Amsterdam is the capital of Holland. Most travelers know the name because of the red light district, approval to smoke weed, a lot of water, tulips, windmills and the famous wooden shoes.
Let me tell you, we do not walk around in wooden shoes and live in windmills. They are here. A lot. but it is not everything Holland has to show you.
Yes, weed is legal and the red light district exists. So if that interests you, alright, but let me show you what you should visit anyway.
Country: Holland / The Netherlands
Time zone: Summertime UTC+2, Wintertime UTC+1
Best travel time: All year
Amsterdam has way too much history to tell you here. Amsterdam became an official city in either 1300 or 1306. The city grew fast and was popular with pilgrims. The 17th century is considered the Golden Age of Amsterdam. It became the wealthiest city in the western world. The trading network had its base in Amsterdam.
During the second world war, over 60.000 Jews who lived in Amsterdam were brought to concentration camps. The most famous deportee was Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl. The last winter of the war, food became scars. They ate raw sugar beets and tulip bulbs to stay alive. The city grew a lot after the war. Several neighborhoods were built and tourism grew.
Amsterdam is located in the western part of Holland. The province is called North-Holland. Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometers of canals, which are navigable by boat.
There are more than 20 museums in Amsterdam, 8 music venues, 6 markets, 3 breweries, and a zoo.
Anne Frank House: This is a museum about Anne Frank, the Jewish girl. She is very popular because she wrote a diary about her time hiding. She lived with her family in this building behind a bookshelf. You can find how they lived, pages of the original diary and old pictures in the museum.
Artis: Artis is the oldest zoo in Holland. It is in the middle of the city. It was founded in 1838, only opened to members, and it became public in 1920.
Bloemenmarkt: The Bloemenmarkt is a floating flower market. There are 15 florists and some souvenir gifts floating on a canal.
Rijksmuseum: The most known museum in Amsterdam. It is also the most visited museum in Holland. There are 8.000 objects on display, but their total collection is 1 million objects. The most famous piece is the Night Watch ( De Nachtwacht) by Rembrandt. Be on time, because it will be busy.
Amsterdam Dungeon: The Amsterdam Dungeon follows after the London Dungeon, York Dungeon, and More Dungeons. You walk from room to room where actors play a part in history. It shows the dark sides from history, from torture to the plague. You can even be part of the show if you are (un)lucky.
Canals: As I said, there are a lot of canals in Amsterdam. There are several boat trips over the canals. The guide tells you about Amsterdam and you visit parts, you can not come on foot.
Madame Tussauds: Madame Tussauds is known by many people. The wax museum in Amsterdam is nice to stop by when you are there. Meet all your favorite stars and come closer than you will ever be.
Transportation in Amsterdam is very easy. There are a lot of different ways to get from one side to another.
The busses and trams are pretty good on time and there is a great system. The best way is to buy a public transportation card that you can use for both the bus and tram
Most sights are very close together and you can walk from one to another. Just watch out for the bicycles.
The most iconic way to get around in Holland is, of course, the bicycle. You can rent one of a day, week or longer. Most shops also have electronic bikes.
There are a lot of typical Dutch food. Maybe you know some and maybe not.
* Drop (licorice)
* Beschuit met muisjes ( biscuit with mouses)
* Kruidnoten / Pepernoten
* Pannenkoeken (Dutch pancakes)
Amsterdam is a very interesting city with more than most people know. You can spends some days here and discover small streets and canals, try a lot of new food and learn interesting history.
If you already saw Amsterdam and have some time left, check out these day trips from Amsterdam!
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