There are so many things to do in Amsterdam that it can be impossible to choose what to go and see. If you are looking for things to do that go hand in hand with the Dutch stereotype, then these are the top five Dutch tourist attractions you should go and see if you have a limited time in Amsterdam.
The red light district: Prostitution is legalised in Holland, and visitors flock to the red light district to see prostitutes standing in shop windows looking for business, and also to give them some business! The liberal attitude of the Dutch people is reflected by their attitude to prostitution – since 1830 prostitution has been legalised and is now recognised as a profession. They pay taxes, and have to obtain a license to operate.
Van Gogh Museum: Van Gogh is a world famous artist from the Netherlands and the Van Gogh museum houses the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings in the world – definitely a good reason for a visit. They have other painters work there too, and they also have other exhibitions on as well as their permanent collection of Van Gogh paintings. They are open late on Fridays and they have lectures on some Sundays throughout the year (though not in July and August) in Dutch and English.
Anne Frank Museum: This is an absolute must. Many people know that Holland was once occupied by Nazi Germany (H&M in Dam Square was the Gestapo’s headquarters!) Anne Frank’s diary describes the secret Annex. You can go and see it for yourself and imagine what life was like in occupied Holland.
Coffee shops: Because currently marijuana is legal here (although the Dutch government has been talking about citizens getting a weed pass to stop tourists buying it) and it’s one of the main reasons that tourists come here. Whether you want to partake in the action, or just sit and people watch, a coffee shop is an ideal way to relax after taking in all of the sights.
The Heineken experience: Heineken is the dutch beer brand (though not beer as you know it, more of a lager beer than an actual beer) This is great because explains how they make beer and it’s really interesting even if you’re like me and you don’t like beer, and definitely worth the entry fee if you include the two free beers you get at the end.
If you think I’ve missed anything out from this list please let me know.