Amsterdam Free Independent Travel Guide

When it comes to Amsterdam, some people may have the impression of tulips, windmills, and colorful wooden shoes, while others may think of the vibrant red-light district and the pioneering spirit of LGBTQ+ rights and legalization. Amsterdam, which has evolved from a small fishing village into the largest city in the Netherlands, not only represents the history of the country but also symbolizes tolerance and freedom for many people.

Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands

The Netherlands National Museum, which is also known as the Rijksmuseum, is located near the Van Gogh Museum. Founded in 1885, the Rijksmuseum is one of the top ten museums in the world and was named the best museum in Europe in 2015. The museum showcases Dutch art and social development history from the Middle Ages to the 20th century through paintings, sculptures, furniture, clothing, ceramics, and other artworks. Notable masterpieces include "The Night Watch" by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn from the 17th century and "The Milkmaid" by Johannes Vermeer.

Sexual museum

The Amsterdam Sex Museum, established in 1985, is located on the bustling central station street. Although the facade is unimpressive, the content is quite rich. However, children under the age of 16 should avoid it voluntarily. It could be a bit awkward if stopped by the security guard. From sculptures depicting the worship of reproductive organs in ancient Greece and Rome, to high-definition paintings and photographs from various angles, to lifelike dolls that can move and make sounds, and even a large-scale exhibition of appetizing cakes and candies, it is definitely a great place to broaden your horizons!

Beck's Beer Museum

After the original brewery closed in 1988, it was transformed into the present-day Heineken Beer Museum, where beer enthusiasts from all over the world can personally experience the process of brewing Heineken beer. The museum is divided into a brewery, tasting area, stable area, and 4D experience hall. Not only can visitors learn about the inspiring story of Heineken beer's development from a small family brewery to a world-famous brewery, but they can also learn about the entire beer brewing process. Visitors can even experience the feeling of being brewed and canned in the 4D experience hall, making it even cooler than the Tsingtao Beer Museum!

Anne Frank House

Many people know this Jewish girl because of her "Anne Frank's Diary". The fragility and resilience of life depicted in her words are enough to move everyone. Anne Frank's house is located next to the Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It was once a hiding place for Anne Frank and her family during the Nazi regime. It is also the place where Anne wrote "Anne Frank's Diary". It has now become a famous anti-fascist memorial museum, maintaining the layout described in the book. Visitors can still enter the narrow secret annex behind the bookcase and experience the two years of Anne's family living in fear and suffocating hiding.

Amsterdam canals

When visiting Amsterdam, also known as the "Venice of the North," don't miss out on the local canals. Amsterdam's canals have a total length of over 100 kilometers, with approximately 90 islands and 1500 bridges. The main three concentric canals, Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht, are mostly lined with residential areas, with picturesque buildings and gardens along the river. You can choose to take a boat tour or rent a pedal boat to experience navigating and boating on the river, which is a great way to appreciate the cityscape of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Red Light District

The famous red-light district is located in De Wallen, a central area of Amsterdam between the central train station and Dam Square. In the 17th century, Amsterdam was a major hub of world trade, and the red-light district became a place of pleasure for sailors from all over. Nowadays, sex work has become a legal profession in the Netherlands. When night falls, various prostitutes in shop windows dress provocatively, apply makeup to enhance their beauty, and adopt alluring poses. Those who are bold enough can enter the establishments they find appealing, while those who are timid can enjoy live shows or explore adult stores to expand their knowledge.

Amsterdam Royal Palace

Amsterdam Palace was built in the golden age of the Netherlands in the 17th century. It was originally the city hall of Amsterdam and later became the palace of Louis Bonaparte and the Dutch royal family. The palace is located in Dam Square and underwent a four-year renovation in 2005. It still retains its classical architectural style with exquisite carvings and paintings as decorations. It appears royal, especially at night, reminiscent of the golden age of the Netherlands.

Wooden Shoe Workshop Kooijman

The wooden shoe workshop is located in the mentioned Sansans Windmill Village. Wooden shoes, along with windmills and tulips, are the "three treasures of Holland." Due to the low-lying terrain in the Netherlands, medieval Dutch farmers made cheap and readily available wooden shoes shaped like boats to effectively protect their toes. In winter, straw was stuffed inside the shoes for warmth and insulation, making them comfortable and durable. Although few people wear wooden shoes nowadays, they have become a popular souvenir for tourists due to their cute design and vibrant colors. In the wooden shoe workshop in Sansans, visitors can witness the entire process of making wooden shoes and even purchase a pair as a memento if they like.

West Church

The Westerkerk, a Protestant church, was built between 1620 and 1631 on the bank of the Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam. It is the tallest church in Amsterdam, with a spire measuring 85 meters high, topped with the crown of Maximilian I. The church has a simple decoration and offers a panoramic view of the city from its tower. The famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn is buried in the Westerkerk. In addition, the wedding of Princess Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard of the Netherlands (later Queen Beatrix) took place here in 1966.

Dam Square

Dam Square is located in the center of the old town area of Amsterdam. The first dam on the Amstel River was built here, hence the name. The square houses the National Monument of the Netherlands, which commemorates the victims of World War II. Despite its small size, Dam Square is very popular and is surrounded by many famous attractions. The square is bustling with street performers, pigeons, and horse-drawn carriages.