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The Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam’s grandest and most popular museums. Its vast collection showcases iconic art and a wide variety of artefacts that reflect more than 800 years of Dutch and global history, including jaw dropping paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Van Gogh and countless more Dutch greats. With 80 galleries and 8000 objects on display, there’s never enough time to view the complete collection of treasures! Before you’re even inside the museum, you can enjoy the artistic whimsy of the sculpture-filled garden designed by Pierre Cuypers in 1901. Among the intricate topiaries, water features and colourful flowerbeds, an enormous wingnut tree looks over the play areas, installations and temporary exhibitions in the summer. And also its is only in Amsterdam would a national museum allow cyclists to speed right through it! The Rijksmuseum’s passageway connects the two halves of the atrium, with glass panels giving passers by a glimpse into the museum’s grand interior. The passage’s excellent acoustics make it popular among street musicians.
The Jordaan is possibly the most famous neighbourhood in the Netherlands. Akin to the reputation enjoyed by London’s Cockneys, this once working-class bastion was renowned for tight community bonds, radical politics and a love for drink and over-the-top sing-a-longs. Gentrification of decades past has attracted more galleries, restaurants, specialty shops and upwardly-mobile residents to its scenic streets but there’s undeniably still a distinct atmosphere to be enjoyed here. The Jordaan begins at Brouwersgracht, just west of the Amsterdam Central Station and arches around the western side of Canal Ring between Prinsengracht and Lijnbaansgracht before ending at Leidsegracht. The area north of Rozengracht is a more ‘touristy’ and commercial section, although the quieter area to the south is no less scenic.
Climbing Park Fun Forest Rotterdam
The climbing park in Rotterdam has 7 different courses in living trees ranging in various heights and levels of difficulty. Climbing may take up to 3 hours max (including instruction), but you can choose to shorten this time. The climbing park is interesting for young and old people, between ages of 7 (length 1.20m) and 80 years old. For the smallest monkeys there’s a free playwood.
Leeuwarden Water Park
In the summertime, Grou is one of Friesland’s busiest and most pleasant water sports centers. It lies to the south of Leeuwarden, the 2018 European Capital of Culture. The local lake, the Pikmeer, functions as a sort of roundabout, from which you can navigate in all directions.
Anne Frank House
Anne Frank is one of Amsterdam’s most well known former residents. The Anne Frank House at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam is where she lived in hiding with her family for more than two years during World War II. Now converted into a museum it contains a sobering exhibition about the persecution of the Jews during the war, as well as discrimination in general. The rooms at the Anne Frank House still portray the atmosphere of the period spent in hiding. Historical documents, photographs, film images and original objects that belonged to those in hiding and those who assisted them help illustrate the events that took place. Anne’s original diary and other notebooks are also on display in the museum.
Farmers Markets
The most trendy of the Amsterdam markets, has began in 1987 when Adri Vallentin, then owner of the popular cafe called Winkel (English: Shop) on the Noordermarkt, has setup nine biological food stalls, hoping to draw more clients on Saturday morning to his cafe. Traditional market of pigeons and canaries, which for a century stood on Noordermarkt each Saturday morning faltered, but the idea of biological food quickly picked up with the public, and today The Farmers Market on the Noordermarkt is so popular, that it draws crowds not only from the nearby Jordaan, but also from the whole city
Plaswijck Park
Plaswijck Park has been a small-scale recreational park for over ninety years. It is located on the Bergse Achterplas in Hillegersberg-Schiebroek on the northern edge of Rotterdam. The park used to be known in the 1930s as the earthly paradise. The park currently consists of a Speelwijck (play area), Dierenwijck (animal area) and Wandelwijck (walking area). Speelwijck includes a Port Playground, Monkey Playground and Traffic Playground. And in the event of bad weather, guests can enjoy the House on the Hill, a giant playhouse where kids can jump on a trampoline on beds in the bedroom, squirt bubble bath in the bathroom and crawl and climb through the secret tunnels and passageways. Animals from around the globe live in Dierenwijck, including monkeys, owls, lynxes and goats. Wandelwijck offers various places to relax, including the English Garden and the Picnic Meadow.
As the name suggests, the Kuipers Guild used to be located in the Kuiperspoort. It is a beautiful courtyard that you pass if you don't pay attention. The Kuiperspoort can be found between the Dam and the Rouaanse Kaai. The houses there are mainly from the second half of the sixteenth century. In the first half of the seventeenth century, the courtyard was bought by the Kuipersgilde. Several companies are now located in the former Kuiper houses, including the Walcheren art education foundation, where various painting and drawing lessons can be taken.
Dam Square
Dam Square is Amsterdam’s beating heart. Nowadays Dam Square in contrast with the old days it is now a very peaceful square which is home to scores of pigeons and street performers. Dam Square has had a turbulent history. Around 1270 a damn was constructed in this spot in the river Amstel. Dam Square was once the central marketplace of Amsterdam where literally everything under the moon was sold. The Royal Palace and the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam are also situated at Dam Square. Other nearby highlights are the red light district, the narrowest house in Amsterdam at Singel 7 and the shopping mall Magna Plaza.
Diergaarde Blijdorp
Rotterdam Zoo is situated in the district of Blijdorp in Rotterdam Noord. Stroll across the African Savannah and stand face-to-face with the giraffes. Visit Bokito the gorilla and his family. Walk on the seabed in the indoor Oceanarium and meet stingrays and sharks. Stroll through the largest butterfly paradise of Europe: Amazonica, filled with fragrant flowers, thousands of South American butterflies, anacondas and piranhas that love to bite.
De Alde Feanen National Park
De Alde Feanen’ national park, which is located between Leeuwarden and Drachten in Northern Friesland, as the largest amusement park in Europe. However, Henk de Vries, director of the nature protection organisation ‘It Fryske Gea’ (the Frisian landscape), and Henk Dijkstra, who is director of the ‘Frysk Lânboumuseum’ agricultural museum, believe doing so is sacrilege.
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