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Amsterdam is a lovely city of thrilling bike paths, tranquil walks, bohemian neighborhoods and gentle garden escapes. Here’s a suggested list of ten diverse and memorable ways to see the city in its ecclectic and charming character.
1. Wander along the lovely canals It is something one can find here in abundance, it is free, peaceful and often leads to historic enclaves and scenic vistas. The waterways are bounded by pedestrian and bike lanes so be sure to be in the right one.
2. The Anne Frank House This captures in vivid detail through the memoirs and life of this insightful girl what the experience of being persecuted and sought in one of history’s darkest moments. The house is worth the visit and tells the story well.
3. The Hortus Botanicus gardens This massive and eclectic place is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens and the famous tulips can be found in variety and abundance. Yet there is far more than tulips to see here and the colors will simply dazzle the visitor.
4. Begijnhof An oasis of solace right in the heart of the old town. This well preserved quarter served as a cloister, gardens and homes for Medieval Catholic women who lived in community but were not nuns. Some of them lived here while their husbands were on crusade.
5. Jordaan neighborhood This lively sector of town lies due west of the city center. It can be found between Prinsengracht and Lijnbaansgracht. Historically this neighborhood was a place for the working classes but has taken on an eclectic and bohemian vibe that includes many unique restaurants, fashion depots and art galleries.
6. Hema Store This department store has a long tradition in Amsterdam and now operates as a chain. It sells almost everything one can think of from office supplies to household furniture and the prices are good for locals as well as visitors. Skip the typical souvenir stands and go here for more unique and better priced for value mementos.
7. Het Grachtenhuis Museum This is the newest addition to the scene of a city with impressive museums. The theme is the canals of Amsterdam. The setting is a lovely and small house that has state of the art décor and display techniques due to its recent opening. Fully integrated media and several unique perspective deliver an interactive splash into the great history, geography and aesthetics these waterways bear witness to.
8. Noordermarkt This is the unique kind of market where one can find vintage clothing, unusual antiques, souvenirs and an all around lively experience to see what the vendors put out. No two products or walks around the stalls will be the same.
9. Kalverstraat This is the name brand and recognized fashion shopping area. The prices aren’t the best you will find anywhere but the items on display are beautifully displayed and enticingly arranged. This is a great place to stroll, people watch and admire much of the beautiful architecture.
10. Centraal Station Whether you are arriving into Amsterdamn via rail, ferry or by flight, it is worthwhile to make one’s way down to the central train station. This district of the city really opens up and the train station is an impressive structure that sees the passage of tens of thousands of people each day. The neighborhood is also home to some attractive churches and fantastic structures.