As you’d expect from such a compact city there its lots to see and do and the main benefit is that if you are pushed for time you cram in some serious sight seeing. We’ve compiled our favourites from some of the absolute classic must see destinations that are brimming with history through to the down right weird and wacky.
A major destination for a lot of tourists to the city is the historic Heineken brewery, whilst no longer the main brewery because of the sheer demand for the amber stuff it’s a great trip and holds full tours so you can take in nearly 400 years of, well, beer. At the end of the tour you get a free beer to quench your thirst as well, result!
Visit this cool website for more information – http://www.heinekenexperience.com/
Daily from 11.00 till 19.00 hrs.
(Last ticket sales at 17.30 hrs.)
Closed on 1 January, 30 April, 25 and 26 December. The Heineken Experience is accessible for disabled visitors. Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. According to Dutch law and Heineken policy, they do not serve alcoholic beverages to visitors under the age of 16.
Admission: 15 EUR
(age 1-15) EUR 1 for each year of the child’s age, with a maximum of EUR 12
(20+ persons ) are available on request
I amsterdam Card (25% off) and Holland Pass (free or 20% off)
The Heineken Experience is accessible by wheelchair. Wheelchairs are available free of charge, but need to be booked 48 hours in advance via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: Stadhouderskade 78, Amsterdam. Take tram 7, 10, 16,
24 or 25 and get off at the Heineken Experience.
Tel: + 31 (0) 20 523 9435.
The Canal Ring
From its humble beginnings the canals have been the foundation for the city and you can see why Amsterdam is called ‘The Venice of the North’. The great thing is about the canals is the accessibility as its in the heart of the old city, walk, cruise, or cycle around them and then find a café to sit down and drink in the unique atmosphere of ‘The Dam’.
There are no opening hours, its yours to visit at your leisure however hanging about late a night is probably not advisable. We have a few tips for you though:
1. The streets are cobbled and can be a toil to walk on at times so live the stilettos at home and wear some good shoes
2. Now you’ve got your foot wear sorted make sure you pack some wet weather gear, Amsterdam is famed for its changeable weather conditions
3. Traffic – from bikes that is, be aware at all times
4. Don’t get lost, use a map!
Leidesplein – Every city worth its salt has a “happening” square, where you go to take in the life and buzz of the city – for Amsterdam, that would be the Leidesplein. Relatively small, the Leidesplein more than makes up for its lack of grandeur through its vibrance and character. With lively bars and eateries around the square, as well as buskers and performers and the occasional passerby who joins in the performance, you never know what you can expect here.
National Monument – The National Monument, often made fun for its phayllic apprearance combined with proximity to the Red Light district, is, neverthless, Netherlands’ best-known memorial to its fallen of WWII. Prominently placed in the Dam Square, the monument is a fronted by two lion and has several symbolic statues in its pedestal: four males (war), a woman with child (peace), and men with dogs (resistance). The 12 urns at the rear hold earth from war cemeteries of the 11 provinces and the Dutch East Indies. The war dead are still honoured here at a ceremony every 4 May.
Amsterdam a compact metropolis that has so many redeeming qualities that will endear you to it but is still nonetheless,cramped. The perfect tonic for this is to stretch your legs and stride out at Vondelpark, the city’s most beautiful outdoor space which attracts over 10 million visitors a year. Criss-crossing canals, band stands, a spectacular rose garden, and llamas (yes I said Llamas) its the perfect place to come and blow away the cobwebs and spend a dreamy afternoon in one of our favourite parts of the city.
Museum Quarter Amsterdam
Tel: 31 20 678 1 678
The heart of the city and home of the original tourist trap, expect to pay premium prices for food and beer. Dam Square is where the city got its name when the River Amstel was dammed up and service the small fishing village around it which was to become “Amstelredam”. Now a bustling hub and full of street entertainers, eateries, and trams there is certainly a lot to keep you entertained but has inevitable become an expensive tourist trap, one to see but not for too long.
If modern art is your thing, then this is the place, it’s the umber one venue in Holland and is still at the cutting edge after more than 100 years. Best known for its permanent collection the Stedelijk also prides itself on having some fantastic temporary exhibitions that change all year round, its an absolute must. Open April – Oct 11am 7pm and Nov – March 11am – 5pm.
The Stedelijk Museum is open from 28 August 2010 to 9 January 2011 with a special program: The Temporary Stedelijk.
tuesday – sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
thursday: 10 pm
closed on mondays
january 1, 2011: closed
museumnight 6 nov: opened
As the renovation of the building has not been completed entirely, the museum has to follow guidelines from the fire department, limiting the amount of persons that can be in the building at one time.
dutch museumcard: free
stadspas amsterdam: €5
iamsterdam card: free
icom card: free
guggenheim museum card: free
members vereniging rembrandt: free
0 – 12 years: free
13 – 18 years, student pass, CJP: €5
schoolvisits per person: €5
family (max. 6 persons)
During the exhibition Temporary Stedelijk the library of the Stedelijk Museum at the Deccaweg location will be closed on Fridays.
