1. Van Gogh Museum
This modern museum houses some 200 paintings and 550 sketches showing Van Gogh in all his moods. This is the biggest collection in the world, of his paintings combined with hundreds of letters by Van Gogh, and selected works by his friends and contemporaries.
2. The Rijksmuseum
This is the largest and the most attractive museum in the Netherlands, with more than one million visitors each year. The museum has a wonderful collection of the 17th Century Dutch Golden Age masterpieces. Famous “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt as well as other celebrated paintings like Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid” and “Woman reading a letter”, “The Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede" by van Ruisdael, “The Burgomaster of Delft and his Daughter” by Jan Steen and many more. These marvellous paintings reflect history and character of the Dutch. Unique sculptures and various antiquities as traditional furniture, Delftware, silver, ship models and doll houses complete the show.
3. Anne Frank House
Anne Frank House in the center of Amsterdam is the hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her famous diary during the World War II. Just a few empty rooms in the hidden annex to the house will make an unforgettable impression if you realize, that two families lived in these small quarters for more than 2 years hiding from the Nazis. The original of the diary is on display, as a part of the Anne Frank House's permanent exhibition
4. Canal Cruise
The famous canals were built during the 17th century to control the flow of the Amstel River and to add acres of dry land to the city. Amsterdam’s wealthy merchants soon discovered that the canals were ideal for showcasing their mansions as well. A boat ride along one of the city’s 100 canals offers visitors a relaxing way to view traditional Dutch architecture. Lined with elm and lime trees and crossed over by more than a thousand bridges, the canals are home to some 2,000 houseboats, including houseboat hotels. Tour operators offer a variety of cruises, ranging from hour-long excursions to candlelight cruises.
5. Heineken Experience
The Heineken Experience is not just your regular museum. It has grown to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. You will find yourself in the former brewery and learn how Heineken became the world famous brand it is today. It’s full of interactive experiences including some beer tasting of course!
6. The Jordaan District
This is the city center of Amsterdam, known for its beautiful houses, nice restaurants and original shops. When in Amsterdam, it is a must to stroll through the little streets and canals. On the many bridges over the canals, you can take beautiful pictures and see why Amsterdam is called the Venice of the North. Popular streets in the Jordaan are the Prinsengracht, the Westerstraat, Haarlemmerstraat and the '9 straatjes' (nine little streets).
7. Central Station
Amsterdam Centraal is the Dutch capital's main station, located right in the heart of Amsterdam, easy walking distance from most of the city's sights and hotels. The impressive station building was designed by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers and completed in 1884. Cuypers also designed the Rijksmuseum, the similarity is not coincidence.
8. The National Maritime Museum
Artifacts from Amsterdam’s rich nautical history are housed within the Scheepvaartmuseum, or National Maritime Museum. Formerly a naval storehouse constructed in 1656, the museum features 18 rooms of exhibits and artifacts. Sea trade made Amsterdam the world’s wealthiest city during the 1600s, and this multi-story museum demonstrates how the Dutch dominated the seas with exhibits that range from depictions of historical sea battles to artfully drawn maps and 17th-century weapons. The museum’s collection of carvings also gives visitors an up-close look at how sailors passed their time while at sea. Moored outside the museum is a replica of the Amsterdam, an 18th-century ship which sailed between the Netherlands and the East Indies.
10. Red Light District
De Wallen is Amsterdam’s infamous red-light district, the city’s designated area for legalized prostitution. The neighborhood covers several canals and side streets to the south of Central Station. More than one hundred one-room apartments are rented by sex workers who entice onlookers from behind windows illuminated with red lights. A strong police presence keeps the neighborhood safe. Although taking pictures is not allowed, visitors are welcome. As the oldest section in Amsterdam, the district is also home to several historic buildings, including the city’s oldest church, the Gothic-style Oude Kerk.
In the Red Light Secrets museum, you’ll learn how the area came to its existence. Furthermore, you’ll get a glimpse from inside a former brothel to get an idea of what it’s like inside. This place might just still your curiosity!
Located between Muntplein and Koningsplein on the south bank of the Singel canal, the Bloemenmarkt is the world’s only floating flower market. Seven days a weeks, flower sellers load stands and floating barges with all of the flowers and bulbs for which the Netherlands is famous. Founded in 1862, the Bloemenmarkt includes more than a dozen different florists and garden shops as well as souvenir stalls. The bulbs offered for sale have been designated as ready for export, so visitors can purchase tulip, daffodil, narcissus and other bulbs as a lasting memento of their trip to Amsterdam.
12. Koninklijk Paleis
One of three royal palaces in the Netherlands, it is located on the western side of Dam Square in the center of the city. The 17th century structure began life as the city’s town hall, but was converted into a palace during the Napoleonic Wars when Napoleon’s brother Louis was crowned King Louis I of Holland. Although the exterior was constructed by Jacob van Campen with sandstone to mimic the public buildings of Rome, the interior is a premier example of the elaborate Empire style of the early 1800s. The palace is still used by the Dutch Royal House for Royal events but is open to the public for most of the year.