It’s easy to see why Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most popular cities.
The canals, artwork, 17th century architecture and whimsical sculptures provide a rich backdrop where bikes, boats and beer seem to perfectly fit into place. You can stroll around soaking in the past, yet distinctly feel the modern vibe that flows through this amazing city.
One of my favorite things to do is explore the city by bike. Cycling is a way of life in Amsterdam and a great way to see all the sights. If you’re not into traveling about on two wheels, you can always hop on one of the many open-air canal boats and take a leisurely ride through the city.
While you’re visiting, here are a few of the places that you should put on your list:
One of the must-see attractions, the Van Gogh museum is dedicated to the work of one of everyone’s favorite artists. There are over 200 paintings and 500 drawings by Vincent Van Gogh and other artists such as Gaugin, Monet and Bernard. You can follow the trajectory of Van Gogh’s short life through his dark moods and his vibrant use of color that represents his work with impressionists in Paris. It’s a really great destination to teach the kids about history, art and life. Plan ahead and buy your tickets online so you can join the fast lane when you arrive.
One of the most powerful experiences in the heart of Amsterdam is the Anne Frank Huis. Almost a million people visit every year to see the actual diary that Anne wrote while hiding in occupied Holland during the Second World War. One of the most popular places in the house is the Secret Annex where Anne and her family hid during the day in complete silence. You’ll take a very emotional journey with the family throughout their two years in hiding. Everyone will enjoy this special house and become enthralled by the family and their place in history. After you visit the museum, head for a picnic lunch in nearby Vondelpark.
Prinsengracht by Bike
While some like to float along the canals seeing the city with a beer in hand, I prefer to ride along by bike. It’s really a great way to see everything and have the option to park your ride whenever you want to stop and sit at an outdoor patio or two. The Prinsengracht is one of the most charming areas in Amsterdam and very close to the Anne Frank House. Reminds me of a postcard it’s so perfect and you can’t beat the shopping and food as you make your way along the canal.
Have you explored Amsterdam? What are your favorite places or things to do?