Opening hours from 1st of September will be: Monday to Thursday 10 am to 5 pm. For further information visit – http://www.stedelijk.nl/en
Rijksmuseum Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch icon and arguably the most talked about artist of all time, The Rijksmuseum houses an incredible collection of the great mans work. Understandably one of the major tourist attractions in Amsterdam this spectacular angular building is open daily 10am – 5pm and is a feast for the eyes igniting the inner artist in you.
Museum: daily 10:00 to 18:00, Friday to 22:00.
Ticket office: daily 10:00 to 17:30, Friday to 21:30.
Shop: daily 10:00 to 17:45, Friday to 21:45.
Museum café: daily 10:00 to 17:30.
Library Museumplein 4: Monday to Friday 10:00 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 17:00
Closed 1 January
Adults: € 14
0-17 years: free
Members of ICOM: free
I amsterdam Card holders: free admission
Stadspas card holders: € 7. Unfortunateley these tickets cannot be ordered online.
For school arrangements other prices apply. Please visit www.vangoghmuseum.com/educationfor more information.
There is no special rate for groups or students.
For more information visit – http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/vgm/index.jsp?lang=en
Everybody knows that Amsterdam is famed for its liberal attitudes and nothing sums this up more than the laws on smoking cannabis in public places. Whilst not everybody’s cup of tea the unique experience of sitting in a café and looking at a menu with marijuana on it embodies the spirit of Amsterdam. Our advice would be take it easy as it might be a little stronger than when you had a puff at a party at college 10 years ago. Usually the best cafes are the cheaper, more comfy ones which invariably offer better service. Enjoy!
The Homo monument
Amsterdam is the poster boy for liberal society and has a hugely vibrant gay scene. Its also home to the Homo Monument, the first of its kind in the world dedicated to persecuted gays and lesbians commemorating not only the gays and lesbians that died at the hand of the Nazis but the ones who fought for the allies but omitted from other remembrance memorials. On a modern day footing its now an important symbol for the gay community and is the important venue for occasions such as World Aids Day.
For more info visit – http://www.homomonument.nl/indexen.htm
Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Hash Museum
Ok, it’s a cliché to go to Amsterdam and visit a hash museum but its got to be done. It can be found at Oudezids Achterburwal 148 and despite Police opposition for its existence you can still visit and see something completely unique to a European capital, a live indoor marijuana garden.
For more info visit – http://hashmuseum.com/
The Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum
T. +31 (0)20 624 89 26
The Red Light District
The Red Light District know to the locals as ‘Walletjes’ which basically means where the old city walls ran is probably the most infamous place in Amsterdam and is the melting pot of Dutch liberal society. An absolute must to see even if you are with the family as the seedy undertones and explicit shows can be avoided by a stroll through this bustling area. Ironically the evening is the best time to go as it is heavily populated with tourists taking a walk on the wild side and feels safer. We’d advise to not bother during the day as the hardened pimps and dealers patrol the area looking for willing customers and is something you do not want to getting involved in.
Off the chart on weirdness but something which is not so much seen as heard. On the first Monday of every month the klaxons are sounded across Amsterdam at noon testing the cities nuclear early warning system, to say this is not an eery experience is an understatement.
The Anne Franck House
One of the most popular tourist attractions in town, and a poignant reminder of darker times and the enduring spirit of Anne Franck. A timeless story that is known worldwide, The Anne Frank Diaries has sold in excess of 13 million copies and the museum still has 2 of the rooms where the Franks lived during the occupation left untouched. A truly memorable and humbling experience.
For more information visit – http://www.annefrank.org/
It is often less busy in the museum at 09.00 hrs and after 18.00 hrs. You can also avoid having to queue by buying tickets online for a reserved time.
The Anne Frank House is situated in the centre of Amsterdam at Prinsengracht 263-267. It takes around 20 minutes to walk from the Central Station to the museum. Trams 13 and 17 and buses 142, 170 and 172 stop nearby, at the ‘Westermarkt’ stop.
Adults: euro 8,50
Age 10-17: euro 4,-
Age 0-9: free
Euro <26-Card: euro 4,-
The ‘I amsterdam Card’ is not valid. There is no special rate for groups or students. Payment cash or with Maestro or through Visa- or Mastercard, at the entrance.
September 15 through March 14
Daily from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm.
March 15 through September 14
Daily from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, (Saturdays from 9:00 am – 10:00 pm).
In July and August the museum is daily open till 10:00 pm.
Thirty minutes prior to closing.
Madam Tussauds Wax Museum
Amsterdam’s own version of Madam Taussads is conveniently located right in Dam Square. Apart from the world heroes, Amsterdam’s wax museums features many local celebrities, from rapper Ali B to Pricess Maxima to Anne Frank.
The wedge shaped green building that is hard to miss, is the Nemo – a museum of science and technology, perched atop the IJ-tunnel. The exhibitons itself are meant for kids, but in summer, the rooftop is converted to an artificial beach with music and drinks and nice views. The main exhibits are informational while being entertaining, and if you are travelling with young ones, this is definitely worth a visit.
One of the biggest street markets in Europe, the Albert Cuyp market has over 300 stalls lining the long street in the Pijp area of Amsterdam. Stalls sell everything from fruit, vegetables, cheese, fish and spices to clothes, cosmetics and bedding. The street and market are named for Albert Cuyp, a 17th century painter. The market can get very crowded especially on Saturdays.