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The Amsterdam Experience

by Amsterdam.com
​Your Amsterdam experience can be many different things depending on where you go and what you choose to do when you get there. Some might go for the art and architecture, while many others seek the various types of other entertainment available in the red light district. While most of the things that the city is notorious for are still available to a point, Amsterdam is also now in a process of change and has begun limiting the cannabis and sex as the Red Light District faces stricter new laws. Regardless of what happens in the Red Light District, tourists always have many other great things to see and do in and around the city.

First on anyone’s list of things to do in Amsterdam has to be a trip to visit a few of the city’s great museums like the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, the Museum Amstelkring and the Joods Historisch Museum. One must-see museum is the Rijksmuseum, where the country's largest collection of art and artifacts from the 15th century up to 1900 are on display. The Rijksmuseum has hundreds of masterpieces in its collection, including 40 Rembrandts and four works by Vermeers along with a wealth of other decorative arts. The Stedelijk Museum has a collection that includes works by Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse and Chagall. The nearby Van Gogh Museum contains some 200 paintings and 500 drawings produced by Van Gogh as well as works by Gauguin.

The bridges and canals circling the city help provide access to the art zones near the Museum Quarter that is full of surprising and unique shops, galleries and authentic cafés. The most famous of the picturesque canal areas is Prinsengracht, lined with trees and houseboats. The canals also lead to other places worth visiting including the historic Brouwersgracht district and the Leliegracht shopping center.

The largest green space in Amsterdam is the Vondelpark, a cultural hub that is quite active in the summer when people gather to exercise, play football, cycle and walk. From June to September, music and dance activities for kids are held at the Vondelpark’s Openluchttheater. Bicycles have always been very popular in the Netherlands and Amsterdam is covered with wide bicycle lanes that allow tourists to catch all the sights and travel inexpensively anywhere in the city. Amsterdam also has hundreds of handy bike rental services throughout the city to serve both the tourists and locals year round.

Those who visit Amsterdam in the winter will find that the frozen canals provide an endless ice-skating system as skaters zoom along narrow city canals. Indoor and outdoor ice rinks are popular too and the largest is Thialf in Heerenveen. In warmer weather, the Albert Cuypmarkt is an active general market that winds through the city and offers a everything from smoked eel to Surinamese desserts.

Many neighborhoods have their own authentic markets. Some are smaller ones are local farmer’s markets and others are big tourist bazaars like the Waterlooplein flea market. Amsterdam has an active street art scene where the corners are covered with various types of art exhibitions ranging from graffiti to sculpture. The wide range of art, architecture and history in Amsterdam can make it well worth your time to step outside the confines of the Red Light District when you next visit the beautiful city of canals.

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