Indeed there’s a lot more to Amsterdam than Anne Frank, great beer, and the famous Red Light District. Take, for instance, its charming canals and waterways and the Dutch countryside offering an old-world feel. Savor a pleasant two-day experience here.
Explore the historic Dam Square. Tour the Royal Palace, Stadelijk Museum, and numerous cafés and boutiques around. As nighttime sets in, delight in Amsterdam’s fascinating canals with a candlelight cruise. Sample a variety of cheeses and red wine while you appreciate the views directly from the boat deck.
North of Amsterdam you can visit the villages of Edam and Zaanse Schans. Please yourself with rustic views of windmills, ditches, and wooden shoe factories. Proceed to the fishermen’s village of Marken, where a number of natives could still be seen donning traditional wear.
If Anne Frank were alive today, she would have liked the present city of Amsterdam. The city has preserved its glorious past as it anticipates the future with much eagerness. The old buildings and landmarks are well-maintained while modern skyscrapers are jutting out its skyline. Life in Amsterdam has been a lot better since the Holocaust. Last year, it ranked 13th in the world in terms of the quality of living. The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, receiving about 4.63 million international visitors every yearly. Although Anne may have mixed feelings about the notorious yet vibrant nightlife in the city, she can find comfort in the thought that her own home, and her legacy, have been cared for and honored by her countrymen. Anyone visiting Amsterdam should not miss the windmills, the canals and Anne Frank’s house. Many other attractions abound in the city, as well as its neighboring cities, so it is important that tourists book days or weeks ahead to allow them ample time to plan their itineraries. A three-day trip to Amsterdam and neighboring areas should be enough to visit the must-see attractions. Below is a recommended itinerary:
Discover Amsterdam through its famous canals. Pass many historic buildings, from the imposing Westerkerk to the city's narrowest house, and visit Amsterdam's major museums, such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House. If you prefer taking your exploration on dry ground, you can take a hop-on hop-off bus tour instead.With Amsterdam's multitude of attractions, it's handy to travel with a Holland Pass.At night, take another cruise to Amsterdam's illuminated canals combined with a four-course dinner, served with beer, liquor, wine, tea or coffee. Or why not a pizza cruise?
24 or 48 hours
Head to Bruges on the second day. You'll need at least a full day to appreciate the city's beauty and architecture.Bruges is often called as Venice of the North because of its extensive canal network. The entire city center is a World Heritage Site, as declared by UNESCO. Visit the ancient churches, wealthy mansions, picturesque alleys and canals and the beguinage court. Before returning to Amsterdam, stroll in the city center and shop for chocolates and elegant laces that Bruges are known for.
This excursion takes you to a typical Dutch scenery and the picturesque town of Monnickendam. From there, proceed to Volendam, a traditional Dutch fisherman's village situated on the shores of the former Zuiderzee. The women's costume of Volendam, with its high, pointed bonnet, is one of the most recognizable of the Dutch traditional costumes, often seen on tourist postcards. Take the boat from Volendam to Marken, an island linked to the mainland by a dike. Marken is popular for its wooden houses and some inhabitants here still wear the traditional Dutch costumes. This tour includes a visit to a cheese farm.