Marco Polo’s list of the top 10 things not to be missed in Amsterdam! Our best recommendations – from the top down – help you to plan your tour of Amsterdam’s most important sights.
1. CANAL TOURS
Hundreds of canals, lined with old trees and magnificent merchant mansions, traverse the old city. Amsterdam seems to have been made to be enjoyed from the water.
Rembrandt, Vermeer, et al. – the Rijks museum is one of Europe’s greatest art centres. It reopened in 2013 after ten years of renovation and it once again shines in all its original glory.
3. VAN GOGH MUSEUM
It was almost impossible to sell Vincent van Gogh’s works during his lifetime but today his art is sold for record sums. The world’s finest collection of his works can be found in Amsterdam.
Atmospheric architecture, a village ambiance and picturesque views set the scene in the former working-class Jordaan district. Top tip: the hidden hofjes.
5. ANNE FRANK HUIS
From the outside, it is hard to imagine the drama that took place behind the facade of this merchant house on Prinsengracht. Today this impressive place is a sobering reminder of the fate of Anne Frank, who lived here in hiding for two years.
6. DE WALLEN
Prostitutes, coffeeshops and the oldest buildings in the city: every city has its red-light district where the normal rules of society no longer apply – but nowhere else is it quite like Amsterdam.
7. STEDELIJK MUSEUM
With the fascinating, sophisticated works on display, the Stedelijk – the city’s museum of modern art – makes sure that lovers of art are kept up to date. A futuristic new extension was opened in 2013.
Locals and tourists alike flock to the city’s green lung to enjoy all of its attractive recreational facilities, including theatre performances, a rose garden, fountains and cafés.
9. HET SCHEEPVAARTMUSEUM
The 17th and 18th centuries were the golden age of Amsterdam’s merchant fleet and its history is brought to life in the exhibits of this maritime museum. A tall ship replica is also moored outside the museum.
This is one of the city’s first Protestant churches and is also Rembrandt’s final resting place. The tower houses Amsterdam’s heaviest bell and also offers wonderful panoramic views.
Buy the Amsterdam Marco Polo Spiral Guide.