Amsterdam, the city of canals, tulips, bikes, and marihuana – one of the most visited touristic places in Europe. And for a good reason! You don’t have to look for places to take photos in Amsterdam, you can just pose wherever you are. Everything is so quaint and magical that you can relax and explore this majestic place.
Of course there are some highlights that ought to be seen or experienced. Here’s my adventure from Amsterdam.
I have entered this city from the Amsterdam Centraal Station. The sight blew me away! I was amazed by the look of the harbor. The marvelous St. Nickolas church on the left welcomed me with the hint of the canals’ beauty everybody is talking about. When I turned around I was dazzled by the most beautiful Gothic architecture of the Centraal Station Building. It is situated right opposite the harbor. The largest railway station in Amsterdam is well connected and tickets bought here can be used for all kinds of transportations in the city – including ferries.
Red lights district was the next stop, naturally. In 1988 the Dutch officially legalized prostitution. So having sex workers offering themselves in a “shop window” is a must-take-a peak thing. However, I haven’t felt on ease watching these half nagged women selling themselves. I felt ashamed and sorry for them, although, as I’ve learned, the state is working hard on not having forced prostitution. It means that most of these women are there by their own free will or life circumstances. They have their own Union, police protection and almost free health care. But there’s more than that in the Red lights district. Being one of the oldest areas in the city, there’s much to be seen so feel free to walk around and explore. Just don’t forget not to point your camera towards the “shop window” because it is strictly forbidden to take photos of the girls working here.
Canals of Amsterdam belong to the UNESCO world heritage list. You can’t be here and not take a canal tour. There are many offers to do so, but I’ve chosen hop-on-hop-off tour and we could also use their tour busses. It’s so special to see the city from the water – passing by a century old tilted houses, protected sights, and wonderful bridges. It’s definitely worth the ride.
Houses in this city are unique. You can get the feeling as if they are about to come tumbling down on you. A lot of houses are tilted towards and have a rope hanging from their windows. This is because the Dutch here move houses quite often – in fact, in average, one family moves every eight years. Thus, the ropes help them move things easier through the windows and hence the tilt, the things will not hit the wall during the move. The real attractions are boat houses and especially when people don’t have curtains on them which is more common that you would think. However if you want to live in a house around the Amsterdam center, you are not allowed to change even a small thing outside or inside.
Rijksmuseum has one of the most spectacular architecture in the city. It houses some of the biggest names in the world of art. If you’re into art, you’d be happy to see the exhibited pieces of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh and many others. But make sure to leave enough time because there are 8000 artistic objects and pieces dating back from 1200. If you’re short on time, though, you can equally enjoy the exterior of this mesmerizing estate. The famous IAmsterdam sign is placed right in front of it and an ice-skating ring as well. It can get so romantic during the winter.
If you find yourself in Amsterdam during the spring season you are in for a treat because this city has the biggest flower market in the country. In the season, there are a bunch of tulips of course. But you can actually find all kinds of flowers even out of the season. It is quite the unique experience seeing the only floating flower market in the world!
- Take hop-on-hop-off bus and boat tour. It’s easier and cheaper way to see the city and also learn a lot about it with audio guides provided (25e per person)
- Take a photo in front one of the last active windmills in Amsterdam – Windmill de Gooyer
- Buy a museum ticket in advance to avoid waiting in long rows and also if you get it on the tour bus you will get a discount
- Go shopping in one of the busiest street in the city centre – Kalvestraat
There are many more places in Amsterdam that should be seen or experienced. However, I will leave that for the upcoming post when you’ll get the list of many Amsterdam attractions and their prices. Until next time!