I was only able to experience Amsterdam for a day but it felt like a week. The day was beautiful and after a delicious lunch by the canals I strolled through the streets documenting the beauty of the city. This photograph always reminds me of that lunch and the warmth on my face as I sat back and enjoyed the peacefulness of Amsterdam.
I´m not sure during what time of the year, but if you´re in Plaza Dam-- and if you´re in Amsterdam, you will surely be near this Plaza --there is an amusement park in the center that you should not miss! Waffles with sauces and spectacular creams, the famous Dutch fries, muffins, sweets, etc. Remember though to not eat too much if you're gonna ride one of the rides. They might cause vertigo, but the views are spectacular. Even if you don´t ride anything, you´ll have fun just hearing the people screaming.
You must visit this neighborhood if you visit Amsterdam. The area with the girls are narrow streets with some red lights on the doors, that are like cabins. WHen I went (last Christmas), they were cheeky, so I recommend that you have your bags and wallets safe to not be robbed. Some girls were very young but there were older ones and obese ones. Incredible. I recommend to visit the sex shop and the erotic museum where you can find interesting objects at a good price. It´s totally normal to pass by and look. The store of the preservatives (I don´t remember the name, it is very interesting, now I will put up photos. There were preservatives with the shape of the Tower of London, those you could use, and the price is expensive, but you can look at them to have a lugh. You cannot take photos or videos of the girls, it is prohibited. By the red district there are coffee shops and normal bars to have a coffee or a drink. I recommend that if you go in winter, cover up because it is very cold, so bring thick clothes, gloves, scarves and comfy shoes so water doesn´t come in.
The Rijksmuseum is a well known museum. My favourite painting, though not necessarily the most famous, is La lechera de Vermeer, depicting an eternally flowing milk jug and a Dutch windmill. I love the stillness of the mill much more than bourgeois style of Flemish painting. It is also known for the film and novel, The Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Van Gogh Museum was one of my top destinations while visiting Amsterdam. It is located on Museumplein which you can get to by tram 2, 3, 5 and 12. It is open daily from ten to six, except on Friday when it closes at ten o'clock. The tickets cost 10 euros (check out the queues waiting to buy tickets first because they´re usually long) .... The permanent collection can be found on the first floor presented in chronological order to show you how his works developed over time.
I´ll add to Ana´s comment about my experience. I went with my friends to Amsterdam looking for ve knows what and suddenly we found ourselves in this park that we ran into by bike. It was last spring and we couldn´t resist the temptation to lay down on one of the green areas. Also, it was a coincidence that they were celebrating a concert with an incredible atmosphere, we almost couldn´t park the bike. Of course, it´s an obligated visit if you go to Amsterdam, I dare to say that ahead there are various monuments or museums.
Marken, an island with a pretty nice town, a picturesque village with many similarities to Volendam and Edam. I remember getting off the boat and finding a souvenir shop where you could try on some huge clogs, which was funny. One of the curious things that I noticed in Marken is that people decorate their houses differently. I remember seeing decorations that I saw on no other house of other people, for example, two pots wearing pants and a tank top with jeans. Since there, there are also small channels it belongs to Holland. Another curious thing about this island is that it is long but narrow. There are 2 ways to get there, by boat or with a vehicle passing by the dam that connects it to the rest of Holland. A beautiful and wonderful place that you shouldn't miss.
We took a trip from Brussels. The ticket was bought in the Midi station at the last minute and cost us (3 people) 152 euros there and return. I think it wasn´t too bad. The trip takes about 2-3 hours depending on the type of train. Once we arrived we went directly to the house of Anne Frank (8,50 Euros). We liked it a lot, but the sad thing is that the house is empty, meaning, there is no furniture although there is a machine and video that shoes it. After, we walked around the city, we saw the floating market, the Muntonner Tower, the Jordaan, the Waag, where Rembrant painted his famous work ¨The Lesson of the Anatomy of Professor Tulp¨, the canals and the red district. We were only there a few hours, but it seemed to be a disorderly city. The cyclists don´t have control. They come from all over and all directions. Chaos.
