What to see in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has a broad spectrum of recreational and cultural sights that range from fascinating old buildings, like the Oude Kerk, to oddities such as the Hash Marihuana Museum.
Museums are the main tourist attraction in Amsterdam. Everyone knows the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum, but there is much, much more. Amsterdam has over fifty museums which attract many millions of visitors every year. Throughout the whole year, each day of the week many attractive events take place in Amsterdam. Several of them as the Holland Festival, IDFA documentary film festival or World Press Photo contest and following it exhibit, have already an established high position in the world culture. But the are many other events – film and performing arts festivals, cultural meetings, annual art fairs exhibitions, which will make your stay in Amsterdam more, complete. You may choose from the events calendar.
Amsterdam, the greatest planned city of northern Europe, has always been a well-known name in world history and played a central role in the history of the Netherlands. In the 17th century Amsterdam was the centre of world economy, and nowadays the city is known for its tolerant character.
The city squares symbolize the whole areas of the city with their activity and the character. Big and open Dam square with the Palace of the Queen and the best department store has a central role in town; Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are entertainment and tourism centers while the Museumplein name speaks for itself. Nieuwmarkt, Westermarkt and Noordermarkt are old markets, which found today a new function, each of them different. Even a small square called het Spui has its own special character, making it a real fun to visit.
A trip to Amsterdam is not complete without a boat cruise. A canal tour can be both fascinating and relaxing by day and enchanting and romantic at night when many of the houses and bridges are illuminated. The four main city center canals are Prinsengracht, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Singel. There are also numerous smaller canals in the neighbourhood of Jordaan, of which the Brouwersgracht, the Bloemgracht and the Leliegracht are especially pleasant.
Amsterdam has a number of beautiful, quiet parks where you can relax during the busy day in town. The largest of them - Vondelpark is located in the very centre of the city. Other parks as Beatrixpark, Frankendael, Sarphatipark, Amstelpark, Westerpark are quiet, well-maintained community parks. An artificial forest just South of Amsterdam – Amsterdamse Bos is today a big nature reserve, with many attractions.
Coffeeshops in Holland are allowed to sell small amounts of cannabis and are strictly regulated and taxed. Furthermore, coffeeshops must not sell to anyone under 18 and they must not sell more than 5g to any customer. Hard drugs are strictly prohibited.
Amsterdam Red Light District
Beer and party atmosphere, sex for sale, and limitless people-watching. The stores are full of hardcore videos, magazines and sex toys. The Red Light District is somewhat of a sexual amusement park and often not taken too seriously by the hordes of tourist who frequent it. The famous red window lights are striking against the quaint, old canal houses and even the fairy lights that line the bridges at night are coloured red. Although it is generally considered to be a very safe area, care should still be taken when walking through the quieter streets of the area. There is a strict “no photography” policy.
More from Amsterdam