Amsterdam is far more than just its infamous Red Light District and its relaxed drug tolerance. Its elaborate canal system bisects a plethora of narrow streets and beautiful gabled facades, which are traversed with more bikes and boats than cars. The capital of Holland is home to many impressive 17th century buildings, which sit alongside modern life like nowhere else on earth. The city is home to several museums including The Rijksmuseum, which is Holland’s national museum dedicated to the art and history of the entire country. It has several masterpieces from its most famous artists, such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. The Verzetsmuseum, the Dutch Resistance Museum, is thought by many to be the best historical museum of the Netherlands as it tells the remarkable story of the Dutch people when under Nazi occupation during World War II. The Anne Frank Museum is a poignant and thought provoking exhibition which has to be visited to truly understand what this inspirational, famous character experienced at that time. The Parish Church Oude Kerk is over 800 years old, and is home to a wonderful wooden roof and intricate colourful glasswork, as well as a gigantic baroque organ.
Where is it?
The capital city is located in the north of Holland, at the mouth of the river Amstel.
What is it?
The former fishing village became a hugely important port for the Dutch Empire, and its picturesque canals and 17th century buildings still draw vast numbers of visitors from all over the world.
Best time to visit?
Visit in the autumn, between September and November, to avoid the vast tourist hordes which flock to the city during the summer. The main attraction of the city is its museums, which are less busy and not as dependent on the weather.
Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s answer to New York’s Central Park. A gorgeous mixture of green spaces, lakes and fountains in the heart of the city, make sure to hire a bike to see it as the locals do!