5 Top Amsterdam Attractions

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A Canal in Amsterdam

Karen Bryan, editor of the Europe a la Carte Blog, highlights five top Amsterdam attractions.

Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is a popular destination for European City breaks.  It has a reputation as a laid back, fun city.  Below are five of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions.

1 Rijksmuseum

Even those who have never visited a gallery may enjoy the iconic Rijksmuseum, the Dutch National Museum.   This is truly one of the world’s great museums in terms of the quality of the exhibits.  It’s free to enter the museum gardens with its statues, ponds and fountains. There’s also a small display from the Rijksmuseum at Schipol Airport, just behind passport control on the Holland Boulevard between piers E -F, which is free to enter.  However this is closed at present due to renovation of the boulevard, with work due to be completed in early July 2010.

2 Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House, is truly a living museum as it’s the actual hideout of the famous young author Anne Frank  who wrote daily about her family’s efforts to avoid detection by the occupying German forces in her diary.  The Museum is dedicated to her memory and that of the many Jews who were captured in the city during the 2nd World War.

3 Oude Kerke

The Old Church or the Oude Kerke is another popular attraction in Amsterdam, having been built during the 13th century, making it one of the oldest churches in Europe. It boasts huge, high stained glass windows as well as original furnishings dating back to medieval times. It is open every day except Sunday from around 11am until 5pm but on Sundays it does not open until 1 pm.

4 Amsterdam’s Canals

Amsterdam has more than sixty miles of canals, mainly constructed in the 17th century.  You can go on a various canal cruises, or sit and watch the world go by from the outdoor seating at the canal side cafes and restaurants.

5 Van Gogh Museum

The world-famous Van Gogh Museum is one of the world’s best known and most visited galleries.  On Friday Museum Nights there’s live music, video projections and a bar in the museum’s central hall until 10pm.   Van Gogh’s Sunflowers collection is so well known, that it’s amazing that the artist struggled to make ends meet, only selling one painting during his lifetime, committing suicide at the age of 37, after a history of mental illness.

Money Saving Tips

If you plan to visit several museums you can buy the  “I amsterdam card” which gives entry to many museums, a canal trip and public transport.  It costs 38 euro for 24 hours, 48 euro for 48 hours and 58 euro for 72 hours.  As it costs 12.5 euro to get into the Rijksmuseumand and  14 euro for the Van Gogh Museum, it could be a worthwhile investment.  Be aware that admission to the Anne Frank Museum isn’t included.  If you’ll be in the Netherlands for more than a few days and/or more than once within one year, the Museumkaart, costing 35 euro, gives free or discounted entry to over 400 Dutch museums and castles over a 12 month period.

Don’t forget also to check out some top tips on Amsterdam from our video bloggers Georgie and Aaron too.

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