There are unlimited activities in Amsterdam in any climate and a considerable lot of the most remunerating encounters lie past the very much trodden traveler ways of the downtown area. To lead you through the abundance of miracles, we’ve trimmed down the choice to this fundamental guide of things to do in Amsterdam.
A significant number of the galleries and sights included are secured by the Amsterdam City Card – There is a free entry pass for the handy visitors to Amsterdam’s most popular attractions along with free public transport until they stay there.
Rijksmuseum (National Museum) is the most important Dutch museum and is located in Museumplein (Museum Square) , a beautiful and well – kept square-park which also includes the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum, a museum of Dutch modern and contemporary art. The Rijksmuseum, on the other hand, houses the richest collection of paintings from the so-called “Golden Century”, the 17th century which saw the commercial and colonial expansion of the Netherlands. The most famous work of all is undoubted “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt (1606 – 1669)a painting that much criticism has taken as a watershed in the life of the Dutch artist marked by the youth of success and, on the contrary, an increasingly problematic maturity up to the misery of recent years. In addition to Rembrandt, the museum exhibits several works by Jan Vermeer (1632 – 1675) including the very famous “Milkmaid” and “Woman in Blue” . It is not over, because the museum library (Rijksmuseum Research Library) is also worth a visit, the most complete public library on the history of art in the Netherlands.
For many, the van Gogh Museum is reason enough to choose to visit Amsterdam. A museum born thanks to the availability of the heirs who in 1963 donated to the city over 200 paintings and 500 sketches made by the artist during the years of intense activity in Holland, Belgium and France. In 1973, ten years after the donation, came to life the eponymous museum in addition to some of the most famous works of Vincent van Gogh (just to mention a few, The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, The Wheatfield with Crows) hosts also paintings by Monet, Gaugin, Toulouse-Lautrec and other contemporary artists of the genius of Zundert. The Van Gogh Museum has undergone several renovations and changes over the years. The last, in 2015, with the replacement of the main entrance, now accessible directly from Museumplein.
The Stedelijk Museum, the most important Dutch museum of modern and contemporary art, is located right next to the Van Gogh Museum and, like the latter, has undergone several renovations over time. The last, in 2012 with the construction of the futuristic modern pavilion whose facade was made with a particular synthetic material normally used in naval and air engineering. Temporary exhibitions are set up in the modern part of the museum, while in the old building there is the permanent collection consisting of works by Manet, Mondrian, Appel, Chagall, Picasso and others. A collection that spans over a century of history – from 1850 to the present day – is that it is interesting to see to get a complete overview of Museumplein
Despite its bourgeois origins (the area was designed in 1864 thanks to the generosity of a group of citizens, eager to give the people a green lung in the city center ), Vondelpark rose to the media spotlight almost a hundred years later. In the 1960s, in fact, the approximately 45 hectares of the park were progressively occupied by thousands of hippies coming from every corner of Europe and, in many cases, also from overseas. As we mentioned at the beginning, the circumstance has profoundly changed the uses and customs of the city. The alternative wave has taken root, even if the public authorities have been able to mitigate the most problematic aspects both from a social point of view and as regards public order. For example, around the mid-1970s, the park was cleared and returned to full use by residents and tourists who, especially during the summer months, like to spend the hours of free time available here. There are areas equipped for children’s play; there are bar-cafes where you can have something in the company; there are three stages for the representation of outdoor shows; and finally, there are thousands of parrots. Yes, you read that correctly. The trees of the Vondelpark are invaded by “collar parakeets”, an Asian species of parrot that is very popular as a pet. While creating various problems for the rest of the fauna, the animals have become a tourist attraction, especially in the evening when they give life to noisy concerts.
The seventeenth century, the famous Golden Age of which we spoke about the Rijksmuseum, brought riches and glory, but also posed new and onerous challenges. One of these was the demographic explosion which, in the space of a few decades, imposed a new order in Amsterdam. It was to cope with this emergency that the canal belt around the old city was built. The main ones are the Singel (ancient medieval moat outside the walls); the Heren, the Keizer and the Prinzen. Around these 4 a very dense network of secondary channels has developed(160 in all) connected by an equally dense network of bridges (600). An absolutely sui generis urban structure that UNESCO in 2010 included among the World Heritage sites. Many of the city’s main attractions are located in the canal belt of Amsterdam, without forgetting, of course, that the motorboat tour of the canals is itself a very popular attraction for tourists.