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Activities, Amsterdam

As well as the wondrous canals, Amsterdam holidays provide activities for everyone to enjoy. For the art lovers, the Gogh Museum presents the collection of Gogh’s amazing artistic creations. For those interested in Science, the modern NEMO Science Centre offers you the chance to test out real life experiments and experience chemistry hands on. The enchanting Efteling amusement park is also a must-see, featuring the aspects of adventure and fairytale, rolled into one location.

Canal Cruise

No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without taking a canal cruise. The canals of Amsterdam are some of the most iconic in the whole world; the streets they run alongside can be best viewed from the comfort of a boat as you sail along them taking in the gorgeous sights. Immerse yourself in the beautiful architecture during the day, or take a romantic cruise in the evening when the city is illuminated by its magical street lights.

If you’re in the mood for ‘pushing the boat out’, you can book a wine and dinner canal cruise; enjoying a four-course meal, you can embark on a romantic two-hour cruise down the city’s waterways. Alternatively, you can book a more traditional day canal cruise, where a tour guide will point out various spots of interest. These tours run regularly, practically every hour, all day, meaning you have ample opportunity to take advantage of this activity.

Dutch National Opera

Indulge your cultural side by paying a visit to the Dutch National Opera. Housed in Amsterdam’s Stopera building, Dutch National Opera has been delighting audiences for over 70 years, with opera lovers from all over the world paying Amsterdam a visit just to see a production.

Dutch National Opera prides itself on quality, diversity and innovation, promising theatre goers the performance of a lifetime, whatever they choose to go and see. Their fresh spins on classic operas has seen rave reviews from the world’s press and their productions differ greatly each time.

You will receive a warm welcome when you visit the Dutch National Opera, but it is advised that you book your tickets well in advance of your visit to Amsterdam, as their productions are known to sell out fast. This is the perfect way of enjoying Dutch culture, immersing yourself in a performance you will not get anywhere else in the world.

Hermitage Amsterdam

Hermitage Amsterdam is one of the most-visited museums in the city. Located in the former Amstelhof, a building dating back to 1681, it is home to a range of exhibitions, giving visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the country’s deep cultural history.

View the Outsider Art Gallery to see a range of well-known and lesser known outsiders from the art world, including paintings, drawings sculptures and photography. These are ever-changing exhibitions, ensuring the collection is kept up to date. The Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age houses 30 enormous group portraits from the 17th century, bringing together paintings from both the Amsterdam Museum and the Rijksmuseum for the first time.

Guided tours are available, as well as courses and workshops for adults and children, alike. If your child is celebrating a birthday during your Amsterdam holiday, they can host a birthday party at the Hermitage Amsterdam, which includes a tour, workshop, snacks and special present for the birthday boy or girl.

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds can be located right in Amsterdam’s city centre on Dam Square. This world-famous wax museum is home to hundreds of waxworks of famous celebrities, from the Golden Age of Dutch history to the 21st century’s biggest singing sensations. As you would expect from the world’s most renowned waxwork museum, each statue is uncannily realistic.

If you have a love of comic books, you won’t want to miss paying a visit to Madame Tussauds’ new Marvel Comics section. This section plays host to the likes of The Hulk, Thor and Captain America.

Alternatively, if music is your thing, you can view artists ranging from Elvis to Justin Bieber. Film stars include the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Sean Connery and Charlie Chaplin, and there’s also an abundance of sporting figures like David Beckham and Lionel Messi.

Famous figures from history are also present, such as Einstein, Picasso and the Dalai Lama.

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam has been known to receive as many as 419,000 visitors a year, making it one of the city’s most popular attractions. The building itself has a rich maritime history; once a naval storehouse, it was originally constructed in 1656 and has housed the National Maritime Museum since 1973.

Those who have a love of maritime history will be delighted to know that the National Maritime Museum houses a great many artefacts that are related to shipping and sailing . As well as scale models, weapons and world maps, the museum is also home to a surviving copy of Maximilianus Transylvanus’ work, De Moluccis Insulis, which was the first to describe Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage across the world.

A replica of the 18th century ship, the Amsterdamn, can be found moored outside the museum. There is also a restaurant and a gift shop within the museum.

Rembrandt House Museum

The Rembrandt House Museum can be found right in the heart of Amsterdam. This beautiful building is where the world-famous Dutch artist called home for 25 years, until 1656. If you are an art lover, the Rembrandt House Museum gives you a Rembrandt experience like nowhere else; it has been refurbished meticulously with art and furnishings from the artist’s time period for a truly authentic feel.

Its collection of Rembrandt etchings is almost complete within the museum, as well as being a venue for contemporary artists to exhibit their works for the public. Most of these artists have been inspired by Rembrandt.

Guided tours are available, where an expert tour guide will point out paintings of interest and provide you with information on Rembrandt’s life and work. There is also a gift shop that sells exclusive Rembrandt merchandise, including puzzles, prints, books and mugs. You can book your visit online via the Rembrandt House Museum’s official website.

Science Centre

If you have a passion for science and technology, then you simply have to make the NEMO Science Centre one of the must-see places during your visit to Amsterdam. This science centre houses five floors’ worth of hands-on science exhibitions for all the family to enjoy and learn from. It is the largest science centre in the Netherlands.

Visiting the first floor, you will be able to gain hands-on knowledge of DNA and chain reactions – be sure to check out the giant dominoes and the flying car. The second floor will educate you on circuitry with its ball factory, while on the third floor you will be able to see the giant science laboratory, where you can conduct your own science experiments, such as analysing DNA and testing vitamin C.

A café and gift shop can also be found in the site, ensuring you have a memento to take home with you from such a great day out.

Van Gogh Museum

Opened in 1973, the Van Gogh Museum is one of the most visited museums in the Netherlands, attracting over one-million visitors every year. Located at the Museum Square, it is the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work to be found anywhere in the world, making it an essential visiting spot for holidaymakers who love art.

This collection includes a great number of Van Gogh’s unsold works, giving visitors a unique experience of seeing some of his rarest paintings and drawings. However, it is also home to some of Van Gogh’s most famous works of art. Highlights include his famous Sunflowers painting from 1889, as well as two Wheatfield paintings and a self-portrait.

Open daily, audio tours and private tours are available to visitors, as are school visits. Also within the museum is a café for visitors to enjoy a hot meal and a gift shop, where you can purchase everything to official Van Gogh books to bangles.