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Things to see in Amsterdam

Tourist Offices

I amsterdam Visitor Centre

Address: , Stationsplein 10 (opposite Amsterdam Central Station), Amsterdam, 1012 AB
Telephone:
Opening times:

Mon-Sun 0900-1700.

Website: http://www.iamsterdam.com

There is another tourist info centre at Schiphol Airport in Arrivals Hall 2, as well as a third location inside Amsterdam Central Station: the I amsterdam Store.

Tourist passes

The 'I amsterdam City Card' offers tourists the use of public transport, free or reduced admission to many of the city's museums, discounts on several attractions and restaurants, a City Card map and a free canal boat trip. Valid for 24, 48, 72 or 96 hours, the card is available for purchase from VVV Amsterdam tourist offices and GVB ticket offices, as well as several hotels. See www.iamsterdam.com/nl/i-am/i-amsterdam-city-card for full details.

Attractions

Hermitage Amsterdam

Housed in the historic Amstelhof along the banks of the Amstel River, this majestic museum is a sibling of its namesake in St Petersburg. Amsterdam has had a close connection to the Russian city since Tsar Peter took residence here and the main permanent collection focuses on artistic and cultural links between Russia and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, holdings from St Petersburg form the basis for such scintillating temporary exhibitions as the tableware of the Tsars and treasures from the Silk Road. There is also a section on the heritage of the museum’s historic home, and the Hermitage hosts fun and innovative children’s art workshops.

Address: , Amstel 51, Amsterdam,
Telephone: +31 (0)20 530 7488.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.hermitage.nl
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Rijksmuseum

Established in 1885, the museum showcases a collection of masterpieces with the seminal works of Dutch giants Rembrandt (‘The Night Watch’) and Johannes Vermeer (‘The Milk Maid’). The collection spanning over 8,000 works has been reorganised across three floors in chronological order with clever use of lighting and space, showcases made with non-reflecting glass and muted grey walls to minimise distraction from the galleries. Restored to its former glory with modern aesthetics, this ranks as one of the world's greatest museums.

Address: , Museumstraat 1, Amsterdam, 1071 XX
Telephone: +31 (0)20 674 7000.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1700.

Website: http://www.rijksmuseum.nl
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Anne Frank Huis (Anne Frank House)

Of enduring interest to all is the historic home where Anne Frank, her family and four other Jewish people hid from the occupying Germans during WWII, after fleeing their native Germany. Finally caught by the Nazis after two years in hiding, they were taken off to concentration camps, where Anne eventually died. However, her father survived and published her diary, which takes pride of place here. Photos, documents and the family’s possessions serve as poignant evidence of the events described, which continue to resonate in the hearts and minds of Dutch citizens. Please note that it is no longer possible to buy tickets at the museum entrance; all pictures must be purchased online at annefrank.org.

Address: , Prinsengracht 263-267, Amsterdam, 1016 GV
Telephone: +31 (0)20 556 7105.
Opening times:

See website for opening times.

Website: http://www.annefrank.org
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Van Gogh Museum

Easily the world’s largest collection by the renowned artist, this much-visited museum houses 200 paintings by the Dutch master, many of which come from the collection of his brother Theo. The ground floor has an overview of Van Gogh’s career, while the upper three floors are devoted to the different periods of the artist’s work, from early portraits of the Dutch underclass to the luminous landscapes of Auvers. The collection is liberally interspersed with paintings by his influences and contemporaries, such as Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin. Art workshops for children are offered and on Friday nights museum-goers can unwind until 2200 with cocktails and special DJ programmes.

Address: , Museumsplein 6, Amsterdam, 1071 DJ
Telephone: +31 (0)20 570 5200.
Opening times:

Sat-Thur 0900-1700, Fri 0900-2100.

Website: http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Museum Het Rembrandthuis

This museum, a charming three-storey house built in the early 17th century, is where the painter Rembrandt lived for nearly 20 years. It is home to a comprehensive collection of 250 of the artist's etchings and self-portraits. Many visitors find the odds and ends that he accumulated during his lifetime, such as Roman busts and turtle shells, every bit as colourful and illuminating as his paintings. The work of Rembrandt's teachers and students is also on display, which adds depth and dialogue to the master’s own labours.

Address: , Jodenbreestraat 4, Amsterdam, 1011 NK
Telephone: +31 (0)20 520 0400.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.rembrandthuis.nl
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Vondelpark

Just a short walk from Leidseplein, the sprawling Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s ‘green lung’. Named after a celebrated 17th-century poet, Joost van den Vondel (whose statue stands at the east end), the 49-hectare (120 acre) park makes a splendid retreat with ponds, gardens, lakes, playgrounds, a skating rink and a resident colony of parakeets. Paths wind through the varied landscape, inviting you to stroll or cycle in endless loops. Visitors can take a break at the delightful Blue Teahouse, an octagonal structure built in the 1930s, with a brilliant top terrace. During summer, there are regular free concerts in the bandstand and palm readers and buskers sporadically provide entertainment. In good weather, the lawns are taken over by groups barbecuing.

