If you would like a little bit of help while exploring Amsterdam, our local office would be happy to provide assistance in arranging sightseeing tours, bike tours, museum trips, canal rides and special interest trips all throughout Holland at moderate prices and with a personal attention you deserve. Please call Partners in Travel
at 31 20 616 0403
For a city of its size and importance Amsterdam is relatively easy to explore. Built around a concentric circle of canals, emanating from the grand Centraal Station, the main historical and cultural sites are located conveniently close to each other. With most of the main sights located in the grachtengordel (girdle of canals), an efficient public transport system and the successful government attempt to all but banish cars from the city centre, it is possible to cover the main attractions in a matter of days.
All the houses and buildings dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries are protected monuments, with Amsterdam possessing the largest historical inner city in Europe. It is particularly famous for its canals, on which wealthy merchants built elegant homes and sturdy warehouses during Holland's Golden Age. The best introduction to these waterways is on a canal cruise.
Among the favourite tourist attractions in Amsterdam are its many museums. The most famous four are the Rijksmuseum, the Vincent van Gogh Museum, the largest showcase for the artist's work, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Anne Frankhuis, an eternal testament to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Amsterdam is also synonymous with flowers and diamonds. The Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market) along the Singel is a major attraction; and there are many tours available around the diamond factories and workshops.
Some of the smaller museums worth visiting are the Tropenmuseum (Tropical Museum), the Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum (Netherlands Maritime Museum), the Theatre Museum, Woonbootmuseum 'Hendrika Maria' (Houseboat Museum) on the canal opposite Prinsengracht 29, and the Willet-Holthuysen Museum (showing how canal houses were traditionally furnished). Amsterdam is also one of Europe's most relaxed cities so visitors should also leave plenty of time for unwinding in pavement cafés and cruising around Amsterdam's web of waterways.
VVV Amsterdam Tourist Office
Stationsplein 10 (opposite Centraal Station)
Tel: (020) 551 2525. Fax: (020) 625 2869.
Opening hours: Daily 0800-1700.
Other VVV offices are located at Centraal Station, spoor 2; Leidseplein/Leidsestraat; and Stadionplein/Van Tuyll van Serooskerkenweg.
Services provided include: 24 hour recorded information (tel: (0900) 400 4040), general tourist information, hotel and package reservations, excursions and canal cruises, maps and guidebooks, walking tours, public transport tickets, theatre, concert and museum tickets, souvenirs and posters, telephone cards, VVV gift vouchers and currency exchange. To book a VVV-approved guide, contact Guidor, c/o the Netherlands Reserverings Centrum.
The Amsterdam Culture & Leisure Pass contains 31 vouchers that give free entry to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam Historical Museum, Museum Het Rembrandthuis and a guided tour at a diamond polishing factory. In addition, the pass entitles the holder to discounts at the Jewish Historical Museum, the Tropical Museum, Madame Tussaud's, Holland Experience, Maritime Museum, plus much more. The pass costs € 29,00 and is available from the VVV Amsterdam Tourist Offices and hotels.