Amsterdam, the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. With its universities, academies, and research institutes, along with more than 40 museums, numerous theaters, and entertainment venues, Amsterdam is the country's leading cultural center. In addition, the city is famous for its historic homes, laid out in a pattern of concentric segments in the shape of a fan and built on piles driven through an upper layer of mud into the firm, sandy bottom up to 18 meters below. All told, some 6,750 buildings dating from the 16th to 18th centuries are crowded into an area of 2,000 acres, dissected by 160 canals (grachten), themselves home to numerous houseboats. Many picturesque bridges link the city's 90 islands, eight of them old wooden bascule bridges, including the Magere Brug (Mager Bridge), one of the city's most frequently photographed.
Van Gogh Museum
As befits one of the world's greatest artists, the spectacular Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is ranked an impressive 35th in the top art museums globally, attracting almost 1.5 million visitors each year. Home to the world's largest collection of Van Gogh paintings -many donated by the artist's family - this impressive gallery and museum was specially built to showcase the more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 700 letters in its vast collection. Works by his contemporaries are also on display. If you're only able to visit one of the many excellent art museums in the Netherlands, make it this one.
The spectacular Rijksmuseum (aka the Dutch National Museum) in Amsterdam has been collecting rare art and antiquities since 1809. Not surprisingly, its extensive collection today amounts to nearly seven million works of art, including 5,000 paintings in more than 250 rooms, as well as a vast library with some 35,000 books. Apart from its unique collection of old masters, it offers an exhaustive account of the development of art and culture in the Netherlands and is especially rich in traditional Dutch handicrafts, medieval sculpture, and modern art. Be prepared to spend the best part of a day - or longer - exploring this museum's endless treasures.
Amsterdam canal ring
The city old centre is formed from canal rings, which give you the feeling of space, freedom and peace. Walk through these canal streets or better – take a trip with a boat by boarding one of the tourist cruises or by renting the boat yourself. Anther way to explore the Venice of the North is to take a ride on a bicycle. Any way you decide for – enjoy this city, one of the most beautiful in the world. If you like boats there is also a large upcoming event about historical sail ships called Amsterdam SAIL.