Amsterdam, located in the province of “Noord-Holland”, is one of the more popular destinations in Europe. And for good reasons.
Our travel on a starry starry fortnight after our trip to Berlin took us to this northern part of the Netherlands (once upon a time, Holland).
In the early 13th century, Amsterdam was a bustling fishing village on a river bed. Today, it is the centre of commerce, tourism and culture. If Barcelona is home to Catalan Modernist Antoni Gaudi, Amsterdam is home to the Van Gogh Museum where the works of its tortured native son Vincent are found.
And, if you’re not yet “nauseated” with the cultural heritage that Europe has to offer, make sure you drop in to more museums like the Rikjsmuseums filled with Rembrandts and Vermeers or the Stedelijk Museum where Matisses and Mondrians fill its modern stocks. And of course, one should not miss the house of Anne Frank (Anne Frank Huis, author of The Diary of Anne Frank). There is a long queue to this museum alone (drawing more than a million visitors each year). The focus of the museum of Anne Frank is the rear house, also known as the “secret annex”. This part of the house is a dark, airless space where the Franks and other people observed complete silence during the daytime. Its somber and eeriness is the perfect match to the jigsaw trip, after Vienna and Berlin.
Aside from deep historical culture, there are many other places to enjoy in Amsterdam. The Jordaan and the West was a former worker’s quarters teeming with cozy pubs, galleries and markets. And of course, there’s the infamous red light district as well, that’s well, so touristy. I suggest that before you go, make an itinerary of where you want to visit in Amsterdam, as you may miss the neighbourhoods that have their own stories to tell.
Amsterdam is also home to a gastronomic experience.
And if you’re wanting for tulips (make sure you go in the spring), take a bus ride to Keukenhof gardens. It’s one trip you shouldn’t miss, as these pictures alone speak volumes for why it is worth the side trip.