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Amsterdam by water

Amsterdam is famous for its canals and museums. Geniuses at the Tourist Office came up with an idea which combined the two: the Museum Boat. Thank heaven for its inventors! There could hardly be a better way of discovering the "Dutch Venice". The boat’s time-table lets you stop and get off as many times as you wish. Have fun!

The Rijksmuseum.The journey begins at the Central Station. The boat stops every 15 to 30 minutes. The first stop is the Prinsengracht. There, near the Westermarkt is the Anne Frankhuis (Anne Frank House), where the Jewish teenager wrote her famous diary. In the hiding place at the back of the house you can still feel the fears and desperation of this Jewish family hunted by the Nazis.

Not far from the Leidseplein is the Vondelpark, where open air concerts are held mostly in summer. Or you can stroll to the Museumsplein. Here you can find the colossal Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum all close by.Our boat trip takes us along to the Herengracht. Here you get another chance to stroll down the Kalverstraat and learn all about the history of the city in the History Museum.

The next stop is the Music Theatre. From here we come to the vast Stopera complex and – a little further away in the Oosterpark – the Tropenmuseum. The trip finally takes us towards the port in the maritime district. A visit to the Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum (Netherlands Maritime Museum) will be enjoyed by all, not just captains and seamen.

In the Jordaan

If you feel like exploring more of the city on foot, take a stroll through one of the most traditional districts in Amsterdam, the Jordaan. This district spreads along the western half of the canal belt. Nobody knows for certain but it is thought that the name of this district comes from the French jardin. A lot of the streets are named after plants: there is the Bloemgracht, the Flower Canal, and the Rozengracht, the Rose Canal. You can find the Boomstraat (Tree Street) and Tuinstraat (Garden Street). – Perhaps the "garden" theory is not so far off the mark.

The Jordaan came into being at the beginning of the 17th century. First it was the district of the "simple folk", workers and craftsmen lived here. Over the centuries the district fell more and more into disrepair. It was only in the 1960’s that the charm of the "Garden" was re-discovered. The district was restored and cleaned up and today this small corner of Amsterdam has a charm all of its own. Beautiful old houses with lace curtains, modern boutiques and earthy genever tasting bars invite you to stay for a while. Stroll through the narrow alleyways, feast in one of the small restaurants or marvel at the curios in the quaint little shops.

However in this district yet another piece of “Old Amsterdam” comes to life: the so-called “Hofjes”, idyllic courtyards with delightful little houses, which were built from the 17th century onwards by wealthy citizens for the old and needy. Have a quick look in some of these hidden gems! In the Lindengracht, at no. 94–112, is the dreamy Lindenhofje and at no. 149–163 the Suykerhofje. In the Dwarsstraat, at no. 3, an alleyway leads into the Claes Claez or the Anslo Hofje with a restaurant in one of the inner courtyards. Delightful little Hofjes can also be found in the Palmgracht, at no. 28 in the Raepenhof and at no. 40 Bossehofje.

If you are feeling a little tired after exploring the maze of courtyards and alleyways you should have a rest in one of the many cafés. Stroll along the Brouwersgracht, soak in the earthy atmosphere of the cosy old Café Papeneiland and enjoy one of their exquisite coffees.

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