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Amsterdam attractions

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Top 5 things to do in Amsterdam

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Science Center NEMO
#1
Science Center NEMO
NEMO Science Museum is a science center in Amsterdam, located at the Oosterdok. It was built on top of the IJ-tunnel that connects the center of Amsterdam with the north of the city. The striking building, designed by Italian architect and engineer, Renzo Piano, opened its doors in 1997. Some say the shape of the building mimics the appearance of a large boat, but others suggest that it's actually a reflection of the tunnel it was built upon.
The Upside Down
#2
The Upside Down
The Upside Down is the biggest Instagram museum in Europe – but it's more than just a museum. It's part amusement park, part club, part magic mushroom trip! Get your friends together and remember to charge your phones; you'll need battery power for all the photos you'll take in this mind-melting world of fun. Explore the boundaries of your own creativity, trick your brain and tickle your senses. The Upside Down is located at Europaboulevard in Amsterdam, just a short tram ride or cycle from central Amsterdam.
Van Gogh Museum
#3
Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum displays over 200 of Vincent van Gogh's works, including landscapes, still lifes and drawings, and letters. By displaying them alongside works from Van Gogh's contemporaries, viewers get real insights into his life and work. The museum itself is comprised of two buildings. The main building, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, Joan van Dillen, and J. van Tricht, opened in 1973. The second building, designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa was added in 1999. Located in Amsterdam's Museumplein (along with the Stedelijk and Rijksmuseum), the Van Gogh Museum is one of the most-visited museums in the Netherlands.
Johan Cruijff ArenA
#4
Johan Cruijff ArenA
Amsterdam's Ajax ArenA is so awesome that they spell it with a capital 'A' at the front and the back of the name. It's the largest stadium in the whole country and has a retractable roof. When not being used for Ajax (or national team) games, big ticket concerts are sometimes held here. Artists including Madonna, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, and The Rolling Stones have all played gigs here.
Rijksmuseum
#5
Rijksmuseum
The National Museum of the Netherlands, or the Rijksmuseum, has been housed on this location since 1885. It recently underwent a ten-year, €375 million renovation. The Rijksmuseum has over 5,000 paintings (including Rembrandt's Night Watch) and has an emphasis on the Dutch Golden Age. But it's not just paintings – there are sculptures, antiques, collections of clothing and weapons, and one of the finest actively-used libraries you'll ever see. The Dutch architect P.J.H. Cuypers designed this elegant building, and even put himself in the design as one of the statues on the roof.
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Reasons to visit Amsterdam

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All things to do in Amsterdam

Planning your Amsterdam visit

Language

Dutch and English

Currency

Euro (€)

Dialing code

+31

Time zone

Central European Time (CET)

Get on your bike

Buy a one-hour or multi-day card at any metro or train station (or on the trams). Alternatively, rent a bike and join the locals as they speed about on two wheels (just watch out for trams if you’ve been coffeeshopping). Ride around Vondelpark, head out to the Amsterdamse Bos, or just get lost touring the pretty sidestreets. No one wears helmets, and scooters use the cycle lanes too, so be careful!

Rain or shine?

It’s pretty rainy and windy in Amsterdam from October to March, thanks to the flatness of these lowlands. Those are particularly good ‘museum months’. May through September often has blue skies and sunshine, and the vibe of the city changes completely. It seems that everyone is in shorts and summer dresses, cruising the canals, having a park BBQ or hitting the road and going to enjoy sea of tulips in Keukenhof.

Get in a food mood

What’s actually in a kroket or bitterballen is a mystery – but think meaty, creamy, beef broth inside a breadcrumbed suit and you’re close. You’ll find the same selection in most bars as they taste great with beer. Also, most coffees are served with a (small) biscuit on the side. PROTIP: Eat lots of kaas (cheese); the Dutch have been making cheese since 800 BC, so by now they’re pretty good at it.

What to do in Amsterdam for 3 days

Rijksmuseum

Visit the Rijksmuseum and be astonished, not only by the museum’s enormous collection, but also by the architecture of the building. Get drawn in by the beautiful stained windows and gothic like ceiling structures. Once inside the large collection of paintings dating from the 16th to the 21st century will amaze you. The top piece of the collection is without a doubt “The Night Watch”. Thus, all the more reason to make your stay in Amsterdam complete with a visit to the Rijksmuseum.

Canals

If you are visiting Amsterdam you will want to spend some time exploring the history of the canals. The 165 canals define the city’s landscape and were recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2010. The best way to explore the canals is by taking a scenic sightseeing cruise, which will take you through the heart of the city. Listen to the audio commentary and learn about the rich heritage while admiring Amsterdam’s highlights including the royal palace and the Anne Frank House.

The city

Amsterdam is much more than a city chock-full of museums, souvenir shops, the red light district and coffee shops. After a day of visiting museums, enjoying concerts or comedy shows, walk through the city and broaden your cultural view of Amsterdam. Venture into the Nine Streets or Jordaan to see some cute boutiques or go to the largest park in Amsterdam, the Vondelpark, and enjoy the relaxing scenery. Finish your day with a visit to De Pijp, a vibrant neighborhood with lots of cafes and terraces where you can enjoy a bite or drink.

Heineken Experience

While you are at De Pijp, find your way to the Heineken Experience, in the former brewery of Heineken. Learn everything there is to know about this world famous beer brewery, watch the brewing process of this delicious beer and enjoy a small beer tasting lesson. After being educated in the production of Heineken beer go to the bar, where you will get a free Heineken beer to finish your Heineken Experience visit. It is advisable to go in the morning, as it will get really busy during the day.

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