An enticing fusion of ancient and avant-garde, Amsterdam is a beautiful city of creative legacy. Take a walk along the cobbled streets and serene canals and you can seem a million miles from the vibrant nightlife on every corner.
1. Dam Square
Dam Square is the hub of the city and located on the site of the original Amstel dam. The focal point of the Square is the Royal Palace. Originally the town hall, it became regal following Louis Napoleon’s crowning in 1808.
2. Anne Frank’s House
In close proximity to the Square, Anne Frank’s house provides a constant reminder of Nazi occupation during the Second World War. Her infamous diary is kept here; be prepared to queue as it gets very busy during the tourist season.
The fabulous Rijksmuseum is home to some of the most important historic art in the world. Perhaps the most famous pieces here are that by Rembrandt; the works of Frans Hals and Vermeer also feature prominently. Beautiful examples of porcelain dolls and dolls’ houses can also be seen.
4. Van Gogh Museum
Another unmissable illustration of fine art is exhibited at the purpose built Van Gogh Museum. Including many of his finest pieces, the Van Gogh Museum is home to the largest collection of his work in the world.
5. Albert Cuypmarkt
If you feel the need to shop, the Albert Cuypmarkt offers just about everything you could wish to buy. This cosmopolitan shopping region will provide your credit card fix.
6. Queen’s Day
A sight to behold, Queen’s Day is the celebration of all that is gay and lesbian. Music is pumped from every corner, as what seems to be the entire world’s gay population descends on Amsterdam.
7. Vondelpark Summer
This summer festival is held between June and August and features all forms of entertainment including open air concerts, theatre and cabaret. The fun is enjoyed by men, women and children of all ages.
8. Holland Festival
The Dutch certainly enjoy their festivals; this is the biggest annual arts event in the country and continues for three weeks during the month of June.
9. Dutch Clogs
You cannot visit Holland without at least trying on a pair of their famous wooden clogs. Other iconic souvenirs include Dutch dolls and Delft pottery. Cheese and the famous windmills are also very popular.
10. Grand Cafes
Amsterdam’s notorious cafes are spread densely throughout the city. Take a well earned break and try the local erwtensoep as you wet your whistle.