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The Travel Expert’s Guide to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is best known for its amazing flowers, great Museums, incredible Monuments and of course cycling. Amsterdam is the largest city in the Netherlands and the 5th greenest city in Europe. Biking, canals and flowers are some of the most prevalent things in the city. The Best time to visit is between March & August.  Amsterdam is the flower capital of the world, so expect some Flower Related activities on this list. This is the Travel Expert’s Guide to Amsterdam.

Bucket List

  • Take a stroll down the streets of Jordaan to take in the numerous galleries, shops and restaurants
  • Become a true beer connoisseur by sampling one of Amsterdam’s best beers at their original brewery, visit the Heineken Experience
  • If you go during the winter months, take the time to ice skate the canals for a truly unique experience.
  • Check out Dam Square, it’s great meeting place for shopping or eating, if you are lucky a pillow fight may break out.

Biking in Amsterdam

Cycling in Amsterdam may be different from what you’re used to here is the U.S.  With over 240 miles of bike lanes in town locals to encourage locals to travel by bike. Below are a few tips to insure that you are aware of the etiquette while biking around town
  • Stay in the Bike lane - Do not cycle on pavements, stick to the marked bike lanes.
  • Keep moving while in the bike lane- Don’t stop in the cycle path. If you want to check your map, tie you shoes or admire the scenery pull over. Blocking the bike lane is an offence.
  • Make Room – Do not hog the cycle lane. Much like driving a car, keep to the right and let the faster traffic pass on the left.
  • Stay inline- Cycling side by side may cause traffic to slow down behind you. If you want to chit-chat and cannot do so while riding,  pull over.
  • Use hand signals - Be aware of the standard hand signals for bikers .No one wants to cause an accident or hurt other bikers.
  • Pay attention to the road-  Look out for traffic lights, signs and signals designed solely for  the cyclist.

Things to do in Amsterdam

Museums to Check out
  • Rijks Museum – The National Museum of Amsterdam located at Musseumstraat. Celebrate the art history of The Netherlands in this magnificent museum that dates back to the 1800’s.
  • The Van Gogh Museum – The second most visited museum in The Netherlands, dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh, this museum celebrates the artistic vision of Van Gogh himself and his contemporaries.  Located in Paulus Potterstraat this museum was established in 1973.
  • Rembrant House Museum – Once the home of Rembrant from 1639-1656. Here you can find some of his personal etchings and sketches, as well as works of others.  Curators have made recreations or recovered personal belonging as it was when he lived there. Located in Jodenbreenstrat this is a must for any art enthusiast.
  • Anne Frank House – Tour the space where Ann Frank, her family, and others hid during WWII and wrote the now famous Anne Frank Diary. Make sure to buy tickets prior to your visit, the lines tend to get a bit overwhelming.
  • Corpus Experience – Amsterdam’s Corpus experience is housed in a giant human. Explore the esophagus, take a stroll thru the colon and meander thru the molars and incision of a giant mouth. This museum is nothing if not educational, with all sort of fascinating exhibits that celebrate and explain the human body.
  • Restaurant Moeders- Get traditional Dutch meals just like mom makes. A truly unique eatery, Moeders celebrates everything about mom. On Opening night in 1990 guests were encouraged to bring a plate, glassware and cutlery for the restaurant to use. Since then, the restaurant has been using the same table settings that were used that night. Guests are encouraged to bring a picture of their mother to hang on the wall with pictures from previous guests.
  • GlowGolf – Glowgolf is a 3d Fluorescent, multidimensional golfing extravaganza! Featuring eighteen glow in the dark holes, and if that’s not enough you can go to the Café and enjoy a tasty burger, chicken sate, or a mouth watering steak.
  • Electric Ladyland: The FirstMuseum of Fluorescent  Art - Take some time to check out this one of a kind museum that features florescent art and artifacts of all shapes and sizes.
  • The CatBoat- A one of a kind a floating cat shelter. The converted house boat now acts as a cat shelter and adoption center.

Where to see the Tulips and other Flowers

  • The annual tulip festival goes for the entire month of April. View over 800,000 tulips on display around Amsterdam
  • Between March and May Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse ( Just outside of Amerdam) has an entire exhibit of tulips and other flowers on their acres of land. Before you go,  check out their calendar of family friendly events .  Also, be sure to check out the Museum de Zwarte Tulp (Museum of the Black Tulip)
  • Visit one of the many flower markets in and around Amsterdam where you can find tulips or arrangements of other flowers . One we recommend is the Bloemenmarket ( on Singel), the only floating flower market in town.

Monuments worth visiting

  • National Monument on Dam Square – Located in Dam Square
  • Rembrandt statue, Rembrandtplein - Located between the Amstel and the Herengracht
  • Homomonument – at Westernmarkt
  • Hollandse Schouwburg – Plantage Middenlaan
  • Royal Place of Amsterdam – Also in Dam
  • Belle – Oudekerksplein

Interesting Facts about Amsterdam

  • Houses in Amsterdam are famously narrow because they used to be taxed on the width of their front
  • Amsterdam is the bike capital of the world, wish is why bicycle is the most stolen item in Amsterdam
  • There are more bikes than people in Amsterdam
  • There are over 2500 houseboats in Amsterdam
  • It is about a 30 minutewalk or 10 minute tram ride to get from one end of the city center to the other
  • There are 6,800 buildings from the 16th, 17th and 18th century

Before you go

  • Read the Dinner (2009) by Herman Koch
  • Watch Diamonds are forever with Guy Hamilton
  • Listen to Amsterdam (1972) by Jon Cale

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