24 Hours in Amsterdam
Located in the Netherlands, the capital city of Amsterdam is renowned worldwide for its echoes of the 17th century that is evident in the buildings and museums, mixing seamlessly with the artwork of Rembrandt and of course, 400km of cycle paths that make this destination one of the best to explore on two wheels, or your own two feet.
Cycle around the city
The first thing that you must do upon arriving is seek out a place to rent a bike from – there are loads in the city centre. When in Rome, they say, you must do as the Romans do. Bear in mind that if you purchase an Amsterdam City Card for 40 euros from one of the many tourist places, you will get a whopping 25% discount on your bike hire.
Cruise on the canal
The delightful Singel Canal was once the moat around the city, until 1585 when the city borders extended beyond the canal. Take a boat ride up the canal and see the beauty of Amsterdam from a different perspective; you will pass by the busy streets and gain a real experience of what local life is like from a distance. The cruise itself takes an hour and is something that cannot be missed.
Explore a museum
Coming to Amsterdam and not visiting one of the museums would simply be quite the scandal; it would be like having your cake and still not getting to eat it (which, contrary to popular belief, is entirely possible). If art is of interest to you, then look no further than the Rembrandt House Museum. Occupied from 1639 to 1656, the 17 century building has been renovated to its original glory to showcase the life and works of one of Netherlands’ national treasures. For the beer lovers among us, the Heineken Experience is certainly one to indulge in; find out the reason behind the creation of Heineken in the place where it was first made, then grab a couple of beers in the gift shop! If photography takes your fancy, then Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam is simply amazing to visit – there are millions of photos from local and international photographers, each picture has a unique story to tell.
Visit the royal palace
Originally built as a city hall in 1665, the Royal Palace is a breath-taking example of baroque architecture and is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which belongs to the monarchy. Although it is not open as a museum, it is open to visitors; walking around this palace will create images in your mind of beautiful dresses and royal balls, or perhaps old political meetings – let your imagination run wild.
Amsterdam Dungeon is definitely not for the light hearted, although, if you enjoy interactive (and thorough) adventures into uncensored medieval history, this is the place for you. With live actors, special effects, shows and a whole lot of gore, learn the parts of history that you won’t have learned in school.