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Amsterdam, the city of canals, tulips, windmills! There is absolutely no chance of walking down Amsterdam’s canals and not passing by a work of art, an architectural monument, a historic bridge, a notable church or a world class museum. When you tell your friends you are looking for cheap air tickets to Amsterdam, you may face a cheeky smile; but there is so much more in the Dutch capital than coffeeshops and red lights! This is a wonderful city, where the centre consists of more than 100 canals, picturesque little bridges and idyllic views. It also boasts a large collection of top museums, reflecting all the grandness of the 17th century Dutch Golden Age. Book your room easily in one of the cheapest hotels in Amsterdam, grab a bike and let’s discover Amsterdam!
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, but not quite the oldest city of the country. The Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century led the city through a great development, economically, socially and in every possible way. It was only natural that arts and culture bloomed as well!
Amsterdam houses more museums than any other city in the world!Amsterdam is a city that strongly reflects a sense of freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of mind, freedom from clichés and prejudice. Amsterdam’s population consists of around 745,000 residents and 175 different nationalities, in an open-minded society built on mutual respect. Your trip to Amsterdam can be as you want it to be, depending on what side of the city you’d like to experience. Whatever you do, it will be an unforgettable experience.
Amsterdam’s international airport (Schiphol Amsterdam Airport) is located 9 kilometres southwest of the city centre and can be reached by buses and trains.
Getting around Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s public transportation system consists of buses, trams and trains. Bikes are also a very popular way of getting around the city. Fares start at 2.80€ and minimum taxi fare at 2.67€.
If you arrive in Amsterdam by train – and you most probably will – as you exit the station, take a minute and turn around. Amsterdam’s Central Station (Centraal Station) is built on an artificial island that was later attached to the square and it’s a neo-renaissance work of art!
Follow Damrak, the main road that leads to the famous Dam Square, dominated by the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis). Walk a bit more and you will reach Museumplein, where Amsterdam’s most important museums can be found:
- Rijksmuseum is obviously the top choice in Amsterdam. Having undergone a major 10-year restoration process, it stands fully refurbished since 2013 and houses the largest and most precious art collection in the country. Nearly 1.000.000 objects, works of art and masterpieces will guide you to the brightest eras of the city, from 1,200 up until today.
- The Stedelijk Museum is a contemporary art museum. Of equal importance to the Rijksmuseum, it boasts many stunning pieces of Picasso, Chagall, Warhol, Kandinsky and, of course, Van Gogh.
- The Van Gogh Museum, housed in a modern building, is dedicated to the country’s favourite artist, Vincent Van Gogh and houses the largest collection of his works in the world.
As you head back to the city centre, turn left to find the Jordaan area. This is the old Jewish Quarter and it’s the most beautiful neighbourghood in Amsterdam – and one of the most expensive and cosmopolitan ones as well. Watch the beautiful flower collections at the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market) and visit the Anne Frank House (Anne Frank Huis), for a unique and moving experience.
On the other side of the city, the Red Light District is your next stop. Highlight there is the Old Church (Oude Kerk). It’s Amsterdam’s oldest building and is built on the burial site of many notable Dutch people of the past.
Feel free to wander around the streets, take the traditional canal pictures and return towards the Dam Square. On your way, you’ll see a castle standing in the middle of a square. It’s Den Waag, an old castle built in 1488, now housing an excellent restaurant.
Be sure to hang out at Vondelpark, the city’s largest and most beautiful park – especially on a sunny day - , eat Chinese in a floating restaurant and visit NEMO, a scientific centre, museum and planetarium, particularly amusing and educational for children.You cannot leave Amsterdam without experiencing its legendary nightlife. From bars and quaint little pubs, to the most famous clubs in Europe, in Amsterdam you will see the “real thing”. If you are into electronic music, check out Amsterdam’s festival calendar. Awakenings, Loveland, Sensation, Amsterdam Dance Event and many more world famous festivals are held annually, each month of the year and something else!
Dutch is the official language, but in Amsterdam - and certain other municipalities of the Netherlands - English is also recognised as an official language. Either way, you can communicate in English, Dutch, French or German with practically every resident of the city.