Amsterdam is comprised of 165 canals that make up approximately a fourth of its size. The architecture of the buildings along the canal is stunning. While strolling along the canals in Amsterdam you will see water taxis, house boats, as well as individuals enjoying a leisure trip down the canal with friends. Aside from the canals, there are bikes, lots of bikes. If you are an avid bike rider then, by all means, be my guest and rent one while you are visiting to get a true appreciation of what it is like to be in Amsterdam! Otherwise, do as I did and take public transportation and walk.
Take the water taxi so you can see the city from another vantage point
We took a morning flight from London to Amsterdam. After checking into our hotel we had enough time to take a tour of the Heineken Brewery and have a nice relaxing dinner overlooking one of the Amsterdam Canals.
Van Gough Museum
Anne Frank Museum
Our first full day in Amsterdam was a day full of culture and museums. To begin the day we toured the Rijksmuseum to see famous paintings such as The Night Watch by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn.
Less than a 5-minute walk down the street is the Van Gogh Museum. The Bedroom and The Potato Eaters by Van Gogh are both found in the permanent collection at the museum. Both museums are open from 9am - 5pm daily. Anyone under the age of 18 are free. Tickets may also be purchased online in advance.
After touring both the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum you will probably want a break and like most tourists, you will want a picture in front of the I Amsterdam sign. The sign is located in the park area at the Rijksmuseum. There are a couple of cafe carts outside. We opted to sit outside, relax and enjoy the atmosphere while we ate lunch before our next stop.
THE ANNE FRANK MUSEUM IS NOT TO BE MISSED.
It is hands down is one of the most memorable tours we went on while in Europe. If you have children who are reading or have read The Diary of Anne Frank in school I suggest planning a family trip to Amsterdam to visit the museum. An ideal age to truly appreciate the experience would most likely be around 8th or 9th grade. The museum opens at 9am daily. The line to enter the museum can be very long at times. Lines can be long, purchase your tickets online.
If you are looking for a place to eat before or after your visit to the Anne Frank Museum try the Pancake Bakery. It is a quick 5 minute walk between the two and they are known to have the best pancakes in Amsterdam. We tried both a ham & cheese as well as one with powdered sugar and they were excellent!
RED LIGHT DISTRICT - OUDE KERK
We ended our visit in Amsterdam by taking some time to catch up on sleep and leisurely tour the remaining items on our list. One of our last stops in Amsterdam was the Rembrandt House. This was the home and workshop for Rembrandt for 20 years. It opens at 10am daily and tickets may be purchased online. Before catching our bus to Berlin we walked through the Red Light District to see Oude Kerk.
OUDE KERK, A CHURCH, IS THE OLDEST BUILDING IN AMSTERDAM.
You can easily take a weekend trip to Amsterdam. We had 2.5 days in Amsterdam and it was more than enough time. 2 full days in Amsterdam is plenty for someone wanting to visit the "must sees."
Next Stop: Berlin, Germany