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Amsterdam, Land of Cheese and Canals

Ronita Mohan

Everyone you know has been to Amsterdam. Well, now it is your turn. Amsterdam is unlike any other city you’ve visited. A mixture of history and modernity, Amsterdam is one of the world’s most tourist-friendly cities and an absolute joy to visit.

If you find yourself short on time but in desperate need for a holiday, Amsterdam is perfect for a brief flyby. For those with more time on their hands, Amsterdam is great as a base for travelling around Holland or even to other countries in Europe.

When looking for accommodation, find a hotel in the city center. We stayed at a chic boutique hotel just five minutes’ walk away from the stunning Amsterdam Centraal Station. It was also conveniently located near several public transport services. Of course, the best way to get around Amsterdam is by cycle – it is said that in the city, there are at least two cycles per person.

You can’t go to Amsterdam without paying your respects at Anne Frank’s house, now a museum. The final home of the Frank family as they hid from Nazis for two years, the museum is a stark reminder of the horrors of war and human resilience. This is an incredibly popular attraction so book well in advance and arrive early to avoid the queues. Also, don’t miss the statue of Anne Frank located behind the house.

There are numerous museums in Amsterdam and it is difficult to visit them all. We decided to focus our efforts on the Museum Quarter. The Rijksmuseum is unmissable for its collection of Dutch masters, including Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Vermeer and Mondrian. The Stedelijk, on the other hand, is perfect for anyone interested in modern art. The Van Gogh museum is beautifully laid out and has an astounding collection showcasing the evolution of Van Gogh’s art.

For beer lovers, Amsterdam is the home of Heineken beer, so you won’t want to miss the Heineken experience. But, keep in mind that this is the most popular attraction in the city. Keep plenty of time in hand for the long queues.

If you have time, check out the small but enjoyable Madame Tussaud’s, which includes an excellent Marvel Cinematic Universe exhibit. Also, try and squeeze in a visit to the Body Works anatomy museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not and one of the many diamond museums.

There’s cheese galore in this city and you will want to book yourself a cheese and wine tasting to truly enjoy the history of cheese-making in the city. Keep space in your luggage because once you taste Amsterdam cheese, you won’t be able to live without it.

Like many European cities, Amsterdam is a walking city. Head down to the Jordaan for a beautiful view of the canals and some amazing food. There are several gorgeous parks dotted around the city but Vondelpark is the largest and most attractive. Located in the Museum Quarter, this is the ideal spot to rest your weary feet and enjoy some street food.

Tired of walking? Take one of the many canal cruises on offer and enjoy the city from a brand new perspective.

Amsterdam has a very multi-cultural approach to food and you will find restaurants serving everything from Indonesian noodles to American burgers. If you are looking to taste some indigenous cuisine, book a Dutch food tour. An authentic experience will include raw herring, meatballs, croquettes and batter-fried fish. And don’t leave without trying some Dutch waffles and sweet doughballs, called poffertjes.

Amsterdam is a vibrant, welcoming city with so much heart. Packed with attractions, stunning sights and the best of the world’s food, it is the kind of enchanting place that wraps you in its arms and never lets you go.

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