Address: , Vondelpark, Amsterdam, 1071 AA
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/what-to-do/nature/overview/vondelpark
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Het Scheepvaartmuseum

Holland’s maritime museum is housed in the former arsenal, a gleaming white edifice east of Central Station, with a spectacular skylit hall. The main exhibit relates Holland’s centuries-old navigation history through paintings, seagoing artefacts and an ongoing interactive visual display, featuring the sorts of characters who populated the industry in the Golden Age. For ship buffs, one floor is given over to a stunning collection of model schooners. The highlight of a visit, though, has to be the zealously preserved replica of the Dutch East India’s Company’s Amsterdam floating in the quay outside (the actual ship vanished at sea in 1749). Another exhibit, on the Dutch whaling industry, is designed with young visitors in mind.

Address: , Kattengurgerplein 1, Amsterdam, 1018 KK
Telephone: +31 (0)20 523 2222.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1700.

Website: http://www.hetscheepvaartmuseum.nl/?t=English
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Stedelijk Museum

One of the most ambitious museums of its kind, the Stedelijk is devoted to modern art in all its variations, and showcases both the acknowledged masters and current figures. The new wing, with its bathtub-like roof, stands alongside Museumplein in marked contrast to the stately red-brick original, providing a great deal more space for larger-scale pieces. Its airy foyer, bookstore-cum-gift shop and lively restaurant are welcome additions to the complex. Halls are arranged by movements such as pop art, intermedia and nouveau realism, exemplified by the works of such stalwarts as Warhol, De Kooning and Rauschenberg, while temporary exhibitions are just as likely to focus on fashion design or photography as painting and sculpture.

Address: , Museumplein 10, Amsterdam, 1071 DJ
Telephone: +31 (0)20 573 2911.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1800, Fri 1000–2200.

Website: http://www.stedelijk.nl/en
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Eye Film Institute Netherlands

A must for movie buffs, the Eye maintains an archive of 37,000 films and screens pristinely restored prints of cinematic classics at its various festivals. It includes four cinemas and exhibitions covering various aspects of film history, memorabilia and art. On the lower level is a permanent exhibit that incorporates clips from the collection and viewing ‘pods’ where you can curl up with a good flick. Perhaps the main draw, though, is the café with its fabulous views of the river and an endless procession of cruise boats, freighters and ferries. To get here, hop on a free Buiksloterweg ferry behind Central Station.

Address: , IJpromenade 1, Amsterdam, 1031 KT
Telephone: +31 (0)20 589 1400.
Opening times:

Exhibition daily 1000-1900.

Website: http://www.eyefilm.nl/en
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Amsterdam Museum

Housed in a former orphanage that dates from 1524, the museum is filled with paintings, prints and archaeological finds that illustrate how Amsterdam grew from a small medieval town into a modern city. Of the impressive art collection, you’ll find 15 massive group portraits of the Amsterdam Civic Guards in a skylit gallery off Kalverstraat, as well as a fragment of Rembrandt’s ‘The Anatomy Lesson‘ (the rest was destroyed in a fire). Just below the museum is the Begijnhof, a peaceful enclosed square ringed by brick houses dating from as early as the 14th century. It traditionally housed the Beguines, unmarried Catholic women who wanted to serve God but chose not to become nuns.

Address: , Kalverstraat 92, Amsterdam, 1012 PH
Telephone: +31 (0)20 523 1822.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1700.

Website: http://www.amsterdammuseum.nl
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Paleis op de Dam (Koninklijk Paleis) (Royal Palace)

This formidable structure on the central Dam Square was built in 1648 as Amsterdam's city hall. When King Louis Napoleon arrived in 1808, he had it turned into a palace. The large collection of Empire-style furniture, chandeliers and clocks all date from this period. Although the palace is still the official royal residence, the royal family lives in The Hague. However, official functions are still hosted here and the interior has recently been brought back to its best. Paintings and sculptures dating from Holland’s Golden Age grace the halls and archways, with allegorical scenes and figures alluding to the values that underpin Dutch society. The admission price includes an audio tour.

Address: , Dam, Amsterdam,
Telephone: +31 (0)20 522 61 61.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1700 when not being used for official functions.

Website: http://www.paleisamsterdam.nl/en
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Museum Het Schip

‘The Ship’ is considered one of the leading works of the Amsterdam School, an architectural movement that had its heyday in the 1920s. Located in the Spaarndammerbuurt neighbourhood, immediately north of Westerpark, it houses a small museum and makes a good jumping-off point for a tour of the style. The building was designed by one of its pioneers, Michel de Klerk, as low-income housing and its undulating brick facade and fanciful dunce cap of a tower amply demonstrate his feverish imagination. Hourly tours focus on the development of the Amsterdam School with a visit to one of the building’s apartments. The nearby annex and café holds a display of street fixtures, all stylised by designers from the movement.

