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Art & History Walking Tour

Take a walk through Amsterdam's history to learn why it remains one of the most influential cities in Europe
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview:  When most people think of Amsterdam, they likely think of some of the more controversial practices and beliefs for which the liberal... more »

Tips:  There is a lot to see in this small city, so don't rush or you will miss the small nuances that make it great. Take a slow-paced ride ... more »

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Points of Interest

Though not "central" to this walking tour, the Central Station is the biggest transportation hub in Amsterdam and the main access point from outside of the city. So it makes a good starting point.

Central Station was built between 1881 and 1889 and was designed by Petrus J.H. Cuypers, the famous Dutch architect who also designed the Rijksmuseum... More

A five-minute stroll from the Central Station will land you at Dam Square, always bustling with activity. The square was created in the 13th century after the Amstel River was dammed to avoid floods; it gained a laid-back reputation for hippies in the 1960s.

Today it is one of the first stops for any tourist. Vendors sell their wares at the... More

To the east of Dam Square stands the National Monument Statue, which was built in memory of the Dutch soldiers who died fighting in World War II. It was erected in 1956 and contains soil from all of Holland's provinces.

While standing in Dam Square, it is hard to miss the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace), which stands prominently on its western side. The palace was built in the 17th century but no longer houses the Dutch royal family, although it is still used for receptions.

Next to the Royal Palace you will find the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk). This Gothic-style church was constructed around 1400, but many changes have been made throughout the years. It escaped two large fires in 1421 and 1452 but was mostly destroyed in a later fire, after which it was reconstructed.

Members of the royal family have been inaugurated... More

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without a tour of the Anne Frank house, which is full of history and emotional stories.

Anne Frank lived with her family and several family friends in the annex for more than two years during World War II. The building originally served as Otto Frank's (Anne's father) business and a movable bookcase was used to... More

Formerly the Amsterdam Historical Museum, this building was once the city orphanage. It was built in the 15th century and remodeled in the 17th century.

This museum should be one of your first stops to gain an appreciation for the history of Amsterdam and the important role this trade city played in Europe's development.

Inside you will find... More

Home to the famous Dutch painter from 1639 to 1660, this house is now a museum documenting Rembrandt's life and career in Amsterdam; his story is especially tragic.

Rembrandt purchased the house when he was 33 for a very large amount of money (13,000 guilders). He was at the peak of his popularity (although he did not know it) and was the most... More

The Old Church (Oude Kerk) was originally built in the early 13th century, but it has stood in its present Gothic state since the 14th century.

As its name implies, the church is the oldest church in Amsterdam and deserves a look inside to appreciate the light through the high windows and the medieval furnishings.
Oudekerksplein 23
020-625... More

The Church of St. Nicolas (or St. Nicolaaskerk) was designed by architect Adrianus Bleijs and completed in 1887. It was built with a blend of Neo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance styles, with two towers and a large rose window decorating the facade. This large church faces the Amsterdam Central Station.

This Catholic church was built to replace the... More

The Van Gogh Museum is another critical stop while in Amsterdam. Not only does the museum house the world's largest collection of van Gogh's paintings, but they are also beautifully organized into five distinct periods reflecting changes in the Impressionist's life and work.

The periods are (in order): the Netherlands, Paris, Arles, Saint-Remy... More

The Rijksmuseum (or National Museum) is the largest museum in all of Holland, based on the number items in the collection, the building, and its budget, with around 1 million visitors annually. The museum is known and respected worldwide for its collections and is a must-see for any art lover visiting Amsterdam for the first time. Be sure not to ... More

The Heineken Experience is located in the old Heineken brewery, built in 1867. It was Heineken's first brewery until 1988, when the company moved out of the main part of the city.

Today you can take tours of the brewery and learn about the Heineken family and tradition, and of course, sample some beer.
Stadhouderskade 78
... More

Everyone loves a fun science museum and NEMO is no exception. With its regularly changing exhibits you will be entertained even if you have visited before. There are areas for children of all ages, a media lab where you can produce music and videos, and all sorts of fun gadgets for adults as well.
Oosterdok 2
Infant ... More