Planning a vacation in Amsterdam is a decision many people make each year. The city has much to offer travelers including wonderful weather, important historical sites, and magnificent museums. Of all the various tourist attractions in Amsterdam, there are a few sites that no traveler should miss.
1. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum was founded in 1973 and houses the world’s largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s works. It is the most visited museum in the Netherlands, and is in the top 50 most visited museums worldwide. Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, including Sunflowers, The Yellow House, Bedroom in Arles, and Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, are on display in the museum. No trip to Amsterdam would be complete for any art lover without visiting this museum.
2. Anne Frank House
The publication of Anne Frank’s diary put a very human face on one of the most horrific events in history. The building where her family and their friends were hidden during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands still stands today as a monument to the girl’s tragic life. The diary of the young girl’s experience during The Holocaust created worldwide interest in the location, and the house began to get visitors shortly after the release of Frank’s diary. The house is now a museum which receives close to one million visitors every year. Her original red and green checkered diary is on display, and visitors can enter the hiding space which is accessible through the swinging bookcase which hid the door to the secret annex.
The building that is home to the Rijksmuseum was built in 1885 and is a beautiful piece of architecture. It can be considered a work of art, itself. The museum is home to over 8,000 historical objects and important works of art by artists such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. Some of the world’s most famous paintings can be seen in the museum, including Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, and a very important self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh which was painted in Paris shortly after Van Gogh’s introduction to the impressionist style.
4. De Gooyer Windmill
De Gooyer was built in the 1600s and is one of the last windmills standing in Amsterdam. The mill was originally used to grind corn and was last used for this purpose during the First World War. Its city location makes it one of the most easily recognized windmills in the world. While the mill is no longer functioning, and visitors are not allowed inside, De Gooyer remains a beloved tourist destination due to the attached brewery. The brewery is famous for its pub, selection of organic beers, and large terrace where customers can enjoy lunch, or an early dinner, with a finely crafted beer of his or her choice.
5. Rembrandtplein – Rembrandt Square
Named after the artist Rembrandt, who owned a home near the square, Rembrandtplein was originally a set of defensive walls. The area soon became a location of sale and trade. In 1852, a large statue of Rembrandt was placed near the center of the square. It is the oldest piece of free-standing outdoor art in the city. Today, Rembrandt Square remains a center of shopping, clubs, and nightlife. On Rembrandt’s 400th birthday, a bronze sculpture representation of his most famous work, The Night Watch, was erected in front of the statue of the artist. While the bronze sculptures were displayed in other cities for three years starting in 2009, they have since been returned to their original spot and remain there today.
Don’t let your trip to Amsterdam fall flat by missing the best of the best. Reading up on your vacation location should always be the first step. Do the research, plan accordingly, and have a fantastic time.