By: J. Ebrahim
Amsterdam--the land of clogs, tulips, windmills and the famed impressionist painter Van Gogh--is a melting pot of cultures, offering something for everyone all year around. Whether you are taking a tram, bicycle or double decker train, here's a couple of things that you should definitely try so you can have the most rewarding experience in your time visiting the homely city:
1. The Van Gogh Museum
It is located in the Museumplein and offers you the opportunity to see the finished masterpieces of one of the most influential figures in the art community, alongside their inspirations and process. The museum presents official handwritten letters sent to many of his various close relatives and friends, and rough drafts of the famed 200 paintings of his that are exposed in the gallery. To make this experience even more enriching, try watching the Oscar nominated film ‘Loving Vincent’, which is based on the letters leading up to to his death that are exposed in the museum.
2. The Anne Frank House
Explore the Prinsengracht house of one of the most renowned historical figures of all time, Anne Frank. The family house, which hid the Frank family when they fled the atrocities in Germany in WW2, was turned into a museum after they were discovered and sent to concentration camps in 1944. Anne Frank’s father survived and found Anne’s diary, in which she described her experiences and feelings hiding in that house for many years, which he then published as “The Diary of Anne Frank”.
3. Rent a bicycle
If you really want the full experience that Amsterdam offers, then join 58% of the population and rent a bicycle to explore the city! The narrow and busy streets of Amsterdam are hard to maneuver, and this way is definitely easier!
4. Go on a canal cruise
If a bike tour is not really your thing, then taking a Canal Cruise should be perfect. Take time to immerse yourself in the beauty of the sunset, the unique doll like buildings and the fairy lit bridges in the many canals in Amsterdam.
5. Visit the I Am Amsterdam sign
Your Amsterdam visit would not be complete without visiting the reputable I Am Amsterdam sign, possibly the most renowned “monument” in the city. The sign moves around the city, so be sure to search for its whereabouts before taking the opportunity!
6. Eat some Stroopwafels
A must-do when visiting Amsterdam is to eat the decadent waffles filled with caramel syrup more commonly known to locals as Stroopwafels. Be sure to experiment, as these can be eaten as a snack, side to your morning tea, or even as dinner if you’re up for it!