WINDMILLS The windmill is a Netherlands icon. People think of windmills, clogs, tulips, bicycles and canals when they think of Holland! So, no visit to the Dutch capital city would be complete without a visit to a windmill (or at least a looksee). The ideal option is the octagon-shaped Molen van Sloten, built in 1847. Eight traditional “molens” remain in Amsterdam, but Sloten is the only one still working and open to the public. As a draining mill it (still!) pumps excess water from the surrounding areas to keep the canal water level at a certain height and prevent flooding. During your visit inside and up, your guide will explain the windmill system and demonstrate how the mill operates. At the end of the tour you’ll see a short video about famous Dutch painter, Rembrandt!
CANALS 160+ canals are why Amsterdam is nicknamed “The Venice of the North.” Kick off your wooden shoes and enjoy a relaxing boat ride during the day or an enchanting candlelight cruise with wine at night. Your guide will point out poignant art and architecture as you sightsee from a perspective you won’t get riding a bus or taking the sidewalks.
AMSTERDAM LOOKOUT The ultimate photo op! Get the best 360 degree view of the windmills, canals and the rest of the city from this 80-meter tall building. Telescopes line the indoor and outdoor decks and information boards will tell you exactly what you’re looking at from each view. Enjoy a meal at the Lookout’s revolving bar and restaurant: The Moon. And don’t forget to pay for a ride on “Over the Edge,” Europe’s highest swing, which will launch you off the skyscraper and send your stomach into your throat!
OUDE KERK A brief history of “Old Church,” the oldest building in Amsterdam: Founded as a wooden church in 1213 and as a stone church in 1306. Patron Saint: Saint Nicolas. Location: the Red Light District (ironic!). Affiliation: Roman Catholic until 1578, then Calvinist Dutch Reformed. Notable parishioners: Rembrandt and his family. The painter’s wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, was buried there in 1642. Walk around this historical site and see its art collections, architecture and gravestones by yourself, or get a guided tour.
VAN GOGH MUSEUM See Vincent Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers,” “The Potato Eaters” and “Almond Blossom” paintings up close! Amsterdam is host to the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in the entire world. In addition to his masterpieces you’ll see simple drawings and letters. Explore the displays yourself or take a 50-minute guided tour with a Van Gogh expert.
MADAME TUSSAUDS A delightfully odd and educational experience for any age, Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam is more than your typical wax museum. History buffs will enjoy the insights into Netherlands history. Pop culture buffs will enjoy “meeting” and taking pictures with celebrities like George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson, Marilyn Monroe, Daniel Craig, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Iron Man, Captain America, other musicians and athletes and world leaders Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and the Dalai Lama.
THE ANNE FRANK HOUSE Few are unfamiliar with Anne Frank’s story and the diary she wrote during World War Two. In Amsterdam you can visit the actual canal house her family hid in for two years when they were evading the Nazis.
RIJKSMUSEUM Tour the beautiful museum of the Netherlands: a monumental showcase of Dutch and other European artists. See Rembrandt’s famous “Night Watch” painting in person! Also visit the works of Vermeer and Frans Hals. Experience the grand architecture and unique collections of paintings, objects, prints and classic photography.
THE HEINEKEN BREWERY EXPERIENCE The ultimate tourist attraction for the beer-lover! Download the app to take the self-guided tour of the defunct brewery. Pair it with a parallel tour like the canal cruise for an extra special visit. Learn the history of Heineken, travel through the brewery like a beer bottle and enjoy the tasting.