Amsterdam mainly celebrates April 27th in Orange. The king’s birthday is traditionally celebrated with a folk festival. But the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands attracts visitors all year round.
Amsterdam is best explored by boat. The canal system, which is more than 100 kilometers long, was created in the 17th century when the city was one of the richest port cities in the world. Even today, these canals are used in a variety of ways, by commuters and tourists alike. The numerous houseboats are also legendary.
Free ride for cyclists
Anyone who dreads the water should take a bike. With more than 800,000 bicycles, Amsterdam has about as many bikes as inhabitants. And as in almost every major European city, two-wheelers in Amsterdam are much faster and less stressful.
The gables, which are as numerous as they are varied, adorn the houses along the canals. At the top, you can usually still see the devices for pulleys, which were used to bring goods and supplies into the rather narrow houses.
The range of art treasures in Amsterdam is overwhelming. The Rijksmuseum houses one of the world’s most important collections of paintings by Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Hals, Vermeer, and Sten. Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” has also been on display here since 2013. The painting had been restored for years.
Next to the Rijksmuseum, there is also a house for the works of Vincent van Gogh at the Museumsplein. More than 700 paintings and drawings by the Impressionists can be admired here. As a tribute to his favorite motif, 125,000 sunflowers were planted in 2015 for the opening of the new entrance building.
Anne Frank House
The house on Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht served as a hiding place for the Jewess Anne Frank for two years during World War II. Her diary testifies to her will to survive in the face of Nazi persecution. It has been translated into over 60 languages. The museum has been one of the most important sights in Amsterdam since the 1960s.
In addition to history and art treasures, Amsterdam is particularly characterized by the joie de vivre of its citizens. The city regularly becomes a stage for freedom, permissiveness, and celebration. May 5th, the day of liberation from the National Socialists, is also a welcome occasion to celebrate extensively on the streets, bridges, and canals.
Trucks also have a permanent place in Amsterdam. In the red light district, there is the oldest sex museum, the Temple of Venus, and the world’s first prostitution museum, the Red Light Secrets (pictured).
Permissiveness in Amsterdam also includes the coffee shops, where the sale of so-called soft drugs is tolerated. Word has also gotten around among tourists. Some come here to legally buy and use marijuana.
Everywhere in Amsterdam, you will find modern buildings that form an attractive contrast to traditional architecture. The Lex van Delden Bridge and the exclusively wooden residential buildings in the Buiksloterham district are famous. Designed by Renzo Piano, the science museum NEMO (pictured) embodies both respects for seafaring history and a glimpse into the future.