I’ve been thinking a lot of about how much I love traveling in Europe recently. Aside from a quick visit to the European parts of Russia and Turkey in August 2012, I haven’t been to Europe since the summer of 2006. While I’ve seen a good chunk of the continent in the few months I’ve spent there over the course of three trips, there is always so much more to see.
One place that I’d love to visit again is Amsterdam in The Netherlands. My first and only visit to this city was on a big group tour with my family when I was 16 years old. And, while I got a quick taste of the city, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to get back and really explore.
So, when Hipmunk asked me to share a few of my thoughts about Amsterdam as part of their #HipmunkCityLove campaign, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to put together my bucket list for the city so that I’d be prepared for the next time I visit.
Without any further ado, here’s a few places that I think look really awesome, and I’d love to check out the next time I fly to Amsterdam.
Visit an Art Gallery
When you think about it, it’s amazing how many world-renowned artists have called the Netherlands home: Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, and Adriaan van Ostade, just to name a few. Because of all these famous artists, Amsterdam is a city bursting with amazing art galleries. Two that jump out to me are the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum.
The Van Gogh Museum features works just by the namesake artist, but anyone who has ever seen his works knows that they are simply breathtaking. On the other hand, the Stedelijk Museum features the works of not only amazing Dutch artists, but also some of the world’s other foremost painters, like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.
Without a doubt, no visit to Amsterdam is complete without visiting an art gallery, and I’ll make sure to see one or two the next time I’m in the city.
De Gooyer Windmill
The Netherlands are known for their beautiful windmills, and of all the ones that still exist in and around Amsterdam, De Gooyer Windmill looks like the best to visit. While the interior isn’t open to the public, the exterior is worth seeing for the juxtaposition of a peaceful windmill in the middle of the bustling city.
However, what pushes the De Gooyer Windmill near the top of my list isn’t just the beauty of this 18th-century windmill. It’s also located near award-winning craft brewery Brouwerij ‘t IJ, making this the perfect combination of history and refreshment.
Take a Canal Boat Tour
Amsterdam is full of canals, and no visit is complete without getting out on the water to see Amsterdam from an entirely different vantage point. While it might be quite touristy, I’d love to take a narrated canal boat tour when I visit the city again.
The quaintness of some of the smaller canals looks absolutely stunning and is a great backdrop for getting reacquainted with this charming city.
The Anne Frank House
When I visited Amsterdam as a teenager, one of the few things my family did was tour the Anne Frank House. However, as a teenage boy, some of the history and story was lost on me. As an adult though, I have much more appreciation for the story, and would love the chance to visit this amazing home.
While I can’t say that I’ve ever read the Diary of Anne Frank, the story of her life and the history that it represents are something that I would love the chance to see the next time I’m in the city.
Visit a Flower Market
If there is one thing that Holland is known for, besides windmills, it’s flowers. In fact, classic shots of the Dutch countryside always seem to include colorful tulips with a windmill in the distance. Of all the flower markets in the city, the most unique looks to be Bloemenmarkt. Floating on barges in the middle of a canal, the market might be rather touristy today, but it still looks pretty awesome.
I might also take the time to check out the flower auction in Aalsmeer. Similar to the tuna auctions in Tokyo, Japan, the flower auctions in Amsterdam give visitors a chance to view buyers from around the world bidding on some of the highest quality and most beautiful flowers that can be found anywhere. I might have to push through the pain of getting up early to see this amazing spectacle.
Overall, looking into things to do in Amsterdam has made me even more excited to visit the largest city in The Netherlands. If you’ve visited Amsterdam, do you have any suggestions of places that I should visit? Let me know in the comments section below.
Jim Cheney is the creator of Tripologist.com. Having traveled extensively in North America, Europe, and Asia, Jim enjoys sharing his love of travel and some of his favorite places to visit around the world. He lives in Pennsylvania, USA, with his wife and two kids.