If lately you feel that you need a breath of fresh air and need to urgently go somewhere, then know that Amsterdam is always waiting for you with open arms. Intriguing and colorful, tolerant and free, the city will make you feel comfortable and “at home” without being intrusive. There is nothing obligatory in Amsterdam, you can spend your time as you wish and no one will reproach you for missing something. In addition, it is there that you can choose for tourism purposes radically different routes – from coffee shops and the red light district to the beautiful city art galleries and many churches.
Here is an option for a short tour of the city with some of the most popular places for connoisseurs of cultural and cognitive tourism:
– Historical canals(Grachtengordel). Arranged in the form of concentric circles, they give the most characteristic nuance of the atmosphere in the city together with the hundreds of romantic bridges and parked bicycles around them. A boat trip from the pier to Central Station , for example, will take you through the most picturesque canals, such as Singel – the oldest and most internally located canal – and allow you to get a first impression of the city’s architecture. You will also see the popular and charming housing boats .
The tangle of canals surrounding the central part of the city with its more than 1,500 houses-architectural monuments is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and dates mainly from the golden 17th century for the Netherlands. Why is it called “golden”? Thanks to its sailors from a small fishing village, as it was when it originated in the late 12th century, Amsterdam and the whole of the Netherlands became the busiest port in the world, trading with the most remote points on the map. Trade pushes the development of the city forward in all other areas – science, culture, art. Formed as a world financial center, Amsterdam leaves important traces in the economic history of mankind. There were born a number of prototypes of the concepts we know today, such as the Central Bank, which is considered the Bank of Amsterdam, The stock exchange (if not in time, then in terms of volume it was certainly the leader), the first multinational – the Dutch East India Company. Well, the rapid development and use of new financial instruments inevitably gives rise to the first closest to modern speculative “bubbles” and crises – it is enough just to remember the tulip-mania, but that’s another topic „
– The Floating Flower Market (Blumenmarkt). It is from the tulip mania that we move to the other emblematic Amsterdam attraction – the floating flower market on the Singel canal. As is well known, flowers and the Netherlands are inextricably linked, and this is evident everywhere in Amsterdam and its beautiful flower pavilions, where you can choose from an unimaginable number of varieties of tulips and other flowers, bulbs and seeds. If you happen to be in Amsterdam in the spring and have more time, be sure to go to the town of Lisse (Lisse) about 35 km and the amazing Köckenhof Gardencalled the “Flower Garden of the Netherlands”. It is open only in the two months when the number of tulips in bloom is четири .about four and a half million! If you do not have enough time to organize a trip out of town, you can go to the City Botanical Garden Hortus Botanicus – one of the oldest in the world, founded in 1632. After seeing more than 6,000 species of plants grown there, you can continue to admire the colorful landscape from the cafe terrace to the park. Hortus Botanicus is about 850 meters from Rembrandt Square on the other bank of the Amstel River.
– Rembrandtplein – the popular town square is named after the famous artist who lived near it. In 2006, in honor of the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth, an installation of bronze statues was erected on the square, recreating the plot of what is considered by many to be his most famous painting “Night Watch”. The streets around the square are full of restaurants, cafes and hotels, and if you are looking for an authentic local pub with real Dutch music, you will find it in one of the restaurants around. Some claim to be several centuries old. 10 minutes from the square is the Rembrandt House-Museum (address: Jodenbreestraat 4) in the Jewish Quarter, which exhibits his engravings and etchings.
” Dam Square .”(De Dam) – the square dates back to the construction of the dam (Dam) around the Amstel River, which protects the city from being flooded by the sea, which was somewhere in the 13th century. On this square is the old royal palace (now the home of the royal family, as well as the Dutch government are located in The Hague) and several other landmarks such as the memorial to soldiers killed in World War II, the building of the Berlage Stock Exchange ), Madame Tussauds. ” Anne Frank’s house. “
(Prinsengracht 263-267) – the house where the Jewish girl’s family hid from Nazi atrocities for two years during World War II and in which Anne wrote her famous diary, has now been turned into a museum visited by thousands of guests of the city.
– The Van Gogh Museum(address: Museumplein, Paulus Potterstraat №7) – A remarkable place in Amsterdam and a strong magnet for fans of the great artist. There are paintings from all his periods. You can watch variations of “Sunflowers” and other flowers as you like, his self-portraits, “Family that eats potatoes” and the series dedicated to rural life, as well as many more or less famous paintings. The museum has a place for the collections of other impressionist and post-impressionist artists, his contemporaries, inspirers or those who draw inspiration from his ingenious talent. The museum shop offers an abundance of albums and books with reproductions of Van Gogh, which would be a valuable memory of Amsterdam and the house of one of the most intriguing artists in European art of all time.
– Rijksmuseum – National Museum of History and Art of the Netherlands, whose exhibits, including paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and other great artists, were first exhibited in The Hague (1800) and then moved to Amsterdam. The current building of the museum was built in 1885, and in April 2013 its main sector was reopened after a ten-year period of reconstruction. The Rijksmuseum is close to the Museum Gole’s Van Gogh Museum.
– The Old Church (Oude Kerk) and the New Church(Nieuwe Kerk) – from their names one can think that one is almost modern, but in fact they date from the 14th and 15th centuries, respectively. Just after the expansion of the city, the old church became too small and so the construction of the new one began soon. One is located in the heart of the red light district (De Wallen), and the other – about 900 meters from it, on Dam Square. Nowadays, the New Church serves as an exhibition hall, a place for concerts and other events. It is always available to the royal family at coronations, weddings and other official ceremonies. – NEMO Science Museum
(NEMO) – the largest science center in the Netherlands, aimed at anyone interested in science and technology. Not only exhibitions, but also workshops, theatrical performances and films are provided for the visitors. It is about a 20-minute walk from Oosterdok Central Station № 2.
– A tour of Amsterdam.This is not a museum :). We just want to remind you of the delicious and varied food in urban restaurants. Most of them are nice small and cozy restaurants, predisposing with their intimate atmosphere to pleasant culinary experiences. Since Dutch cuisine is generally not famous for any special traditions, or at least not like other European cuisines, the cuisine is a fusion. The chefs emphasize all sorts of innovations in food preparation, fresh and organic products, and the restaurants themselves often reach eccentricity. Many restaurants in Amsterdam are known for their unconventional locations – a former Renault showroom, a former greenhouse, an old ferry, and the leader in non-standard is the Freud restaurant (Spaarndammerstraat 424), where food is prepared and served by former psychiatric patients.
Well, yes, this is Amsterdam – vivid and colorful, going to extremes, but offering something for everyone. It continues to be open to the world today, as it was during the Golden Age of the Netherlands. And no one will feel like a foreigner in this cheerful and friendly city.