The capital city of the Netherlands is rife with scenic parks, gardens, museums, and experiences that combine one or more activities. For instance, some of the Dutch canal cruises offer multi-cuisine food alongside the opportunity to sightseeing. Find about all that and more in this itinerary. When on a trip to the heart of Amsterdam, these are the must-see places.
The hundreds of canals have been playing a key role in the trade of the city. Mixing the static and the moving, the Dutch canals have been boosting the economy since the 17th Century. There are numerous companies situated along the Dutch canals, but tourism also contributes to the economic development. So much so, that the canal cruises here even include museums as a starting or ending point or mostly along the way. The fact that sightseers get to visit museums while canal cruising adds to the experience, as the paintings in the museums and Dutch landscape have a lot in common.
There is no way one could even land in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and do not even come across the famous sign that is symbolic of the city. The sign is also located behind the Rijksmuseum, along the Museumplein, which is another hotspot for tourists to snap selfies. The symbolic letters serves as a marketing slogan to this picture postcard city.
Millions of people take a trip to the Rijksmuseum each year. It took until 1885 for the museum to open its doors at Museumplein, its present location, from the previous base in the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. When on a Rijksmuseum tour, you can come across thousands of artworks, including paintings by Frans Hals, Rembrandt, and Johannes Vermeer.
The collection of the museum includes works from the Medieval Period to the 20th and 21st Century. Yet, the most coveted works of art in the national museum are paintings from the Dutch Golden Age painters, including those three. Besides its vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and other artworks, the interiors of the building even have murals. There is a namesake garden outside the building too, and an underpass perfect for cycling.
Since the reopening in 2013, a special focus has been on making the Rijksmuseum tour accessible to all, including the wheelchair-bound. There are lifts situated through the grand building, which permits electronic wheelchairs in its galleries and even provides mobility aids. Yet again, if you cannot operate the wheelchair manually and require a person’s help, the museum allows free entry to your assistant.
Van Gogh Museum
If you are planning a Rijksmuseum tour, do make it a point to visit the Van Gogh Museum situated in Museumplein as well. This is another national museum, which houses the largest collection of artworks by the Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh. They include his famous Self-Portrait, Sunflowers, Wheatfield with Crows, and many other renowned works that trace back to the late 19th Century. Besides those permanent collections, the museum also hosts frequent exhibits that focus on the world-famous artist.
Like the Rijksmuseum, even this museum is accessible to the wheelchair-bound and has the facilities to help them out with the navigation. If you cannot operate it manually, you can bring along a companion to the Van Gogh Museum trip for free of cost.
This public park, which spans more than hundred acres of land, resides in Amsterdam-Zuid and is only a stone’s throw away from the Museumplein. It serves as a central hub for the local community and tourists to get together and enjoy a picnic. It is home to Openluchttheater, which hosts open-air music shows in different types of genres during the summertime. Besides verdant green areas, there are many statues in the Amsterdam park, including one by Pablo Picasso and titled “The Fish”. There are many pathways in the park, which are ideal for bicycling and trekking too.
The Oud-Zuid neighborhood is home to this concert hall built during the late 19th Century. The Concertgebouw hosts concerts, including lunchtime shows, all the year round. If you love music and crave to listen to an orchestra in a live setting, this venue with a world-renowned acoustics is perfect for that. It has some seating devoted to wheelchair users, besides the fact that they can gain entrance to the halls through elevator.
What better way to cap off your Amsterdam tour than paying a visit to this brewery! The Heineken, which produces the world-famous Dutch pilsner beer of the same name, offers a 90-minute long guided tour that culminates in a select beer tasting session. You can come across its industrial past besides tasting the Heineken pilsner in their visitor center.