Amsterdam Tourist Guide

Amsterdam is also known to be a haven for hippies. It has moved since then to be a bigger economy and a successful cosmopolitan business centre. The hippie era was the 60’s and 70’s when Amsterdam got its name of hippie haven from free for all culture. Most people visualize this expired idea even today.

The new economy has brought prosperity all around evident from growing business zones and transformation of the general landscape surrounding ancient town houses and canals.

With about ¾ of a million of populace, the transformation of Amsterdam from a hippie haven to a buzzing business city is not yet complete. The culture of free thinking and collective living has not yet gone away. Only the free culture is not an offshoot of semi legal toxic and exotic plants, but a by product of successful economic growth today.

Today’s Amsterdam does not welcome the hippie youth that thinks getting high on hash is a part of the city’s culture but prefers youth that have a spending capacity. It’s not that one can’t smoke hash but Amsterdam has slowly transformed itself into a city where you can smoke hash and enjoy the city without a big damage to the pocket.

Amsterdam historically has been a major trading post during the colonial times, the reason why you will find scattered town houses around the otherwise neatly aligned canals. These were made by the then wealthy tradesmen. Today these houses mostly house smoke shops, exotic night life and a string of brothels. This historical irony has been taken in stride by the local populace and by a collective decision licensed the brothels and the sale of hash in licensed coffee shops. These are a major tourist attraction today.

 
amsterdammertjes

It would be wrong to think that the locals are addicted or are always high on marijuana. They are busy planning and remodeling a few town houses into various centers of innovative business, they are busy biking around or tasting ethnic food or just relaxing watching life from the sidelines reading newspapers on a sidewalk café.

Amsterdam has its own charm that casts a spell when you see the 1200 odd bridges lighted up over 150 odd canals. The glory of Amsterdam charms you further when it emerges form the mist in the mornings. The days could not more perfect for a visitor when he visits the flower market that floats, Rembrandt Museum, Jewish Historical Museum and the obvious social joints like nightclubs, brown cafes etc.

English is most prevalent language of Amsterdam; it is spoken fluently by a major portion of the populace. The basic attitude of people here is very friendly and carefree, as much that one could chat up a local in course of one beer.

Each province of Netherlands has its own tourist organization strewn around with multi lingual attendants. These Associations for Foreign Travel, as they are called or in short VVV (fay-fay-fay), book accommodations, help making travel arrangements and keeps the visitor abreast with latest programmes. They also publish Amsterdam Day by Day, a monthly magazine stating programmes for the month for a mere $2.50.

Amsterdam, Holland: Basic Facts

Amsterdam is the capital city of Netherlands, also known as Holland. This is considered as the greatest planned city in the world and is located in the province of North Holland, in the north-west of the country. Amsterdam, Holland is a lively, vibrant and liberal city. It also covers an area of about 207 square kilometers and is populated by around 1,730,000 inhabitants. Today, it is known as the “Venice of the North” as it is built on 90 islands connected by 400 stone bridges across 100 kilometers of the canals. With its strategic location, Amsterdam, Holland is relatively quiet with little traffic.

Arts And Events

Amsterdam, Holland is in the first place a place worthy of visit. It has more arts treasures per square kilometer than any other country on earth. Also, it has a number of great museums, all serving as the home to the world’s richest and most comprehensive collection of art masterpieces, dating back from the 15th century up to the 20th century. Aside from arts, Amsterdam, Holland is famous for its excellent performance halls that play host to music, dance and the widely acclaimed performing arts festivals.

Amsterdam Dining

A number of restaurants are now operating in Amsterdam, Holland. Their number is even more increasing with multinationals such as Sony, IBM and Xerox choosing Amsterdam as their base for European operations. The restaurants in the city of Amsterdam, Holland offer great dining with international menus that have been dramatically increased, giving diners an extensive choice of cosmopolitan culinary options. It is also interesting to know that local dishes are also served in the restaurants, and include stampot, a down to earth meal consisting of mashed potatoes with carrots, onions, bacon and smoked sausage.

The poffertjes, small hot pancakes covered in powdered sugar are also delicate and sold by vendors at fairs or similar events. However, just note that in Amsterdam, Holland the restaurants will close earlier than you might expect as the Dutch tend to eat early in the evening.

The Tipping Service

In the city of Amsterdam, a service charge is generally included in restaurant prices and taxi fares. However, this tipping service is usual to round the total up to the nearest euro, including a 10 percent for good service. And, the room service and doormen in most of the Amsterdam hotels will generally expect a small tip for their services.

Transportation

Amsterdam, Holland has one of the finest and most reliable transportation networks in the whole continent of Europe. It is this fact that makes Amsterdam, Holland a popular location for industry. As you might notice in the city, fast and frequent trains and buses run throughout the country and are an excellent way to travel from the city of Amsterdam to other parts of the country. What’s more, both bus and rail in Amsterdam provide effective connections to Central Station and the Schiphol International Airport.

Weather

The climate in Amsterdam, like the rest of Holland, is generally mild. It is characterized by rarely dropping below freezing in the winter or becoming too hot in the summer. Also, like any other countries in the northern Europe, Amsterdam, Holland is very prone to occasional but unspectacular periods of rainfall.

 

6 Must-Do's When In Amsterdam

Amsterdam Dam Square

Dam Square

Dam Square is the hub of the city and located on the site of the original Amstel dam. The focal point of the Square is the Royal Palace. Originally the town hall, it became regal following Louis Napoleon’s crowning in 1808.

Albret Cuyp food market Amsterdam

Albert Cuypmarkt

If you feel the need to shop, the Albert Cuypmarkt offers just about everything you could wish to buy. This cosmopolitan shopping region will provide your credit card fix.

