With colorful narrow houses perched along canals everywhere, the entire city of Amsterdam is in itself an attraction. Just getting lost in random streets was on top of a must-do list for visitors.
A canal in Amsterdam, Holland
Narrow houses in Holland, Amsterdam
Just behind Amsterdam’s seemingly idyllic setting of canal and colorful houses, however, lies its painful past of WWII. Nearly half of the Jews hiding in Amsterdam during that era were prosecuted, partly due to Holland’s detailed demographic record. In our first evening, we paid our visit to the most infamous hiding places of all, the Anne Frank Huis. We were glad that we purchased advance tickets, as there was a long line outside.
Anne Frank Huis, Amsterdam, Holland
Once inside, we follow the signs and other tourist to take a tour around the house. I must admit that there is no information in the house that I haven’t learned online beforehand. However, It was a very sobering experience. For people who are interested in Anne Frank’s life or history of WWII, it is a must see if you are visiting Amsterdam. I would allow a little bit more than an hour for the visit.
After we were done, we took a stroll around the city, enjoying the beautiful view of canals and historic sights in Dam Square.
Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Holland
Nightview of Canal, Amsterdam, Holland
We also checked out Amsterdam’s infamous redlight district. We had considered joining a walking tour, but decided to go on our own instead based on a friend’s advice. There were lots of tourists on the street and the girls in the display windows seem to be used to it. We felt very safe and were happy to wander around without a guide. I have heard that your cameras would be destroyed if you take pictures of the girls, so I kept mine hidden the entire time we were there.
On our second day in Amsterdam, we took a tram from our hotel to check out Amsterdam’s museum quarter. The garden outside was blooming with tulips in multiple colors. There was also the famous I Amsterdam sign. We didn’t go inside the museum, though. Since we were planning to visit many Paris museums with our museum pass, we wanted to take a break in Amsterdam.
Beautiful garden outside Rijkmuseum
Afterwards, we checked out the floating flower market. All of the flower shops were at least partially on a boat. We didn’t buy anything (in fact, we didn’t buy any souvenir at all to minimize luggage during our three-week trip), but it was fun to stroll along the canal and check out all kinds of plants.
After floating flower market, it was time to head to Waterland!
Next time we are in Amsterdam, we will be sure to check out the museums and try a canal cruise.
This is one of my posts for our two-day stay in Holland. For other posts, please see:
- History and Sights of Amsterdam
- Waterland: Countryside of Holland
- Paris to Athens: Our Whirlwind Itinerary