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Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and also one of Europe's most visited capitals and popular especially as a destination for weekend trips, it's easy to understand why: its streets are filled with interesting shops, restaurants and attractions.

The city has almost one million inhabitants (depending on how you count) and is located in the province of Noord Holland. It is a world city with a very international feel and hosts many cultural institutions.

Amsterdam is known worldwide for its liberal laws on cannabis and prostitution.

But what many people don't know is that this is the city in Europe with the most museums "per square meter". After all, the Netherlands was home to Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Vincent von Gogh and many other artists.

Culture abounds and there are many beautiful works of art and history to discover in Amsterdam. The city lies between two rivers, the Amstel and the Ij, and canals run throughout the city.

The city may well be one of Europe's most beautiful capitals and visitors are often amazed at how nice it actually is, especially in spring. If you want info in English, check out our cousin I Love Amsterdam.

How many days do you need in Amsterdam?

3 - 4 days is quite enough to start exploring the city. If we say you take the flight on Thursday morning/morning (06:30 or 09:35 with KLM) and go back home on Sunday evening (17:30 or 20:50), you maximize the time "on the ground".

Things to do in Amsterdam - fun and interesting activities in the city

Body Worlds Amsterdam

Body Worlds

"The 'Body Worlds' exhibitions were created by German anatomy professor Gunther von Hagens in the early 1990s and have since been shown in several cities around the world. The Amsterdam exhibition, often marketed as 'Body Worlds: The Happiness Project', focuses on how human happiness affects our health. It explores scientific aspects of what makes...
3D Map Amsterdam

The channels

Amsterdam's canal system is one of the most prominent and characteristic aspects of the city. These waterways, lined with historic buildings and linked by picturesque bridges, give the city its nickname 'Venice of the North'. Here's a closer look at Amsterdam's canal system: History and design The canal system began to be built in the 17th century during the city's 'golden century', a period of strong economic growth and...
Amaze Amsterdam

AMAZE

AMAZE is a unique and enchanting experience that spans 3,000 square meters and lasts a full hour. This audiovisual experience takes you on a journey from head to heart, stimulating all your senses and leading you to a deeper state of consciousness. A journey in seven stages AMAZE consists of seven separate stages,...
Misty wetland with windmill

Day trips from Amsterdam

From Amsterdam you can easily make day trips to several interesting cities and places in the Netherlands. Here are some popular destinations that are close enough to Amsterdam to visit in a day: Utrecht A charming city with canals and a rich history. It is only 30 minutes away by train from Amsterdam. Travel time By car: About...
Heineken Experience

Heineken Experience

A deep dive into the Heineken Experience: a journey through the history and culture of beer. Introduction to the Heineken Experience The "Heineken Experience" is more than just a visit to a brewery. It is a journey through the history and culture of beer, a chance to dive deep into the fascinating world of beer brewing. From the early days of the Heineken brewery to its...
Houseboats in Amsterdam

Houseboats in Amsterdam

Houseboats are an iconic feature of Amsterdam's canals and waterways. They have become an integral part of the city's landscape and culture. Here's a closer look at the history, types and culture of houseboats in Amsterdam. History After World War II, there was a shortage of housing in Amsterdam. At the same time, there were many abandoned cargo boats that were no longer used....
Stroopwafels

Dutch food

Although it's easy to believe the opposite, there's more than sweets to eat in Amsterdam.
Bike rental in Amsterdam

By bike in Amsterdam

Cycling is one of the most prominent and characteristic aspects of life in Amsterdam. The city's cycling culture is deeply rooted and offers an insight into how an urban community can develop around this sustainable and efficient form of transportation. If you're staying within the city, but still want to travel on your own, cycling is...
Amsterdam City Card

Amsterdam City Card

This card gives you access to a variety of things. These include free entry to Amsterdam's top museums and attractions, unlimited travel on public transport and much more. What does the Amsterdam City Card include? The Amsterdam City Card gives you free entry to over 70 museums and attractions, including some of the city's most iconic sites...
Lean Bridge / Skinny Bridge

Amsterdam's bridges

Amsterdam, with its many canals, has over 1,500 bridges, many of which are of historical and architectural interest. Here are a few of the most famous and iconic bridges in the city: Magere Brug (Narrow Bridge): This charming retractable wooden bridge over the Amstel River is one of Amsterdam's most photographed and famous bridges. The original bridge dates back to...
Koningsdag - Kings Day

Celebrating Koningsdag / King's Day in Amsterdam

Koningsdag, or King's Day, is one of the most celebrated national holidays in the Netherlands. It marks the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. Before he ascended the throne in 2013, it was called Queen's Day ("Koninginnedag"), celebrated on 30 April in honor of Queen Juliana and later her daughter Queen Beatrix. When King Willem-Alexander became monarch, the celebration was moved...
FOAM Photography Museum Amsterdam

FOAM - Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Amsterdam is known for its charming canals, picturesque houses and rich history. But the city is also an important destination for art lovers and photography enthusiasts. The FOAM Museum is a place where you can experience photography in all its glory, and in this guide we will give you all the information you need to plan your visit....
Starry night / A stary sky

