popular tours - the netherlands

Amsterdam has been famous for its diamonds for more than 425 years. To see the most beautiful of diamonds, jewellery and luxury watches, you have to visit GASSAN Diamonds in Amsterdam and discover this unique diamond cutting business.

A UNESCO-acclaimed site, GASSAN Diamonds was established in 1945, just after the end of the Second World War, by Samuel Gassan, as a business specialising in the import and export of raw and cut diamonds. Today, the business is located in a monumental building on Uilenburg island in the centre of Amsterdam. The employees, who speak multiple languages will give you a personal tour and tell you everything you want to know about the origin of diamonds, how they are worked, carats, colours, clarity, cuts and witness the cutting of the business’ pride, the GASSAN 121. You can design your own piece of jewellery and also visit the Rolex Boutique. GASSAN’S diamond cutters have been working to create the perfect, brilliantly cut diamond for decades. This cut originally had 57 facets but the cutters have since developed a unique, patented cut that has no less than 121 facets: the GASSAN 121. The increased number of facets gives the diamond even more brilliance. If considering purchasing a diamond after the tour, GASSAN offers the unique option of designing own jewel. You get to choose the setting, the cut and the personal jewel is usually ready in as little as 30 minutes! GASSAN are not only famous as diamond cutters, but also for their position among the market leaders in the fields of Haute Joaillerie and Haute Horlogerie. On the ground floor, you will therefore find an extensive collection of jewellery and an impressive Rolex Boutique carrying a large range of the exclusive Swiss brand’s models. Besides Rolex, GASSAN also carries other brands, such as Jaeger-Le Coultre, IWC, Omega, Rado, Longines and Tissot.

A UNESCO-acclaimed site, the Anne Frank House is a museum with a history.

It lies in the centre of Amsterdam and features the secret annex where Anne Frank wrote her famous diary during the Second World War. Anne Frank was a normal girl in exceptional circumstances. For more than two years she described the events of her daily life in hiding in her diary. See for yourself how Anne, her family and other people were living while hiding from the occupying Germans. Learn more about the unique content and history of her diaries. Discover the temporary exhibitions on fascism and persecution then and now. Anne’s original diary along with some of her other notebooks are on display as part of the Anne Frank House’s permanent exhibition. The collection and temporary exhibitions focus on the wartime persecution of Jews, contemporary fascism, racism and anti-Semitism

The Rijksmuseum is the principal national museum in Holland. It illustrates the art and history of Holland from the Middle Ages to the present.

Some 8,000 objects in 80 rooms tell the story of 800 years of Dutch art and history. Some works you should definitely see include:

  • Night Watch, Rembrandt van Rijn most well-known painting that is famous throughout the world and Johannes Vermeer’s – The Milkmaid
  • The museum’s Gallery of Honour in which paintings from great masters are displayed, including Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Vermeer and Rembrandt. Even if you have only little time to spare for a visit, this is where you can see the best of the Golden Age in one place.
  • Discover life in the Golden Age by exploring the centuries-old doll’s houses, the oldest of which dates from 1676.
  • A gorgeous collection of Delft Blue pottery ranging from tea sets to vases.
  • The Cuypersbibliotheek is the biggest and oldest art history library in Holland. A far-reaching renovation has restored the space to its original grandeur

Taking a canal cruise through Amsterdam’s historic waterways is one of the best ways to explore the city.


hese guided boat trips offer unparalleled views of the centuries-old architecture, charming canal houses and monuments. There is a wide variety of canal cruises to choose from, each offering different types of tours, boats, departure points and on-board services. Compared to many other European cities, Amsterdam is a compact size, which means you can sail past many of the major points of interest in an hour or two. As Amsterdam is surrounded by water, most of the museums and attractions are easily accessible from the canals. Several canal tours operate on a hop-on, hop-off’ basis, which is a convenient way to tick important landmarks off your must-see list. On board the boat, a tour guide or audio recording in a selection of languages provides fascinating background knowledge on the sights as they pass by. This is an opportunity to receive tips and background knowledge on everything from Amsterdam’s trading legacy to Dutch icons and the Old Masters without the need to take a tour at each location. Romantic candlelight cruises, cheese & wine tours and several tours held during the Amsterdam Light Festival in winter are perfect for couples. The Pancake Boat combines sightseeing on the river with stacks of delicious Dutch pancakes, while dinner cruises, cocktail cruises and even pizza cruises aim to satisfy every culinary craving. The world famous Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House, the Royal Theater Carréand the Heineken Experience are just steps away from drop-off points on typical routes. Pre-purchased cards such as the Holland Pass allow you to combine a canal cruise with entry to Amsterdam’s top attractions for a discounted price. If canal cruising leaves you inspired to see more of Amsterdam from the water, consider hiring a private boat to head off on your own adventure. Hiring a boat in Amsterdam is relatively simple and cost efficient for groups. A boating license isn’t required for most small boats. Alternatively, be your own captain by renting a pedal boat to explore Amsterdam’s waterways

Attracting 10 million visitors per year, the Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s largest and most famous municipal park


he lush 45-hectare site includes a famous open-air theatre (which hosts music, theatre and dance performances from May to September), numerous children’s playgrounds, several cafés and restaurants, making it a thriving hub of activity in any season. Unsurprisingly, it’s beloved by visitors and locals alike. Entry to the park is free. The Vondelpark opened in 1865 as a fashionable leisure spot for Amsterdam’s middle class, designed by landscape architect Jan David Zocher. It was originally titled ‘Nieuwe Park’ (literally ‘New Park’), although it was officially renamed to Vondelpark in 1880, after the statue of 17th-century Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel, which had been unveiled in the park some 13 years earlier. Zocher designed the Vondelpark in the popular English landscape style, creating rolling vistas of pathways, lakes and woods to give the illusion of an idealised natural landscape. The park was donated to the city of Amsterdam in 1953. The Vondelpark plays host to many sporting and cultural events throughout the year. It is centrally located in Amsterdam

