Collected by Jeannie Catmull
Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beyond tulips, windmills, and weed, Amsterdam's global image is entwined with water. The Canal Ring (Grachtengordel) is made up of 165 fluid channels developed during the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age. In the ensuing years, the water network has...
Herengracht 386, 1016 CJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
During Holland's Golden Age, when spice trade with Asia and North Africa was booming, wealthy merchants built mansions along the expanding canal ring that became Amsterdam. Today the fashionable homes have been reincarnated as upscale offices,...
Dam, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands
The central hub of downtown Amsterdam is Dam Square, and it’s been at the heart of the city’s history since the 13th century. Today, the open-air public space is ringed by shops and restaurants and packed with people, including street...
1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beloved by locals and popular with tourists, the Vondelpark is a 120-acre oasis of green in buzzing Amsterdam, southeast of the Leidseplein. Opened in 1865 as the Nieuwe Park, it was later renamed after 17th-century Dutch playwright Joost van den...
Leidsestraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's easy to have a love-hate relationship with Leidesplein (Leidse Square), a colorful if sometimes frenetic entertainment hub near Vondelpark, at Amsterdam's southern end. Accessible via trams 1, 2, 5, 7 and 10, the square is the stage for...
Oudezijds Achterburgwal, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's one of Amsterdam's prettiest districts, where swans glide on tree-shrouded canals and gabled mansions recall Holland's Golden Age: de Wallen, better known as the Red Light District (RLD). Since 2000, prostitutes have plied their trade here as...
Kerkstraat 52, 1017 GM Amsterdam, Netherlands
While Europe has many gay-friendly places, Amsterdam is, by many accounts, its most gay-friendly city. With dozens of LGBT bars, restaurants, shops, nightclubs and even a few saunas and hotels catering to gays, the Dutch capital is heaven for any...
Herengracht 427, 1017 BR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Exploring Amsterdam aboard a canal boat is an iconic way to see the sights, with myriad tours and cruises plying the 65 miles of waterways that lattice the city. From many spots you can join simple, hour-long cruises with narrators describing...
Singel, 1012 XG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Since 1862, fresh flowers and plants have arrived by barge from the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam. While this assemblage of flora still shows up daily, it comes by van, not boat, to the Bloemenmarkt, the world's only floating flower market. Here,...
Begijnhof 29, 1012 WT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Escape the bustle of the city by ducking into the quiet courtyard garden of Begijnhof. Located just a few minutes on foot from the Koningsplein and the Singel canal, this tranquil oasis dates back at least as far as the 14th century. Look among...
Amsterdam-Noord, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Once a place where convicts were hung, then a working class district for shipyard laborers, Amsterdam-Noord has evolved into a multicultural community with a creative vibe and numerous restaurants, nightclubs and cultural attractions. Officially...
IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Step inside the Eye Film Institute to discover an homage to international cinema replete with interactive displays and perched like an ivory spaceship ready for launch on the northern bank of the IJ River. The striking facility, accessible via a...
Enge Kerksteeg 3, 1012 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ever wondered how it feels to sit behind one of those curtained windows in Amsterdam's Red Light District (RLD)? Find out from women who've been there at the Prostitute Information Center (PIC), near the statue of Belle on Oudekerksplein engraved...
Gabriël Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at the Van Gogh Museum. Sunflowers, The...
Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at Stedelijk Museum. The modern art...
Kinkerstraat 1, 1053 DB Amsterdam, Netherlands
You know what's annoying? Biking around Amsterdam on a bike that screams I'M A TOURIST. Here at Bike4U, you can get classic black Gazelles. Prices are good, child seats are available, and the Bulgarian guys who run the place are super nice. Note...
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 187K, 1012 EW Amsterdam, Netherlands
Did you know that Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon once kicked butt in Amsterdam's Dampkring coffeeshop in the Hollywood blockbuster Ocean's Twelve? Or that Amsterdam has a Jewish quarter with a museum that tells the story of the Jewish...
Tesselschadestraat 1E, 1054 ET Amsterdam, Netherlands
When in Amsterdam, do as the Dutch do and rent a bike. There are half a million bikes in the city, so be sure to look both ways before crossing the street! Bike rates average 12 Euro/day or 50 Euro/week. Mike's Bike Tours...
