Famous for canals, historic buildings, marijuana districts, countless museums and the red light district that earned it the notorious name, ‘the city of sin’, Amsterdam has a lot to offer tourists with a true sense of adventure.
Here are 13 beautiful places that you have to see during your visit to the City of Sin.
1. The Botanical Gardens
Also known as Hortus Botanicus, this is one of the oldest botanical gardens globally, established as early as 1638. If you love plant life and appreciate pleasant green scenery that is both aesthetically nourishing and mentally stimulating, this is a must-visit location for you. I advise you to go on a warm afternoon, when you can really appreciate the fresh air and the beautiful plants. When you're in Hortus, just take a moment and breathe.
2. Artis: Amsterdam Zoo
A haven for up to seven hundred animal species, Artis was the first zoo to be established in the Netherlands and is situated in the centre of Amsterdam. It's located only five minutes away from the botanical gardens, making it perfect to have the plant and animal life experience whilst taking the best pictures for Instagram.
3. Nine Streets
Amsterdam’s Nine Streets really has it all; it consists of art galleries, designer boutiques, stylish cafes, vintage clothing stores and numerous places to eat and drink. The district’s name is self-explanatory, as it is made up of nine little streets close to the city’s heart. The area lies between the Singel and Prinsengracht canals and is a paradise for pedestrians, everything being very picturesque.
4. Van Gogh Museum
Whether or not you’re an art person, you’ve probably heard the name Van Gogh; well, I'm here to tell you that there’s a whole museum in Amsterdam dedicated to him and the art he created. With more than two hundred paintings, five hundred drawings and seven hundred of his letters, the Van Gogh museum is one of the most popular museums in the world. You should probably go and check what all the fuss is about.
Vondelpark is the largest and most famous park in the Netherlands, loved by both locals and tourists. If you want to go jogging, take your dog for a walk or even treat yourself to some free entertainment at the open-air theatre, then Vondelpark is the place for you.
6. A’DAM Toren
Although this landmark tower looks brand new, it was actually opened in 1971 when it was home to Royal Dutch Shell. However, after a multi-million dollar renovation, it became home to one of Amsterdam’s most exciting nightlife. The tower houses a spectacular observation deck, a hotel, a daring nightclub, a co-working space and several top-notch restaurants and bars. Basically, it has something for everyone.
7. Royal Palace Of Amsterdam
Here’s a little history lesson for you: this 350-year-old palace was once the city hall of Amsterdam until King Louis Napoleon Bonaparte transformed it into a Palace in 1808. The Palace is open to the public most of the time, and if you’re the observant type, you’ll notice signs that it was initially a city hall. Go and admire the marble floors, magnificent paintings, delicate sculptures, gigantic chandeliers.
9. Oude Kerk (Old Church)
Oude Kerk is widely known as the oldest building in Amsterdam and for centuries, was the most important church in Amsterdam. It lost this position to Nieuwe Kerk, which as you probably guessed, translates to New Church. The Oude Kerk is a beautiful building and an architectural masterpiece that anyone, regardless of religion, can appreciate.
8. Anne Frank House
The museum that is the Anne Frank house was the hiding place of Anne Frank and her parents during the second world war. Anne Frank was a Jewish victim of the holocaust who is famous for keeping a diary of her experiences. Today, you can visit the house and experience a bit of history. The Anne Frank house is usually sold out months in advance so it’s important that you plan properly and buy your tickets early.
Known in English as the house of seven countries, the Zevenlandenhuizen is a row of seven delightful houses, each representing the unique architectural design of a different European country. They were designed when the Dutch were obsessed with things that were exotic and far away. The houses are close to Vondelpark and you can stay in one of the houses overnight.
11. Stedelijk Museum
When it comes to contemporary art and design, the Stedelijk Museum is at the forefront in the Netherlands. It’s located close to the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. The collection contains extraordinary pieces of art by world-renowned artists. You could compare it to the Art Institute in Chicago or the Museum of Modern art in New York. It goes without saying that the pieces here would make excellent backdrops for your photos.
The Rijksmuseum is full of masterpieces that reflect 800 years of Dutch and global history; works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh can be found here and that’s just naming a few. Even the building Itself is a beauty, in case you just want to stand outside and take pictures to convince your friends and followers that you’re artsy.
13. Keukenhof Gardens
The Dutch say it is the most beautiful spring park in the world; obviously we can’t confirm this, so we’ll let you be the judge of that. However, we can confirm that the Keukenhof Gardens has over seven million flowers in bloom which you can go and admire between March and May. It’s a truly beautiful location so make sure you have a lot of storage space for all the pictures you’ll be taking.
Written by Nonso Emelumadu.