Amsterdam emerged from a small fishing village, like all the cities that throughout history have developed beside the sea. The capital of the Netherlands is one of the most sought after destinations in Europe whether for its natural beauty, beautiful architecture and various cultural facets, or for being considered a modern, cosmopolitan and liberal city. It is very easy to fall in love with this city, so it is worth knowing the best things in Amsterdam.
Yes, the huge Vondelpark is an ideal place to rest, relax or have a picnic. But if you are looking for some tranquility and much more authenticity, the Begijnhof is an island of calm. A small square surrounded by old buildings with a central garden. The whole is from the fourteenth century and is a preciousness that is entered through a narrow passage. Take a book and relax by the oldest house in Amsterdam. From here you can also visit the Civil Guard Gallery, a covered street full of 17th century paintings that is also free and managed by the Amsterdam Museum. Yes, be discreet and do not disturb the peace of the place.
- The Botanical Garden of the University of Vrije
This small green oasis collects more than 6,000 different species of plants, among which you can find some of those that have been confiscated at the Schipol airport customs. Here concerts and workshops are held and although it is still open, it runs the risk of disappearing if the university hospital is extended.
- Enjoy the views
If you like the panoramic views of the cities and you want to enjoy it from above, read on. From the top floor of the National Library (OBA), where the cafeteria and terrace are, you can see Amsterdam from a bird’s eye view. The NEMO Science and Technology Museum also has a fabulous viewpoint on its terrace, free of charge.
- Take a free tour
Okay, maybe you have to leave a tip at the end, but free tours are one of the ways to explore Amsterdam, especially if it’s the first time you go. They last three hours and will take you to some of the most emblematic places in this city full of canals, from the Red Light District to the Anne Frank House. They leave at 11:15 p.m. and at 1:15 p.m. from the National Monument in Dam Square.
- Visit a diamond factory
Maybe you cannot afford to buy a diamond, but the tours of the Gassan Diamond factory are free and very interesting. They last 1 hour and in them you can see the cutters and jewelry polishers in action while they tell you more about the importance of this industry.