Internationally renowned art and history museums, famous coffee shops, magnificent canals, a Red District, a very intense nightlife, many cheeses and tulips… this is Amsterdam !
Why is Amsterdam so cool ? It is on the program of the "10 must-visit destinations in 2020", a guide created by the famous Lonely Planet. Capital of the Netherlands, it was once a fishing village in the 12th century. Amsterdam is now one of the major economic centres of the Netherlands and the American magazine Forbes placed the city at the top of the list of the world's most comfortable cities in 2016. 1,841,987 travel reviews on Trip-advisor, 18 million people who visit the capital of the Netherlands every year, Come & Go introduces you to its new destination and explains why it is so cool!
De Wallen (or The Red District)
Amsterdam’s De Wallen area, better known as the red light district, is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. It is a maze of narrow streets, overflowing bars and a range of prostitutes, illuminated in red in shop windows. Not everyone likes this area and it is sometimes the subject of debate, but it is worth a look for its unique atmosphere. You will notice, however, that the houses with red windows are historic buildings, and beautiful architecture abounds in this neighbourhood, which is one of the oldest in the city. In the heart of the district you will find the Oude Kerk (Old Church) established in 1306, as well as the museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, a former underground church built in the attic of a house, which bears witness to a time when Catholic worship was forbidden, before the Netherlands became world famous as a model of tolerance. You may see this district as synonym of freedom and sensuality, or on the contrary not approve it at all, but one thing is sure: this place is unique in the world and exudes an atmosphere like no other.
The city by bike
Almost everyone bikes in Amsterdam, and it’s not just for fun: 50% of Amsterdamers use their bikes every day, and at traffic hours the cycle paths are full of cyclists in suits and ties, students going to school and parents with their little ones sitting in child seats. You can join the locals and maybe get a taste of this daily ritual and visit Amsterdam on your favourite means of transport.
The roads are adapted and the city promotes this cool and ecological means of transport. There are bike rental agencies all over the city, so you won’t have any trouble finding one. You can also take a guided bike tour.
Internship in Amsterdam? Take this daily habit to go to work, it changes your life (and the air quality is the first one impacted).
Cruise on the canals
Amsterdam’s canals reinforce the pleasant and cool aspect of the city. It’s a bit of a cliché but you really should take a trip along the canals if you come to visit Amsterdam.
The cruise goes smoothly and relaxed, passing picturesque buildings and under old stone bridges. Several Amsterdam cruises are possible: from a simple stroll to a luxury cruise.
If you have enjoyed sailing on the canals, you can continue your journey by visiting the canal museum, which traces the history of Amsterdam and explains the purpose and construction of the canals. Crossed by 500 bridges, these canals are not only used for cruising. They criss-cross the city and contribute to its charm, accompanying you throughout your days.
Culture, art and history: the city of Amsterdam is home to some stunning and most rewarding museums. The Rijksmuseum is the most important museum in the Netherlands and is located in Amsterdam. More than 200 exhibition rooms offer you the opportunity to admire a vast collection of fine arts, crafts and national history.
If you like modern and contemporary art, visit the Moco Museum: you will find works by Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Daniel Arsham, Banksy and Roy Lichtenstein. The museum’s gardens are also home to astonishing works that are just waiting for you.
A visit to Amsterdam inevitably includes a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. The artist was born in the Netherlands in 1853 before making his mark on the world with all his works. There is so much to see and do in this museum that it is best not to be in a hurry! 220 paintings, 500 drawings and more than 800 letters are exhibited in this museum entirely dedicated to the life and work of the painter.
There are many other museums to discover in Amsterdam: the Heineken Museum, the National Maritime Museum of Amsterdam or the NEMO Science Museum will enrich your stay in the city. But if you have to visit one historical place, it may be Anne Frank’s house. Prinsengracht 263 was the canal house where the Jewish girl and her family went into hiding for two years during World War II after fleeing persecution in Germany in 1933. The place can be visited today: a library marks the entrance to the unfurnished rooms of the annex in which they lived. This is where Anne Frank’s diaries are kept. In the new wing, there is an exhibition on the persecution of the Jews during the war, and period posters. The place attracts a lot of people and has become a real symbol.
There is always more to do in Amsterdam
Going to Amsterdam also involves a walk in one of the beautiful tulip gardens you can find, the Keukenhof is beautiful in April, in spring. If you want to go deeper, visit the Bloemenmarkt, a floating flower market on the Singel canal. To go further, you can visit the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam or visit the Tulip Museum. A stroll through the market stalls of Albert Cuypmarkt or a visit to the Royal Palace of Amsterdam (Paleis op de Dam), there are dozens of other things on the agenda if you stay a whole semester in Amsterdam as part of your Come & Go internship abroad.