Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, and one of the most unique cities of the world. What are the best places to visit in Amsterdam, how to make a trip by water channels, view the amazing old architecture and the unforgettable atmosphere of the city.
Amsterdam is a mixture of different cultures, where people of different nationalities live. Unique architecture of city with historical buildings and new modern designs are the distinctive feature of Amsterdam.
Interesting fact about Amsterdam is that the city was founded by fishermen in 1275 on the banks of Amstel river. It was a small village of fishermen living in delta of the river.
Amsterdam means a dam at the river of Amstel. Later the city expanded its territory because of arriving refugees from Europe. At the end of XVI beginning of XVII century Amsterdam enters its Golden age, destination spot of numerous religious fans from Europe.
Amsterdam also acquired a status of one of the biggest ports and trading centers in the world. In 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Dutch kingdom and Amsterdam became its capital.
Some facts from the history of Amsterdam
In XVI-XVII Amsterdam becomes an important trading center.
XVII-XVII is the period of wars with France and England, which brought poverty to the whole country. But in a relatively short period of time Amsterdam gained its well-being back.
XVIII beginning of XIX century is the period of French occupation, which caused economic recession. This is when a number of historical buildings were destroyed.
End of XIX – XX centuries is also a period of recession which lasted till the end of the World War II.
Population suffered from unemployment and poverty. The World War II caused deaths of more then 10% of the population of Amsterdam. By the end of the war only 5000 of Jews survived out of 80 000 residing there before the war.
Make a list of best places to visit in Amsterdam
Romantic and practical trips by the Channels of Amsterdam
Beautiful channels of Amsterdam are an indivisible element of the city, bringing charm and special atmosphere. According to the statistics there are about 90 channels.
Most of them were built in XVII century for the purpose of transportation, at the same time they were constructed as the basis of water system.
Beautiful and elegant buildings are located on the banks of Amsterdam channels, this is why the city of often called “Northern Venice”.
You can take the boats to see the city from the board. Various ship companies offer excursions by boats and most of the excursions start from the central train station stop.
In summer period departures are almost without any break, during winter period – every half an hour.
The four main channels of Amsterdam are: Prinsengracht, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Singel. There is also number of other minor channels, most interesting of which are: Brouwersgracht and Bloemgracht.
Hundred years ago the Dutch builders protected Amsterdam city with the dams, otherwise it would have been washed away a while ago by the Northern sea.
Gorgeous Dam Square and Queens Palace
Dam squire acquired its name because of Dam, which was built on this place. The Queens Palace is located in Dam squire. The Palace was erected in XVII and preliminary it was the place of city municipality.
It became a Palace based on the Order of Lui Napoleon in 1808. The interior of this building is symbolizing a prosperous city, overwhelmed with white Italian marble, sculptures and ceiling paintings.
It was built on the basis consisting of 13 659 carefully selected wooden piles. Inside the halls there are galleries of empire style furniture and paintings of artists belonging to Rembrandt School.
The Queens family lives in Hague and uses the Palace only for the period of official holidays. In summer period the Palace is open daily from 12:30 till 16:30.
Near the Dam Squire there is famous floating flower market with plenty of local and exotic plants and flowers. The special feature of this amazing place is that the market is located on the barges.
Impressive Town Hall Tower of Amsterdam
Town hall tower is another unique place of Amsterdam. You will find yourself in a glass column, where the level of water changes depending on inflows and outflows.
During outflows the level of water falls below the floor level and during inflows the water level is higher then the head of the visitors.
The building of the central train station was built in the artificially created island with 2657 wooden piles as the basis. There are 2 clocks on the façade of the train station building.
The first one is a regular clock, showing current time, and the one on the left shows the direction of wind.
One of the most prominent historical places in Amsterdam – Ode Kerk
Ode Kerk is the oldest church in Amsterdam. It was built in XIV century and this is the place where the wife of Rembrandt is buried.
Rembrandt himself is buried in another church – Wester Kerk, 85 meters tower of which is the highest in Amsterdam. You can observe magnificent scenery over the city from the top.
For some period of time Wester Kerk was considered the biggest protestant church, until the St Paul’s Cathedral in London was built in 1710.
Amsterdam is also famous as the residence place of Rembrandt, whose house was located in Jodenbreestraat street. He lived here during the period of 1639 – 1660.
Number of his works are preserved and exhibited in Jodenbreestraat Street.
Rijksmuseum museum – enjoy the masterpieces of all epochs.
Best places to visit in Amsterdam are the museums. Tourists visiting Rijksmuseum can plan more than one day for this trip.
