Category Archives: Amsterdam highlights

38 Best Places to Go in Amsterdam.
Wondering where should I travel in the Netherlands?
Don’t worry, Hans Langh Private Tours Holland has listed some great options in this blog.
Amsterdam highlights: Amsterdam is active, open and honest.

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NDSM area Amsterdam

festival seen from above at ndsm wharf amsterdam

The former shipyard NDSM (Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij), is an absolute creativity hotspot. Many artists studios, start-ups, concerts and activities.
In the 1970s, the shipbuilding industry in the NDSM area Amsterdam disappeared. A desolate industrial landscape of 32 hectares was left behind.
Now NDSM area Amsterdam is a breeding ground for creative companies in the fields of visual arts, design, theatre, film, media and architecture.

Muiderslot Castle Amsterdam

Muiderslot castle amsterdam surrounded by water and gardens

The Muiderslot Castle Amsterdam is a beautiful castle, and it is also beautifully situated on the river Vecht and the former Zuiderzee.
Because of its location on the river Vecht, Floris V, Count of Zeeland and Holland, was able to collect tolls.
In the golden age, the owner and poet P.C. Hooft, the ‘Dutch Shakespeare’, made Muiderslot Castle Amsterdam into an intellectual artistic center. The writer received here many prominent men of literature, artists and scientists.
It is also part of the ‘Hollandse Nieuwe Waterlinie’, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
It is massively built like a square medieval castle with a tower on each corner. With a moat and bridge it is very impressive. The 700-year-old castle is one of the best-preserved ones in the Netherlands.
Muiderslot is more than just a castle. The old castle is surrounded by water and greenery. The herb garden and vegetable garden are very worthwhile to visit.

To visit Muiderslot Castle see more information at our Amsterdam Countryside tour page.

New Church Amsterdam

interior of the new church amsterdam with stained glass windows and pictures of the royal weddings

On the north side of Dam Square is the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church Amsterdam), from the 14th century.
The Dutch Kings and Queens are inaugurated in te New Church Amsterdam. The Dutch royal house is very modest, there are only inaugurations and no coronations.
Today, the church is also mainly used as an exhibition center, including the World Press photo exhibition.

Optional is a visit to the New Church during our Amsterdam Private City Tour.

the new church amsterdam

Our Lord at the attic Amsterdam

the original interior of the hidden church our lord at the attic amsterdam with altar our lord at the attic amsterdam

After the Reformation Amsterdam churches had to transform from Catholic to Protestant.
Those who had kept the Catholic faith had to go to hidden churches to attend mass. One of the best kept examples is the hidden church ‘Our Lord at the attic Amsterdam’, located in the middle of the Red Light District.
It’s 17th century interior is still intact and very worth a visit.

The Pijp area Amsterdam

market stalls in the albert cuyp street in the pijp area amsterdam view from above

The Pijp area Amsterdam was built at the end of the 19th century to allow a new influx of labor and population to Amsterdam.
Many artists, students and even prostitutes came to live in the new district.
As a result, De Pijp was soon referred to as the Latin Quarter of Amsterdam. With the small streets, the alternative residents, the many bars and restaurants and the atmosphere in De Pijp, it resembles the famous Parisian student district.
More than 144 nationalities live in De Pijp and the district is one of the most popular locations in Amsterdam to live, shop and go out.
Highlights are the Albert Cuypmarkt with 250 stalls every day. Many with a most diverse culinary offer.
Home of the Heineken Brewery alongside other microbreweries.
Architectural examples of houses built according to the Amsterdam School of Architecture.
Next to the museum district, the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum.

Worthwhile to do is a walk in the Pijp area during our Amsterdam Tour.

Dam Square Amsterdam

deserted royal palace dam square amsterdam in twilight

The city’s first settlers lived around Dam Square Amsterdam.
Dam Square Amsterdam is the historic heart of the city.
A dam was built in the Amstel river, hence the name Amstel’s dam.
The first inhabitants were fishermen and traders, who in 1275 received an exemption from toll from Count Floris the Fifth. This is also the oldest official document of the trading city.

Jewish Amsterdam

torah displayed at the jewish amsterdam historical museum

On the East side of the city the Jewish Amsterdam Quarter is located and here lived and worked Jewish refugees from all Europe.
The Sephardic community of Amsterdam founded in 1657 the so called Portuguese Synagogue. At that time it was the largest Jewish buiding in the world.
The German speaking Ashkenazi Jewish Amsterdam built the High German Synagogue, which is nowadays the Jewish Historical Museum.
End of the 16th century Protestant and Jewish from Antwerp fled for the Spanish suppression. They brought their business and art of diamonds polishing.
Until now Amsterdam kept it’s name as a diamond city.
The diamond company Gassan, founded in 1878 was the first one to use steam power for the cutting and polishing.
Coster Diamonds, founded in 1852, did finish the Koh-i-Noor, the famous Indian diamond of the British Crown.
Shortly before World War 2 in Amsterdam of the total population of 800.000, 140.000 were Jewish.

See a lot of Jewish Amsterdam. Join our Amsterdam Private City Tour.

Saint Nicolas Church Amsterdam

typical for saint nicolas church amsterdam is the octagonal dome and two towers

For the Amsterdam diocese Saint Nicholas Church Amsterdam is the main Catholic church of the city.
The cross shaped, neo-Renaissance basilica’s construction was completed in 1887.
Many Dutch churches are dedicated to the patron saint of the sailors, but Saint Nicolas is also the patron of Amsterdam.
The basilica consists of a large dome flanked by two Baroque crowned towers. Inside the church, behind the altar is the Crown of the Emperor Maximilian I of Austria, a gift after his pilgrimage to Amsterdam.
After the miracle of 1345 Amsterdam became a holy destination for devoted pilgrims. Nowadays we still remember the miracle with a yearly silent procession.

saint nicolas church amsterdam