Amsterdam Things to Do Tips by Pavlik_NL Top 5 Page for this destination
Amsterdam Things to Do: 3,406 reviews and 5,409 photos
Officially the Roman Catholic Saint Franciscus Xavierus Church, but the Amsterdam locals will always say "De Krijtberg" kerk (=church). This name, meaning something like, "board-chalk hill" stands on the place where three houses were bought by a jezuit priest in 1654. One of the houses was called the "Crytbergh". However, the reformation made many Catholic churches fall in the hands of the protestants or simply be destroyed, after a while Catholics were again "tolerated" and on this place they erected a new neo-gothic church to their services in Amsterdam. In the second half of the 19th century it was finished and now-a-days it's slim twin towers have a dominant view along the "Singel" canal.
Address: Singel 448
In a place where it belongs, between the ships
From the enormous amount of museums and attractions I would like to point out three to you.
Scheepvaartmuseum (nautical museum) tells the success story of Amsterdam during the glorious VOC-times. The VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie = United Eastindies Company) was the first (stockholding) company in the world and built the Dutch colonial empire, that long time was bigger the the English Commonwealth (only the Spanish competed). At this museum is also a replica of a Eastindies-sailingship: the “Amsterdam”. This magnificent ship was a kind of Titanic for it’s time, as it shipwrecked on it’s first journey to the Dutch Indies. On board of this replica one finds (in weekend and holidays) also actors that simulate the life then. The museum is situated in the former Navy Arsenal, the place where the Dutch navy stored it’s weapons, guns, nautical gear and (an small amount of) gunpowder.
The "Wallen", a very old part of Amsterdam
This neighbourhood is maybe the most famous item in the world if it is about tourism and Amsterdam. Everyone immediately jumps to this conclusion and not without being right. The "Wallen" (Kay, Dike, stretch of hightened land along a canal or river) or "Walletjes" (little "Wallen") are a folk area that now houses the prostitution district with the many red lights. Surrounding the old church, this part has however also some other interesting things. It is one of the oldest parts of Amsterdam and many houses are really magnificently kept monuments. It is a district with a whole own character, which has nothing to do with criminal behaviour. So, when walking here, don't only look into the windows and into the nice ladies eyes (or 30 cm lower), but gaze up to the facades and discover the other side of the Red Light District (more about the "Wallen" under custom-tips).
Directions: South-West from the Damrak and Dam (follow the masses). The given URL shows a map of the red light district.
Hidden behind facades is experience called Holland
This 3D-multimedia-show gives you a nice impression of The Netherlands and is perfect for people that visit Amsterdam in a flash and still want to experience something from the rest of the country. Here you will meet the landscape with tulips, rivers and dikes. You will experience floading, windmills, wooden shoes etc. etc. etc. A taste of Holland within the city of Amsterdam.
Address: Waterlooplein 17
The prominent presence of Madam Tussaud on the Dam
On the Dam-square the Wax-museum of Madam Tussaud deserves some extra attention. In here there is a lot of attention for Dutch history and present fame. There is a section explaning about the becoming of The Netherlands and you can meet the Dutch painters in person. Furthermore Dutch royalty and politicians as well as famous persons from television or music can be seen (though many of you foreigners now are seeking long long time to come up with Jean Claude Vandamme, who actually is a Belgian!) Madam Tussaud is definately interesting to visit on a rainy day.
Address: Dam 20
Modern, but still quite integrated in the scenery
A remarkable new building within the Amsterdam centre is the "Stopera". This name is a joining of tow words: Stadhuis (Cityhall) and Opera. This combined force has resulted in a very great modern architecture that still is in balance with it's historical surroundings. The project met much resistance at first, but now most - even most critical - people are satisfied with the result. In the "Music Theatre" - which is a synonym for the stopera, the National Ballet is performing often. A state of the art ballet on world standard.
An ugly museum house for a great crazy painter
Van Gogh is by far the most popualr painter in foreign countries. In the Netherlands Rembrandt is still in the lead. Van Gogh lived a large period of his live in France (which could be a reason of lessened popularity in NL) and was quite a peculiar guy. Especially the ear cutting was a moment that will make many Dutch frown upon. Anyway, his great work in painting is untouchable and many of his paintings can be watched for hours. In his museum however there is so much to see, that you do not have that luxery ... that is, if you want to see it all.
Address: Paulus Potterstraat 7
Peeping behind the little tree, the narrowest hous
Compressed between two other canalhouses, on the Singel a very narrow house is trying to survive. All canalboat tourguides will point out to this remarkably tiny house and just imagine what rooms must be in here and how they are filled with what kind of furniture. Here the mother can never say to her child "don't sit to close to te television, my dear" as getting further away is just plain impossible.
Address: Singel 166
Floating by the "Jordaan", the "real Amsterdam
No, I am not talking about the "Walletjes". This most typical Amsterdam neighbourhood is for sure the "Jordaan". This area was inhabited for a while by many French refugees (Hugonotes) and as for the greens in this place, it deserved the nickname "Jardin" (garden in French). Later it became more and more pronounciated as "Jordaan" and it became the folk nieghbourhood of the town. If you want to visit a "brown" cafe: this is the place. If you want to listen to "Amsterdam smartlap" (tearjurking sing-a-longs) this here is paradise. The area is also very beautiful in canalhouses and history.
Along the Amstel-outlets tops Montelbaanstower up
A significant tower that catches the eye on a few places while looking over the canals, is the "Montelbaanstoren". This too was a part of the Amsterdam citywall and was built in 1606. Later this (like the "Munttoren") got a new towerpeak, more decorative and built by Hendrick de Keyser (also responsible for several churches as you know by now). The tower is 48 meters high, 7 meters more then the "Munttoren".
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