Amsterdam aka “Mokum”, has gained a lot of fame, or rather notoriety, for being the paradise of drugs and sex. But there are a lot many other reasons why you should head to this spectacular city of the Netherlands. You will be spoilt for choice as how to spend your time in Amsterdam, there being no dearth of interesting things to quench your thirst for knowledge, fun and adventure. A couple of them are mentioned here with a hope of garnering your interest in this magnificent city.
1. Get a taste of the city’s history
There are museums aplenty here right from the Amsterdams Historisch Museum to the Museum Amstelkring. The Joods Historisch Museum needs special mention as it acts as a window to the history of Judaism in the Netherlands.
2. View the works of the masters of yore
Head to Rijks museum if you are an art lover. Very few other museums have such a splendid art collection containing works of Rembrandt and Vermeer. Besides, you will also be able to view Van Gogh’s masterpieces here.
3. Explore the canals
The city is famous for its maze of canals. Declared a UNESCO monument in 2010, a boat ride through these canals will leave you mesmerized. Some of the canals worth mentioning are Prinsengracht, Brouwersgracht and Leliegracht.
4. Pedal on
The Netherlands has a long history with bicycles which go much beyond the mere transportation needs. Just hire a bike and pedal through the captivating streets of Amsterdam. Even guided bike tours are available in case you are paranoid about losing your way in a foreign land. Night rides are specially recommended. Just take one to see why.
5. Bring your skates
Fine if you are not a big bike lover. Just put on your skates and go whoosh! You can skate through the streets at night or go ice-skating at the many ice rinks available, the choice is yours.
6. Turn into a shopaholic
We know you can do that irrespective of the city, but Amsterdam s markets have their own charm. Albert Cuypmarkt is a well-known market which will give you a glimpse into the Dutch way of living selling things from the mundane to the exotic. You can also head to the Waterlooplein or Dappermarkt if you are here for a couple of days stay.
7. Visit the secret garden
One of the most peaceful places you will ever be in your life is at the Begijnhof. Originally a convent, it a tourist hub but surprisingly, the decibel level will let you hear a pin drop.
8. Don’t miss this
Prinsengracht 263 is the Anne Frank Huis, a modest house beside Prinsengracht canal where Anne Frank and her family were in hiding from the Nazis for two years during the World War II. This is perhaps the most tourist infested place in the whole of Amsterdam, what with all the aura of history and tragedy that surrounds it.
9. Soothe your ears with some good music
Whether it is pop, rock or classical or any other genre that catches your fancy, it is there in Amsterdam. If you are a rock fanatic, head straight to Paradiso or else to Melkweg for other styles that suit you. And do visit the grand music theater Muziekgebouw which is a heaven for music lovers.
10. See red
Well, we mean the (in)famous Red Light District or the Rosse Buurt of Amsterdam . No matter how pious you believe yourself to be, do visit this place to discover the voyeur within you. But don’t expect the grandiose of Las Vegas or you will be seriously disappointed. It’s more about the novelty of this place and the social blending of all classes of people here that is intriguing.
But these were just some of the places to look up the next time you visit this amazing city. The grandiose of Amsterdam will leave you craving more no matter how long your vacation is. So why wait any longer? Just grab that backpack and set out on a journey to remember, to the “Jerusalem of the North” and the land of the good ol’ Dutch: Amsterdam.
1. The reopening of the Rijksmuseum: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02535/Rijksmuseum-2_2535462b.jpg
2. Statue of Anne Frank near Anne Frank Huis: http://cdn3.vtourist.com/4/6011793-Statue_of_Anne_Frank_near_the_Anne_Frank_Huis_Amsterdam.jpg?version=2
3. The Red Light District at night: http://travellingeurope.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/amsterdam_rld.jpg