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Arts and Culture in Amsterdam

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The home of Rembrandt, Amsterdam is renowned for its artistic legacy, and you can discover the city’s cultural roots in a grand array of museums and galleries. In fact, just strolling the streets is like exploring an open air exhibition, with centuries-old houses, ornate old churches, and patches of green parkland all around.

 

Landmarks

 

It’s said in Amsterdam that all roads lead to Dam Square – the city’s buzzing central plaza lined by elaborate buildings, including the 15th century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk. Stroll out from here and you’ll discover a meandering ancient core graced with stunning architecture.

 

Royal Palace

 

Dam Square’s most monumental landmark is its Neo-Classical Royal Palace – a sprawling celebration of the Dutch Golden Age. Take a tour inside, making sure to spend extra time soaking up the regal atmosphere in the elaborate chandelier-shrouded Citizen’s Hall.

 

Dam, Amsterdam. Tel: +31 2 0620 4060

 

Royal Palace website

 

Begijnhof

 

A hidden medieval oasis, the Begijnhof was once home to a community of devoutly religious women who lived and worshipped in the tall gabled houses and chapel in this serene courtyard. Don’t miss a look at Number 34 - the Netherlands’ oldest preserved wooden house.

 

Begijnhof 30, Amsterdam. Tel: +31 2 0622 1918

 

Begijnhof website

 

Museums

 

Amsterdam’s enveloped in art, from glorious masterpieces by Van Gogh and Rembrandt hanging in some of the world’s most significant museums, to impressive modern masterpieces in elegant galleries. If art’s not your thing, head to a history museum instead.
Van Gogh Museum

 

The world’s largest collection of works by angst-ridden Dutch native Vincent Van Gogh, this doesn't just showcase his swirling, vivid oil paintings. You can also see his sketches, drafts, and the heartfelt letters in which he poured out his innermost thoughts on his art and his battle with his demons.

 

Paulus Potterstraat 7, 1071 CX Amsterdam. Tel: +31 2 0570 5200

 

Van Gogh Museum website

 

 

Anne Frank House

 

This is the very house in which Anne Frank lived in secret with her family during the darkest days of Nazi persecution. Made famous the world over by the publication of her diary, the Secret Annex is open to visitors, along with poignant exhibions about the remarkable girl and her dramatic life.

 

Prinsengracht 267, 1016 GV Amsterdam. Tel: +31 2 0556 7105

 

Anne Frank House website

 

Cultural attractions

 

If you fancy soaking up some authentic Amsterdam culture, the city’s distinct neighbourhoods offer up a host of parks, bars, and flea markets. They’re prime places for immersing yourself in local life, and enjoying the city’s beloved gezelligheid – or cosiness.

 

Grachtengordel

 

Looping around the Old Centre, the Grachtengordel – or Canal Ring – is the Amsterdam neighbourhood you’ve been dreaming of. Picturesque, 17th century canal-side houses are home to the city’s wealthy residents and cool boutique stores, while an eclectic collection of restaurants, cafés, and clubs make it Amsterdam’s social hub.

 

 

 

Bloemenmarkt

 

Awash with sweet scents and a rainbow of colour, Amsterdam’s central Singel Flower Market is a horticulturalist’s paradise. As well as tulips in every shape and shade, there are house plants, fresh cut flowers, and twee souvenirs in shops nestled on a row of floating barges.

 

Singel, Amsterdam

 

Bloemenmarkt website

 

Religious buildings

 

From ancient ecclesiastical sites to modern centres of worship, Amsterdam’s scattered with old and new religious buildings.

 

Esnoga

 

Built in 1675, the Portuguese Synagogue is the most prominent in Amsterdam and acclaimed as one of the most ravishing synagogues in the world. Its vast red brick exterior conceals an opulently decorative interior, with carved wooden furnishings and an air of awe.

 

Mr. Visserplein 3, 1011 RD Amsterdam. Tel:+31 2 0531 0380