My visit to Amsterdam was a very brief one, on route to Helsinki (Finland). I spent two nights at the Dikker & Thijs Fenice hotel on Prinsengracht Canal, at the corner of Leidsestraat. This was a very nice hotel in a good location with friendly staff. The hotel was within walking distance of the main shopping street and some nice restaurants and cafes in the nearby square.
A boat trip on Amsterdam’s canals is a must, with most of them starting at the dock near the main railway station. Amsterdam is also a nice city to walk around, so long as you don’t mind walking on cobblestones and avoid its more infamous areas.
A visit to the Anne Frankhuis Museum is a must, it is a very moving and interesting experience. The original building has been very well preserved whilst a neighbouring building hosts a collection of displays, artifacts and audio visual presentations about Anne Frank’s time in hiding. Having never read Anne Frank’s Diary prior to visiting the Museum I purchased a copy at the gift shop as I exited the museum and haven’t been able to put it down since.
Amsterdam is also home The Rembrandthuis Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. I found the Rembrant Haus particularly interesting. The Rijksmuseum was undergoing extensive renovations but the famous Night Watch by Rembrant was still on display. Even with most of the museum closed there was still enough to see to keep me occupied, but then I’m not a great one for spending much more than 1-2 hours in art museums.
A short bus ride away is the old fishing village of Marken and Volendam both of which are worth a visit, but Marken is much picturesque. A short train ride away is Zaanse Schans where several good examples of the famous Windmills can be found. Some of these windmills are open to the public and you can get a close up view of their workings. The area by the windmills is very quite scenic, once you get past the factories by the train station.
A small selection of photos of Amsterdam can be found here.