Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk.
There are a number of ports you can dock in Amsterdam. Ijmuiden is the furthest away, before the locks and will take anything from 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours depending on traffic. There should be a shuttle laid on. However, the Dutch have built a terminal about 10 – 20 minutes’ walk from the Central railway station, depending on your speed. On leaving the terminal there were tourist information guides to assist you with maps, purchasing tickets for canal, trams, museums etc, and any other queries you have. However, this is not the only terminal and some are a fair distance away and require a shuttle.
Not only can you see the station to your right when you leave the terminal, to your left is the tram terminal which goes right to the station, then up to Dam Square. The walk into the city is easy, about 30 mins, one straight road that leads to the rear of central station, make your way under the track to the front and everything is linked to there, trams, canal tours, hop-on buses to name a few. Most of these go from the far side of the station, so just keep walking.
There is a variety of things to do whilst in Amsterdam:
The Canal cruises: (inc. a hop on and hop of boat) can be boarded near the station. It’s a great way to see this relatively small city.
The Flower Market: On Singel between Muntplein and Koningsplein is the Bloemenmarkt, open 9.30am – 5pm it is the world’s only floating flower market.
Anna Frank House: There is a boat stop there or you can walk, if you are fit. Do Anna Frank as early as possible as tourists queue to gain entrance for half an hour (occasionally more). However, if this is on your must do and to guarantee entrance it may be better to do an organised excursion.
Diamond Tour: Gassan Diamonds, Nieuwe Uilenburgerstadt 173 – 175, have free tours daily between 9am & 5pm featuring a commentary explaining where diamonds are found and how rough diamonds are transformed into dazzlers.
Architecture: 20 -30 Roemer Visscherstraat is a row of houses built in 1894 in the architectural styles of seven different countries ~ a Gothic German home, a Renaissance Dutch house, an English cottage, a French Chateau,an Italian Palazzo, a Spanish Villa & a Russian Cathedral. 7 Singel has the world’s narrowest house, the frontage is just 1 metre wide although it opens out as goes back
Ferry Ride: Short rides on the IJ river directly behind Central Station, every few minutes daily.
Vondelpark: has play areas for children, cafes for adults and a large Picasso sculpture hunt, also free live entertainment in the summer.
City Farm: For children the Kinderboerderij De Pip is a city farm located at Lizzy Ansinghstraat 82, open Monday to Friday 11am – 5pm & Sat/Sun 1 – 5pm
By Peter Dagnall
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