Anyone planning a European tour should definitely set aside some time to see Amsterdam. For those who may be wondering, Amsterdam is still the most travelled-to destination in the Netherlands, as well as an extremely popular location for those on a European holiday.
Historic and cultural attractions
The infamous Red Light District and legalized marijuana probably come to mind first when one thinks of Amsterdam, but in reality, the city has much more to offer than these unusual features. This cosmopolitan region is home to many cultural and historic attractions, beautiful monuments and other works of art, as well as a cheerful and friendly population of both Dutch and English speaking natives.
The Heineken Brewery
The Heineken Brewery in the Pijp neighborhood's northern edge is a favorite attraction of both locals and tourists, and has been for many decades. It ceased to be a working brewery in 1988, when a bigger factory was opened in another part of town. However, tours through the facility are still offered to the public, and visitors find this attraction fun and interesting.
Amsterdam's Old Centre
The city's Old Centre is comprised of myriad canal rings, giving one the feeling of peace, freedom, and space. Walking or boating through these canals is an ideal way to explore the area and enjoy its impressive scenery. Anther way to take in what is fondly referred to as "the Venice of the North" is to indulge in a hike or bicycle ride along one of the city's numerous, well-maintained trails.
Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum boasts over 550 sketches and 200 paintings showing Van Gogh in all his moods. This collection is the largest of its kind in the world and showcases not only Van Gogh's art, but also hundreds of letters by the late artist, written to his relatives and close friends.
A narrow, vaulted passageway makes its way to the quiet and charming Begijnhof Garden. The latter is surrounded by the city's old homes. Guided tours are available for those who want to learn more about the Amsterdam's mesmerising history.
Out of the mainstream
Yes, prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, and as such, has naturally become a curiosity for tourists and holiday travelers. The coffee shops in Amsterdam are an equal draw for tourists and holidaymakers, as these establishments are allowed to sell small amounts of marijuana which can be smoked inside the shop in certain areas. This obviously attracts certain tourists as does the mysterious and alluring red light district.
Amsterdam is an intriguing and entertaining city filled with outstanding architecture and museums, as well as the aforementioned nontraditional attractions. Those travelling through Europe should put this interesting and culturally diverse area high on their list of "must-sees."