Whether you’re visiting for a few hours or a few days, there are plenty of sights and experiences to enjoy. Here are a few of our Amsterdam favourites to help you enjoy your stay.
The Netherlands’ national museum; Rijksmuseum celebrates the history of one of the world’s most important and influential artistic nations. Amongst the 1 million plus artefacts and works present at the museum, the undoubted highlight of a visit to the Rijksmuseum is the chance to explore the works of the masters of the Dutch Golden Age.
With celebrated works from the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals amongst others; some of the world’s most influential pieces can be found in the heart of Amsterdam.
Royal Palace of Amsterdam
A candidate for the title of Eighth Wonder of the World, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam was first constructed almost 500 years ago as the Town Hall for Amsterdam. It has since become the royal palace of Dutch kings and subsequently the Dutch Royal House.
Inspired by the great administrative palaces of the Roman Empire, the Royal Palace features heavily-marbled interiors with stunning maps of the world strewn across the flooring.
The perfect place to investigate the history of Amsterdam; Oude Kerk is the city’s oldest building. The parish church was founded in the early stretches of the 13th century. The original church was a wooden structure but this was replaced by a stone church in 1306.
Demonstrating the changing culture of the city, Oude Kerk has subsequently been renovated and reimagined by 15 generations of Amsterdam locals.
Anne Frank House
Commemorate one of the saddest, darkest chapters in recent history by visiting the poignant house in which Anne Frank hid from surrounding Nazi forces with her family. Frank’s diary has become one of the defining texts of the 20th century, detailing World War II from the perspective of one of the millions who sadly lost their lives.
Anne Frank House has been turned into a living museum, providing a unique insight into the events of the last years and the fates suffered by the city’s Jewish communities.
Perhaps the most famous neighbourhood in Amsterdam, Jordaan is a historical part of the city which was originally created for the working classes. In the following 400 years, the neighbourhood became a hotbed for social reform, strong communities and squiffy sing-alongs – never a dull moment in Jordaan.
Although the neighbourhood has been significantly gentrified in recent years, it still retains plenty of that spirit which saw it attract young urban professionals and trendy bars aplenty.
Unsurprisingly for such a unique city, Amsterdam is the proud owner of many titles and accomplishments.
- The population of Amsterdam is 779,808 people (2011 Census)
- Whilst there are 881,000 bicycles in the city – more than one per person
- The city is home to 165 canals
- There are over 1,500 bars and cafes in Amsterdam
- And 1,281 bridges in the city
- Many Amsterdam locals live aboard the 2,500 houseboats on the city’s canals
- Amsterdam buildings have to be built on long poles, to stop them sinking into the city’s waters
- And the majority of the city’s land area is below sea level
- Amsterdam is the world’s most diverse city, with more nationalities calling Amsterdam home than any other city
- Thanks to a tax which charged homeowners by the width of their property, most houses in Amsterdam are incredibly narrow, and tall
Image credits: Flickr