Amsterdam is the cultural capital of Holland known for its historic museums, quirky art scene, intimate canals and streets. The best way to explore this wonderful city inside out is on a cycle. And now is the best time to go–the very famous tulip festival of Holland is around the corner, and the tulips are in full bloom! So, go go go!
World’s First Airport Park
Airports can be very depressing. Frequent fliers who often look for reduced flights to Amsterdam will tell you how sick they are of waiting in queues, passing through security, and, hell breaks loose if the flight is delayed. And how pissing it can get when you are returning from a blissful vacation and are stuck at the airport for hours. But that is unlikely to happen at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. There is an actual park at the airport where passengers can relax, wait, catch a snack, go out on the open terrace.
To create the ambience of an authentic park, images of beautiful parks have been displayed on the walls, digital butterflies hover around, recorded sounds of children playing and birds chirping play in the background. There is an open terrace where visitors can go for some much-needed sunshine. And the picnic experience is completed with a snack break at the Park Café. Surely, you would return from this trip all happy and gay. Can’t assure you about the airport in your hometown though.
The Great Rijksmuseum
This is a one-star museum, overwhelming in its sheer size and architecture. Founded way back in 1800, and recently opened this month after ten long years, the museum is a historical artefact in itself. Designed by expert engineers and talented artists, the museum features 80 rooms decorated with intricate designs on the walls and ceilings painted with 50,000 stars. The most striking feature of the museum is underground hall the way to which is through a cycling path.
The museum houses a massive collection of 8000 art objects. Famous artists such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer obviously find ample space here. Touted as one the best museums of Europe, the Rijksmuseum is now Amsterdam’s most famous tourist attraction.
City of Art
Amsterdam has been home to famous artists like Rembrandt and Van Gogh. The art scene in the city is fresh, quirky and very much alive. Which is why you will find here many properties inspired by art. A stay in one of these hotels is a must if you dig quirky art.
Welcome to the Exchange Hotel. Don’t be scandalised by the sparsely decorated rooms, the whiteness of it all, the eerie mannequins in the rooms (who does that?! What if they come alive at night!), and the wires and rope hanging around from the walls. This is the result of their rooms-dressed-like-fashion-models theme. No wonder the hotel is located close to the dramatic red-light district.
Want some more elegance and style? Try Hotel Droog; it’s actually a kind of an emporium with only one private bedroom on offer! This is a 17-century heritage building, and the fusion of old architecture and chic designs has brought out a refreshing look. It houses design stores, exhibitions, cafes and a tearoom; there is also a ‘fairytale’ indoor garden.
Amsterdam is famous for its canals. Canals are not only great for travelling around the city but also good for recreational sightseeing. The four main city canals are Prinsengracht, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Singel. Regular boat cruises are organised for tourists. The obvious must-see sites are the famous Holland tulips and much-talked about windmills. Last month Viking River Cruises launched ten new cruise liners setting a Guinness World Record for the maximum number of ships inaugurated in one day.
Red Light District
Amsterdam’s red light district nightlife and its open attitude towards prostitution are famous all over the world. The red light district finds a place on the itinerary of every tourist to Amsterdam. It has become more of a tourist party place now. Tourists even have the option of getting themselves clicked in the (in)famous red-light windows. Replete with all whore paraphernalia—coloured wigs, loud makeup, fishnet stockings. The entire area, with its red lights and glittering boards and windows, is a sight to behold. It’s where you can be officially and legally debauched.