17 Best Tourist Attractions Destination in Amsterdam. Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands Kingdom, is one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations. Amsterdam is the country's leading cultural center with its universities, academies, and research institutes, as well as more than 40 museums, numerous theaters, and entertainment venues.


Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands Kingdom, is one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations. Amsterdam is the country's leading cultural center with its universities, academies, and research institutes, as well as more than 40 museums, numerous theaters, and entertainment venues. The city is also famous for its historic homes, laid out in the shape of a fan in a concentrated segment pattern and built on piles driven into the firm's sandy bottom up to 18 meters below through an upper layer of mud. All in all, some 6,750 buildings from the 16th to 18th centuries are crowded into an area of 2,000 acres, dissected by 160 canals (grachten), houseboats themselves. Many picturesque bridges connect the city's 90 islands, eight of them old wooden bascule bridges, including one of the city's most frequently photographed Magere Brug (Mager Bridge). With our list of top-rated tourist attractions in Amsterdam, discover the best places to visit in town.

01. The Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum was founded in 1809 to house the vast collection of rare art and antiquities in the country, one of Amsterdam's most popular attractions-and certainly its most important art repository. The impressive collection of the museum includes some seven million artworks, including over 5,000 important paintings spread over 250 rooms in this sprawling building. The Rijksmuseum boasts, in addition to its paintings, a well-stocked library of over 35,000 books and manuscripts, as well as numerous fascinating displays dealing with the development of art and culture in the Netherlands. His collections of traditional crafts, medieval sculpture and modern art styles are particularly noteworthy. A variety of guided tours in the thematic English language are available. Try the fun art history canal cruise to take in many of the sites represented in the collections of the Rijksmuseum for a special experience.

02. The Anne Frank Museum

The Anne Frank Museum

The Anne Frank Museum on the Prinsengracht is dedicated to the all-too-short life of one of the best-known victims of the Holocaust in the world. In the actual home where Anne's family hid for much of the Second World War — they were Jewish refugees from Frankfurt's German city — Anne wrote the diary that became an international bestseller after the war, just a few years after her death at the age of 15 (she died just two months before the end of the war). Much of the home has been kept as it was during the time of Anne, and it serves as a poignant monument to a tragic historical period.

Next door to the Anne Frank Museum, Amsterdam's West Church (Westerkerk) is one of the most popular churches in the city. Completed in 1630, because of its many internal and external Gothic features, this Renaissance church is unusual. Its 85-meter tower, popularly known as "Langer Jan" (tall John), is the highest in the city, and a large replica of the emperor's crown, placed there in memory of Emperor Maximilian of Austria, is on the tip of its spire. The hours are proclaimed by a carillon inside the tower. Other highlights include a fine organ dating back to 1622, along with an interesting marble column placed there in memory of Rembrandt in 1906, who was buried outside the church (he was later reinterred inside the church).

03. The Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum

The spectacular Van Gogh Museum has been a must-visit for art fans and historians since it opened in 1972. This modern Gerrit Rietveld-designed structure, dedicated to the often troubled life and extraordinary art of one of the most revered painters in the country, is home to the world's largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and artifacts, much of which was donated by his brother, Theo, and other family members. The collection boasts an impressive 200 paintings, 500 etchings and drawings, as well as 700 letters written to (and by) friends and family, and is divided into key periods of the artist's life: his realistic works (1880 to 1887), including the famous The Potato Eaters, and his Impressionist period from 1887 to 1890, which saw the creation of Vase with Sunflowers, perhaps his most famous work. Works by contemporaries of Van Gogh, including leading artists such as Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, are also of interest. In such disciplines as painting and photography, be sure to check the availability of the museum's educational workshops.

04. The Jordaan (neighborhood)

The Jordaan (neighborhood)

The Jordaan is the most popular neighborhood in Amsterdam, known for its mix of residential areas with patios, lively markets, and upscale boutiques and restaurants. Tourists could easily spend a day wandering the picturesque streets, but there are many things to do in the area as well. The area is also home to lesser-known treasures such as the Woonboat Museum, a floating museum dedicated to houseboats, mostly known as the Anne Frank Museum's home. Lindengracht turns into a huge open-air market on Saturday mornings where you can find perfect local crafts, produce, flowers, and goodies to fill a picnic basket. It is Westerstraat on Monday mornings that fills the stalls of 200 vendors, this time selling a wide range of goods in a bazaar in the flea market style. The restaurants and cafes of the Jordaan have become the trendy place to sit and watch people while enjoying traditional folk music from the Netherlands.

05. Vondelpark

Vondelpark

Vondelpark, Amsterdam's largest and most visited park, occupies 116 acres, containing a lot of things to see and do. In addition to green spaces dotted with peaceful ponds and traversed by wide paths, the park is home to a rose garden with over 70 flower types. It also has a variety of sculptures and statues, playgrounds and other recreational facilities, including rollerblade rental and the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre, which from May to September serves as a venue for musical and stage productions. Do not worry-the park is also full of cafes where you can enjoy a snack or a full meal. As in any large city, after-dark visits to the park are not recommended.

