Visiting the Rembrandt House was my favorite part of our trip to Amsterdam. The display of Rembrandtís work and that of other artists who were influenced by him is displayed throughout his carefully restored home and the adjacent museum building. The printing press demonstrations are a must see. Plus, the Rembrandt etchings from reproductions of the actual plates created by Rembrandt are an amazing value in the museum gift shop. Zaanse Schans
This quaint community with working windmills, cheese factory, and wooden shoe factory is a must see. It has everything one associates with the Netherlands in one place. Plus, it is only a short train ride from Amsterdam. Van Gogh Museum
I loved the Van Gogh Museum. The building is modern and sparsely decorated except for the many works of Van Gogh, his era, and artists influenced by his work. There is a study area with books of his work and histories of his life and time as well as walls of information on his life and his relationship with his brother. The lower level is reserved for special exhibitions of present day artists. When I visited, the work in this area was somewhat risquť with live nudes crawling among sheets on the floor. We bought our tickets in advance from the hotelís concierge in order to avoid standing in the ticket line.
This museum houses some unbelievable masterpieces from Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, and Rembrandt and his pupils. There are amazing works of art throughout this beautiful building. With a satellite branch in Schiphol Airport, visitors less interesting in spending a full-day and 9 euros on an admission ticket to the full-size museum can view selections for free while waiting for their flight. Anne Frankís House
The amazing story of the little Jewish girl who kept a diary while hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam is brought to life in a well presented tour of the building in which she hid with her family. Try to purchase tickets in advance at your hotelís concierge desk in order to avoid waiting in the long admission line.
Vendors line a canal with their tent covered shops with souvenir trinkets, bulbs, and fresh-cut flowers. There are also some shops in the buildings that line the other side of this street with interesting European items.
Amsterdam Historic Museum
If our feet had not been so sore from walking, we would have enjoyed learning more about Amsterdam at this museum. As it was, we only looked around the cute gift shop. There were many signs touting the City Animals exhibition. The pictures alluded to rats that chew electrical wires and animals swimming the canals. I bet it was really cute.
This is a humungous building that takes up blocks in Amsterdam and houses a multitude of stores. The building itself is an amazing architectural feat to look at from the outside alone. Begijnhof
This historical, small religious community has beautiful buildings and a well landscaped courtyard. Be sure to take a detailed map from the web site above if you want to find the well hidden gate to the interior courtyard.
This is an area of Amsterdam that has a square surrounded by shops in the ground floors of all the surrounding houses. The often photographed Waag building that houses a cafť is here as well. One of the side streets that leads from the square brings you into the Chinatown section of Amsterdam.
NEMO is located on the river next to Central Station. It is designed to look like a beached ship and holds a science museum on the inside. We did not go in but it was still interesting to see from the outside.
A hefty admission fee will get you into the former production center of Heineken Beer. We walked by with entering. I have seen the Miller Brewing Co. in Milwaukee already so we decided to save our euros for something else. However, someone who likes Heineken Beer might be interested in their daily tours. Red Light District
Many people we know who have visited Amsterdam told us to make sure to take a walk through the Red Light District. This is where red lights and curtains denote large windows in which prostitutes stand or sit awaiting a caller. It is pretty much exactly as it sounds. I canít say I would have been missing much if we hadnít taken a walk down these streets of legal prostitution.
This is the oldest church in Amsterdam with beautiful spires that reach high over the townhouses of Amsterdam. The irony is that it is located right in the middle of the Red Light District. This is also where Rembrandt married his first wife, Saskia.
I did enjoy seeing an artisan work on the Royal Delft ceramics and the complimentary drinks in the Visitorsí center outside Gassan Diamonds. However, I would not recommend a tour of the factory unless you want to listen to an hour long diamond sales spiel.
If you are interesting in a commercial shopping experience, the 15th largest industrial city in the Netherlands otherwise known as Zaandam is for you.
This flea market did not have anything that peaked my interest but an avid shopper might find some great bargains in the tents that line the street of this 100 year old open market.