The most hedonistic and liberal European city is also an important air hub, with several flights arriving and departing from the modern airport of Schiphol. If you are on business, simply passing through the city or exploring this side of Europe, be sure to dedicate at least 48 hours in Amsterdam.
It rains outside and it’s windy. Typical Dutch scenery. But although your hotel is a charm, let it be a bit of laziness and let’s start the day.
Walk down Rokin Street, watching the sidewalks and streets move, with trams, bicycles and cars scrambling for every inch of the asphalt. Make a small detour by taking a hop on the pleasant Begijnhof, a collection of historic houses built around a medieval courtyard.
The medieval Begijnhof courtyard houses a cloister and a church and today is a quiet island in the Dutch capital
Then continue your walk to the height of Dam square, the main square of the city and which houses various monuments and historic buildings. It is there that the Royal Palace and the National Monument, obelisco in honor of the Dutch soldiers of World War II, for example.
Turn left, and go to Anne Frank House. Meet here the moving story of the Jewish teenager who lived in Nazi-occupied Holland. For years she and her family hid in this exact property, until they were discovered and sent to extermination camps, where she would perish. The portrait of his youth present in his diaries is a powerful testimony of that period.
Anne Frank House
The house where Anne Frank’s family hid from the Nazis during World War II is now a museum in Amsterdam
The house where the Anne Frank family hid from the Nazis during World War II is now a museum in Amsterdam.
For a bit of leisure, walk carelessly along the Prinse, Keizer and Heren canals, looking at the facade of the bourgeois houses and their huge windows. Take a break in the pleasant Café Luxembourg for a quick lunch.
From there, take tram # 2 to Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam’s number one museum, and its venerable art galleries. For a period of one hundred years, Dutch society consumed paintings madly, banking the career of masters such as Jan Steen, Carel Fabritius, Jan Vermeer and Frans Hals. None, however, was greater and more prolific than Rembrandt van Rijn. His masterpiece The Night Watch is not only the main attraction of the museum, but also a symbol of the country’s art. The museum has opened its doors for more than 200 years and, as well as being one of the focal points of Dutch art and history, it has a privileged location: the Museumplein, the museum square, one of the grandest and photogenic places in the capital.
After this intensive class of art history, we will address more enjoyable subjects in the Heineken Experience, located in the first brewery built by the brand. It’s not the best beer the Dutch can produce, but it’s a fun, even if not drunk ride.
Taking advantage of the relaxed atmosphere, if your English is very sharp, do not miss the fun show of the Chicago Boom Troupe. Too much improvisation, quick reasoning, and cynical and scathing humor will make him ill. You can choose to dine right here or in the various good houses around the Leidseplein square. From here, the beauties go to bed and those dedicated to the Red Light District.
Start the day well with freshly baked breads, a wonderful mature gouda cheese (all crumpled and yellow, the youngsters are young and bland) and a glass of Dutch cow’s milk (which they call the Friesian cattle) with Java coffee, which the Dutch helped to popularize the world.
Work out your legs at the Vondelpark, the largest and most interesting public park in the city. Not enough well-kept gardens, there is a microcosm of local society, full of late hippies, boys and girls playing hockey in the grass and young mothers taking their offspring to take a sunbath. Enjoy cycling around and enjoy the cultural attractions. And if you find along the way a vendor of stroopwaffle, a biscuit stuffed with caramel, stop, buy several and enjoy yourself.