Parkhäuser für Fahrräder, ein Meer an Museen, ganz besondere Kaffeehäuser und die wohl außergewöhnlichsten Schaufenster, die die Welt zu bieten hat.
All das macht den Reiz der niederländischen Hauptstadt aus. Ganz gleich, ob Sie Amsterdam stilecht auf dem Fahrrad erkunden, eine Grachtentour auf den unzähligen Kanälen unternehmen oder die geheimen Winkel der Stadt entdecken.
Also schnallen Sie sich an, drehen Sie Mickie Krauses Gassenhauer "Traum von Amsterdam" auf und tauchen Sie in das unverwechselbare Flair eines der beliebtesten Reiseziele weltweit ein. Viel Spaß!
Now in Amsterdam, there are far more than the 7 bridges that Peter Maffay sang about, which makes them no less interesting. But let's be honest, 1,300 would have been too many syllables to fit into the lyrics. So, what’s the best way to explore Amsterdam and its bridges? By bike, of course – and there are around 900,000 of them in the city.
Dive into the calm stream of bikes and cycle along the canals on the charmingly named Fiets bicycle. Start your journey on Amsterdam's central square, the Dam, whistling the classic tune "Tulips from Amsterdam". Here, of course, you’ll want to take a photo in front of, on or between the letters of the "I amsterdam" monument. Onwards to the Royal Paleis op de Dam and the Nieuwe Kerk, the Dutch monarchs' coronation church.
After all the royal splendor, set your Fiets bike aside at Vondelpark and enjoy peace and quiet in the heart of the city, beside the sprawling city park's picturesque lakes. Back in the saddle after a short break, beer lovers may wish to visit the "Heineken Experience", where they can take part in a guided tour of the legendary brewery's history. But don’t try too many varieties, or you really will go over a lot of bridges.
If you want to slow down a bit, or maybe spend a few more hours in the "Heineken Experience", you can swap your Fiets bike for a boat. Around the city centre runs the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal belt, consisting of the four main canals Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel. On a canal tour, not only will you float under all the bridges, you’ll also experience Amsterdam from a maritime perspective. You can choose from a traditional sloop, a pleasure boat or an eco-friendly electric boat. For those of you who want something even more relaxing, there’s also Waterfietsen, or pedal boats, on offer.
The tour of the harbor and the canals, which takes you through interesting neighborhoods such as the Jordaan district, is definitely an experience. After visiting the Tulip Museum, why not enjoy the city's most delicious apple pie at Cafe Winkel. And for those of you who are wondering why the ornate façades of the expensive-looking houses along the canal are so narrow, it is said that the tax burden in Amsterdam used to be determined by the width of the houses – quite clever, the Dutch!
Between Rembrandt, van Gogh and Nadal, a Museum Paradise
The hearts of culture lovers beat faster in Amsterdam than in any other city, as here there are more than 70 museums from all subject areas just waiting to be explored. The first stop is the Rijksmuseum, where you can admire 8,000 works of art from 800 years of art history in 80 halls, including 40 by Rembrandt and four by Vermeer. We don’t know if there is a deeper meaning behind this numerical mysticism.
Not to be missed is the Stedelijk Museum, which attracts art lovers with works by Picasso, Chagall and Warhol. Those who have been paying attention will have noticed that the most famous Dutch painter is missing from our list. That's right, but a whole museum has been dedicated to good ol’ van Gogh – they’ve got his work coming out of their ear! (Ahem...)
But you don’t have to be a fan of art to appreciate Amsterdam's museum district. Travel back in time to the 17th century at "Het Grachtenhuis" when the canals were first being built, dive into the darkest period of Dutch history at the "Anne Frank House" or shake the hands of star DJ Martin Garrix, Rafael Nadal or The Incredible Hulk at Madame Tussaud's.
More than just cheese and Frikandel hot dogs
After the rich cultural program, it is definitely time for refreshments. What luck then, that Amsterdam has an impressive variety on offer, beating most other metropoles. In addition to excellent French, Italian and Chinese cuisine, a holiday in the Netherlands is, of course, mainly about Dutch specialties. While meat lovers are well catered for, especially at "Dusart", fans of international cuisine can enjoy the view of the canals at "Morlang".
If you like fish, you will enjoy local specialties such as the savoury prawn croquettes, the young matjes (modern Dutch for "soused herring") or mussels cooked in white wine, served with mayonnaise and crunchy French fries. So very Amsterdam! A real insider tip for maritime specialties is the "Énnvistwéévis", which just means "one fish two fish" – very creative.
Wagging tongues may say that many of the Dutch capital's creative ideas come about as a result of frequenting the very special kind of "coffee houses" found there. And to be honest, popping in to one of the city's 300+ coffee shops is an intrinsic part of every holiday in Amsterdam. The enjoyment of all types of smoking products and tucking in to the devilishly appetising muffins and cakes "with a kick" is, of course, to be partaken of entirely at your own risk.
Maybe later you'll also come up with the idea of opening a restaurant in Munich with the name "ein Fleisch, zwei Fleisch" ("one meat, two meat"). But that's exactly what makes this country's taboos so charming. Not exactly forbidden, but quite naughty, is a wander around Amsterdam's sinful mile: "De Wallen". It is a good idea to have a guided tour around the red light district, where you get a look behind the scenes of the nightlife, visit a peepshow and last but not least, take a stroll past shop windows, behind which buxom beauties show off their charms.
Take note: looking is allowed, but don't take any photos - their minders don't take too kindly to that. Humour abounds in the capital city and the red light district. How else can you explain the sinful mile winding around a church? You see, in Amsterdam there is a very special kind of serenity, a portion of which you should pack in your suitcase for the journey home.