The Museumplein (with Dutch origin meaning "Museum Square") is a square in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Three museums are located right there: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk. Among other things, it is used for events and festivals. There you will find the famous letters ¨I AMsterdam¨
Volendam was once the port of Edam. It is located along the Ijsselmeer River, which was abandoned after the construction of a new port near the hotel. These lands were then occupied by farmers and fishermen who eventually form the community of Volendam. Their wooden houses follow the tradition of the people from North Holland, and the later constructed streets have narrow channels along them. You can notice in the external decorations of houses some manicured Swedish family names. But Volendam is a tourist town with about 200,000 inhabitants. The pier with restaurants and bars suit all tastes. There are also many shops where you can find local crafts, lace and cheese which tastes a bit like Edam. Its port gives access by boat to the island of Marken which is 15 minutes away and is definately another gorgeous place to visit.
The Heineken Experience is a cathedral of beer. As the name indicates, it's a total experience. It's not just an old brewery, but a fully interactive journey through the world of beer. You learn how to make your own beer, how the iconic green Heineken bottle was designed, and the ingredients used to make this variety of liquid gold. It costs 17.00€ for the full two-hour experience with beers included. Totally recommended!
This is a perfect biking excursion from Amsterdam. From behind Central Station, you can take the ferry across Waterland. The bike route to the area's villages will be enjoyed from start to finish. There are channels, pastures, and cows viewed from an easy course because everything in Holland is flat. On the way to Edam, a beautiful town famous for its cheese, there are charming villages like Broeck in waterland, Monickendam, and Marken. Once there, there are friendly people, and it's well worth a visit if you spend a few days in Amsterdam.
It is an impressive stronghold of charm in the center of Amsterdam, just 5 minutes from the Plaza Damm. It is easy for the entrance to go unnoticed, Pay attention to the picture below with the entrance, you can access it from the pedestrian street Kalverstraat, which is next door. The Beguines were women and very devout Catholics ve lived there, dedicated to social work. It dates back to the year 1389, the church and bell tower were constructed later, around the year 1419. Legend has it that the most famous Beguine, Cornelia Adams, expressed interest in being buried in the courtyard of the Church, because he had been desecrated by the Presbyterians. It was ignored and instead he was buried in the chapel, and began to appear every morning with her coffin in the yard, until he had to be buried where she wanted, in the courtyard.
One of the things I really enjoyed during my stay in the Dutch capital was taking a boat trip on the canals. Although I don't usually go in for these kinds of tourist trips, this was included in the Iamsterdam Card, so we decided to do it, and I'm glad that we did. It's a fast, fun way to see many places in Amsterdam. It was great fun, and inside the boat people drank and sang, while passersby waved at us. Really good fun.
Haarlem is located west of the Netherlands, about 20 km from the city of Amsterdam. By train only takes about 20 minutes and it is a highly recommended visit. It is a small town, well worth knowing. Its buildings are typical of the country, low brick houses surrounded by many canals. From the station to the cathedral, all worth it. It's more of a bedroom community, because of its proximity to Amsterdam, so weekdays are usually very quiet and perfect. Not being too big, you can walk from one side to the other in a day. If weather is nice, it's nice to walk through the little parks that are adjacent to the channels with small boats. But Haarlem also has great life as it is a student destination. The mean age, thanks to this, is very young, and at night there is plenty of atmosphere in the coffee-shops. One of the most famous monuments is Adrian windmill and old bridge. Food wise, any of its typical restaurants, decorated with old movie sets, are good to eat in and they are not too expensive as they are beyond Amsterdam's bustle and tourism. The hotels are not too expensive, compared with Amsterdam, and it is not a bad choice if you are visiting the capital, for the 20 minute train ride is unnoticeable and the station is close to almost everything. The train station, next to the buses, is classic and almost unchanged, with its manicured era platforms and its ancient vaults. It is rather curious, because the classic platform contrasts with the modernity of the boxes and entrance.