Address: , Oostzaanstraat 45, Amsterdam, 1013 WG
Telephone: +31 (0)20 686 8595.
Opening times:

Tues-Sun 1100-1700.

Website: http://www.hetschip.nl/en
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Nieuwe Kerk (New Church)

Despite its name, the original church that stood on this site was started in 1408, as the congregation had outgrown the Oude Kerk (Old Church). Of special interest is the 10m (32ft)-high pulpit, which took sculptor Albert Jansz Vinckenbrinck almost 20 years to create. Located next door to the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk has been used for the inauguration of Dutch monarchs since 1815 (Queen Beatrix was crowned here in 1980, and King Willem-Alexander’s wedding to Máxima Zorriguieta Cerruti took place here in 2002). The church is also renowned for noteworthy exhibitions such as World Press Photo. Lunchtime organ concerts are performed here daily from July to mid-September.

Address: , Dam Square, Amsterdam,
Telephone: +31 (0) 20 6268 168
Opening times:

See website for opening times.

Website: http://www.nieuwekerk.nl
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

NEMO Science Museum

Looking like a massive green seagoing vessel rising from the water, the cutting-edge NEMO Science Museum is an unmistakable sight on the banks of the IJ, a short stroll from Central Station. Within the factory-like interior there are plenty of films, workshops and hands-on exhibits to introduce both youngsters and adults to the wonders of science and technology such as blowing giant bubbles, looking at cosmic rays, generating green energy and maybe even creating life. The cascading rooftop terrace is a splendid place to take in the rays on a warm day and in summer it’s outfitted as a beach resort.

Address: , Oosterdok 2, Amsterdam, 1011 VX
Telephone: +31 (0)20 531 3233.
Opening times:

12 Feb-9 Sep: Mon-Sun 1000-1730; 10 Sept-21 Dec: Tues-Sun 1000-1730.

Website: http://www.nemosciencemuseum.nl
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

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Featured Hotels

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The Hoxton

The Hoxton flung its decorative doors open in 2015, shaking up the city’s mid-range hotel scene in the process. Occupying a former mayoral residence on Herengracht, the hip and handsome Hoxton is an establishment of effortless cool. Rooms retain a 17th century charm (embroidered rugs, paneled walls, wooden floors, etc.), but with mod cons (digital radios, power showers and the like). There’s a fine bar and restaurant downstairs and checkout is a hangover-friendly 1200.

Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam

As a former shipping house, this five-star hotel still showcases its maritime heritage with its nautical themed stained-glass windows, original ship lanterns, and statues depicting Poseidon and Fortuna overlooking the hotel entrance. With 165 plush rooms, a wellness centre boasting two saunas, a steam room, heated swimming pool and fitness room, plus a stunningly decorated bar overlooking the charming Amsterdam canals, the Amrâth offers its guests a luxurious stay in historical surroundings.

ClinkNOORD

When Amsterdam’s shipbuilding industry went to the wall, the Noord district became a ghost of past glories. Happily, the area is in the process of regeneration, which ClinkNOORD is helping pioneer. The hostel opened to much fanfare in 2015, taking over a former Royal Dutch Shell testing lab. Rooms are a bit bland, but the hostel is good value, affable and only a short (and free) ferry ride from Central Station.

Hotel Prinsenhof

About the finest budget option available, the Prinsenhof is a homey establishment in an 18th-century canal house. Overlooking a picture-postcard section of the Prinsengracht, it stands in the pleasant southern canal belt, a quick bike ride from the nightlife centre of Rembrandtplein. Simply furnished with painted ceiling beams, the 11 guest rooms are quite cosy, though only nine are equipped with bathrooms. At these prices, they're booked far in advance.

The Dylan

Located in the western canal belt this small boutique hotel is the epitome of style and sophistication. It's housed in a former 17th-century theatre which in its heyday staged concerts conducted by Antonio Vivaldi. Today the minimalist east-meets-west designer décor of the 40 individually designed guest rooms combined with an intimate courtyard garden spectacular canal views efficient staff and an excellent restaurant ensures a luxurious stay.

Hotel de l'Europe

Standing majestically on the banks of the River Amstel, this grand old dame is still the address in town for lavish Old World luxury. From the 19th-century paintings adorning the public areas to the plush appointed guest rooms, this modern hotel maintains an old-fashioned charm. Hotel de l'Europe features the restaurant Bord'Eau which was awarded two Michelin stars, two bars, a brasserie, a café, meeting rooms and a spa.