Anne Frank’s House

In close proximity to the Square, Anne Frank’s house provides a constant reminder of Nazi occupation during the Second World War. Her infamous diary is kept here; be prepared to queue as it gets very busy during the tourist season.

Learn about Anne Frank’s life on a small-group or private walking tour of Amsterdam. Hear from an expert guide about the writer’s life growing up, as well as the history of the Jewish Quarter and Second World War.

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Amsterdam Tourist Guide visit the rijksmuseum

The fabulous Rijksmuseum is home to some of the most important historic art in the world. Perhaps the most famous pieces here are that by Rembrandt; the works of Frans Hals and Vermeer also feature prominently. Beautiful examples of porcelain dolls and dolls’ houses can also be seen.

  • Enjoy skip-the-line entrance and a guided tour through the Rijksmuseum
  • See “The Nightwatch”, Rembrandt’s masterpiece
  • Discover the iconic “The Milkmaid” by Vermeer
  • Discover Rembrandt’s portraits
  • See Ferdinand Bol’s self-portrait

See the world’s biggest Rembrandt collection, and 800+ years of Dutch history

 

Book Your Rijksmuseum Ticket

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Another unmissable illustration of fine art is exhibited at the purpose built Van Gogh Museum. Including many of his finest pieces, the Van Gogh Museum is home to the largest collection of his work in the world.

Amsterdam Kings Day

King’s Day

A sight to behold, King’s Day is the celebration of all the King of the Netherlands his birtday. People go out in an orange outfit (just like with sporting events where the Dutch are). Kings Day is one of the best parties every year in Amsterdam and The Netherlands.

Other Activities in Amsterdam

Explore Amsterdam

Amsterdam is also known to be a haven for hippies. It has moved since then to be a bigger economy and a successful cosmopolitan business centre. The hippie era was the 60’s and 70’s when Amsterdam got its name of hippie haven from free for all culture. Most people visualize this expired idea even today.

What Are The Hottest Activities In Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is not just famous for its canals and bicycles. Here are two more things you can practise when you visit Amsterdam:

  1. Coffeeshops – nope, not your average coffeeshop.. Amsterdam coffeeshops are the place to be to buy marijuana. Yes, it is legal to buy weed, ganja, 420 in The Netherlands. 
  2. Red Light District – with over 150 windows, there is always someone willing to give you some (sexual) attention. Keep in mind: red lights represent women, blue lights represent men.
Amsterdam Coffee Shop
Amsterdam red light district

Hotels in Amsterdam

Called by many as Holland, the city of Amsterdam is the most visited center in the Netherlands. Recent statistics have shown that more than 3.5 million tourists are coming to visit Amsterdam per year. This popularity stemmed from its being a city of tolerance and diversity with all the advantages of a big city, be it culture, entertainment, international restaurants, good transport, and great hotels.

Speaking of hotels, many of the Amsterdam hotels offer the best accommodation, dining and entertainment. Many of the Amsterdam hotels offers discounts for those who wish to spend their holidays in the city. They usually feature up to 75 percent discount in their standard rates. However, it is important to note that Amsterdam is a busy place during weekends, especially during the high season. Thus, it is best that you book your Amsterdam hotel well in advance.

Here is a short list of the most preferred hotels in Amsterdam:

 

Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam​

This hub currently has the most media coverage of all the Amsterdam hotels. It is very well situated, being nearer to the center of the city, with direct public transport connections. The place also has an easy access from the ring-road and from the rooms, lovely views over the fashionable Docklands areas are to be had.

In addition, Lloyd Hotel Amsterdam has parking facilities of its own in a parking garage. It also has restaurants, a bar, a soundproof music room, a library and even a “corner” shop. It offers 116 rooms, ranging from one to five stars, and it is these rooms which offer a different experience to its visitors. What’s more, the rooms in this Amsterdam hotel are beautifully finished with the most exciting Dutch designs in the interior of the rooms. All guests can also enjoy a free high speed internet access, other than satellite television with a unique selection of channels.

Piet Hein Hotel Amsterdam

Unlike Lloyd Hotel, the hotel Piet Hein offers you a pleasant nautical atmosphere. It is situated at the Vondelpark in the heart of Amsterdam, only steps away from the Van Gogh museum, Rijksmuseum, the Modern Art museum, and the lively Leidseplein with casino. As you may have noticed, this Amsterdam hotel is actually located at a beautiful spot in the Museum Quarter. You can also enjoy and relax at the open air concerts in the summer, as the Concertgebouw is just within walking distance from this Amsterdam hotel.

The Quentin Hotel Amsterdam​

Located in the core of Amsterdam nightlife, The Quentin is known for her unique atmosphere. It hosts throughout the year a number of the city’s young music bands on a regular basis. It is also five minutes walk away from the beautiful Musuemplein, the home of the Rijksmuseum, with the most important collection of Dutch old masters, sculptures, prints and antique furniture. The Quentin Amsterdam hotel is also steps away from the Van Gogh Museum that hosts shows with more than 200 of the artist prime works as well as contemporary artists.

The colorful Flowers Market, as well as the Waterlooplein flea market are all within a walking distance and can be easily reached from the hotel.

Top Amsterdam Hotels

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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Transfer

A warm greeting of “Welcome to Amsterdam” may be commonly heard as tourists from different cities and countries arrive at Schiphol, Amsterdam’s state-of-the-art international airport. This is only one of the many ways that tourists are afforded of superb hospitality, the Dutch way.

Amsterdam Car rental

A lot of people still think that rent-a-car is for the rich, businessmen only and all the individuals who can afford more than others. Of course, this is not true, because renting a vehicle pays off, no matter who you are. Renting a car in Amsterdam gives you the freedom to go beyond the city borders and explore more of The Netherlands. In the form below you can find cheap rental cars.