Whether you are cruising along the historic Golden Age canals or meandering through the bustling streets of Amsterdam, you are bound to find hidden and world-renowned architectural wonders just waiting to be explored. Amsterdam’s cityscape is painted with ancient treasures which stand side by side to modern, cutting-edge buildings creating a masterpiece to behold. Many of the buildings which are peppered around the city hold historical value, capturing the essence and tales of the past while welcoming the future of ingenuity. From the treasure-packed museums to the neoclassical splendors, Amsterdam is an urban explorer’s paradise. Scroll down to check out our list of famous buildings in Amsterdam when in The Netherlands, which are bound to leave you breathless.
1. The Royal Palace of Amsterdam
Unravel the secret symbols and untold stories on your visit to Amsterdam’s Royal Palace. The Royal Palace is located in Dam Square and it features many paintings and sculptures which introduce visitors to the rich history of the city and its regal past. When the Palace is not occupied by the King, it is open to the public and features exhibitions throughout the year. Meander through the exquisite rooms, halls and galleries and be enthralled by the beauty of the well-preserved collection of Empire-style furniture and art from the 17th and 18th century.
2. Anne Frank House
The house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis is now one of the most visited attractions in Amsterdam, attracting millions of visitors annually. The monument introduces travelers and locals to the turbulent past and it celebrates the work and writings of Anne Frank. This powerful experience is a must for anyone visiting Amsterdam. Anne Frank’s diary sits in a glass case in her bedroom. Due to the popularity of this attraction, it’s best practice to book your ticket to the museum online, and in advance, to avoid the crowds. It’s hard not to feel the dark despair when you visit the Secret Annexe, which is a part of the museum where the Franks remained silent during the day before being arrested and sent to the concentration camps.
3. The EYE Film Institute
Enjoy the sleek contemporary designs of the EYE Film Institute aimed at educating the public about the Dutch film industry and celebrating all art forms in a display of exhibitions, film screenings, workshops and discussions. The basement, also known as the Panorama, offers a collection which is free to the public. The room is surrounded by film fragment, and visitors can explore the Pods which are a capsule where travelers can watch films in private. The EYE offers an interactive experience for the whole family.
4. Het Scheepvaarthuis
Take a walk into Het Scheepvaarthuis, commonly known as the Shipping House, and discover the intricate details of this architectural wonder. As one of Amsterdam’s best-known monuments, the Shipping School is adorned with sculptures and wrought iron introducing guests to the history of shipping in the Netherlands. The interior is decorated in maritime symbols and aquatic artwork of seahorses, dolphins, waves and anchors. You will experience the grandeur of this attraction, which features the four oceans, from the moment you step through the door and then proceed to view the incredible central stairwell decorated with shells, octopuses and other figurines.
5. Science Centre NEMO
Looking for Kid-friendly attractions? Then be sure to visit the Science Centre NEMO which is a large green, boat-shaped building and is locally recognized as the science museum to visit. The center boasts an exquisite selection of interactive exhibitions offering fun for the whole family of all ages. Journey to the farthest corner of the universe at the Universe exhibition, do some experiments in the laboratory or discover mathematics at the World of Shapes Exhibition.
6. Van Gogh Museum
Step into the world of Van Gogh, which is a celebration of the masterpieces from the Dutch painter, and boasts the largest collection of art worldwide. Due to the popularity of the museum, tickets can only be purchased online. The museum is home to over 200 paintings, 400 drawings and 700 letters. Visit the museum on Friday nights where visitors can enjoy cocktails and the sounds of the local DJ as well as some free guided tours.
7. De Duif
Located along the picturesque Prinsengracht canals, you will stumble across the hidden gem of De Duif. The building is the perfect setting for dinner parties, conferences, galas, concerts and recitals which can be hired out. This building was once a Roman Catholic Church and it still captures the essence of the past in the design and décor of the interior. Every Sunday, the historical church hosts ecumenical services where visitors can get a taste of the culture and traditions of Amsterdam. Be sure to check the events calendar as the church hosts a free organ concert.
Situated in the heart of Amsterdam, you will find this neoclassical canal mansion. The Trippenhuis was built in 1660 – 1662 for the wealthy trip brothers. Today, the mansion is a museum and it welcomes guests from far and wide to view the Dutch national art collection.
9. Het Schip
Take a step back in history and pay a visit to this national treasure called the Het Schip. If you wish to truly appreciate the architectural tapestry of Amsterdam, then this is the perfect place to start your journey. The Het Schip is a structure that was built to the ideals of the Amsterdam School which was a movement between 1910 and 1930. In the past, it was used to house the working class and it features a meeting hall and a post office. Today, the monument opens its doors to visitors as a museum and enlightens visitors about the building and educates about the ideals of the Amsterdam School. Following a tour of the Het Schip, you will start recognizing other buildings that are peppered around the city, which are modeled by the Amsterdam School.
Last but definitely not least, you should visit the majestic Rijksmuseum, which is among one of the worlds finest art museums paying tribute to both local and international artists alike. Tourists flock to this museum to gaze upon the art masterpieces which adorn the walls of the interior. Due to the popularity, much like most of these building, it’s best that your order your tickets online to fast track your entry. The museum is a grand display of Amsterdam’s Golden Age and it features 80 galleries teeming with a complete collection of treasures. Before you even enter, you will be whisked away by the whimsical charm of the sculpture-filled gardens boasting colorful flowerbeds, water features and much more.
If Amsterdam isn’t on your travel bucket list already then the grandeur of these architectural treasures will have you packing your bag and heading for the next flight to this great city.
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