Prins Hendrikkade 33A, 1012 TM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Canals are an integral part of the Dutch landscape so it's only fitting you see them up close and personal, from a boat. Viewing Amsterdam by watercraft puts you level with Golden Age mansions, world-class monuments like the Anne Frank House and...
De Wallen, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The red-light district in Amsterdam is a very busy place with an odd mix of life in one small neighborhood. In a peculiar way it’s very beautiful—there’s so much happening both visually and mentally it takes a bit to process it...
Polonceaukade 23, 1014 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its chill vibe, funky decor, warehouse-like interior and spacious terrace, Pacific Parc is a rock 'n' roll bistro with an edge. Situated in a former treatment plant at Westergasfabriek, the café-nightclub on Amsterdam's west side...
Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands
One powerful and emotional experience in Amsterdam that shouldn’t be missed is a visit to the Anne Frank House. This home, where Anne Frank wrote in her diary while she, her family, and four others hid from the Nazis during World War II, has...
If you're a jazz and classical music aficionado, you owe it to yourself to visit Amsterdam in mid-August, when the 10-day Grachtenfestival (Canal Festival) brings live music to venues throughout the city. Since 1997, the cultural celebration has...
Leidseplein 26, 1017 PT Amsterdam, Netherlands
This imposing 1894 neo-Renaissance-style red-brick building on the famed Leidseplein is home to Toneelgroep Amsterdam, the largest theater company in the Netherlands. Both classic plays and modern dramas are staged in its two major halls. The...
Linnaeusstraat 2, 1092 CK Amsterdam, Netherlands
The interiors of this museum and its library are really beautiful—a mosaic of polished wood and marble surfaces. And its contents are very timely, about the history of immigration and former Dutch colonies and slavery. The library is a bit...
Amstel 3, 1011 PN Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its 14-meter curved façade overlooking the Amstel River, Amsterdam's Muziektheater cuts a dramatic swath in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Home to The Dutch Opera and Dutch National Ballet, it's housed in the same building as...
Prinsengracht 323, 1016 GZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Grachtenfestival is a week-long outdoor classical music festival held every August in Amsterdam. World-famous musicians, ensembles and new talent perform in locations around the city. The festival's grand finale, the free Prinsengracht Concert, is...
Herengracht 497, 1017 BT Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you tire of highbrow culture, sample a lighter approach to art devoted to a single theme at one of Amsterdam's quirkiest museums: the Katten Kabinet (Cat Cabinet). While professionally curated, this homage to all things feline has a humorous...
Keizersgracht 672, 1017 ET Amsterdam, Netherlands
If Amsterdam's 17th-century canal houses could talk, they might reveal secrets of wealthy merchants who raised families in the tall, narrow properties during Holland's Golden Age. Today, the historic residences have been transformed into hotels,...
Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam’s State Museum reopened in 2013 after a decade of renovations, and it is oh so worth a visit! Weave your way through the museum's vast assemblage of historic art (there are over 8,000 pieces!) to check out works from Dutch masters...
IJhaven, 1019 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Every five years in late August, ancient mariners as well as younger fans of sailing and sea exploration converge in Amsterdam to celebrate Holland's rich seafaring legacy. Since its debut in 1975, commemorating the city's 700th birthday, SAIL has...
Joop Geesinkweg 801, 1096 AZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Leidse bosje 2, 1054 LJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is one of the world's most pedal-happy cities, where you can cycle on water, as well as on land-bound cobblestones. With a few pals (or a spouse and kids), be the captain of your own small ship as you pedal around the canals, past...
Spuistraat 288-292, 1012 VX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Even in a city as compact as Amsterdam, sightseeing via Hop On-Hop Off bus is a great way to get oriented, leaving you time and energy to see attractions that might otherwise be spent getting lost. On a 12-stop route, hop on and off as often as...
Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, 1017 Amsterdam, Netherlands
My favorite street in Amsterdam is the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat. It’s the heart of the Amsterdam art district. It’s virtually door-to-door art and antique dealers. The street ends at the entrance to the magnificent Rijksmuseum.
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