A complete guide to amsterdam capital of the netherlands
Amsterdam is for the sinful. Name it and the capital of Netherlands has it all. Amsterdam is all about extremes whether it is touristy or non-touristy. Amsterdam is classic and never seems to go out of fashion. This hedonistic kin of Paris and London is aptly called the canal ring. Cycling in Amsterdam with more than 800,000 bicycles is the most quintessential activity of the Dutch people who like to cycle around of the capital city of the Netherlands. From selling of hash, marijuana, hemp and cannabis to prostitution everything is legal in here. Amsterdam Dungeon and Ripley’s Museum are new additions and are worth visiting once a while.
Croquettes and baguettes with a kaasplank cheese board are a must try. Gouda is the most loved cheese of the Netherlands. Cheese tasting is a must do in Amsterdam like white goat cheese Geitenkaas, creamy farmers cheese Boerenkaas, nutty Maasdammer cheese and blue cheeses with the lie of Delft’s Blauw and Bleu de Graven are a must try. Dutch smoked eel, Dutch Stroopwafels and Surinamese cuisines are a must try. Broodje haring served in the herring carts locally known as haringhandels are a must try. Heineken Experience is going through the beer titan’s account in the former brewery and a must do.
Rijksmuseum is in the borough `all about rare art with the maximum number of European masterpieces of the Golden Age restored to their originality dating from 13th century. Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” and Vermeer’s “Kitchen Maid” stand with vanity here. Some of the others include Portrait of a Young Couple, The Meagre Company, The Threatened Swan, The Jewish Bride and Girl in a blue Dress. The Delftware of blue and white pottery, doll houses, silver and ship models are a piece of work.
The Golden Bend or Gouden Bocht is the most prestigious stretch of real estate in Herengracht.
Van Gogh museum is the collection of works and letters of the painting wizard and Dutch impressionist in Museumplein with his line of masterworks. “The Potato eaters”, “The Yellow House”, “Self-Portrait”, “Sunflowers” and “Almond Blossoms” are some of his most imminent works.
The Red light district or De Wallen is the oldest part of the city replete with sex shops, show windows, selling blow ups and window shopping.
Vondelpark in the vicinity of Leidseplein and Zuid has the most English style gardens with winding pathways and footbridges across 47 hectares. It happens to be the largest green space in Amsterdam after the 17th century poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel known for his play Lucifer. The sculpture “The Fish” by Picasso is the highlight of the space. Sarpathipark in De Pijp Oud Zuid is also a must visit.
Anne Frank Huis or House on the Prinsengracht is about the melancholy of the most celebrated Holocaust diarist. The rear house Achterhuis of the Secret Annexe in the enclosed courtyard is the most important part of the house. The structure is the epitome of the times of Neo-Fascism and anti-semitism.
The West church or Westerkerk is the Ecclesiastical Dutch Protestant church and the highest structure known as Langer Jan or Tall John or Westertoren in the honor of Emperor Maximilian with the spire in the replica of the Emperor’s crown. The nave, organ, barrel vault, marble columns and carillons are its permanent fixtures.
Rembrandt House Museum houses the works and etchings of the Dutch Golden Age artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn off Waterlooplein in the centre of the city.
Dam Square was the founding ground of Amsterdam and houses the classicist palace of the King or The Royal Palace or Koninklijk Paleis or Paleis op de Dam is in the Empire style of the early 1800s. The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is the classical ancient Rome structure is the King’s residence of the Royal Dutch House. The burgerzaal or citizen’s hall had the most vivid maps in the world. The shiners, chandeliers, gilded clocks and damasks inundate the rooms of the palace. The treasurer’s room, fireplace and the Council Hall are its main attractions. Centraal Station is the landmark in itself. The Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and the National Monument representative of liberation with the conical pillar in travertine stone on concentric rings and pedestals dominate the square.
