We’ll meet by the canal! A city guide to Amsterdam, The Netherlands

There is good reason why there are so many tourists in this city; you just have to go with the flow! Water is without a doubt the most important element in the history of Amsterdam and the Netherlands – without the canals, the country would not have been so wealthy. But the constant pouring of water from the sky was a little too much…


Our hotel Hotel Nes. Do no recommend it, but it is a beautiful house. But just opposite the hotel is Café de Jaren -an old style cafe with large windows and a terrace right down to the canal. A place to go with your laptop, write blogposts and drink a small beer (or tea).


Getting there and away: from the airport, the easiest transportation is the train to Amsterdam Centraal for 5,2 Euro. It takes 15 minutes. From here you can take the tram for 2,5 euros to most places. But I just walked everywhere.


The bridges cross the canals all over the city. It has some 2500 bridges -the largest number in the world.


The canals brought the tulips out of the country and the money in.  The tulip mania started the first economical bubble and crisis. The picture is from the floating flower market Bloemenmarkt.


Fries with chili mayonnaise from Maoz Vegetarian. A small joint on the corner of Muntplein where groups of young people go before drinking. Good falafel as well for 5 euros!


The old weigh-house (Waag) from the 15th century. It was originally part of the medieval city walls as a gate. Among other functions it used to be an anatomical theater and is seen in Rembrandt’s painting “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp” in 1632.


Begijnhof, where the oldest house in Amsterdam is – a wooden house in the corner. That is until they recently found an even older. But Begijnhof is still the oldest courtyard with charitable housing. This is for religious women – something like an open convent and funded during the middle ages.

Processed with MOLDIV

These brass plates are all over Europe called Stolperstein and was initiated by artist Gunter Demnig. They commemorate a Holocaust victim living or working in the house, where the plate is laid down. The victims were primarily Jews, but also Jehovah’s witnesses, Romani and others.


Lunch at PLUK – located in the area around the “9 canals” where you also find the best shops. The canal rings are a UNESCO Heritage site.


The beautiful old canal houses were built and inhabited by wealthy merchants trading goods from the Netherlands and from its colonies. One important income came from the slave trade.


Spinoza was a famous Dutch philosopher. He was a Determinist, meaning he thought that everything happens because it has to – by  necessity, not free will!


Flamingo? Close to the botanical garden /Hortus Botanicus) is the zoo. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world from 1638 initiated during a plague epidemic for medical herbs. Just next to it is the café and restaurant de Plantage in a fine greenhouse-like setting serving pasta, risotto and good wine – but book ahead.


Amsterdam has a long history of supporting LGTBI. The best part is that you can still see the old sign underneath, underlining the overwriting of old values!


Munttoren or the Mint Tower. It was also part of the original medieval city wall like the Waag. The name stems from the time when the official minting was moved here because of fear of an attack from France and England in 1672.

Did you know: Amsterdam is named after the actual dam originally located in the canal Amstel. The dam is now Dam square.

Coming soon: the lesser known museums in Amsterdam

What is your favourite European city?