Vincent van Gogh was a nineteenth-century Dutch Post-Impressionist painter. His work had a huge impact on twentieth-century art

He was little appreciated in his lifetime, selling just one single work. Today, the Van Gogh Museum draws some 2 million visitors each year. Nowhere else will you find this quantity of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings under one roof. The collection boasts over 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 750 written documents. Together, these works give a wonderful overview of his life and work. The Van Gogh Museum’s absolute masterpieces are his self-portraits, Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters and The Bedroom. In addition to Van Gogh’s work, the museum also owns a collection about Van Gogh’s history and works by other painters who were his friends or whom he influenced.

At Keukenhof, you’d think you were adrift on a sea of flowers. Divided across various gardens and pavilions, the tulips and other flowers number in the millions.

Experience the gorgeous views of blooming Dutch tulips and other flowers for which Holland is famous. Keukenhof is the most famous and largest flower park in the world and lies not far from Amsterdam. Admire more than 7 million flowers in bloom & planted every year at Keukenhof, which can be reached within half an hour from The Hague, Haarlem, Leiden and Amsterdam. Tulips from Holland are world famous. If you want to see the Dutch tulip fields in bloom, you should visit Holland from mid-March to mid-May. This is the same period in which the biggest flower park in the world, Keukenhof, opens its doors. Gardens and four pavilions show a fantastic collection of: tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies and many other flowers. You will be overwhelmed by a spectacle of colors and perfumes. Keukenhof has a different theme each year, meaning that it is never the same. Unique in the world, this park attracts over a million visitors every year. If you want to have a really flowery day out, you should combine a visit to the Keukenhof with the Flower Parade in April. You can also experience the flower bulb fields from above! During the flower season, the Royal DC-3 Dakota ‘Prinses Amalia’ departs from Schiphol-Oost for a 30 minute tour of the flowering fields every Saturday and Sunday. From this historic airplane, which once served as the first official government aircraft in Holland, the view at a height of about 300 meters is fantastic. You must book your tickets for these flights in advance.

EYE is the only museum in the Netherlands that is exclusively dedicated to film and the moving image

EYE, the film museum in Amsterdam, invites you to watch films on the four screens, explore the exhibition area, the interactive basement, the museum store, the restaurant and café. The Vienna-based firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects designed a striking complex that houses four screens, 640 seats, and 1,200 square meters of exhibition space.At EYE Amsterdam, the film institute of the Netherlands, you will get to know all the facets of film and moving image. EYE exhibits film as art, entertainment, cultural heritage and a conveyer of information. It offers exhibitions and corresponding film programs with a keen eye for current, historical and artistic developments, paying particular attention to young people as well. In addition to films for children and their families, EYE organizes educational programs and activities for children and adults alike. The museum’s basement offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to search through EYE’s digitized collection in an interactive way. The museum store features a wide assortment of film paraphernalia, while the restaurant and café offers a breathtaking view of the waterfront

Enjoy a beach vibe in Amsterdam. Sip on a cocktail at Strand Zuid. Dip your feet in the Sloterplas

You might be surprised to hear it, but Amsterdam actually does have beaches. Strand Zuid, Dok and Sloterplas are located around the periphery of Amsterdam and all have beach restaurants, water and sand. If you feel like going to the beach on a summer’s day in Amsterdam, yet you don’t want to get on a train to Scheveningen, Zandvoort or Bloemendaal, the following beaches offer an alternative.

Strand Zuid
Strand Zuid in Amsterdam boasts over 2000 m2 (over 6,600 square feet) of man-made beach property. Strand Zuid has the image of being a more luxury beach and in the summer, the upper class of Amsterdam love to come here to lounge, sip cocktails, see and be seen. But don’t let this trendy image of Strand Zuid scare you off. The beach offers countless hammocks and lounge chairs and even a volleyball court. Although there are no swimming facilities, there are showers available if you need to cool off. There are also a variety of activities geared towards kids.

Sloterplas swimming beach
This swimming beach in West is under development and has been transformed into a lovely urban beach. There are plenty of things to do: volleyball, sports and games programs. You can enjoy great food and drinks and sometimes there are shows and festivals.

Board the ferry across the IJ from Central Station and find a table on the urban beach of the industrial hotspot Pllek. Amsterdam natives travel from the center to Noord for this great beach, where you can bask in the sun while enjoying the beautiful view of the IJ.

Dok Amsterdam
This hotspot is located just outside the city center, right by the IJ. Enjoy a bite and a drink while listening to music or stories told by the camp fire. There is a special play corner to keep children entertained.

Dam Square lies in the historical center of Amsterdam, approximately 750 metres (2,500 ft) south of the main transportation hub, Central Station, at the original location of the dam in the river Amstel

Its notable buildings and frequent events make it one of the most well-known and important locations in the city and the country. It is roughly rectangular in shape, stretching about 200 metres (650 ft) from west to east and about 100 metres (350 ft) from north to south. It links the streets Damrak and Rokin, which run along the original course of the Amstel River from Centraal Station to Muntplein (Mint Square) and the Munttoren (Mint Tower). The Dam also marks the endpoint of the other well-traveled streets Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat and Damstraat. A short distance beyond the northeast corner lies the main Red-light district: De Wallen

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