Sightseeing in Amsterdam City Centre
Did you know that Amsterdam is built on 11 million wooden poles and has more than 100 kilometers of canals? Not just that Amsterdam is known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. With more than 800 years of history to discover, Amsterdam is rich with fascinating sights. From ancient churches to magnificent museums, secret courtyards to quaint cobbled streets, and, of course, the city’s world-famous canals there’s an overwhelming amount of things to see and do in Amsterdam. So pack your camera, pick up a map and get ready for an adventure!
Van Gogh museum
The Van Gogh Museum is located on the Museumplein, between the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum. This museum is not that old yet. It was only established in 1973. In 1991 it was expanded in honor of the large Van Gogh exhibition. The original intention was to house the collection of Vincent’s brother Theo Van Gogh in this museum. For both locals and far-travelling visitors, the Van Gogh Museum is a unique and inspirational experience. Alongside the legacy of Vincent van Gogh’s instantly recognisable impressionist works, such as his landscapes, self-portraits and still lifes – especially ‘Sunflowers’ – the museum provides opportunities to track the artist’s development and compare his paintings to works by other artists from the 19th century – those who inspired him and those who drew inspiration from him.
Interactive tour through beer giant’s history in former brewery, with a tasting room finale. The brewery was established in Amsterdam in 1864 and today Heineken is one of the three largest beer producers in the world. Heineken’s rich and successful history has been presented in their old defunct brewery in Amsterdam.
With several amusement park attractions added to the exhibit and renamed as Amsterdam Heineken Experience. In 1988 Heineken closed an old Amsterdam brewery, which spread its smell over the popular De Pijp district, and opened a tour for the fans of its beer. For a small admission charge, you could learn something about the famous lager and drink as much as you wanted.
Royal Palace on Dam square
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is situated on Dam Square centre of Amsterdam. It was originally built as the city hall for the magistrates of Amsterdam. In the 17th century it was the largest secular building of Europe. Originally the square was called the ‘Plaetse’, but after the 16th century it was referred to as Dam. In those days, the square was much smaller than nowadays and the small gothic city hall was replaced by the large, classical building we know as the Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace). The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is next to the Koninklijk Paleis. This monumental church, where princess Beatrix’ crowning took place in 1980 and her son, King Willem-Alexander got married with Queen Máxima Zorreguieta, is worth visiting.
De Red Light District (De Wallen)
Prostitution has enjoyed a long tradition of tolerance in Amsterdam. From brothels to sex shops to museums, the Amsterdam Red Light District has it all. But contrary to what a lot of people might think, the Amsterdam Red Light District has a very friendly atmosphere and isn’t as dangerous as it used to be. Safety is key here. In addition to preventing forced prostitution, the aim is an open and honest approach. Sex-workers here have their own union, plenty of police protection, an information centre (for visitors as well), frequent monitoring and testing and professional standards.
Russian former capital – the city of Saint Petersburg, today one of the Europe’s largest cities, was built by the tsar Peter the Great starting from 1703, after the tsar’s stay in Zaandam and Amsterdam during his grand trip to Western Europe (so called Great Embassy: 1697 – 1698). The Hermitage of Amsterdam is located in an old, monumental building called Amstelhof which since its creation in 1683 until 2007 served as the house of care for the elderly. In the Hermitage Amsterdam not only special exhibitions are organized, but also concerts, readings and courses. Go try Hermitage for kids with your (grand-) daughter, this is a creative workshop for children in a studio. The kids will compile their own piece of art, inspired by their favourite paintings from the museum.
Opening times: from 11 am until 5 pm, Prices: entrance fee adults: € 17,50 per exhibition, combination ticket: € 25,00, kids until 11 years have free entrance
The Sint Olofskapel was built in the mid-15th century (and expanded hundreds of times). The church was voted for Norwegian seafarers and merchants who stayed in Amsterdam. After the Reformation, the building was used as too as a merchant’s exchange and as a reformed church. The current shape of the building is the result of an extension in less of more Gothic style in 1644. The entrances with decorations are executed in a Renaissance style. At the end of the eighties, Stichting Restauratie Monumenten Amsterdam developed a plan to give the Sint Olofskapel a new life. By buying the building for 1 guilder from the municipality, the Foundation was able to provide a new destination as a congress center of the nearby Barbizon Hotel.
NEMO Science Museum
Amsterdam NEMO houses loads of experiments and exhibitions inside its giant green hull on Oosterdok. No matter your background you will learn something new and have fun while doing it. The four floors of NEMO Amsterdam is a stimulating scene. Children of different ages have fun with giant soap bubbles and experiment in the chemistry lab. Grown-ups, with or without children of their own, have fun at NEMO too. It’s hard to hold back when presented with all the gadgets and experiments. NEMO is a scientific museum where there is so much to explore that you don´t know where to start. The museum can be crowded, so you can buy your NEMO tickets in advance. NEMO is open every day from 10:00 to 17:30 hours there are several cafes and if you prefer to bring your own food, snacking on it is allowed in assigned places. On a sunny day you should picnic out on the large roof terrace.