The seedy reputation of Amsterdam’s Red Light District – also called De Wallen – is upheld in some of its museums. Although most of the museums in the Red Light District have sex as their focus, there are several others with different themes. There are even a couple you could take your grandmother to.
Most people hit Amsterdam and immediately jump aboard a cruiser to journey around the canals and see the city from the water. Now there’s a chance to take a private Amsterdam canal cruise to explore the major canals and the IJ waterway, spotting iconic sights along the way.
Amsterdam is a city renowned for its party-loving nature, with a cluster of music, art, drama and music festivals throughout the year. And September 2014 sees a new kid on the festival block, with the advent of Pop Up Week Amsterdam.
Arguably the prettiest town in Holland, with its tranquil canals lined with linden trees and backed by gabled cottages, Delft make the ideal day trip from Amsterdam. Visiting Delft from Amsterdam takes around an hour by train.
Amsterdam may be a compact city but it certainly packs a punch with sightseers. Here are my suggestions for ten ways to make the most of your time in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam’s favorite city park stretches over 47 hectares and is the site of several restaurants and cafés as well as an open-air theater and plenty of manicured green space, pathways that are largely the preserve of cyclists and inline-skaters, and nature reserves where birds breed safely away from the public eye. And now Amsterdam is celebrating the 150-year anniversary of the founding of the park with the opening of Tulip Island in the Vondelpark.
With Amsterdam being one of the flattest capital cities in Europe, it is small wonder that its residents have taken to cycling with such a vengeance. Indeed there are supposedly 600,000 cycles in the city of 780,000 people, with an estimated 100,000 being stolen and 25,000 ending up in the canals each year. There are more than 180 cycling routes in Amsterdam that allow sightseers to see the attractions of the city.
By the mid 17th century, Amsterdam was a victim of its own success; a hugely wealthy city that had grown rich on overseas trade; immigrants pored in from all over the Dutch empire and it became imperative to expand the city outwards to help halt disease and overcrowding. The making of Amsterdam’s Canal Ring shaped the city that we see today.
Following a two year major renovation and expansion, the Mauritshuis has re-opened its doors in The Hague. Home to one of the best collections of Dutch and Flemish paintings in the world, ‘the jewel box’ as it is often called, is living up to its nickname. The classical, old space is back with a modern flair, and one of the best things about it is that you don’t have to be a hardcore art enthusiast to appreciate it. Even casual visitors will find it easy to feel comfortable and enjoy.