Numerous Dutch masterpieces, including works of Vermeer, Franz Halz and Rembrandt, collection of Jewish and Asian art are presented in Rijksmuseum.
The Rijksmuseum is open daily from 10 am till 7pm.
Address: Museumstraat 1
1071 XX Amsterdam
Telephone: +31 (0) 900 0745
Variety of tulips of different shapes and colors will leave most vivid impression from your trip to Amsterdam. Blotmenmark is local market place, to buy souvenirs and tulip bulbs.
Do not miss to visit Vicent Van Gogh museum
Vicent Van Gogh (1853-1890), museum represents an ongoing exhibition of hundreds of paintings and pictures of the artist.
This is one of the most famous museums in the Netherlands attracting 1.6 million of tourists each year.
Vicent Van Gogh museum is open:
March – September, and December 27-31:
Daily 9:00am – 6:00pm,
Friday – till 10pm.
During rest of the year:
Daily 9am – 5pm,
Friday – till10pm.
Admission fee to Van Gogh museum:
Adults: 15 euro
Children up to 17 years old: free
Stadtpass: 7,50 euro
Address: 7 Paulus Potterstraat
1071 CX Amsterdam
Special places to visit in Amstedam – Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum
The Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum in Amsterdam is a special place, where visitor can learn about different kinds of marijuana and also ways of to take care of growing this plant.
These are two small museums, located in close neighborhood from each other.
The museum is open daily from 11am till 10pm.
Address: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148
1012 DV Amsterdam
Would you like to visit Erotic museum in Amsterdam?
Not far from Hash-Marijuana-Hemp Museum there is Erotic museum, one of the most famous places of Amsterdam. Samples of erotic art of different cultures and historical periods are presented here.
Erotic museum is open:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00am – 1:00am
Friday – Saturday: 11:00am – 2:00am
Address: 54 Oudezijds Achterburgwal (Red Lights district).
Entrance fee is 5 euro
Woonboot museum – the soul of Amsterdam
Woonboot museum is one the best places to visit in Amsterdam to feel the atmosphere of the city. Woonbootmuseum is a museum of a house on boat, very typical for Amsterdam channels. In Woonbootmuseum tourists can learn how it is arranged inside.
During the period from March till October the museum is open from Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 till 5pm; and from November through February same hours from Friday through Sunday.
The museum is located in Prinsengracht, next to number 296.
Add Artis Zoo to the list of best places to visit in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Zoo was open in 1938 and acquired its current name Natura Artis Magistra. Nowadays it is often called “Artis”. Trip to Amsterdam Zoo will definitely be the most fascinating experience.
It is possible to spend here all day, you will see more then 6000 of animals. In the Zoo there is also a kid’s farm, Planetarium, hothouse and huge Aquarium. In Aquarium one can see tropical seas and oceans flora and fauna.
It is possible to get to Artis Zoo by ship «Museumboot» from the central train station. you can also buy a combined type of ticket, which includes visit of the Zoo and walk in the channels. Entrance with the dogs is not allowed.
Price per ticket includes visiting of two museums: geological, informing of the evolution of our planet; and Artis Zoo part, telling about flora and fauna of the Netherlands.
Address: Plantage Kerklaan, 38-40.
Telephone: (020) 52-33-400;
Open: daily 9.00— 17.00, in summer period till 18.00.
Planetarium is closed on Mondays till 12.30.
Zoo museum works on the same schedule as the Zoo.
Artis Royal Zoo entrance fee is:
Free entrance for kids of 0-2 years old
16,50 euro for children of 3-9 years old
19,95 euro – for 10+ years old
Artis Royal Zoo and Micropia entrance fee:
Free entrance for children of 0 -2 years old
23 euro for children of 3-9 years old
27 euro for 10+ years old
Some most common words in Dutch:
Yes – Ja
No – Nee
Thank you – Bedankt
Please – Graag
Sorry – Sorry
Excuse me – Pardon
Weather in Amsterdam
The weather in Amsterdam is determined by the sea, this is why rains and frequent temperature changes happen throughout the year.
Summers are relatively cold and winter is mild with lots of rains. The average temperature for July and August is 20-25C, while during winter season it seldom falls below zero.
Autumn and spring are seasons of high humidity and fogs. Strong winds start blowing from October to March.
Please note that during holidays shops, banks and most of museums will be closed. Public transport will be working based on limited schedule.
Amsterdam is the city of lots of possibilities to spend vacations and come here for short weekend break.