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Curiocity: Amsterdam

August 23, 2017
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Amsterdam, capital of Netherlands and famous for its artistic heritage, intricate canal system, narrow houses as well as its equally famous more illicit side… Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum which includes many of his incredible art pieces, the Rijksmuseum with work from Rembrandt and Vermeer, and modern art that is shown at Stedelijk. This cosmopolitan city is also known for cycling with numerous bike paths located all around for you to enjoy.

TOP SPOTS TO BE A TOURIST

  1. Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to the Westerkerk, in central Amsterdam. Opened on the 3rd of May 1960, it preserves the hiding place of the Frank family and is an exhibition on their life, persecution and discrimination. In 2013 and 2014, the museum had 1.2 million visitors and was the 3rd most visited museum in the Netherlands, after the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.

  1. Museum Ons’Lieve Heer Op Solder

Also known as ‘Museum Our Lord in the Attic’, Museum Ons’Lieve Heer Op Solder can be found in the heart of Amsterdam’s bustling centre. When visiting you will get to experience the Dutch Golden Age as you explore the well-preserved canal house. The narrow corridors and stairs lead to the historically furnished living quarters, beddings, kitchen, and incredible church built in the attic.

  1. Vondelpark

Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s most famous park that was built in 1850. This popular park offers scenic views and is a great location to enjoy outdoor activities such as; running, biking, and enjoying a family picnic.

  1. The Jordaan

Discover the charm of picturesque canals, small shops and hidden courtyards of this originally poor labourer district. This charming neighbourhood is filled with narrow alleys, leafy canals, 17th-century houses, quirky specialty shops, cafes, and designer boutiques. After a romantic walk through Jordaan, visitors typically visit a Jordaanese pub, such as Lowietje for a relaxing day with great drinks in a chilled atmosphere.

  1. Centraal Station

Completed in 1889 and located in the heart of town, this neo-Renaissance rail station was designed by P.J.H. Cuypers, the same person who designed the famous Rijksmuseum. This architectural location is popular amongst tourists and is a beautiful location to take pictures.

ALES OR BEERS, VINO OR COCKTAILS

For all you secret agents, Vesper bar is an exciting place to visit. This bond themed bar serves elegant cocktails, creative drinks and even offers mixology workshops. Surrounded by James Bond memorabilia you will feel like you’re on a movie set.

If beer is more your thing then be sure to visit Brouwerij’t IJ. This modern brewery is built next to a windmill and produces organic blonde and dark beers, and also offers short tours to visitors. So why not grab a pint and learn something new, too?

For a traditional pub visit, Proeflokaal Arendsnest is the place to go. With copper pipes and wood-panelled walls this pub has a cosy feel. Not to mention, they serve over 100 beers from Dutch breweries.

For all you secret agents, Vesper bar is an exciting place to visit.

AIN’T NO THERAPY LIKE RETAIL THERAPY

The Albert Cuyp Market is a street market in Amsterdam with a large collection of street traders and food stalls. The market is believed to be the largest daytime market in Europe which provides a range of fruit, veg, fish, clothing, and technology, so there’s something for everyone.

If you’re looking to shop till you drop then take a trip to the Magna Plaza. This monumental building is located at Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and was built in 1895 with a Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance style. With is heavily decorated exterior, large domers, and stunning towers, this shopping centre is sure to amaze you. From jewellery stores to fashion, the Magna Plaza is packed with stores for you to explore.

CHEAP EAT TREATS

Need a food fix but don’t want to break the bank doing so? Not to worry, in Amsterdam there are plenty of places to grab a quick bite for less.

For cheap and delicious Chinese food Nam Kee is the place to go. This Chinese joint is devoted to serving you great tasting food for less. We would recommend trying the oysters in black bean sauce which is their most popular dish.

For a traditional East African feast we suggest the amazing Restaurant Azmarino. This restaurant offers creative cocktails, imported beer and tasty food, all served in the cosy atmosphere of the restaurant. With large sharing platters and a variety of dishes to choose from, you are sure to get more for your money.

