AMSTERDAM ACTIVITIES: MUSEUMS, GARDENS AND THE CANAL
Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Amsterdam, Netherlands has made it part of it's mission to be a leader in sustainability. It has been rated as one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world by wired, velosock and the world atlas.
Amsterdam is involved in the zero emissions cities program and is a leader in electric transportation. I spent one week in Amsterdam and was in shock of how many bicycles there were. Amsterdam is a city that you could easily explore on your feet, bicycle, or public transit.
PLACES TO SEE
NEMO Science Museum: If you are traveling with or without kids, this museum offers exhibitions that are extremely interesting and fun! This interactive science museum, made me feel curious and excited to learn. One of the best parts of the museum is that once you have explored it all and reached the top, there is a cafe with an amazing view of the city and stairs all the way down.
Van Gogh Museum: The Van Gogh museum was one of my favorites. I did the guided audio tour and was able to get through it in a couple of hours. I am not a huge fan of staying in museums all day, so I went with a mission of seeing my top three favorite paintings; sunflowers (1889), Almond Blossom (1890), and Laziness (La Paresse, 1896).
Rijksmuseum: If you are a museum lover and are looking for a place to stay at from open to close, then the Rijks is the place for you! There are endless rooms of masterpieces to explore with Rembrandt being my fave. The Rijks is located near the Van Gogh museum, so if you have time you may even be able to do both in one day!
ANNE FRANK HOUSE
Visiting the Anne Frank House was an emotional roller coaster to say the least. It is an odd feeling being somewhere where so much history happened. The Anne Frank house, although it is a museum, felt different than the museums mentioned above...so much so that it needed it's own bullet.
In the self guided audio tour you learn about Anne's history, the house and the secret annex where her family lived. Towards the end of the tour, there is a special display of Anne's original diary with excerpts throughout the room. The Anne Frank house was truly amazing. The people who worked on the museum were able to evoke so much emotion in every inch of the house. If you go to Amsterdam, you cannot miss this piece of history.
About 40 minutes outside of Amsterdam, Keukenhof is a stunning and grande tulip garden. Keukenhof opens up every spring and is covered in a variety of colors and styles of tulips. Throughout the gardens, there are art pieces and exhibitions to explore.
Each year the garden chooses a theme, with 2019's being Flower Power. This theme guides the exhibitions and color scheme throughout. The most interesting thing about Keukenhof was learning that in the 1600s when tulips first became known in Dutch society, they were a commodity and sold for what now would be thousands of dollars.
The tulip mania phase of history included tulips of all different solid colors. When they became more popularized, some of the tulips were infected with a virus causing one flower to have multiple streaks of colors throughout it. This became a major high demand export product out of the Netherlands, thus causing the cost of the flower to rise.
Do you drink beer? Are you interested in brewing? Do you like to have fun? Have you answered yes to any of these questions? If so, then check out the Heineken Experience!
The Heineken Experience is a self guided tour of the first Heineken brewery. It takes you through the brewing process and provides some history of the organization. The best part, the entire tour feels like a party. Once you get to the top of the building, there is a rooftop bar providing Heineken, and a live DJ!
The Canal Cruise in Amsterdam was such a fun activity. It was a great opportunity to kick back from all the walking around the city and just take in the view. This was one of the simplest things I did, but one that I think of often.
Is there something that stood out to you from your visit to Amsterdam? Or more you are interested in learning about? Comment below!
P.S. the best food you can eat while in Amsterdam are toasties! I ate them almost for every meal in one week and have absolutely no regrets about it.