06. Dam Square

Dam Square

Dam Square is, for good reason, one of Amsterdam's most tourist-packed areas. Its most prominent feature is the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace) from the 17th century, the former home of the royal family of the Netherlands and the present royal functions venue. Dam Square also houses top tourist attractions such as the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk); Madame Tussauds wax museum; and the National Memorial Statue dedicated to Dutch soldiers who lost their lives in the Second World War. This huge public square is, of course, lined with cafes and shops, and full of vendors selling food and souvenirs. Tourists will also find a Ferris wheel, perfect for getting a different perspective, as well as plenty of entertainment, which ranges from street performers to annual music festivals.

07. The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace

Formerly the Town Hall, when he's in town, the Royal Palace serves as the residence of the King. Its construction was a monumental task when it began in 1648 and in support of the mammoth structure it required the sinking of 13,659 piles. The exterior is strictly classic based on the architecture of ancient Rome, while the interior is magnificently furnished, its apartments are decorated with a wealth of reliefs, ornamentation, marble sculptures and friezes, as well as ceiling paintings by Rembrandt's pupils Ferdinand Bol and Govert FlinckOther highlights include one of the world's finest collections of furniture; the City Treasurer's room with Cornelis Holsteyn's marble fireplace and ceiling paintings; and the Aldermen Hall, also featuring Bol and Flinck paintings. The Council Hall, sumptuously decorated and one of Europe's most beautiful staterooms, is the largest and most important room. Guided tours in English are available.

08. Rembrandt House Museum

Rembrandt House Museum

Other highlights include one of the finest furniture collections in the world; the City Treasurer's room with Cornelis Holsteyn's marble fireplace and ceiling paintings; and the Aldermen Hall, also featuring paintings by Bol and Flinck. The Council Hall is the largest and most important room, sumptuously decorated and one of the most beautiful staterooms in Europe. Guided tours are available in English.

A two-minute walk from the Rembrandt House Museum is Zuiderkerk (South Church), where three children from Rembrandt and one of his pupils are buried. Built between 1603 and 1611, it was the first Protestant church after the Reformation to be built in Amsterdam and designed by architect Hendrick de Keyser, who is buried here as well. It is now a center for local cultural activities and events after extensive restoration. Rembrandt Square, home to numerous cafés and restaurants, along with a statue of the famous painter, is another Rembrandt-related destination in the city.

09. The Botanical Gardens & the Zoo

The Botanical Gardens & the Zoo

Amsterdam offers in the heart of the city a double dose of nature. One of the oldest in the world is Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, the botanical garden of the city. It began as a humble herb garden for physicians and apothecaries, founded in 1638. It now features rare plants and trees, exotic flowers, and a large hothouse that includes various tropical areas. Less than a five-minute walk away, in a shady garden setting dotted with historic buildings, Natura Artis Magistra ("Artis"), Amsterdam's excellent zoo, spotlights creatures from around the world. You can learn about coral reef systems in the aquarium and take a look beneath a canal in Amsterdam. Other highlights include the nocturnal animal house, zoological museum, Insectarium, Butterfly Pavilion, and Planetarium. Also of interest near these fun nature-based attractions is a replica of the Normaal Amsterdams Peil, the NAP, which shows the average water level of the North Sea.

10. The Old Church (Oude Kerk)

The Old Church (Oude Kerk)

Built in 1306, the Old Church (Oude Kerk) and North Holland's first hall church became the model for many other local churches. Over the centuries, numerous additions have been built, like the large side chapels of the early 1500s. A portal leading to the Iron Chapel, where documents showing the privileges of the city, including the freedom from tolls granted in 1275, were kept locked behind an iron door, is also dating from this period. The tower was added in the 16th century and has a 1658 carillon that is considered one of the country's finest (it also offers great city views). The church's interior has pre-Reformation features, including three magnificent Dutch High Renaissance windows from 1555 and finely carved wooden choir stalls. Take a two-minute walk across the bridge to Zeedijk, one of Amsterdam's oldest streets, after exploring this beautiful historic building. Many houses along here lean from the vertical angle, and the house at No. 1 in the 15th century is believed to be the city's oldest surviving building.

11. The Stedelijk: Amsterdam's Municipal Museum

The Stedelijk: Amsterdam's Municipal Museum

The Stedelijk Museum-Municipal Museum Amsterdam-was founded in 1895 and is one of the most impressive collections of modern art in Europe. The museum focuses on Dutch and French painting in the 19th and 20th centuries and features works by several renowned art movements, including De Stijl, with examples from Van Doesburg, Mondrian, and Rietveld; Pop Art, with works by Rosenquist and Warhol; and painters such as Chagall, Dubuffet, De Kooning, and Matisse. There are also examples from Rodin, Moore, Renoir, and Visser in the sculpture garden. Guided tours in English are available, as are fun workshops in the family.

