Amsterdam is a beautiful city. It’s one of those places that from a visitor’s point of view feels much smaller than its three-quarters-of-a-million population.
It has some of the most beautiful architecture in the whole of Europe, but it’s not just the buildings, it’s also the 1,280 bridges that connect the 90 islands created by the miles of canals. The canals are also one of the best ways to embark on a sightseeing tour of the city.
Types of Cruises
There are several types of tours you can take from one hour highlight trips that take you along a number of the waterways, passing some of the most picturesque spots in the Amsterdam, including elegant merchant houses, churches and icons of the Golden Age of the country.
This type of cruise costs from €14.
This is sometimes the best way to see the city at your leisure, and it’s also a great way to get around.
There is a municipal Canal Bus which is also used by locals for getting around. There are few places in the world where you can spend your city break travelling only by water. A day pass will cost around €24 so all you need is your trusty guide book and away you go!
Hop-On, Hop-Off Museums
This is your opportunity to soak up some of the artistic culture of the city. This ticket will cost around €37 but with 20 stops over four routes it will take you right to the doorsteps of Europe’s iconic landmarks.
Van Gogh Museum
With a permanent collection of more than 200 paintings, it is the largest of its kind in the world, containing more than a quarter of the Impressionist’s surviving work.
Translated as “State Museum” it’s the biggest of its kind in the Netherlands. Designed in Gothic and Renaissance style by P.J.H. Cuypers, it was opened in 1885 and is dedicated to the arts and history of Holland and is said to contain nearly one million objects.
It was commissioned in 1648 and was originally built for use by the administrative authorities, and was designed by famous Dutch architect Jacob van Campen to reflect the wealth of the nation.
It’s been home to kings and emperors, including Napoleon Bonaparte when Amsterdam was the Third City of his empire.
It should also be pointed out that the Royal Palace is just a short walk from Amsterdam Central Station, so after just four hours on the London to Amsterdam train, you can start your sightseeing straight away.
Anne Frank Museum
This is one of the most famous stories of how families lived in fear and took to hiding places throughout World War 2.
German born Anne lived with her family in Amsterdam, and spent two years in a cramped hiding place in their home with four other Jewish people, until they were arrested in 1944.
She kept a diary of her two years in that small space, which was later discovered by her father Otto, the only of the eight to survive the war.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city with a sometimes shocking, but fascinating history and is a place not to be missed.