If you’re traveling to Amsterdam and the Red Light District is the only site you wish to see, then hopefully this post will inspire you to seek out more of what Amsterdam has to offer. Although it is a relatively small city, it is packed with loads of awesome stuff to do and see. Here are five things that you definitely don’t want to miss out on!
1. The Anne Frank House
This is the house where Anne’s family and four others hid from the Nazis during World War II. The eight of them hid in the secret annex for just over two years before being arrested and deported to concentration camps. It was during those two years that Anne feverishly wrote her thoughts and frustrations in her journal. After the war, Anne’s father was the only one to survive. When he returned he was given Anne’s diary and later published it. After its success, the annex was turned into a museum that chronicled the family’s life in hiding.
If you want to get a taste of the history that flows through Amsterdam, then this should be your first stop. It is a very somber experience, but one that is well worth it. Walking through the footsteps of those who had once been in hiding, will make you feel as if you are walking through history.
If you plan on visiting, make sure you buy tickets in advance. The lines can wrap around the block and you could be stuck waiting for hours for a chance to get inside.
2. The Pancake Bakery
If there is one thing the Dutch are known for, it’s their pancakes. While thinner and larger than their American counterparts, Dutch pancakes are a force to be reckoned with. They can be either savory or sweet. Topped with classics such as syrup and powdered sugar or mixed up with tomato and pesto.
You can choose from a set list of pancakes or you can create your own. The possibilities are endless. The menu also does not just stop at pancakes. Sit down and enjoy some of the biggest omelets you will ever feast your eyes on.
The Pancake Bakery has been open since 1973, so it’s safe to say that they know what they’re doing. One of the greatest parts about this restaurant is that you can stand and watch the pancakes being made! It’s dinner and a show!
3. The Heineken Experience
Heineken beer as been around for over a hundred years. In 2014, they celebrated their 150th anniversary. They are the world’s largest international brewer. So why wouldn’t you want to visit their ‘museum’?
The Heineken Experience was started in 1991 when the former Amsterdam brewery was converted into a museum. It is a very interactive museum, with challenges and activities for all who enter. There are loads of fun things to do. The official tour ends with a beer tasting (who doesn’t love free beer?). After the “tour” part is over, you are welcome to sit in the Heineken lounge while you enjoy your beverage. Then you can move to the international bar, for more free beer!
If you truly enjoy Heineken, then this is the place for you! Learn about their history and their brewing process. You can even create your own custom bottle. It’s an ‘experience’, that is hard to pass up.
4. The Amsterdam Cheese Museum
Cheese. You either love it, or you hate it. If you’re a cheese fanatic, then you want to make room on your itinerary for the Amsterdam Cheese Museum.
While you learn about the history of cheese making from the trusted cheese guides, you’ll be able to taste many of the famous cheeses that the Dutch have to offer. You can also walk through cheese making history by dressing up like a traditional Dutch cheese farmer.
If you planning on dropping in, make sure to visit our website for a discount voucher. No matter when you plan on going, it’s bound to be a ‘gouda’ time.
5. The Van Gogh Museum
Sticking with the theme of having something for everyone, this one is for the art buff. This museum is special, it has the world’s largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh. You can sneak a peak at his earlier works and see his art transform before your own eyes.
Aside from looking at his artworks, you are also able to catch a glimpse into Van Goghs personal life. With letters and stories from his brother and artist friends. You are able to see how other artists influenced his life’s work. It’s a look into an artist’s life that is unlike any other.
If you find yourself near the museum (after your visit, of course), be sure to stop by the ‘I Amsterdam’ sign for a fun photo op!
When visiting any of these places, or any other attractions in Amsterdam, make sure you buy your tickets ahead of time. The lines for tickets can be unruly depending on what time of day you go. It is better to be prepared than to waste half of your vacation in a queue!