Amsterdam - The Canals
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What makes Amsterdam so attractive is the 17th century historical atmosphere combined with the mentality of a modern metropolis creating a friendly and relaxed environment. The small scale of the buildings and the intimacy of the streets, canals and squares create an atmosphere that visitors find unique.

The city has the highest museum density in the world and is home to cultural highlights, such as the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Hermitage Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum with Rembrandt’s world-famous Nightwatch. Other well known places of interest in Amsterdam are the Palace on the Dam, the Artis Zoo, Jewish Historical Museum and the Rembrandt House.

Take a canal tour of Amsterdam and discover the historical canal district which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011. The best way to get around Amsterdam is on a bike. You won’t become any more local than by cycling around Amsterdam.

Attractions in Amsterdam

Visit the rich and famous at Madame Tussauds, discover the secrets of diamond cutting at Coster and Gassan Diamonds, learn more about Heineken beer at the Heineken Experience, cycle along the canals like the Dutch do. You’d better book an extra day in Amsterdam if you want to see all its attractions.

Floating Flower Market

Some flowers in a store at the floating flower market

The Singel is a canal in Amsterdam which is famous for its flower market. The market is unique, because all the merchandise is displayed on floating barges. This is a relic from the days when the flowers and plants sold at this market were shipped in by barges. Nowadays fresh flowers are still brought in every day; by vans, however, and no longer by boat.

The Flower Market of Amsterdam

The floating flower market was first held in 1862. It has since developed into the best-known flower market of Holland. Whatever your favorite flower is, you are bound to find it here. Merchandise ranges from the traditional Dutch tulips and geraniums to indoor cypresses and plants. Along this part of the Singel canal you’ll also find a lot of souvenirs shops.

Visit the Floating Flower Market

You can visit the floating flower market every day of the week between 9 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. and on Sundays between 11 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. If you’re visiting Amsterdam in December you’ll notice that the Singel market colors green with masses of Christmas trees in all shapes and sizes.

Canals of Amsterdam

A small part of the 17th century canals of amsterdam stretching over hundred kilometers

A visit to Amsterdam isn’t complete without enjoying the canals. They are a symbol of Amsterdam and of great cultural and historical value. In 2010 the World Heritage Committee decided to submit the 17th century canal ring area in Amsterdam to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Amsterdam Canals Musts

Though every canal is beautiful and unique in itself, there are some absolute musts:

  • The Golden Bend: the canal from ‘Leidsestraat’ to ‘Vijzelstraat’ has the most beautiful and magnificent stretch of canal houses of Amsterdam.
  • One view, fifteen bridges: the bridge on the corner of ‘Reguliersgracht’ and ‘Herengracht’ has a unique view over fifteen bridges. Make sure you stand on the side of the street with the odd numbers.
  • Magere Brug: the ‘Magere Brug’ (Skinny Bridge) is one of the most picturesque bridges of Amsterdam. At night the bridge is romantically illuminated. 
  • Canal tour: enjoy the beautiful canals and canal houses from the water with one of Amsterdam’s many canal tours. 

Amsterdam Canals on World Heritage List

According to UNESCO, the canals are cultural heritage of “outstanding universal value”. The city of Amsterdam also does its utter best to maintain and protect the canals. Enough reasons for you to discover the Venice of the North: the canals of Amsterdam.

Red Light District Amsterdam

A street in the red light district

While most major cities in the world have a ‘Red Light District’, none are quite as touristy as Amsterdam’s or its Red Light District. Amsterdam has three of these districts, however, ‘De Wallen’ in the city center is the largest and best known. This quarter of Amsterdam is one of the oldest parts of the city. The mansions along the canals and the Oude Kerk (Old Church) are worth a look at, but it’s hard not be distracted by the many sex clubs and window prostitutes.

Window Shopping

Since the 14th century the former inner-harbor of Amsterdam has slowly grown into an area of sex shops, brothels, gay bars, coffeeshops, peepshows and window prostitutes. The fluorescent red lights are characteristic for this area.

Tour De Wallen

The Red Light District in Amsterdam attracts many tourists. This is also stimulated by a tour offered by the local VVV (Tourist Information Office). The presence of police and security cameras ensure that ‘De Wallen’ is one of the safest areas of Amsterdam.

The Heineken Experience

Kettles in the Heineken experience Amsterdam

It is not a museum, it is the Heineken Experience. The former Heineken brewery is equipped with the latest multimedia to make you see, hear, smell, taste and enjoy Heineken.

The World of Beer

The Heineken Experience starts at the base: the ingredients and 150 years of brewing craftsmanship. Then you’ll get a 4D-experience what it’s like to be brewed and bottled. More interactive fun is followed by a Heineken show. Finally, you’ll end the experience with a well deserved beer.

Thirsty for Beer?

The Heineken Experience is a fun way to get to know this world famous Dutch beer. It only takes one and a half hour and is a great activity if you’re with friends. Do note that everyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

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