We all have been in the situation where people from your home country are visiting you abroad and ask you the worst question ever – “Can you please advise me where to go”, and when they add “I do not want to go to a touristic place, but to something special”, you start panicking and thinking that you have absolutely no clue. In this article I’ll try to help you with this struggle. After reading this article you should be able to answer this question from your visitors.
Quick note: I’m keen on fancy places, creativity and art, if you do not share the same interests, this article might not be that useful for you.
I’ll start with a short review of the touristic hotspots in Amsterdam (in my opinion of course). I had a lot of guests during the first two terms here at ONCAMPUS Amsterdam, so I have visited the majority of the hotspots already. Be ready for a long list!
- Van Gogh museum – I would definitely recommend to go here. The museum is quite small and looking at the paintings from really close by is an exciting experience. You won’t have to suffer from wondering through endless rooms with the same paintings on every wall, which is in my opinion a good thing! The unique thing about this museum is that you can observe the development of Vincent van Gogh’s madness when visiting the museum. The exposition starts with his earliest works and finishes with his very last one.
- Rijksmuseum – I would not recommend going here, if you already have visited the same kind of museums before. This museum is really similar to other museum which exhibit masterpieces from famous painters. You won’t find anything new here. If you have not visit such a museum before the Rijksmuseum is a nice place to go to.
- Madame Tussauds – If you have the time this is a cool place to visit . It’s cool and impressive. Nevertheless it wouldn’t be my first choice, if I need to pick my favourite spot in Amsterdam.
- NEMO – NEMO is a nice place to visit with families and kids who are between 6 and 14 years old. For children who are a bit older or adolescents it might be a bit boring.
- The Amsterdam Dungeon – I had a lot of fun when visiting the Amsterdam Dungeon. The live performance was interesting, intense and sometimes even a bit scary. Although it was fun I do think it doesn’t really represent Amsterdam.
Next to the touristic hotspots there are a lot of other places that you can visit. Here are the places that I would recommend to go to when being in Amsterdam:
- MOCO museum – MOCO museum is located on Museum square, just as Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. The museum is much smaller and more private than the other museums located on this square. You will need around 40 minutes to have a look around. The museum renews it exposition every now and then. Banksy is permanently exhibited here and in the past pieces from Andy Warhol and Salvatore Dali were exhibited. If you like this kind of art, MOCO is definitely a nice place to go to.
- A’DAM Tower and Eye-museum – These are my favourite places. The A’DAM tower is the best place to sit in the sun, chill and watch Amsterdam from above. In the Eye Museum next to the A’DAM Tower you can learn a lot about movies. There is an informative movie that you can watch and more interactive things that you can participate in. In Eye you will also find a café with an incredible view over the river Ij. Even the building of the Eye museum is very unusual and interesting to see.
- A walk through the city – I think a walk through the city is the best way to discover Amsterdam. A nice route for you might be: Central station – The Dam- Rembrandt square – Amstel river – Museum square – Jordaan neighbourhood. When taking this route you will see all the Amsterdam Highlights and activities or restaurants will always be close by. In my opinion the Jordaan neighbourhood is the nicest places to go to. Here you will find the most beautiful buildings and surroundings. You can really feel that you are in the heart of Amsterdam.
Next to all these tips from me, there also some websites and applications that might be able to help you out;
- If you would like to look up some nice restaurants or other places where you can buy food the app Foodguide might help you. They also have an inspiring and convenient Instagram page. Other than that you can use TripAdvisor, but I am not really a big fan of this.
- IAMSTERDAM is a really good website if you want to know anything about Amsterdam as well. This website will tell you everything about things going on in Amsterdam, staying in the Netherlands and Dutch culture. You can find the website here.
- In my opinion Facebook is your best friend when staying in Amsterdam. It knows your preferences and shows you what you like. I think when the weather is okay the best thing to go to in Amsterdam is a festival. You can find all different kind of festivals on Facebook. At a festival you will feel really welcome and you can try a lot of new things. And most of the time these festivals could be visited for free. I am happy to live in Amsterdam, where a lot of festivals and events are organized every month and it won’t be a problem to find one.
By Ivanna Slipets, Student Representative
I hope this article is informative and may help to you to make a decision on where to go to in Amsterdam, or answer the questions from your annoying visitors. I’m working on finding more sources for interesting events myself, but if you know something interesting share it with me!