European Summer Travel: Our Top 12 List for Amsterdam

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I used to live in Amsterdam, long before I started this site. One of these days I’ll dig up my old notes and do a meandering post about what might still be relevant and open while walking down my own memory lane. The below list is a more updated list from a traveler’s perspective, rather than from local, as I was at the time. Some things don’t change however, like riding a bike through Amsterdam’s many alleys and narrow roads and over its exquistely beutiful bridges.

 Here’s your OH so do not miss out on list:

Rent a Bike: This is a must do. You can get nearly everywhere in Amsterdam on a bike and while the weather might not always be grand, take it in stride and cycle rain or shine. If you don’t rent a bike and see the city that way, you won’t truly understand the culture of the place. Rental bikes are available all over town, from inconspicuous Dutch omafietsen (also known as “Dutch bikes”), to ones that clearly hail from a rental company.

Rijksmuseum: Rembrandt baby, Rembrandt. You can’t go to Amsterdam and not take in the best the artist created. His classic De Nachtwacht can be found at the museum as well as thousands of other masterworks that will leave you in awe. There’s also the Rembrandt House Museum (Museum het Rembrandthuis), whose restored interior has tried to replicate the artist’s home when he lived there.

The Van Gogh Museum: Since he’s one of my favorite artists from that period, I’d be amiss if I left this one off the list and frankly, how can you visit Amsterdam without hanging out with some of Van Gogh’s best works.

The Stedelijk Museum: Think Erezaal (“Hall of Honor”), an area full of mind blowing work by  Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Yves Klein and other amazing artists of the time.

Canals: You must take a water-borne tour of Amsterdam’s fabulous canals, which were declared a UNESCO monument in 2010. While you’re on the tour, imagine the canals during 17th-century Amsterdam. A l’il history: Canals were used as the main method of transportation. Since that time, they still have 165 of its historic canals, more than any other city in the country.  There are plenty of boats you can take btw, including any of the open-top boats from the St. Nicolaas Boat Club or you can charter your own boat.

Anne Frank House: I love her writings and have been to the Anne Frank house several times over the years, although it’s been awhile. Don’t go to Amsterdam and give this a miss. The house will take you back in time, to where she hid with her parents, sister and three others as she wrote the famous diary that we all know her for. Those who harbored her family were part of the Dutch Resistance movement and visiting it will make you reflect on the horrors of the time.

Verzetsmuseum: This museum is voted the best historical museum in the Netherlands, which documents the tireless attempts of the resistance members to thwart the Nazis.

Keukenhof: Think Amsterdam and Holland and you think tulips right? Just outside Amsterdam, the fields turn into carpets of tulips and bright lime greens. It almost looks fairy like and hard to believe at times, the sight is so beautiful. Keukenhof is the world-famous bulb flower park in Lisse (35 to 40 minutes by bus from the airport.

Red Light District aka De Wallen: I used to ride my bike through here nearly every day.  It is also referred to as De Wallen, where you’ll find red-lit windows where sex workers hang out.

Chinatown for Eats: Not far from De Wallen is a number of diverse eateries in Amsterdam Chinatown.

The Jewish Historical Museum: This museum will bring you into the history of the Holocaust, which destroyed Jewish communities in the Netherlands, and how these communities have rebuilt themselves in its wake.

Weed & A Coffee: Everyone knows that Amsterdam is known for its reputable quality weed and/or hash and oh yeah, it’s actually legal. You can find it in numerous coffeeshops nad is worth the experience, at least once…

Photo credits: www.viator. com (top). Anne Frank (from telegraph.co.uk), red light district -beersandbeans.

Renee Blodgett
Founder
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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