The capital of the Netherlands, affectionately known as the “Venice of the North” for all the canals that crosshatch the city, is also the country’s top tourist destination. It may be popular with stag parties for its many bars (and coffee shops and brothels), but there’s much more to Amsterdam than partying: the city is full of museums and ancient buildings, music venues of all kinds and a rich and diverse culture. Additionally, very few visitors realise how close it is to some of the Netherlands’ most beautiful beaches
, take some time to look up these must-see attractions:
, has nearly a million pieces in its permanent collection to choose from, so it never fails to put on an impressive exhibition. From Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer to 20th century artworks and artefacts, as well as examples of Chinese, Indian and Japanese art, there’s enough here to keep you busy for a full day – even more if you’re an enthusiast.
Historically, Amsterdam’s famous for its tulips, but you’ll find many more varieties on these colourful floating flower stalls on the Singel cana
l. Comprising 15 florists’ shops, it’s open all year round and makes a great place for souvenir-hunting.
, dating back to the 14th century, can be found in the Old Centre along with many of the city’s most ancient buildings. Although much of the interior decoration was destroyed by Calvinists during the Reformation, a few standout pieces remain – including four stained glass windows and a number of original paintings.
contains some 4,000 different plant species from all over the world, and dates to the 17th century. Housed in a series of greenhouses interspersed by beautiful gardens, it’s a great destination for nature lovers and includes a great collection of exotic butterflies as well as cacti, water lilies and cycad palms.
, this is the place to be – a 120-acre expanse of trees and greenery, with plenty of ponds, fountains and statues to discover. As well as being a great space to relax and enjoy the sunshine, there’s an open air theatre that plays host to regular performances by local bands, theatre troupes and dance acts.
Formerly located in a pavilion in Vondelpark, the Filmmuseum
can now be found on the waterfront behind Central Station. There’s a permanent history of cinema exhibition in the basement, four cinemas showing classic movies and various multimedia art installations – the perfect place for film lovers to indulge their passion.