Few countries around the world are as exciting and fascinating as the Netherlands. The most obvious display of this excitement is Amsterdam. As the country’s capital, Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. It attracts nearly five million visitors per year and is home many interesting attractions.
Upon an arrival to Amsterdam, the extensive choices of attractions and activities may seem limitless at first, perhaps even overwhelming. If you want a fun time in Amsterdam that’s great for all ages, there’s a wide variety of things to choose from. While Amsterdam is filled with many ‘must-see’ activities and attractions, there are 5 that you definitely wouldn’t want to miss out on.
1. The Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh museum is considered a must-see by most people traveling through Amsterdam. This museum is full of history and offers you a chance to not only see the world’s most famous Dutch paintings, but also learn about the life of Vincent Van Gogh. It hosts a collection of over 200 paintings and 600 drawings, not all of which are by Van Gogh. Pieces from artists such as Picasso and Monet are displayed as well.
2. The Nine Streets
If you’re seeking some unique shopping adventures in Amsterdam, you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to The Nine Streets (Da Negen Straatjes). Inside this endless stream of over 200 shops, you’ll find boutiques, high-end vendors, and specialty stores, all inside an eclectix mix of 17th and 18th century buildings. Thursday evenings are known as “Shopping nights” in Amsterdam, so many of the vendors and shops inside The Nine Streets stay open late those days.
3. Take A Boat Cruise
A boat cruise is a nice, scenic, and relaxing way to see the sights of Amsterdam. People often refer to Amsterdam as “The Venice of the North”, and that’s because of the numerous canals. A boat cruise is a mandatory part of any trip to Amsterdam. During the day, you can be fascinated by the sights on your cruise. Then at night, take a romantic cruise and see the illuminated bridges and houses. The four main canals of Amsterdam are Prinsengracht, Singel, Herengracht, and Keizersgracht, but you can also hire a small boat that will take you around the many smaller canals in the area.
4. Anne Frank House
One of Amsterdam’s most famous former residents is, of course, Anne Frank. The house she lived in is now a museum. The museum offers you a look at the horrific conditions the Frank family faced while living in the house’s attic, and also teaches you about the ones who protected and took care of them. The mornings are the best times to visit the Anne Frank House, so as to avoid long lines. Plan to stay at least an hour to upon a visit, as the tour and presentation of the Frank family’s tragic story is presented in great detail and very emotionally.
5. Dam Square
Dam Square is an extremely popular tourist attraction where many people come to learn about the history of Amsterdam. Dam Square was created in the 13th century, when a dam was build to prevent flooding in the city. Throughout the years, the square has expanded with many buildings, festivals, and special events taking place there. Aside from several restaurants and shops, the Damn Square features the Royal Palace, the War Museum, and the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, the largest five-star hotel in the Netherlands.
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