Amsterdam city guide with information on sightseeings, transport, restaurants and more. Provides different tips and links for Amsterdam trip.

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Museums and Galleries


The largest and most popular museum in the Netherlands was opened in 1885 and has grown steadily ever since. Today, it includes paintings dating from the fifteenth century up until 1850, as well as some quite stunning pieces of furniture. Those with a limited amount of time should head straight for the Dutch Masters on the first floor, where the star painting, Rembrandt's Nightwatch hangs along with several Vermeers and Van Hals. A pamphlet (cost: f1) describes all of the museum's highlights and there are audio tours available.

Although part of the Rijksmuseum and included in the price of the museum ticket, the South Wing has its own entrance at Hobbemastraat 19. Exhibits include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century paintings, Oriental objets d'art and a textile and costume section.

Stadhouderskade 42
Tel: (020) 674 7000. Fax: (020) 674 7001.
Transport: Trams 2, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 20.
Opening hours: Daily 1000-1700.
Admission: EUR 8,00 (concessions available).

Anne Frankhuis

The queues can be horrendous at the small, but very popular, Anne Frank House, which attracts roughly half a million people annually. It is the historic home where Anne Frank, her family and four other Jews hid from the occupying Germans during World War II after fleeing their native Germany. Finally caught by the Nazis, they were taken off to a concentration camp where Anne died. However, her father survived and published her diary, which has been translated into 50 languages.

Prinsengracht 263 (Westerkerk)
Tel: (020) 556 7100. Fax: (020) 620 7999.
Transport: Trams 13, 14, 17 or 20.
Opening hours: Daily Jan-Mar, Sep to Dec 0900-1700; Apr to Aug 0900-2100.
Admission: EUR 6,50 (concessions available).

Van Gogh Museum

This spacious museum has recently been extensively renovated. It houses a permanent display of 200 paintings and 500 drawings by Van Gogh, as well as works by Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin. A new wing is being used to display temporary exhibitions.

Paulus Potterstraat 7
Tel: (020) 570 5252/00. Fax: (020) 673 5053.
Transport: Trams 2, 3, 5, 12, 16 or 20.
Opening hours: Daily 1000-1800.
Admission: EUR 7,00 (concessions available).

Museum Het Rembrandthuis

This museum, a charming three-storey house built in the early seventeenth century, is where Rembrandt lived for nearly 20 years. It is home to a comprehensive collection of 250 of the artist's etchings and self-portraits. The work of Rembrandt's teachers and students are also on display, which add depth and dialogue to Rembrandt's own work.

Jodenbreestraat 4
Tel: (020) 520 0400. Fax: (020) 520 0401.
Transport: Trams 4, 9, 14, 20 or Metro Nieuwmarkt. Boat to Waterlooplein or Zwanenburgerwal.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1300-1700.
Admission: EUR 7,00 (concessions available).

Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art

The best collection of modern art in Amsterdam is housed in a neo-Renaissance building designed by AW Weissmann in 1895 (another wing was added in the 1950s). The permanent collection includes Dutch and international art from the second half of the nineteenth century onwards, with works by Picasso, Cézanne, Chagall and Monet, as well as photography, video, film and industrial design. Recent Dutch artists on display include Mondrian, De Kooning and Lichtenstein. Frequently changing temporary exhibitions are displayed in the New Wing. The museum has a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the sculpture garden - it is a lovely place to sit on a sunny day.

Paulus Potterstraat 13
Tel: (020) 573 2911. Fax: (020) 573 2789.
Transport: Trams 2, 3, 5, 12, 16 or 20. Bus 63.
Opening hours: Daily Apr to Oct 1000-1800; Nov to Mar 1100-1700.
Admission: EUR 6,00 (concessions available).

Amsterdams Historisch Museum

The Historical Museum reopened in December 1999 after a year of rebuilding and refurbishment, which added new multimedia facilities. The museum shows how Amsterdam grew from a small medieval town into a modern city. Housed in a former orphanage that dates back to 1524, it is filled with paintings, prints and archaeological finds. One of the most interesting exhibits is an eighteenth-century coach without wheels. According to council regulations - and to reduce the noise of wheels on the cobble streets - wealthy Amsterdammers had to travel by sleigh, even in summer.

The entrance fee to the museum also includes free entry to the Civic Guards Gallery, a glass-roofed 'street' between Kalverstraat and the Begijnhof, which is lined with 15 massive portraits of the Amsterdam Civic Guards dating from the seventeenth century. However, the Rijksmuseum has the most famous painting of the Civic Guard - Rembrandt's Nightwatch.

Kalverstraat 92 or Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 359
Tel: (020) 523 1822. Fax: (020) 620 7789.
Transport: Trams 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 14, 16, 20, 24 or 25.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 1000-1700, Sat and Sun 1100-1700.
Admission: EUR 6,00 (concessions available).

Walletjes (Red Light District)

Amsterdam's red light district is famous worldwide mainly because prostitutes in the city are legal and well regulated; working six-hour shifts, they pay tax on their earnings and undergo frequent medical examinations. As many as 5000 prostitutes ply their trade in Walletjes, generating trade worth f1billion per annum. Around 100,000 people visit nightly, 97 per cent of whom are tourists rather than punters. Two words of warning: the girls hate having their photograph taken and also tourists should avoid the darker streets late at night.

Of course, the Walletjes is not just about the sex trade. It is one of the oldest parts of Amsterdam, with many small winding alleys and beautiful gabled houses, dating to the Middle Ages. Three of the old town wall's towers have been saved from destruction: de Waag, de Munt and de Schreierstoren. De Waag, at Nieuwmarkt, was originally used for weighing goods, then as an executioner's stage, and now houses both a restaurant and a media centre. Walletjes is found in the triangular area that lies between Centraal Station, the Nieuwmarkt and the Dam.

Sub-Culture Museums

Amsterdam is infamous for its Sex Museum, but it also boasts the dubious charms of the Hash Museum and the Torture Museum. The extremely tacky Amsterdam Sex Museum, the only one in Europe, is full of erotica - objets d'art, photos, prints, paintings and videos - dating from the Roman era to about 1960, but totally devoid of eroticism. The Hash Museum is of interest to visitors who come to Amsterdam for the coffee shops, but would like to learn a little more about the hallowed weed, while the Torture Museum caters for another sub-group of society altogether, but is tongue-in-cheek enough to be of interest to all.

Sex Museum
Damrak 18
Tel: (020) 622 8376.

Torture Musuem
Damrak 20
Tel: (020) 639 2027

Hash Museum
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148
Tel: (020) 623 5961.

Transport: Trams 4, 9, 14, 16, 20, 24 or 25.

Koninklijk Paleis

The Royal Palace, designed by Jacob van Campen, was built in 1648 as Amsterdam's city hall. When King Louis Napoleon arrived in Amsterdam in 1808, he had the city hall turned into a palace. The large collection of Empire-style furniture, chandeliers and clocks date from this period. Although the palace is still the official royal residence, the Royal Family lives in The Hague. However, Queen Beatrix does host official functions here.

Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147
Tel: (020) 620 4060.
Transport: Trams 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 24 or 25.
Opening hours: Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat and Sun 1230-1700, guided tours need booking two weeks in advance (tel: (020) 624 8698).
Admission: EUR 4,50 (concessions available).

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