What are your top 3 sites in Amsterdam. Anne Frank house worth the time? Any good botanical gardens? Is there a good maritime museum? Historical windmills and such?
Our three sites would be Rijksmuseum, Dutch Resistance Musem, Van Gogh Museum. Get yourself a Rough Guide.
If you are limiting me to just three sites then: 1. Rijksmuseum 2. Hermitage Museum
3. Anne Frank House There is an excellent botanical garden in the old Jewish Quarter near the zoo, WWII resistance Museum and the excellent Tropical Museum: http://dehortus.nl/ The Maritime Museum just reopened after a years-long restoration. They have an excellent 17 century warship that can be toured: http://www.hetscheepvaartmuseum.nl/
The National Maritime Museum ain't nothing to sneeze at. Neither's the Anne Frank House. The Sloten windmill is the only one I think you can get in - - and you might as well since it's a brewery too. Don't know too much about suches and gardens.
If you want a good Maritime museum, head down to Rotterdam
1. rijks 2. Hermitage 3. Van Gogh
4. Anne Frank I know you asked for 3 but I just couldn't leave it out
Steven, My suggestions would be: > Rijksmuseum > Van Gogh Museum > Anne Frank House I most definitely think the Anne Frank house is "worth the time". I was there in September and found the visit to be very moving. It can be a bit crowded at times, especially in the smaller rooms, so you might consider going first thing in the morning. You might also find it "educational" to do a brief tour of a "Coffee Shop" and also the Red Light district (having a local Guide would help - there are some listed in the Guidebook). Cheers!
Thanks everyone, and keep the ideas coming!
Plug your travel dates into this site. It will list all temporary exhibitions, and concerts: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/whats-on From May-June the annual World Press Photo Show is held at the Old Church. It's the top show for photojournalism, the best news photos from 2011 will be on display. It will be the "hot" ticket in town.
one of my favorite places in Amsterdam http://www.sacred-destinations.com/netherlands/amsterdam-museum-amstelkring-hidden-church.htm also - the resistance museum is great as is the zoo.
Anne Frank house is a must. If you will be there in late March or April consider a train/bus trip out to http://www.keukenhof.nl/ (Europe's flower garden). You will travel through the tulip fields. AMAZING!!! Van Gogh museum is fabulous.
I must go with Cathy and Ken on this one , Anne Frank house/museum is a must , a very moving experience.
If you need a break from museums, drop into the House of Bols, across the street from the Van Gogh Museum. There's an interesting exhibit on the history of gin and some hands-on about how the other senses (sight, smell) affect taste. Then you get to choose a cocktail and the bartenders mix them with a bit of flare.
You do not mention the time period you will be there, but if in early spring to mid-May, Kuekenhof Gardens are the place to be for bulb flowers (tulips). It is outside of Amsterdam, but easy to get to. In Amsterdam there is the Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest Botanical Gardens in the world. Also, this year is the year for Floriade in Venlo. It is a once every ten years show, worth looking into if you are into Plants and Flowers. Venlo is a ways outside of Amsterdam, but if you are headed to Germany, it can easily be on the way.
Walking around is probably my top activity but I also liked the canal tour by boat. For Amsterdam, however, you need a plan for decent weather and a plan for inclement weather. For inclement weather, the Rijksmuseum and VanGogh museum would rate high. They will consume most of a day and aren't a long walk from each other - so you avoid most of the weather.
I'm with Brad, just being out and about enjoying the streets and canals is my favourite activity in Amsterdam. Therefore my top choices would be: * boat tour on the canals * van Gogh museum
* Anne Frank Huis I highly recommend to book tickets online for the Anne Frank Huis ahead of time. It is very small the capacity for visitors is very limited. If there's just one school group ahead of you (and the museum is on the must-do list for many school groups) you may end up waiting in line for quite some time.
Not sure when you're going, but just a heads up that the Van Gogh museum will be closed for renovations from October 2012 - March 2013.
During the renovation to the VG museum, some of the collection will be moved to the Hermitage Museum.
the Heineken Brewery tour always stands out for me
I wouldn't miss a canal boat ride or a walk through the Jordaan area. Lots of shops and restaurants in this area. Very beautiful too surrounded by canals and bridges.
Walk along the canals, drop by the flower market. Great way to get the atmosphere
1. Ann Frank 2. Risks museum, 3. Artis Zoo. If I can a 3.5 it is Heineken Experience. Enjoy!
What is a good place to stay that doesn't cost a fortune near the historic sites?
Just returned....if you go in the spring the Keukenhof Gardens are fabulous. http://www.keukenhof.nl/ buses leave regularly from the airport.
Anne Frank house is good, Rijksmuseum is great, Van Gogh Museum is also worth your time. Also, take a canal trip.
We went to Amsterdam last July (2012) and had a great time. We visited the Van Gogh Museum (head of line tickets), Rijksmuseum, National Maritime Museum (Scheepvaart Museum), The Hortus Botanicus (super cool) and passed on Madonna tickets (I'm not a material guy). Did not visit the Anne Frank House, line too long and no way to purchase advanced tickets. Very easy city to walk in but would like to go back and take a canal boat ride even though we have taken one in Brugges a few years back. I found the city dirty and way too many college/high school tourists just slumming around. If we go back it will be during the traditional American school year. Thanks again for everyone's input.
Amsterdam is just as dirty and crowded in April (i.e. the midst of the 'traditional' school year), and I'm not talking during Spring break. But the newly renovated Rijksmuseum is fabulous, and the Van Gogh collection has now been moved back from its temporary home in The Hermitage to the also newly renovated Van Gogh Museum. I was at The Hermitage the last day before the galleries were to be closed so they could prepare to move the collection back to its rightful home, and a guard told me there will be many additional works on display in the renovated Van Gogh Museum because the gallery space will be greater. Also, there are some excellent events and extended opening times happening in June 2013, as Amsterdam continues to celebrate the re-opening of these two great museums: http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/vgm/index.jsp?page=322853&lang=en
guard told me there will be many additional works on display in the renovated Van Gogh Museum because the gallery space will be greater The museum galleries didn't go under any kind of renovation. The closure was so they could move the main entrance from the street to the park behind the building. It was very difficult to do crowd control from the sidewalks. So only the "lobby" area was changed around.
Michael, have you actually been there since the Van Gogh Museum re-opened? I spoke for several minutes to a guard at The Hermitage, and she made a point of volunteering the detail mentioned above. I didn't solicit it because I was leaving Amsterdam in 2 days' time, so it didn't affect me personally. This May 1, 2013 news article says: "AMSTERDAM (AP) -- The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has reopened after a seven-month renovation, kicking off with "Van Gogh At Work," an exhibition that shows the famously tortured artist's working methods right down to his paints, brushes and other tools....In all, 145 paintings and sketches are on display, almost double the museum's usual collection." It also says, "...the museum, which receives a million visitors a year and is known for long lines, has also instituted a new Internet reservation system that aims to smooth the flow of traffic over the day."
I was there last month. The "Van Gogh At Work" is a temporary exhibit at the "circular" wing of the complex. That exhibit ends January 2014, after that the museum will have back to it's regular number of VGs. If they were to expand the museum with a new wing it would take a lot longer than seven months to build it;) Internet reservations are nice but most folks don't bother with it. Look at the long line at Anne Frank for example.
It also says "Alterations at the Van Gogh were more modest, with fire and safety improvements, new floors and new paint."
Here's maybe the latest scoop. Thanks to Michael's telling where I could stash my junk for a while, I was there exactly ten days ago. It was as he described.