19 November 2013 - Ferdi Burger

Amsterdam is known to most as a party city that's only suitable for the young, but it's an old cliché that simply isn't true. There is something for everyone in this beautiful city, whether you're looking to experience some culture on a gentle vacation or you're after a thrilling city break.

The beauty

Amsterdam is a strikingly picturesque city, famous for its tulips and windmills. Despite the fact it is a city, it somehow manages to stay scenic and village-like. This is likely down to the architecture, as the city features Gothic churches and pretty bridges over beautiful canals.

It comes to life at night too, with lights brightening up bridges and buildings and designer bars trying to pull in a sophisticated crowd. This modern feel contrasts with the more historical buildings, which is probably why Amsterdam seems so contemporary and edgy.

Whether you come for the flowers and canals or the bright lights and bars, you're sure to remember Amsterdam as one of the most beautiful cities you've seen yet.

The culture

If you haven't already booked your flights and purchased you travel insurance, perhaps the culture of Amsterdam will persuade you to visit.

There are plenty of things to do and experience in Amsterdam, especially if you're a fan of art, as there are a huge amount of museums and galleries open to the public. One highlight is the Rijksmuseum, which is home to works of art by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Frans Hals and more. If fine art isn't your fancy you can also enjoy displays of furniture, costumes and jewellery.

Another great museum is the Van Gogh Museum. There are more of his drawings and paintings here than anywhere else in the world, so it's a must-see for Gogh fans. You can learn more about his life, work and you can even compare his art to the works of other artists who were also around at the time.

No one should leave Amsterdam without visiting Anne Frank's House. Although it's a rather solemn experience, it gives you insight into how Anne Frank and her family lived whilst they were hiding in the attic rooms. It has been kept in the condition it was left, even the pictures that Anne Frank placed on the wall are still there.

The day trips

You don't have to stay in the city for your entire holiday, there are also a number of day trips you can take. Art lovers may want to travel to The Hague, which is where the royal picture gallery Mauritshuis resides. Inside the gallery is Vermeer's famous painting 'Girl with a Pearl Earring', among other impressive works from the Golden Age of art.

Alternatively, if you want to experience village life you can take a 20-minute train ride to Zaanse Schans, which used to have 1,000 windmills working away. Now there are only 12, but this recreation of village life still creates clogs, mustard and more for tourists to experience and purchase.

Amsterdam really does offer a lot to all age groups and those who are over 55 will be particularly surprised that this city is the perfect getaway location for them. There are quaint cafés, vintage clothes stores, antique shops and fine dining restaurants, all of which provide visitors with a unique and interesting experience. It's easy to get around the city too, with bicycle hire and canal boat tours available. There's not much more that you could possibly want or need from one city.

Photo Credit: flickr-zakmc



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