In addition to being the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, visiting Amsterdam brings you to the most creative, cultural, and financial city of the country. It is viewed as one of the more popular vacation destinations in the world because of its many attractions and sights. The city is also one of Europe’s largest historical centers as well with over 7,000 structures that registered historic buildings. Here are some additional things to consider.
The Canals – for many individuals, visiting Amsterdam involves taking a canal tour in order to enjoy the splendor of this water-born experience. In 2010, the canals were declared a UNESCO monument, but this was not solely based on the picturesque beauty of them. Many individuals fail to remember how important the canals were for defending the city during the 17th century and that they were used for transportation prior to the birth of the automobile.
The Flowers – the expression “stop and smell the flowers” may have originated here considering the popularity of bulb flowers, especially the many tulip varieties. Keukenhof, the world’s most famous flower bulb park is located roughly 35 to 40 minutes outside of town by bus, but is definitely worth seeing when visiting Amsterdam.
The Museums – when visiting Amsterdam, the museums should be included on your vacation itinerary. There are literally dozens of these to consider, but the better ones to consider include the following:
• Anne Frank House
• Museum het Rembrandthuis (Rembrandt House Museum)
• Rijksmuseum (national museum)
• Van Gogh Museum
The Netherlands have pioneered fine art over past centuries and that is evidenced by the number of museums you can see when visiting Amsterdam.
The Parks – the locals all agree that visiting Amsterdam should always include relaxing in one of the many parks found throughout the city. Every one of Amsterdam’s nine districts has one worth visiting during late spring into fall. The South district is one of the city’s prime areas and the home of the Vondelpark. The neighborhood where the park is located is called the Plantage and it is known for its grand mansions and leafy boulevards. Be sure to see the Hortus Botanicus (botanical gardens).
The Red Light District – besides the other reasons above for visiting the city, seeing this section of town known as De Wallen is worth exploring for its cultural and historical value. The many windows lit with red lights are usually attached to some historical townhouses. However, it is the architecture that attracts so many visitors to this section of town. Presiding over its own square in the heart of the district is the Old Church or Oude Kerk as it is called by the locals.
The Shopping – the cities of Antwerp and Paris overshadow the city as a fashion capital, but for many international tourists and travelers, visiting Amsterdam includes shopping the retail outlets found along the P.C. Hooftstraat. Whether it is Gucci, Prada, or Versace that you are looking for, this retail paradise is not lacking where those exclusive fashion labels are concerned. Be sure to visit the Nine Streets area and take in the many independent, unique boutiques and retail shops.