Amsterdam is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Europe. This financial and cultural capital is the largest city of the Netherlands. Featuring a cool oceanic climate that offers mild winter temperatures and moderately warm, rarely hot, summers, this vibrant city provides a multitude of attractions.
While Amsterdam is intensely urbanized, it also features parks and natural reserves. One of its verdant jewels is the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. The Hortus contains more than six thousand tropical and indigenous trees and plants. For those willing to travel, there is the opportunity to visit one of the most photographed places on the planet. The Keukenhof garden is about 40 kilometers from Amsterdam and boasts 32-hectare, with 15 kilometers of footpaths, of 4.5 million tulips in 100 varieties and 2,800 trees in 87 varieties. Avail yourself of the cycle tours, guided walking tours, as well as bicycle rentals as you marvel at this stunning floral display alternated with beautiful works of art.
Amsterdam is famous for its historic canals. The canal system is the result of conscious city planning based on four concentric half circles that end at Amsterdam’s waterfront. A canal tour is certainly a highlight. You can enjoy the unique transportation provided by canal buses, canal bikes (individually pedaled boats), as well as canal nighttime cruises. In addition to transportation by canal, Amsterdam is also touted as being one of the most bicycle friendly large cities in the world.
Renowned for its culture and arts, Amsterdam has no less than eight significant museums. These include the Rijksmuseum, featuring the largest collection of classical Dutch art, and the Van Gogh museum, featuring the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings. Amsterdam is one of four cities participating in an art and cultural event called “Holland Art Cities” that features more art and culture per square feet than anywhere.
Amsterdam is a historically rich city and part of that history is the Anne Frank House, the former hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her diary. This multicultural and vibrant city is also boasts a rich architectural history. When considering all things typically Dutch, one must consider the windmill, with the Dutch being the first real innovators of the windmill. There are actually eight windmills in the heart of Amsterdam with two that you can actually visit.
Other Amsterdam highlights include the Heineken Experience, the red light district, and the famed cannabis coffee shops. With tantalizing shopping that ranges from department stores to small specialty shops to open air markets and cheese markets, as well as diverse nightlife, varied cuisine, and famed festivals, Amsterdam is the ultimate vacation destination rich in art, culture, history, architecture, beauty, and natural wonder.