FINE DINING AND POSH NIBBLES

For an evening of top-quality food and service, you must visit La Rive. This show-stopping French and Mediterranean restaurant serves dishes using locally sourced produce and an extensive wine collection. From Japanese Wagyu beef to delicacies North Sea crab and rabbit, La Rive will provide you an evening of luxury you won’t forget.

If seafood is your thing, then take a trip to Visaandeschelde. This seafood restaurant has been renowned throughout Amsterdam for years. Chefs will create the most magnificent dishes and provide you with a first-rate service. Using only fresh seafood with the most beautiful seasonal products on one plate, each meal is created to leave guests in awe.

For an evening of top-quality food and service, you must visit La Rive.

FREE THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM

When going on holiday your costs can often increase. From food to tourist attractions nothing comes for free… or does it? Here are some free activities and locations in Amsterdam for you to visit that won’t cost you an arm and leg.

Nothing you see will be as incredible as the Floating Flower Market. This garden is one of the most unique features in Amsterdam that is filled with wonderful smells and flowers of all colours. The garden is floating on the Singel Canal and is absolutely stunning. So don’t forget to bring your camera!

Amsterdam is known world-wide as the ‘City of Diamonds’. If diamonds are your best friend and you want to learn more about carats, colours, clarity and cuts, join one of the free guided tours held seven days a week at Gassan Diamonds. Once you’re done sit back and enjoy a complimentary drink to complete your luxury tour.

In the heart of the historic centre of Amsterdam is a small network of streets known as The Nine Streets. With monumental boutiques, the best 2nd hand shops, hotspot restaurants and bars between the main canals Herengracht, Keizersgracht, these cobbled lanes are loved by everyone and are one of the city’s best areas to wander all day.

EXURSIONS FOR CULTURE VULTURES

Amsterdam is a city filled with culture that brings in tourists from all over the world.

For an evening of entertainment take a trip to Tuschinski, this theatre was commissioned by Abraham Icek Tuschinski in 1921 at a cost of 4 million guilders. Here you can watch cinema and live performances in a lavish building with ornate Art Nouveau & Art Deco flourishes.

If you want a more relaxing day then turn to a Cannabis Café. At the Katsu Coffeeshop you can relax with friends in a place that serves hot and cold drinks, provides TV entertainment, games, and of course legal marijuana in a safe environment.

De Wallen also known as the Red Light District consists of a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred one-room cabins with sex workers offering sexual services. The district is popular amongst tourist as there are a number of shops and sex museums which display erotic art and documents on the history of erotica.

Amsterdam is a city filled with culture that brings in tourists from all over the world.

THE VENUE MENU

  • ARTIS (zoo)
  • Paradiso (live music)
  • Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam (botanical garden)
  • Magere Brug (bridge)
  • The Oude Church
  • Melkweg (Performance theatre)

BEST PLACES FOR SLEEPOVERS

VALUE FOR MONEY

  • MEININGER Hotel – Free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, en suite bathrooms
  • Hotel Abba – TV, lounge, balcony, free breakfast
  • Volkshotel – Free Wi-Fi, bar, hot tub, restaurant
  • Hotel ibis Amsterdam Centre Stopera – Canal views, bar, café, bike rentals

LUXURY STAY

  • Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam – Canal views, upscale restaurant, refined rooms, spa
  • Pulitzer Amsterdam – canal houses, restaurant, bar, gym, terrace
  • Andaz Amsterdam, Prinsengracht – chic rooms and suites, trendy restaurant, bar, gym
  • Banks Mansion – upscale rooms and suites, complementary breakfasts, drinks and snacks

Jack O'RiordanView all posts

Jack is the editor of The Leisure Lounge. Expert in the art of writing things and putting them online. Loves travelling, especially anywhere in southeast Asia. Hates mushrooms.