What to see in Amsterdam besides the canals, the coffee shops, and the red-light district, we want to say… Because Amsterdam goes far beyond (although not badly) the three canals in the center, the places of soft drugs consumption and legal prostitution.
Yes, those three are powerful attractions, no doubt about it. But, either because it is not your first visit to the city, or because you want to go a step further than everyone else, it is logical that you look for other options besides the three Dutch p’s.
Read on and you’ll discover some other possibilities that the (unofficial) capital of the Netherlands has to offer; some are nothing new, and others you may not have heard of, overshadowed by the more usual. Let’s go there! 😃
TIP TRAVELER: If you are wondering what is the best time of year to go, the weather in Amsterdam in autumn and winter is rather unpleasant, between rain and fog, so if you can choose, opt for spring or summer.
No one who seriously wonders what to see in Amsterdam can ignore their museum heritage. There are about 60 museums in the city, no less, so you’re sure to find one you love. We suggest you:
- Van Gogh Museum. To travel to Amsterdam and not pass through here is almost a sin. It is an avant-garde building on the Museumplein that houses some masterpieces of this crazy and unique artist.
- Rembrandt’s house. The Rembrandthuis (Jodenbreestraat 4) is a two-in-one: a typical Dutch house from the 17th century that served as a workshop for the brilliant painter and the venue for selected exhibitions and activities.
- Stedelijk Museum. A world-class reference for modern art and design. Even if it’s not your thing. At the head of the museums to be seen in Holland before he died. You will also find it in the Museumplein (museum district).
The Netherlands is a predominantly Protestant, Calvinist country, although religion is very much diluted. Perhaps that is why it is so shocking (especially in very mundane Amsterdam) to find a Beguinage.
Telegraphically: The Beguines are (well, were) a kind of secular nuns who lived in a community devoted to contemplation and prayer. Similar to the nuns, yes, but without being attached to an order.
The Begijnhof in Amsterdam is a very discreet place that you would never find if you didn’t go to a fixed location (Spuiplein) or are you, like me, snooping around behind half-open doors. To enter is to be transported out of the city, to a small garden square formed by small houses where calm is the norm.
Nothing to do in Amsterdam with the adjacent streets. Inside, multiple surprises. One of those things to visit in Amsterdam that will make you see the city in an even more special way (all the practical details, here).
The bust of Chet Baker.
Okay, it will never make the “what to see in Amsterdam in 3 days” list, but for textbook mythomaniacs, it’s a must-see. Don’t you know the tormented jazz trumpeter Chet Baker? Well, you should.
This model of a cursed artist decided to travel to Amsterdam and make it his second occasional residence after dozens of rocky episodes across America and Europe in which music and drugs were his great companions.
In 1988, he died after falling from the third floor of the Prins Hendrik Hotel (Prins Hendrikkade 52-58, very close to the Central Station), where he used to stay, under circumstances that were never well clarified. After the cult of the spontaneous mythomaniacs came the tribute in bronze. If you don’t know what to see in Amsterdam one afternoon, it’s a great option.
The Island of Java.
No, not the Indonesian one, but a small, elongated one just north of the Central Station. From being a port area without any attractions it has become one of the most inspiring redoubts of contemporary architecture in the country.
Easily accessible and with views of both the city and Amsterdam Noord (the city’s eternal great unknown; we’ll talk about this neighborhood another day more extensively), its two wide streets on the water’s edge are home to surprisingly varied housing.
This is not the Amsterdam of narrow houses with dark bricks, huge windows, and hooks on top of the facade. It is the Amsterdam of modernity, of groundbreaking, functional, unexpected architectural solutions.
And if you can’t get enough of Java, go on to KNSM. If the first is the quintessence of Rem Koolhaas, the second (former headquarters of a powerful shipping company) is the territory of Jo Coenen, among other architects. A world model of architectural reconversion.
These are a few ideas about what to see in Amsterdam without staying on the surface, in the most obvious part of the city.
In any case, whether you follow our directions or not, the ideal thing to do in Amsterdam is to let yourself go, to set off aimlessly and without hurry to come across the thousand attractive details of this city that is small but huge in spirit.
Contact us, and we will take care of the most mundane details: flights, hotels, transport, accommodation, reservations…
So you can focus on… on getting lost in time and space in the quintessential cosmopolitan European city.
For more personalized attention, contact us by phone at 922 15 12 51 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will answer all your questions.
Remember that at the end of this article, you can send us a message with your requests or doubts, and we will answer you quickly.
If Amsterdam leaves you indifferent, there are only two options: either you have no heart, or you haven’t been to Amsterdam! 😍
Redactor. Especialista en Viajes.
Uno de esos que piensa que nunca se puede viajar demasiado, y que no hay que irse a la otra esquina del planeta para descubrir un nuevo mundo. Veinte años con la mochila a cuestas y sin ganas de posarla, todavía… En familia, con amigos o con las ganas de escribir como única compañía, y la afición a la historia como bastón.
Editor. Travel specialist
One of those who thinks that you can never travel too much, and that you do not have to go to the other corner of the planet to discover a new world. Twenty years with the backpack on his back and unwilling to pose, still … In family, with friends or with the desire to write as a sole company, and the love of history as a cane.