If you like travelling and meeting new cultures, one of the most exciting cities you can visit is Amsterdam. When you think of the Netherlands, you cannot help but have the images of windmills, tulips and clogs in mind. The Netherlands capital is famous for its canal system, beautiful tulips, cycling and a number of museums which are home to the most popular artworks in the world. If you decide to go and visit this amazing city, don't miss the opportunity to cross off these several things from your list.
Take a Canal Ride
Amsterdam is known as "the Venice of the North" because of its famous canal system, which consists of 165 canals. The most famous ones are Herengracht, Singel, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht. These canals were constructed in the 17th century, when the Dutch were famous for their military, trade, science and art. On these beautiful canals, you can see a vast number of boats, bridges and canal houses, as well as some amazing wildlife. The best way to see the beauty of Amsterdam is to take a boat ride through the canal when the weather is nice, and enjoy a beautiful sunny day. You can also consider taking a canal ride at night and witness the magic of city lights dancing in the water.
Go to the Flower Market
Amsterdam has become the world's main exporter of flowers and plants. The Netherlands is most popular for their tulips, but there are all kinds of flowers you can admire. Spring is the best time to visit Amsterdam, since it is the season when the flowers sprout everywhere you look and the landscape looks as if it came right out of a fairytale. Be sure to visit the famous flower market, Bloemenmarkt, alongside the Singel canal, where there is an abundance of plants and flowers for sale.
See the Famous Windmills
Amsterdam used to be cluttered with windmills, but only 8 of them remain today. Many of them have been relocated to the suburbs because of better wind conditions than in the center of the city. Only one of the windmills is open to the public, the Molen van Sloten, so be sure to go and see its great beauty. However, many other mills participate in the National Windmill Day, which is held on the second Saturday in May and it is the time when these historical buildings come to life again.
Visit the Begijnhof
Take a chance to discover the Begijnhof, one of the oldest inner courtyards in the city of Amsterdam. It dates back to the early 14th century, when it was home to the Catholic sisterhood of the Beguines. The courtyard is cut off from the traffic noise and has a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. It has a well-kept green garden enclosed with beautiful houses. It is very popular with tourists and it is absolutely worth visiting. Don't be shy to go inside and take a look at the pulpit panels designed by Mondrian. You can be sure to have an excellent experience if you visit this beautiful courtyard.
Visit the Hortus Botanicus
Another place to see the amazing flowers in Amsterdam is the botanical garden called Hortus Botanicus. Originally founded in 1638, it is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. It is located in the Plantage district of Amsterdam, in the centre of the city, and it contains over 6000 various indigenous and non-native plants and trees. It has a cafÃ© and gorgeous outdoor gardens, as well as a Botanicus's Butterfly Greenhouse, which is a home to hundreds of butterflies flying around. If you visit this botanical garden. Don't forget to go and see the garden's giant water lily, Victoria. When in bloom, it opens its flower every night around dusk, so be sure not to miss it.
There are certainly a lot more things to do and places to visit when in Amsterdam, but this short list will show you where to start. Apart from the amazing restaurants, where you can try all kinds of food and the famous museums which are absolutely a must-see and which you surely will not miss, try all these things we recommend and you will definitely be satisfied with your trip.
Contributed by http://www.amsterdamstay.com/