Amsterdam is a very attractive city for tourists, as it is a perfect combination of romance, adventure and fun. There are many things to visit during your stay in Amsterdam, and we have selected the top attractions for you.
This old church is the anker in the heart of the Red Light District, it is surrounded by tiny lopsided houses and bars. This church was built in a Gothic-renaissance style with an octagonal bell tower, back in the days, this bell was used by sailors to get their bearings. The area where the church is located is the heart of old Amsterdam, and you can feel the cosy atmosphere of the narrow streets and gothic buildings next to the canal.
Begijnhof belongs to one of the more poetic attractions of Amsterdam, as it is a beautiful garden surrounded by old houses with a narrow passageway leading to it. The houses in the courtyard were once occupied by celibate Beguine nuns, and are still the home to single woman today. Begijnhof is also home to the oldest house in Amsterdam! If you want to look for it, it stands at number 34. The entrance of Begrijnhof is located at the Spui, and is free as long as you are quiet.
Amsterdam is described by some as ‘The Venice of the North’ because of its many canals. And a visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without a canal cruise, it is the most relaxed way to see a lot of the city’s cultural heritage. You can float through the city centre, on the canals of Prinsengracht, Herengracht, Keizergracht and Singel. Or visit the smaller ones in the Jordaan for the ultimate feeling of ‘gezelligheid’ as the Dutch would say. If you are interested in going on a canal cruise, Coster Diamonds can offer you the best cruises for good prices, just contact our consultants to book a cruise.
Amsterdam is home to about 1280 bridges, but the magere brug or ‘Skiny Bridge’ is the most famous one. It is a traditional double-leaf Dutch bridge placed over the Amstel. Because of the increase in traffic the original brigde from 1670 was restored into a wider version. Not only the traffic on the bridge increased, because of the busy boat traffic, the bridge will open approximately every 20 minutes to let boats pass.
The Jordaan is the up and coming centre of the city, once a working class area, it now is inhabited by a colourful mixture of students, creative professionals and upcoming business man and woman. The atmosphere in the Jordaan is exeptional, due to its picturesque canals, narrow streets, art galleries, unique shops and abundance of cosy bistro’s and brown cafes. It is easy to find yourself on a pleasant stroll around this neighbourhood that connects the 3 main canals.
Red light district
The Red Light district is perhaps the most famous attraction in Amsterdam. And is somewhat of a sexual amusement park and often not taken too seriously by the hordes of tourist who frequent it as other Amsterdam attractions. 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.
Albert Cuyp market
The Albert Cuypmarkt is arguably the best-known and busiest outdoor market in Europe. It attracts thousands of visitors every day, and is especially popular on Saturdays. There are over 300 stalls and goods range from fresh produce, to clothes, to odds and ends, with prices among the cheapest. The market is held in the Pijp district, surrounded by many pleasant cafes and small shops.
Right in the centre of the city, you can also find the oldest Zoo of Holland. It consists of four main areas: Zoo, Planetarium, Botanical Gardens and Geological and Zoological museum. In the zoo itself you will find animals from all over the world. In addition, a unique canal aquarium shows you which animals roam the canals. The planetarium offers children a trip through the universe. In the peaceful gardens, you can find many old trees and statues of contemporary artists and as well as an impressive, tropical rainforest greenhouse. There are more Amsterdam attractions here. Like the Geological museum shows you how the planet has evolved over the past 4 billion years.
The Vondelpark is situated in the south of Amsterdam, just five minutes’ walk from the Leidseplein and in walking distance from the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum. With 10 million visitors a year, the Vondelpark is the most famous park in the Netherlands and belongs to known Amsterdam attractions. Especially in summer you will find a lot of locals here, this well maintained parks provide some nature to both locals and Amsterdam tourism. Bring a blanket, some food and drinks and relax in the summer breeze in this wonderful park.
Big and attractive botanical garden called Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest in the world (est. 1632). It has more than 6000 plants and some of the plants are really unique as 2000 years old agave cactus. In the recently renovated Orangery of Hortus Botanicus, a beautiful café with a large outside terrace open to the garden welcomes the visitors. A short walking distance from the Rembrandts House, very close to Artis ZOO, the Jewish Historical Museum and the Resistance Museum, Hortus Botanicus remains a pleasurable oasis of peace in the busy city.
A trip to Holland just wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a windmill. Believe it or not, there are 8 stunning windmills in at the heart of the city just waiting to admired. Don’t forget to take your camera!