THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM
WELCOME TO OUR "THINGS TO DO" AND "WHERE TO STAY" AMSTERDAM TRAVEL GUIDE
Are you looking for things to do in Amsterdam? Wondering about where to stay in Amsterdam or where to eat?
Take a virtual tour using our Amsterdam Map and Google Street view feature and check out the city and its attractions prior to visiting the real thing - just click onto any of the highlighted links within the text of our site and go for a cyber wander - BOOKMARK OUR HOME PAGE TODAY - Our Amsterdam map feature will ensure that you are never lost and can access all of the major landmarks and points of interest highlighted - The pick up points and locations of many of our featured tours and attractions can also be accessed using the same Amsterdam map facility.
Your time in this amazing place is likely to be all too brief and too precious to squander. Our simple "things to do" and "where to stay" Amsterdam travel guide will steer you in the right direction and our travel partners with their top flight deals will ensure that you arrive safely and within budget - They can also help you out with some great hotel deals in Amsterdam.
From Culture Lovers, Romantics and Adventurers to Crazy Amsterdam Stag and Hen Parties - all are catered for by the myriad of things to do in Amsterdam, The best of which are featured in our guide.
Vibrant, calming, steamy, cool, beautiful, dark, earthy and sophisticated - Amsterdam's legendary contradictions make for a unique and fascinating visitor experience - The choice`s of things to do in Amsterdam and the places to visit are as individual as the city itself - Our simple travel guide contains the contact and location details of many of these top "Things to do in Amsterdam", whilst providing a gateway to all of the additional services that a visitor might require - A closer inspection will also provide you with the potential to explore in greater depth, allowing you to create your own unique and personal holiday experience.
There is something very special about this city. Enjoy your stay.
AN AMSTERDAM ABC
AMSTERDAM TRAVEL GUIDE - OVERVIEW
Included within our Amsterdam travel guide are the legendary commercial and public run Amsterdam tours and attractions; also included are the superb Amsterdam museums and Art galleries which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.
These subjects are well covered elsewhere in our Tourist guide to Amsterdam and in the following overview we would like to concentrate on the "must do" and often free things to see and things to do in Amsterdam including:-
The famous squares of Amsterdam
No tourist guide to Amsterdam is complete without mention of the famous Amsterdam Squares, there are three you must visit, namely Dam Square, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. As you might have guessed "plein" is Dutch for square!
Dam Square is at the historic centre of Amsterdam. It is not the most scenic part of Amsterdam but the sculptures and the architecture, dominated by the Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace), give a real insight into the founding roots of this modern city. The Amsterdam Historical Museum, on the square, will provide a fascinating and insightful guide to the city's past.
Rembrandtplein and Leidesplein are two of the main tourist hubs and attractions in Amsterdam, with shopping and music venues aplenty. The small park in the centre of the Rembrandtplein is a great place to relax on a warm sunny day, and the statue of one of the city's most famous sons will be happy to keep you company.
The visitor shall never be short of things to do in these areas, with all the local Amsterdam bars and nightclubs doing a roaring trade. Many of the Amsterdam bars and cafes have a big pavement presence which only adds to the fabulous, famous and unique Amsterdam atmosphere. Let our Amsterdam travel guide point you in the right direction
The Canals, Bridges and District of Jordaan
Amsterdam, or "The Venice of the North" as it is known, is famously awash with the amazing canals that physically define it. If you are looking for things to do in Amsterdam or looking for things to see in Amsterdam, then an afternoon or evening spent cruising on the Amsterdam canals is a "must do".
Throw in a meal and a few drinks and you have the perfect Amsterdam experience. There are four main canals in the centre of Amsterdam with the characterful and atmospheric area of Jordaan containing several of the smaller and most charming canals in the city. Jordaan's narrow and affluent streets contain a number of the most unique shops, cafes and art galleries in Amsterdam.Our Amsterdam travel guide highlights some of the best.
At the last count there were approximately 1280 bridges in Amsterdam of which the "Skinny Bridge" or the Magere Brug, is the best known. This traditional Dutch bridge spans the River Amstel (Lager drinkers will recognise the name!) and opens approximately every 20 minutes or so to let boat traffic through.
The Red Light District and the "Oulde Kerk"
If you are looking for things to do in the Amsterdam Red Light District, then it is a racing certainty that you will come across a few things that will make your eyes pop! It is also likely that you will come across a few things that you have never even heard of before:- but don't let that put you off, a visit to the area is one of the city's most popular and interesting experiences, in people watching if nothing else.
