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What To See In Amsterdam

What to see in Amsterdam? That depends on your personal tastes and interests.

There are museums and galleries, of course. Well over 50, actually – ranging from the Van Gogh Museum to the Hash Marihuana Hemp Museum, and from the Anne Frank House to the Sex Museum. Amsterdam also is home to some 150 art galleries.

If you want to see Rembrandt’s Nightwatch, you’ll find it is just one of almost one million pieces of artwork displayed in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. The largest museum of art in the Netherlands, it carries an enormous collection of 17th-century Dutch masters, along with art from the Middle Ages, the 18th and 19th centuries, and later.

Amsterdam: An Open-Air Museum

Just in case the weather is good, you won’t have to stay inside in order to see great works of art. Amsterdam’s downtown district itself is in essence an open-air museum. With 8,000+ momuments, it is the largest historical city center in the Netherlands.

In January, 1999, the entire area – not just the buildings, but also the ‘total picture,’ including canals, bridges, squares, streets, and even trees – has been designated as ‘protected.’

For better or for worse, that doesn’t mean the entire area is kept in a straightjacket. On your walks you’ll find ultra-modern buildings side by side with 17th century monuments. Not immediately apparent is the fact that some old facades are just that – old facades. When old buildings can no longer be restored and are by necessity torn down, the facade is carefully removed, only to be put back in place once the new building is up.

Walking Tours, Bike Tours, Boat Tours…

Downtown Amsterdam is a compact area that includes most of the sights the city is famous for. If you are staying at a hotel in or near the center of town, almost everything you’ll want to see or do is within walking distance.

You’ll notice, of course, that aside from walking bicycling is the best way to get around. Several outfits not only rent bicyles, but also organize bike tours past Amsterdam’s best sights and attractions.

No one should leave Amsterdam without having taken a boat trip through the city’s canals and harbor. The glass-topped tour boats offer unique, photogenic views of the city’s past and present.

And So On…

Here are some suggestions on what to see in Amsterdam.

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This post was last updated: Jan. 25, 2007