amsterdam-flowers

Foam Fotografiemuseum

Once you’ve hit the inevitable tourist haunts in the Museumplein like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, hop on your bike and head over to the canal belt for something a little fresher. Located in a striking canal house on the Keizersgracht, Foam’s museum has as many as four different photography exhibitions on display at any one time. While you can certainly find impressive retrospectives of artists like Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon here, Foam is dedicated to showcasing the works of budding photographers. On your way out, bag a copy of their quarterly magazine, which makes a far better souvenir than a postcard.

Van Loon

Knock off a whole lot of culture in one hit, as the Museum Van Loon is just across the canal from Foam. Named after the family who occupied the house from the 1800s, the canal house museum is a beautifully preserved example of how the Dutch aristocracy lived. While there are always interesting exhibitions on at the Van Loon Museum, the real draw is the house itself. Step through the door and back into the Dutch golden age.

Canal Cruise

There is really no better way to see the city than from the canals. Don’t have friends in Amsterdam to shuttle you around in their sloep? No matter. Be bold and navigate yourself through Amsterdam’s waterways with either Mokumboat or Sloep Delen. If you’re not comfortable steering solo but still want your sea legs, Pulitzer Hotel runs a dreamy canal cruise on its own beautiful salon boat.

Plastic Whale

On a mission to clear Amsterdam’s canals of plastic waste since 2011, Plastic Whale provide a different means of taking in the city’s sights. Armed with a net, you take to the water wearing an imaginary superhero cape and a resolution to fish out anything inanimate that floats your way. In the seven years it’s been running, Plastic Whale has collected enough plastic to produce a fleet of 10 boats which now patrol the canals, a brilliant  (albeit somewhat depressing) fact. It’s an excellent way to secure a typical Dutch experience while also soliciting virtual high fives from strangers.

A’DAM Lookout

One for those with a head for heights and a yearning to rekindle the joys of childhood should head for the A’DAM Lookout, an observation deck boasting 360° views of the city that’s also home to Europe’s highest swing. Fortunately, it’s a pleasingly sturdy structure rather than ramshackle affair you’d grapple with at the local playground, and there’s a bar should you require some Dutch (ahem) courage. Book a space at sunset; it’s magical.

  • A’DAM Lookout
  • Go to Website
  • 20th & 21th floor of A’DAM Toren Amsterdam
    Overhoeksplein 5
    1031 KS

Singel No.7

Amsterdam’s beautifully constructed, canal-lining houses are some of the most distinctive in the world, and of them all, the house at Singel No 7 is the narrowest. Measuring just one-metre across, it was constructed in the 17th century, when buildings in the city were taxed according to the size of their facade. It’s located a short walk from Centraal and en route to the Red Light District, so well worth a visit if you’re passing through.

  • Oude Hoogstraat 22
    1012 CE

Museum of Bags and Purses

Home to more than 5,000 bags, including ones designed by Gucci, Prada, Dior, Chanel to name a few, the Museum of Bags and Purses is an ode to arm candy. The building itself is really rather beautiful, but you’ll probably be far too busy coveting bags of all shapes and sizes to notice. Look out for pieces once owned by Madonna and Magaret Thatcher.

Amsterdam Dance Event

Usually held during the penultimate weekend of October, Amsterdam Dance Event is more than just a showcase of the finest electronic music – it’s a five-day event that sees the city really come alive. People from across the planet flock to the canals for a programme that includes thought-provoking talks, cultural events and raves in places you never knew existed. Hands down one of Amsterdam’s best global gatherings, coincide your trip for a unique opportunity to see it as the buzzing cultural hub it’s become.

Wynand Fockink

A traditional tasting tavern home to more than 50 liqueurs, Wynand Fockink has been getting Dutch people drunk since 1679. Located just behind Dam Square, pop by to sample liqueurs that range in flavour from fennel, apricot, and blackberry, to the rather niche “Hansel in the Cellar”– a drink you toast with when celebrating a pregnancy. Private tastings can be arranged if you’re determined to emerge a pro/inebriated.

Stedelijk Museum

Much adored by culture-seeking locals, the Stedelijk is a museum specialising in modern and contemporary art and design. Exhibitions are frequent and innovative, often exploring zeitgeist themes of modern-day existence – essentially, displays to make you think. New York graffiti artist Keith Haring’s gargantuan work is currently on display in the building’s grand hallway, standing as a bold testament for what to expect as you snake your way through the corridors.

Foam Fotografiemuseum

Van Loon

Canal Cruises

Plastic Whale

A’DAM Lookout

Singel No.7

Museum of Bags and Purses

Wynand Fockink

Stedelijk Museum

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