Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.It is known for its numerous canals and bridges. Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin around a dam in the river Amstel. The metropolis is distinctively welcoming, multicultural, creative, and prosperous.
The Anne Frank House is a writer's house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. During World War II, Anne Frank hid from Nazi persecution with her family and four other people in hidden rooms at the rear of the 17th-century canal house, known as the Secret Annex (Achterhuis). In 1947 her wartime diary was published. The museum opened in 1960. It preserves the hiding place, has a permanent exhibition on the life and times of Anne Frank, and has an exhibition space about all forms of persecution and discrimination. The museum draws more than million visitors annually. The House is about a 20 minute walk from the Centraal Station. Alternatively, Trams 13, 14 and 17 and buses 170, 172 and 174 stop nearby, at the Westermarkt stop.
The Jordaan is a neighborhood of the city and is arguably the most famous neighborhood in the Netherlands. Construction of the Jordaan began in 1612. The streets and canals were built according to the old ditches and paths, which explains its unusual orientation compared to the rest of the city. Once a working-class neighborhood, the Jordaan has become one of the most expensive, upscale locations in the country. It is home to many art galleries, particularly for modern art, and is also dotted with specialty shops and restaurants. The Jordaan has a high concentration of hofjes (inner courtyards), many of them with restored houses and peaceful gardens. It also had a lively music scene in the 20th century.
Established in 1908, the Rijksmuseum (National Museum) is dedicated to arts and history and is the largest art museum in the Netherlands. The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. The iconic "I Amsterdam" sign featuring huge letters is right in front of the museum.
This art museum is dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. The museum has the largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings and drawings in the world, comprising of 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters by Van Gogh. It is the 2nd most visited museum in the Netherlands. Design for a Van Gogh Museum was commissioned by the Dutch government in 1963 and the museum opened in 1973. The museum also features notable art works by Van Gogh's contemporaries in the Impressionist and post-Impressionist movements and holds extensive exhibitions on various subjects from 19th Century art history.
Colloquially known as the Stedelijk, the Stedelijk Museum (Municipal Museum) is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design featuring well known artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol and so on. The museum collection holds almost 90,000 objects, collected since 1874. With important clusters and cores focusing on De Stijl (neoplasticism, a Dutch artistic movement), Pop Art and CoBrA (a European avant-garde movement) and, more recently, Neo-Impressionism, the collection represents virtually every significant movement in art and design of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The Vondelpark is a public urban park that has around 10 million visitors yearly. It was opened in 1865 and originally named the "Nieuwe Park", but later renamed to "Vondelpark", after the 17th-century playwright and poet Joost van den Vondel. The park has an open-air theatre with shows from June until August. There are performances of classical music, pop music, world music, dance, musical theatre, and cabaret. There are also all kinds of events held here all year round.
This major railway hub is the second-busiest railway station in the country and the most visited national heritage site of the Netherlands. First opened in 1889, it features a Gothic/Renaissance Revival station building and a cast iron platform roof spanning approximately 40 meters. The design of the station reflected the romantic nationalistic mood in the late nineteenth-century Netherlands, with its many decorative elements glorifying the nation's economic and colonial power at the time.
Built in the 19th century as the city's major Catholic church, it was designed based on a combination of several revival styles of which Neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance were the most prominent models. The church has a collection of religious murals. Above the high altar is the crown of Maximilian I, which is a symbol seen throughout Amsterdam.
The 800-year-old Oude Kerk ("old church") is Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest parish church, founded ca. 1213 and consecrated in 1306. The roof of the Oude Kerk is the largest medieval wooden vault in Europe. The Estonian planks date to 1390 and boast some of the best acoustics in Europe. In mid-March each year, Catholics arrive at the Oude Kerk to celebrate the "Miracle of Amsterdam" that occurred in 1345. Today, the Oude Kerk is a centre for both religious and cultural activities and can be rented for presentations, receptions and dinner parties. Among the events hosted is the prestigious annual World Press Photo awards ceremony.
Dam Square is the town square of the city. Its notable buildings and frequent events make it one of the most well-known and important locations in the city and the country. The Dam derives its name from its original function: a dam on the Amstel River, hence also the name of the city. Built in approximately 1270, the dam formed the first connection between the settlements on the sides of the river. Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, Amsterdam's main square became a "national" square well known to nearly everyone in the Netherlands. The National Monument, a white stone pillar erected in 1956 to memorialize the victims of World War II, dominates the opposite side of the square.
The Royal Palace in Amsterdam (Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam) is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which are at the disposal of the monarch by Act of Parliament. The palace was built as a city hall during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. The building became the royal palace of King Louis Napoleon and later of the Dutch Royal House. On the marble floor of the central hall there are two maps of the world with a celestial hemisphere. The Western and Eastern hemispheres are shown on the maps. The hemispheres detail the area of Amsterdam's colonial influence. In its time the building was one of many candidates for the title of the Eighth Wonder of the World. Also, for a long time it was the largest administrative building in Europe.
After the Oude Kerk ("Old Church") grew too small for the expanding population of the town, the bishop of Utrecht in 1408 gave permission to build a second parish church, the Nieuwe Kerk ("New Church"). It was rebuilt in Gothic style after destroyed by city fires. It underwent major renovation in late 19th century, which added many neo-Gothic details. Today, it is no longer used for church services but is used as an exhibition space.
De Wallen is the largest, oldest and best known red-light district in Amsterdam. It consists of a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred one-room cabins rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights. These "kamers" are the most visible and typical kind of red light district sex work in Amsterdam and are a popular tourist attraction. Historically because of proximity to the harbor the area has attracted both prostitution and migrant populations and these are the features it is best known for today. The area also has a number of sex shops, sex theaters, peep shows, a sex museum, a cannabis museum, and a number of coffee shops that sell marijuana. The neighborhood is about a 10 minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station.
Formerly known as the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, it is a museum about the history of Amsterdam opened in 1926. The museum exhibits various items related to the history of Amsterdam, from the Middle Ages to the present time. Many of the original furnishings of the city orphanage are on display, as are artifacts relating to the Rasp house, the former house of correction in Amsterdam where the prisoners were forced to rasp wood to make sawdust.
The Begijnhof is one of the oldest inner courts in the city of Amsterdam. A group of historic buildings, mostly private dwellings, center on it. As the name suggests, it was originally a Béguinage (an architectural complex which was created to house beguines: lay religious women who lived in community without taking vows or retiring from the world). The Begijnhof is the only inner court in Amsterdam which was founded during the Middle Ages, and therefore lies within the Singel — the innermost canal of Amsterdam's circular canal system. The buildings in the court are tall, characteristically Amsterdam-style town-houses, emphasizing the court's relatively private character. The ancient, restored wooden house ("Houten Huys") is famous as one of the two wooden houses still existing in the center of Amsterdam.
It is a historic house and art museum. The Dutch master Rembrandt lived and worked in the house between 1639 and 1656. The 17th-century interior has been reconstructed to show how the house would have looked in Rembrandt's days. Adjoining (and linked to) the house is a modern building where work of Rembrandt is on display, mainly etchings and also a part of his collection of objects from all over the world.
Hortus Botanicus is a botanical garden in the Plantage district of Amsterdam. One of the oldest in the world, it is one of Amsterdam's top tourist attractions. It was founded in 1638 by the city to serve as an herb garden for doctors and apothecaries. It contains more than six thousand tropical and indigenous trees and plants. The monumental Palm House dates from 1912 and is renowned for its collection of cycads. The hexagonal pavilion dates from the late 1600s and the entrance gate was built in the early 1700s. The collection is famous for some of its trees and plants, some of which are on the "danger" list.