The capital of the Netherlands was born as a fishing village at the beginning of the 12th century. However, today it is one of the most important cities in Europe from a financial and cultural point of view.If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam, pay attention, we show you what you should not miss.
Some curiosities about Amsterdam
Amsterdam, like Brussels, the capital of Belgium, has been the scene of major war conflicts between great European powers. During the 16th century, the Flanders War between Spain and the Netherlands took place, which ended with the independence of the latter. It was also a place of confrontation with Napoleonic France.Amsterdam - JeniFoto
Later, in the 17th century Amsterdam became one of the richest cities in the world due to its proximity to the sea. He managed to establish an influential trade network in his port until he became the most important in Europe. Also for being one of the most tolerant cities with regard to religious matters.
Further, Its historic center is one of the largest in Europe. It was built mostly during the seventeenth century, along with a series of semicircular canals being below sea level. For this abundance of water it is colloquially known as «Venice of the North», in memory of the Italian city.
What to see in a trip to Amsterdam
We pointed out that the historic center of the Dutch capital is one of the largest that exists and, as it is such an important city, There are many places that we can recommend you to visit on your trip to Amsterdam. Here are some of them:
1. Dam SquareDam Square - Eric Gevaert
It is the most important square in Amsterdam, since the city was created from it.It is surrounded by monuments and historical buildings, such as the Royal Palace and the National Monument. The latter is a white stone pillar built in 1956 in memory of the victims of World War II.
Other highlights are the Nieuwe Kerk, a 15th century church, and the Wax Museum Madame Tussaud. As for the Royal Palace, it was built between 1648 and 1655, in neoclassical style. It was used as a town hall and there are currently numerous official events.
Further, Dam Square is an important meeting point between the most important streets, such as Damrak and Rokin, Central Station and Munttoren. Very close to the northwest is the beginning of the Red Light District.
2. Oude KerkOude Kerk - Inu
It is the oldest building in Amsterdam. It was created from a wooden church, of which the vault is preserved, considered the largest in Europe. The boards are dated in the year 1390.
It is located in the district of Wallen, in the Red Light District of Amsterdam and next to the Basilica of St. Nicholas, it is one of the most beautiful churches in the city.
3. Red Light DistrictRed Light District - Steve Photography
It is perhaps the best known neighborhood in Amsterdam. It is also located downtown, north of Dam Square. Its popularity is due to prostitution businesses that fill its streets. Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands since 1911.
The most striking are those shop windows in which prostitutes offer their services and generate excitement and interest in passers-by and tourists, who come to visit the neighborhood with curiosity.
4. Leidseplein SquareLeidseplein - Patricia Hofmeester / Shutterstock.com
Leidseplein is one of the most attractive and lively areas of Amsterdam. This is because it is an area full of bars and restaurants where you can enjoy the best dishes of the city. In addition, street performers, jugglers, musicians or pampering perform nearby. Ideally, you can enjoy them from a terrace, especially in summer.
In addition, the square has discos, pubs and the Holland Casino, next to cinemas and theaters. So, It is one of the main leisure and activity centers of Amsterdam, although it is also one of the most crowded areas.
If you decide to visit it, it is important that you know that one of the streets leading to this square, Leidsestraat, has many fashion stores, in addition to souvenir shops.
5. Anne Frank HouseAnne Frank House - Roman Yanushevsky / Shutterstock.com
It is one of the most significant buildings in the history of Amsterdam. In it lived Anne Frank, a German girl of Jewish descent who for months remained hidden from the Nazis. Distressing months that he collected in an unforgettable diary.
If you want to soak up the history of Amsterdam during World War II, it is the right place. The visit is very well planned and guided. During it, You can see Ana's father's store, the rooms where they lived during the hiding place and the offices of those who helped them during their confinement.
Definitely, the visit to the house of Anne Frank will make your hair stand on end and feel for a moment what the family could live during those years of confinement. A must on any trip to Amsterdam.
«I don't see the misery that exists, but the beauty that still remains.»
6. Van Gogh MuseumVan Gogh Museum - Wladyslaw / commons.wikimedia.org
It is one of the most visited museums in Amsterdam. It is located in the Museum Square, south of the city. Each year it receives about two million visits. Inside, the largest collection of paintings by Dutch painter Vicent van Gogh is preserved.
In its facilities you will find more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and letters of the artist. The museum has two floors and the works are arranged chronologically, so that you can observe the evolution of the artist.
These are some brushstrokes that we can give you of the places to visit on any trip to Amsterdam. But there is more. We must also see the Spui square, the National Museum of Holland, the Westerkerk, Vondelpark or the Rembrandt museum. All without forgetting a walk through the canals. Don't think about it anymore and, heading to Amsterdam!