There are tons of places you can visit in Amsterdam, from flea markets to Churches and Museums. Unfortunately for me, time is limited. But I still had a chance to explore a bunch in this wonderful city.
If you have read my previous blog post about my recent trip to Europe, you’ll get the idea why I was in Amsterdam last year. If not, and your curious what countries in Europe I have explored, you can read it here. (wink)
Since my stay in Amsterdam is short, this gal right here finds time to explore the city of canals on her free time. Lucky the sun set very late in that side of the world. It gave me an ample time to stroll down those quirky streets.
Here are some Places I've Visited:
It was 9AM when we arrived in our hotel. Now, we can’t check-in yet because our rooms are not yet available. But, our boss's room is. It was still early and we wanted to go out and stroll around the city. So my boss offered his room for our luggages. Which is so kind of him by the way.
We didn’t know where to start our DIY walking tour. All of us are foreign to this place. My boss mentioned that he had been to other parts of Europe, but never had the chance to visit Amsterdam. I’m glad that the receptionist in the hotel help us out in our dilemma. After leaving our luggages in our Boss’s room, we’re on our way to the Metro.
1| Flea Market at Niewmarkt
Our first stop was the Flea Market at Niewmarkt. Actually, we didn’t know there was a flea market in that area. The receptionist from the hotel we stayed at, suggested that if we wanted to explore the city, it is best to start in Niewmarkt. Eventually, when we get out from the metro, we saw a flea market. Later I found out that flea market in Niewmarkt are only available during Saturdays. So it was indeed our lucky day to check out some local products. I love flea markets. It’s where you can find authentic local foods and products, mostly on a cheaper price.
2| The Waag
Beyond the Flea Market, just within the Nieuwmarkt square, stands this amazing 15th-century building---the Waag. This was originally one of the city gate that make up the walls of Amsterdam. Over the years, the building had been used as guildhall, museum, fire station, and anatomical theatre. Currently, this building is occupied by Restaurant-Cafe In De Waag.
3| Basilica of Saint Nicholas
Before our trip, I’ve done a quick research on what we could possibly do when we arrived in Amsterdam, or was there any event happening during our stay there. I saw an event happening on the day of our arrival. There will be an evening song taking place in Basilica of Saint Nicholas on that day. Since all of us are Catholic and have strong faith in our religion, I suggested it to my colleagues. And I'm not surprised, they just loved the idea and agreed to go.
Europe have a rich history of Christianity. They have the most beautiful and amazing structures of churches and cathedrals. One of these is the Basilica of Saint Nicholas. It is the city’s major Catholic church, and is located in the Old Centre district of Amsterdam.
4| Amsterdam Central Station
Amsterdam Central Station is the largest railway station in Amsterdam located in the heart of the city. At first, I was confused between Amsterdam Central and Amsterdam-Centrum. Later on, I learned that these two are different places. Amsterdam Central Station is the main railway hub of the country which offers connection to domestic and international cities. It is one of the most visited national heritage site of the Netherlands, which makes it one of the busiest railway station in the country.
Amsterdam-Centrum on the other hand refers to the inner most borough and historical city center of Amsterdam. It covers the majority of the city’s landmarks including the UNESCO-listed Amsterdam Canal belt.
6| The Red Light District or Wallen
The Wallen which is known as the rosse buurt to Amsterdammers, and refered as the red light district to tourist is the oldest and the most popular part of Amsterdam. This is the part of Amsterdam where you can find plenty of sex shop, a sex museum and prostitutes in red-lit windows. I hadn’t got the chance to see the latter though. It was noon time when we visit this place. I'm quite curious how this place looks like at night. But from what I have heard, this place is chock-full of tourist at night. And if you're wondering why they have places like this open to the public, that is because prostitution is legal here.
7| Dam Square
The main attraction in Dam Square is the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace). It is no longer use by the Dutch Royal family, but it is still used to hold official gathering. Other attraction within the Dam Square is The New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), which is often used for art exhibition; and Madame Tussauds, which is the famous wax works museum.
8| Keukenhof Gardens
A haven for flower lovers. I’m not much of a flower person, but I enjoyed my visit in Keukenhof Gardens. It is a bit far from the city, but there are buses that will take you there from different parts of Amsterdam. There’s just so much you can do in this huge garden. This massive garden is only open to public during spring, between March-May every year. Tickets are now avialable for this year. You can purchase them HERE .
What Places I Missed to Visit:
+ Anne Frank House
This is one of the most visited tourist attraction in Amsterdam. I was really excited to visit this place after I finished reading the story of Anne Frank, but when we were about to go there, one of the attendees of the conference I’ve been to told us that it is impossible to go in. Ticket should be purchase in advance, which is as early as 2 months. Our friends from the conference wasn’t able to go inside, so we didn’t bother. If you want to purchase a ticket, better do it in advance. Here's a site where you can purchase one : http://www.annefrank.org/en/
Rijksmuseum is a dutch museum dedicated to arts and history of Amsterdam. This museum is located in Rijksmuseum Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam. It is open daily between 9:00am to -5:00pm all year round. You can purchase your ticket here: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/ so you wont have to queue. Tickets are at € 17.50/adult.
+ Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh Museum is an art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in Amsterdam. The museum is open daily from 9am-5pm, and on Fridays it is open until 9pm. Tickets are available here:
If there are more 'must visit places' in Amsterdam that I failed to mention in this post, please feel free to add them up in the comment section below. I would really appreciate it! :D
Til then. Happy Travels!