park (New Park), but was later renamed after the eminent 17th century Dutch writer and playwright Joost van den Vondel.
The park is quite large – it covers an area of 47 hectares – and annually attracts more than 10 million visitors. This is not surprising, because there are all conditions for a full and diverse recreation – the cinema-museum, located in the pavilion of the XIX century, regularly holds film screenings, lectures, exhibitions, meetings, there is also an open-air theater, which serves as a concert hall, playground, rose garden, etc.
In 1867, a monument to Joost van den Vondel (by Peter Kuipers) was installed in the park. In addition, the sculpture “Fish” by the famous Pablo Picasso is located in the park.
In 1996, Vondela Park was designated a “national monument”.
Coordinates : 52.35667900,4.86747700
Van Gogh Museum
One of the most famous museums in Amsterdam devoted to the life and work of the great impressionist painter whose talent was not fully appreciated until years after his death.
The museum holds just over 200 paintings by Van Gogh, including such famous paintings as Sunflowers and The Artist’s Bedroom in Arles, as well as sketches, letters, and paintings by other impressionist artists, Vincent’s friends. The exhibition is organized chronologically. Van Gogh’s work is divided into five stages: early works, Paris, Arles, Saint-Rémy and Auvers.
The museum is housed in a purpose-built building. The main building was designed by Gerrit Rietveld and opened in 1973. The architect of the exhibition wing was Kiso Kurokawa. It was completed in 1999.
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Anne Frank House
This house was originally a mansion, later turned into a warehouse, and in the early twentieth century it was home to the office of a manufacturing firm. The rear rooms were empty and the Frank family moved into the house in 1942, fleeing the genocide of the Jews. The entrance to the living quarters, where the Frank family was accommodated, was covered with a closet, which created a “Sanctuary” and saved the family. Later, several other Jewish families settled in this shelter. In this “Sanctuary” Anne Frank kept a diary, wrote stories and collected favorite quotes. On August 4, 1944, she was arrested by the Gestapo under a denunciation.
After the war, Anne’s parents created a foundation named after her, and in 1960 the museum opened its doors to visitors. Today, it recreates the atmosphere and environment of the time of Anne’s life, which allows you to feel all the conditions in which the Frank family lived. Films about Anne, the Holocaust, and the horrors of Nazism are broadcast here. It is a living monument that preserves the history of mankind. The museum has special programs for children, adults, and there are short programs of no more than 30 minutes.
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