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

Welcome to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam - one of the world's most famous and beloved art museums. Here's a detailed guide on what paintings you can expect to see, what tours are offered, how to buy tickets, where the museum is located and other relevant information to help you plan your visit.
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Riksmuséet / Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum houses an extensive collection of arts and crafts, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs and much more. A must for the art lover on your Amsterdam trip.
Vondelpark sign

Parks in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is home to a number of beautiful parks, all available for the public to enjoy. Vondelpark is the largest and most well-known park in Amsterdam and is popular with locals and tourists alike.
Red light district

Red Light District

Is the Red Light District the first thing you think of when you hear Amsterdam?
Keukenhof

Keukenhof

Keukenhof, known as the 'Garden of Europe or even the World', is a place of outstanding beauty and a celebration of the wonders of nature. Famous for its breathtaking displays of tulips and other spring flowers, this park is an unrivaled destination for flower lovers all over the world. A season of blooming beauty Keukenhof is open to the public...
Utrecht

Utrecht

Utrecht is one of the Netherlands' most historic and central cities. With its picturesque canals, historic center and vibrant atmosphere, the city is one of the gems of the country. Here are some highlights and interesting facts about Utrecht: History Utrecht has a rich history dating back to Roman times, and this can be seen in the city's architecture and...
Leiden

Leiden

Leiden is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and is located between the cities of Amsterdam and The Hague. It has a rich history and a unique charm. Here are some highlights and interesting facts about Leiden. The city center is full of historic buildings, old churches, picturesque alleys and canals. Beautiful stone bridges cross the canals and connect the different...
Map of the Netherlands

The Netherlands or Holland

The terms 'Holland' and 'the Netherlands' are often used interchangeably, but they do not mean exactly the same thing. Here is an explanation of why this is the case and the difference between the two. The Netherlands The Netherlands is a country made up of 12 provinces. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, while The Hague (Den Haag) is the seat of government and the location of the royal family's...
Replica of the Dutch East India Company VOC ship

Dutch East India Company

The VOC was founded in 1602 as a joint stock company by the Netherlands and the United Provinces of Holland and Zeeland.
Hermitage H'art museum

The Hermitage

Hermitage Amsterdam is now called H'ART Museum and has a new focus. The Hermitage Amsterdam is a cultural institution and art museum located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It is a branch of the famous Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and was established as a result of a unique collaboration between the two cities and their respective museums. Founding and location...
Bird cages Artis Zoo Amsterdam

Artis Zoo

Artis, the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, is located in the city center and is easy to visit.
The corridor under the Rijksmuseum

Meeting places

Here are some of the most common places to meet in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam hotels

Hotels in Amsterdam

Do you want cheap, luxurious, on a houseboat or why not in a regular apartment. Anything goes in Amsterdam.

Souvenirs to take home

Usually when you travel somewhere you want to buy souvenirs for your loved ones. If you want to buy something that is traditionally Dutch, tulips can be a good idea as tulips symbolize Holland.

Buying a bouquet is not very smart as they will wilt on the way home, but you can buy a tulip bulb and plant it in a pot when you get home. Clogs are also usually associated with Amsterdam and can be good to buy as an ornament or perhaps to walk around the garden.

Otherwise, you can always buy a miniature pair to wear as an ornament. If you want to buy something edible, a Dutch cheese is recommended. They have to be vacuum-packed to get through customs. Chocolate is also a good option and a recommended brand is Droste.

Governance

All Dutch municipalities are led by a mayor together with a municipal council. Today the city is divided into 15 different districts. The system was developed in the 1980s to ensure better local governance.

History

The city has a rich history dating back to the 13th century and has been frequently visited by artists, writers and tourists.

The architecture in Amsterdam is eclectic and varied and buildings built in the 17th century are not uncommon.

The city was founded in 1200, roughly, (in 1275 it was granted duty-free status) but was no more than a small fishing village on the banks of the river Amstel. It wasn't until the 17th century that Amsterdam became an important center of trade with the establishment of the Dutch East India Company.

The city's prosperity increased as it became a leading center for diamond cutting and trade in the nineteenth century.

The city's liberal policies and tolerant approach to diversity have made it a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.

Among the many attractions that Amsterdam offers, it is its culture that really sets it apart from other destinations. The city has a long and rich history that is evident in its architecture and art. There are also plenty of museums and cultural events to enjoy, making Amsterdam a great place for those who appreciate the arts.

In addition, the residents of Amsterdam are known for their openness and relaxed attitude, which contributes to the city's unique atmosphere. Amsterdam is a city in the Netherlands that has been known for its canals and beautiful architecture.

Nightlife

The city is known for its vibrant nightlife. From intimate bars to loud clubs, there is something for everyone. The city's Red Light District is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, and the canals are always bustling with people enjoying a drink or a bite to eat.

There is also no shortage of live music venues with jazz clubs, blues bars and classical music venues all vying for your attention. Amsterdam's nightlife is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who ventures into it.

Summary of this great city

Amsterdam is known for its canals, narrow streets and centuries-old buildings. The city is home to some of the world's most popular tourist destinations, including the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and the Anne Frank Museum. But also take the time to just wander around the city.