12. The Begijnhof

The Begijnhof

The Begijnhof is one of those rare quiet downtown spots that are simply not noticed by many tourists as they hustle from attraction to attraction. And that's a shame, because this amazing old Amsterdam corner just begins to stroll. While most of the old homes are occupied, the tiny lanes and paths around them provide access to the public, so don't be shy to explore. Views of well-kept green lawns-the courtyards-surrounded by some of Amsterdam's oldest houses, including its only remaining 14th century wooden house, will be rewarded. Originally occupied by a commune of pious Catholic women (begijnen), the area's small chapel (still open for services) saw the last of these women buried here in 1971.

13. The Jewish Historical Museum

The Jewish Historical Museum

The Jewish Historical Museum is housed in four redundant synagogues, one of which dates back to 1670, the Grote Synagogue. Highlights include a large collection of religious objects such as silver Torah containers, Torah robes and decorated Torah headdresses, as well as hangings and ceremonial canopies (the white marble Holy Shrine is of particular interest). There is also a large library in the museum, while there is a kosher restaurant in the Upper Synagogue, the Obbene Sjoel. The Docker Monument, built in 1941 to commemorate a strike when workers refused to cooperate with the deportation of their Jewish fellow citizens, is noteworthy outside the museum. The Portuguese Synagogue, a temple of the late 17th century housing the Ets Haim Library, the oldest of its kind, is also of interest. Join one of the Jewish Historical Museum's special English language tours that include the historic Jewish Quarter for a more in-depth look at this fascinating history.

14. The New Church & the National Monument

The New Church & the National Monument

The New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), the official Dutch monarch coronation church since 1814, is located near the Royal Palace in Dam Square ("The Dam") in the heart of Amsterdam. Built around 1270 to separate the Amstel from the IJ, this historic square gave the city its name. Today, for public functions such as antique fairs and art exhibitions, the square and church are used. This church of the 15th century also hosts regular organ concerts. A striking feature is its magnificent 1649 pulpit, a Baroque wood carving marvel decorated with the four evangelists and figures that symbolize Faith, Hope, Charity, Justice and Prudence. Also the church has a 1670 organ, an exceptionally beautiful bronze choral screen cast, and fine choral stalls. The tombs of famous Dutchmen, including PC Hooft and Nicolaes Tulp, and Admiral Michiel de Ruyter's Baroque tomb, which died in 1679, are also of interest. The stained glass windows are beautiful; one of them dates back to 1650 and depicts William IV's granting of the city's coat of arms, while Queen's 1898 Window commemorates Queen Wilhelmina's coronation.
The National Monument, a 22-meter-high obelisk, was built here on the opposite side of The Dam after World War II as a memorial to its victims and a symbol of liberation. It's been designed by J. J. P. Oud and J. sculpture decoration. Among other things, W. Rädeler symbolizes war (four male figures), peace (woman and child), and resistance (two men with hurling dogs). The urns containing earth from the 11 provinces are embedded in the obelisk, and a 12th urn contains earth from Indonesia's cemetery of honor. Queen Juliana dedicated the monument to the National Day of Remembrance on May 4, 1956. Every year on this date, wreaths are laid here and a two-minute silence is observed throughout the Netherlands. During other times, the monument is a place where young people from all over the world meet.

15. Kalverstraat and Vlooienmarkt: Shop 'til you Drop

Kalverstraat and Vlooienmarkt: Shop 'til you Drop

When a little shopping therapy is needed, there comes a point in every holiday. Amsterdam has plenty of great shopping spots, whether for luxury high-end goods, local crafts or fun souvenirs. Kalverstraat with many smart boutiques, galleries, perfumeries, cafés, and restaurants is the best known-and usually the busiest. While humanity's crush may be somewhat intimidating (especially on a Saturday), it's an experience you won't forget soon. Head over to the Vlooienmarkt, the famous flea market in Amsterdam, held here since 1886 for a completely different shopping experience. It's a true smorgasbord of commodities, with everything from antiques and food to new and used clothing. Another unique shopping experience awaits at Amsterdam's Flower Market, an amazing spectacle that includes every imaginable type of plant. Most of the best shopping streets fan the Muntplein, a town square once home to a 15th-century sheep market. The Munttoren (Mint Tower), which dates back to 1672 when Amsterdam was the mint's site for two years while the French occupied Utrecht, rises above the square.

16. The Amsterdam Museum

The Amsterdam Museum

Housed in the former municipal orphanage built in 1414, the Amsterdam Museum has a number of spacious courtyards where visitors can learn about Amsterdam's ever-changing role in the country and the world. Highlights range from prehistoric finds and the original charter of the town to contemporary items, as well as shows how the land was reclaimed from the sea. Other highlights like the old shooting gallery are also fun to explore and house in the inner courtyards. There's also a café on site. The library has a rich collection of literature on the city's history, and prior arrangement can be used to view graphics and drawings.

17. The Museum of the Tropics

The Museum of the Tropics

Founded in 1864, the Tropic Museum (Tropenmuseum) is a fascinating excursion for those interested in the history of the former colonies of the Netherlands. The museum houses numerous displays of art and everyday objects from tropical and subtropical areas in a cavernous hall built especially for it. Exploring the authentic bazaar is fun as you walk around and peek inside the Far East houses as well as the fully stocked oriental shop. The museum also hosts regular Eastern and Asian music concerts using traditional instruments (Guided tours are available in the English language).
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