Welcome to the city of arts and entertainment – welcome to Amsterdam! This old European capital also known as “The Northern Venice” is the best known for its numerous canals and bridges, 17 th century architecture, several world known painters, bicycles and the greatest tolerance and freedom of choices in entertainment sector such as variety of coffee shops that serve more than coffee, and famous Red Light District. This city that radiates with history and art also offers high quality beers, cheese, waffles as well as numerous restaurants with cuisines from all over the world.
In order to save money on transportation and admission fee to museums, rent a bicycle or look for OV Chipkaart, Museumkaart or I Amsterdam City Card. For more information visit www.iamsterdam.com
Cost of Living:
When to Visit
April & May Nice time to visit; pleasant temperatures and colorful scenery. The Tulip Festival and the Cherry Blossom Festival celebrate the return of spring.
June – August High season; pleasant weather and thick crowds. Taste of Amsterdam is a four-day event in early June where you can sample dishes cooked by the city’s top chefs. Other festivals in June are the Holland Festival, the Amsterdam Roots Festival and the Open Garden Day.
September – November Best time to travel; fewer crowds and milder temperatures. In September, the Jordaan Festival celebrates local history and folk music tradition through music and theatrical events.
Certainly the greatest attraction of Amsterdam is a combination of its natural landscape with stunning architecture. Like Venice, Amsterdam is located on web of canals and bridges, which makes it ideal to explore on foot, by bicycle, on a cruise ship or on a rented boat, at any time of year. You can take magnificent pictures, some of them eternally embedded in art by landscapes painted by Dutch masters, since the original architecture of the city core is well preserved and put on a UNESCO World Heritage List.
Prinsengracht means Prince’s Canal, and it is one of three main canals besides Herengracht and Keizersgracht. It is a main tourist destination easily covered by bike or on foot, since it is a car-free zone of the city. This densely built area hides many secrets, so create your own adventure by exploring catholic churches and chapels hidden inside buildings, dairy factory, Houseboat Museum, and find the Narrowest House or Anne Frank House, relax in numerous coffee shops or enjoy a meal looking at the oldest scenery that belongs to what was once the third most populated city in Europe after London and Paris.
This is the oldest square in the city, located on the first den constructed on the Amstel river in 13 th century, and it is the city core that was once one of the largest and richest swarming markets on the old continent. This square has a long and turbulent history, witnessed by the Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam, as well as the National Monument built to honor the victims of the WWII. Today this square is full of pigeons, tourists and street artists, and a great place for taking photos and enjoying the history vibe.
This museum is a paradise for art lovers, since it holds a collection of countless art pieces from all periods, nearly one million Dutch alone. It is impossible to see all of them, since only a part of it is on display, and it is exhibited in 80 rooms of a four-floor building. The collection is divided into eras and separated by floors, so you can decide which one is the most interesting for you to visit: ground floor is reserved for Middle Ages, Renaissance, Special Collections and Asian Pavilion; first floor for 18 th and 19th century art; 17th century Golden Age pieces are located on the second and 20th century pieces on the third floor.
Open: Daily 09:00AM-05:00PM
Price: Adults €17.50/Free for Children under 18/On discount or free with Museumkaart or I Amsterdam City Card
The Rijksmuseum Gardens, Rijks Shop and Café are open to visitors without a ticket from 9am to 6pm. For more information on ticket price, tours and exhibitions visit www.rijksmuseum.nl
If you admire one of the greatest Dutch masters you have the opportunity to take a glimpse into his daily life in fully restored space that he once occupied: his house in the Breestraat (now the Jodenbreestraat) turned into a museum. You can see artist’s studio, living space, as well as his own drawings, furniture and utilities collected in 1656. when he went bankrupt. Besides that, you can also visit temporary exhibitions and events hosted in the museum. For more information visit www.rembrandthuis.nl
Open: Daily 10:00AM-06:00PM (On December 24th and 31th closes at 5pm; on January 1st opens at 11:00AM)
Closed: December 25th
Price: Adults €13/Children (age 6-17) €4/ Free with I Amsterdam City Card
This is the place where you can see the largest number of Van Gogh’s works, which were collected thanks to his brother Theo, who was his art dealer. Probably not very great one, since the painter whose work is priceless today, once barely had money for basic necessities. Visiting this museum you can enjoy looking at the wide range of his work and spot the phases in life of one of the most controversial personalities in history of art.
Open: Daily 09:00AM-05:00PM (09:00AM-10:00PM on Fridays)
Price: Adults €18/Free for Children under 18 (except for school groups) and with Museumkaart or I Amsterdam City Card
Exhibitions hosted in this museum offer their visitors an insight in history of both Amsterdam, and the building of museum itself. You can learn about Dutch capital from its rich collection of artifacts and multimedia exhibitions, since its early beginnings, throughout history and Golden Age, until contemporary times, best presented in an interactive exhibition DNA Amsterdam. You can also enjoy very informative and emotional display of building’s transformation from convent, children’s orphanage (with special multimedia exhibition of lifestyle in the city’s orphanage in 17 th century) to museum, officially moved in 1975.
Open: Daily 10:00AM-05:00PM
Closed: December 25th, January 1st, April 27th
Price: Adults €12/Children (age 5-18) €6/ Free with I Amsterdam City Card
This St. Nicholas church is a piece of art itself, and it is difficult to believe that this outstanding gothic building was once just a small stone hall church built in 14 th century, after its wooden predecessor was destroyed in fire. Besides breathtaking exterior, this parish church contains some rare ceiling paintings, stain glass windows and very famous organ, and it is also a place of prayer as well as exhibitions, concerts or debates. The most interesting fact about it is the contrast of its location: this oldest building in the city is located in the middle of the Red Light District.
Open: Monday to Saturday 10:00AM-06:00PM (ticket desk closes at 05:45PM); Sunday 01:00PM-05:30PM (ticket desk closes at 05:15PM)
Closed: April 27th (King’s Day)
Price: Adults €10/Students and groups (20 persons) €7.5/Free for children under 13 and with Museumkaart and I Amsterdam City Card
This might be one of the most well known sightseeing spots in Amsterdam, mostly because it depicts the country’s endless tolerance. It is located in the city’s oldest quarter and it is the home of so called world’s oldest occupation, gaining its name by the red lanterns that were once used as a mark for brothel. You can see various windows displaying all kinds of prostitutes, as well as numerous bars, shops and other creative businesses. You can also visit the Museum of Prostitution, and learn about this profession, as well as its history in Amsterdam.
There is a special code of conduct in this area, and it is as safe as can be, with regular police patrols and respecting the code. Also, it is recommended to avoid taking pictures, and buying bicycles or drugs, since those are probably stolen/illegal
This aspect of the city is the most famous and very popular among tourists, since it also depicts countries tolerance and liberal laws. There are more than 250 coffee shops around the city, most of them located in Red Light District, where you can smoke weed, or use some other legalized drugs, play chess or board games, meet artists and relax and socialize in many other ways. But keep in mind that there are codes for behavior in coffee shops like in Red Light District, and get familiar with Nederland’s laws regarding usage of psychedelic substances.
For more information about coffee shops, their location and everything else visit www.amsterdam.info/coffeeshops/