Located in the province of North Holland, Amsterdam, the capital city of The Netherlands, is home to a wonderful abundance of bridges, canal houses and cycling trails. Even a few days in Amsterdam offers so much to see and explore.
Simply explore Amsterdam North, the area surrounding the Lookout Tower. Known as the Noord, it’s a peaceful and scenic break from the centre. It’s surprisingly common to visit Amsterdam and not see a single windmill, so if you do spare some time for the Noord, pay a visit to Windmill d’Admiraal – a monument of a typical Dutch windmill.
Locals speak English very well, so don’t feel shy about asking for directions or the time.
For a quintessentially ‘dam experience, rent a bike! Amsterdam is one of the most famous bicycle-friendly cities in the world. There is no shortage of cycle paths and parking stations, so to travel ‘eco’ and see more in less time, it’s definitely worth spending a day on wheels.
The Amsterdam Lookout tower stands at 20 stories tall, and for only USD15 you can drink and dine at the rooftop bar, catch a stunning 360-degree outdoor view of Amsterdam and even swing over the edge of the sky deck – yup, at about 21 floors above ground.
A good place to start is Museumplein (Museum Square) which hosts the major museums: Rijksmuseum, The Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk and more. One can hop from Vermeer’s masterpieces to Van Gogh’s bright and vivid palettes, to more contemporary pieces from artists like Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.
About 20 minutes away from Museumplein is the unmissable canalside Anne Frank House, but note that tickets should be booked at least two months in advance. An adult ticket costs around USD12 but the odds of getting one on the day are not good.
You’ll be hungry from the peddling, so the Foodhallen is where you’ll want to refuel. Stop by for sushi, burgers and tacos, or sample some traditional Dutch pannenkoeken (rich pancakes that are stuffed with either sweet or savoury fillings). Or, check out Albert Cuypmakt, The Netherlands’ most popular outdoor food market.