There are always more people watching than participating (much like the act itself ) with the District having the surreal atmosphere of a sexual theme park:- a sort of "Alton Towers" for consenting Adults if you like.
The pervasive red glow from the various sex shops and the Window attractions is enhanced by similarly lit street furniture and bridge lighting. Nowhere is Amsterdam's culture of tolerance and it's easy acceptance of the human condition, more pronounced than here.
The Area has a strict "No photography Rule", but is reasonably safe, providing the usual big city precautions are taken.
If you feel the need to seek divine absolution, or spiritual self recovery during your visit to the area, you can always pop along to the Oude Kerk ( Old Church). This attractive and renaissance period Gothic church is an island of peace amongst the frenetic and earthly goings on.
Possibly Europe's busiest and most famous outdoor market:- The Albert Cuypmarkt has several hundred stalls selling fresh food produce, clothes and various bits and pieces at some of the best prices to be found in Amsterdam. Whilst there are several other regular street markets operating in Amsterdam, The Albert Cuypmarkt is the one to see. It can be found in the attractive district of Pijp and is in close proximity to a number of fine small shops and cafes.
The Amsterdam Zoo or the Artis Zoo as it is known locally, is set amongst beautiful gardens in the middle of Amsterdam:- a real treat for adults and children alike.
The Amsterdam Zoo is split into four sections, namely the Zoo, the Planetarium, the Botanical gardens of Amsterdam and the Geological and Zoological Museum of Amsterdam.
The Zoo features animals from across the world and its unique canal feature gives a rare glimpse into the world of the Local Amsterdam wildlife. Children will especially enjoy taking a trip through the Virtual Universe at the Planetarium.
The Amsterdam Parks and Amsterdam Botanical gardens
The Amsterdam Parks and Botanical Gardens are great places to chill out and relax. The Vondelpark is Amsterdam's largest park and is situated within easy walking range of any central Amsterdam location. Use our Amsterdam travel guide Locator Maps to find the nearest park for your Al Fresco Lunch!
There are several other smaller and quieter Amsterdam parks to explore including: Beatrixpark, Frankendael, Sarphatipark, Amstelpark and WesterPark. For something different why not visit the Amsterdamse Bos. This nature reserve is based around what is basically a new forest and contains many attractions to enjoy including a museum, boating and walking. Use our Amsterdam travel guide to locate a park for you to relax in
The Amsterdam botanic Gardens or the Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest botanic gardens in the world and contains many rare, ancient and beautiful specimens. The Amsterdam Botanic gardens are very close to the Artis Zoo and the Rembrandt House Museum and has an excellent café available to enjoy in the pretty Orangery area of the Gardens.
The Amsterdam windmills
Visitors to Holland would be disappointed if they did not see a windmill, but luckily there happens to be several of these Amsterdam Windmills within walking distance of the city centre or just beyond. Not all of the Amsterdam windmills or "Molens" have public access but you can visit the De Goyer windmill which has a working brewery inside it or the "Molen" Van Sloten. If you are there you might want to take a walk through the nearby village of Sloten to see what Dutch living is like outwith the city
The Amsterdam Coffee Shops
Visiting one of the Amsterdam coffee shops is a truly unique travel experience. All coffee shops in Amsterdam, or "coffe" shops as they are known locally, sell coffee, but their primary income is derived from the sale of cannabis based products to either inhale or eat. Under International treaty provision, the Netherlands cannot legalise cannabis, but in practice you can carry up to 5 grams of the drug without fear of prosecution. The maximum allowable sale of cannabis within an Amsterdam coffee shop per individual customer complies with this understanding as a legal requirement. An under 18 age restriction is imposed and the usage and selling of hard drugs within the coffee shops and elsewhere is strictly forbidden.
The first of the Amsterdam Coffee shops came into existence in the 70s (the "Mellow Yellow" is still open) and they have become an established and iconic feature of the city's famous tolerant and relaxed reputation. Each of the coffee shops has a unique atmosphere, with some geared towards the hard core afficianado ( he will know his "skunk" from a racoon):- Others are generally more tolerant and indeed welcoming towards the casual first time visitor. Coffee shops in Amsterdam are not allowed to advertise and therefore individual shops are not listed on this site.
An introductory guided walking tour explaining the background and the day to day workings of the Coffee shop scene is available from "Viator"
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