Image Credits : Netherlands tourism
Efteling is the largest theme park in the Netherlands replete with attractions and life sized dioramas of myths, legends, fairy tales, fables and folklore. Gondoletta, Darkride Fata Morgana, Villa Volta and Pagode are its most scenic realms. The artwork of Langkek is unique and quite sought out for.
Royal Concertgebouw or Royal Concert Building is the notable concert hall in Neoclassical style until Queen Beatrix conferred it with the title of Koninklijk for its acoustics and organ and shares its spece being a structure revered all around the world.
The Old Church Oude Kerk is the first of its kind hall surviving protestant and parish church dating from before the Reformation on Zeedijk Street with the prominent fixtures of its roof vault, planks, acoustics, altars, pipe organs, carillon, chapel, windows, choir compartments, facades and portals. The bronze relief in the cobblestone of Oudekerksplein is a must see.
Nieuwe Kerk is Gothic Revival Basilica for Dutch coronations, investiture and royal weddings with the fixtures such as chancel, bronze choir, stained glass barred windows and baroque evangelists symbolizing virtues.
Kalverstraat is for luxurious and high end street shopping for it is considered to be the most affluent street in Amsterdam. Haarlemmerstraat, De Negen Straatjes or the Nine Streets and Vlooienmarkt are the must visit markets streets. Dappermarkt in the Oost neighbourhood is one busiest market. Lindengracht market in Jordaan and Albert Cuypmarket in De Pijp are worth visiting. Noordermarkt is for the fresh artisanal produce.
Bloemenmarkt is the world’s only floating flower market. There are sights of floating barges of tulip, daffodil and narcissus bulbs. The tulip fields of Bollenstreek is also a must visit. The Flower strip of Keukenhof is all about tulips. Magere Brug or Skinny Bridge is a wooden bascule drawbridge named after magere zussen skinny sisters who lived on the either sides of the river. The Dutch draw bridge connects banks and sides of the River Amstel. Old wooden bascule Bridges Magere Brug or Mager Bridge is the nine-arched Skinny bridge. It is the connecting link Keizersgracht or Emperor’s Canal and Prinsengracht or Prince’s Canal.
Jordaan in the centrum borough is the neighbourhood famous for its inner courtyards hofjes and brown cafes.
Canals Grachten or the Canal belt is a 400 year old wonder built during the 17th century with 165 canals, traversing bridges, houseboats and waterways surrounding the arty locales of the Museum Quarter and Jordaan have the most celebrated canal of Prinsengracht.
Singel has the most picturesque canal houses of the Dutch Golden Age and happens to be the inner-most canals of the canal ring since the Middle Ages. Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht are on its outwards and were a part of the period of Golden Age Renewal. Muntplein, Amsterdam and Torensluis being the oldest and widest remaining bridge are some of its notable bridges. The Ronde Lutherse Kerk or Round Lutheran Church or Koepelkerk or Nieuwe Lutherse Kerk at Singel is quite a dekko. The Munttoren tower is quite a vision and is the meeting point Singel and Amstel River.
Reguliersgracht is considered to be the showiest canal.
Brouwersgracht or Brewers Canal is the most picturesque of the reminiscent of the Golden Age of Amsterdam. The other canals are Leliegracht, Bloemgracht, Egelantiersgracht and Spiegelgracht are worth seeking out for.
Riekermolen windwill on Amstel river is one of the 16th century structure. De Gooyer Windmill is 18th century structure and also the most renowned one in the Oostelijke Eilanden or Eastern Islands neighborhood. Zaanse Schans windmill is a trip worth taking.
Zandhoek stretch on the Realeneiland shore is a waterfront. Damrak waterfront is the original mouth of the Amstel river.
Blawbrug bridge is the connecting point of the shores of Amsterdam with street lamps and foundations with the imperial crown and medieval ship like structures. Torensluis is the oldest bridge to the east of the Singel.
Muiderpoort is a classical arch built in the 1700s as a gateway of the city. Oudemanhuispoort is a distinctive gateway. Haarlemmerpoort was once used as a defensive gateway to the city.
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