A visit to the city of Amsterdam will provide an opportunity to take in many different aspects of Dutch life. Amsterdam itself is very well served by Schiphol International Airport, plus, once in the city centre area, there is an impressive array of transportation options, including train, trams, buses and even the canals.
There are a vast number of things to see and do, including some of the very best museums and art galleries that can be found anywhere in the world. There are also some excellent bicycle trips that can be taken, and for sports fans it should also be noted that the city is home to the Amsterdam Arena, where AFC Ajax play their games; this impressive sports venue is situated close to the airport.
Night Watch masterpiece
One of the most well-known places to visit is perhaps the Rijksmuseum, which originated in The Hague back in 1800 but was moved to Amsterdam in 1808. The museum is dedicated to arts, history and crafts; in addition, it features a large selection of paintings. Some of the collections were painted by Rembrandt van Rijn himself, including his De Nachtwacht (Night Watch) masterpiece; whilst others feature work from Jan Steen, Johannes Vermeer, and Frans Hals. The Rijksmuseum is very easy to get to and is located on the Museumplein; in addition, the museum is also home to the largest public art history library in the Netherlands.
Another not-to-be-missed museum is, of course, the Van Gough Museum, where many of the famous artist’s best pieces are housed. The museum is open to the public each day between the hours of 10am – 6pm, and can be found on the museum square, close to the Rijksmuseum.
One thing that you will notice when travelling anywhere in this fine city is that the architecture provides a suitably stunning backdrop; a visit to the de Wallen area of the city will provide views of the Oude Kerk (Old Church), which is the oldest building in Amsterdam and dates back to 1306. This area is also home to the infamous red-light district. Here visitors will be able to see many examples of the stunning architecture including some rare gothic buildings.
Take in the sights on a bicycle
Amsterdam is a bicycle friendly city and as such provides many excellent bike tours; with many operating in small groups to ensure that the visitors receive a more personalised tour. The bike tours take place all year round and provide a really effective way to find out more about the city’s rich history; very often the tours don’t have set routes, which can provide the individual with an opportunity to visit the places that they are truly interested in. It is very likely that a visitor will come away with some wonderful photographs of places like Anne Frank House, The Royal Palace, Leidseplein and the Golden Horn.
For many people a visit to Amsterdam is not complete without calling into the flower market. The market can be found on the Singel canal, which itself is one of the oldest canals in Amsterdam. Irrespective of your favourite flower, you will be sure to find it here; such is the choice and selection that is available from the 15 separate flower stalls.
The editor of Kansas Flint Hills, and pursuer of relatively interesting information. Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.