Lo­cal At­trac­tion

Maxx-M - - PROFILE -

There are so many ac­tiv­i­ties that you can do in this charm­ing city, from sight­see­ing, shop­ping, eat­ing and, of course, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the city’s night life.

Cruise boats

A canal boat tour is a must in Am­s­ter­dam and there are many com­pa­nies that or­gan­ise tours that leave from the piers on Dam­rak close to the cen­tral rail­way sta­tion. The his­tory of Am­s­ter­dam is in­ti­mately con­nected with wa­ter. About 165 canals were cre­ated over the cen­turies to stim­u­late trade, trans­port, and re­claim land to ex­pand the city. No wonder, in 2010, Am­s­ter­dam’s canal ring was rec­og­nized as a UNESCO World Her­itage Site. Float­ing down Am­s­ter­dam canals is one of the most mem­o­rable ways to dis­cover the city, whether you are a first-timer of fre­quent vis­i­tor. Ev­ery­thing in Am­s­ter­dam seems a bit more mag­i­cal when viewed from a boat, as you can see more de­tail com­pared with be­ing on land to see and take pho­tographs.

Chi­na­town

Very close to Nieuw­markt is a hid­den gem that not too touristy: Chi­na­town, which is one of the old­est “chi­na­towns” in Europe be­sides Lon­don. You may find char­ac­ter­is­tic street names in Chi­nese and a big Bud­dhist tem­ple in this area. The build­ing named Fo Guang Shan He Hua Tem­ple is known as the largest Bud­dhist tem­ple in Europe, built and de­signed by Dutch ar­chi­tect Fred Greven. The tem­ple is open Tues­days to Satur­days from 12pm to 5pm and on Sun­day from 10am to 5pm. There are many shops, delis and restau­rants here and not only Chi­nese but other Asian cul­tures are rep­re­sented here such as In­done­sian, Malaysian and Thai. There are also su­per­mar­kets of­fer­ing Chi­nese food­stuffs and spices.

Bloe­men­markt – The Flower Mar­ket

The Am­s­ter­dam flower mar­ket is lo­cated along Sin­gel­gracht, roughly be­tween the Munt­plein and Kon­ingsplein area. Its unique fea­ture is that a float­ing mar­ket has ex­isted at Sin­gel­gracht since 1862. The 15 flower stalls are built out into the Sin­gel, float­ing

on the wa­ter in house­boat-like struc­tures. As tulips are al­most iconic plants for the Dutch, you will find them and plenty of other spec­i­mens as well as a wide range of sou­venirs here. It is re­ally worth a visit. Open all year round, Bloen­men­markt’s hours of op­er­a­tion are Mon­day to Satur­day from 9am to 5.30pm and on Sun­day from 11am to 5.30pm.

De Wallen – The Red Light District

The Red Light District is pretty much a mustdo in Am­s­ter­dam. Sit­u­ated in the heart of the city cen­ter, this fa­mous district is pop­u­lar with tourists, cov­er­ing sev­eral blocks of the city south of the Oude Kirk and crossed by sev­eral canals. De Wallen con­sists of a net­work of al­leys con­tain­ing over 300 tiny one-room cab­ins rented by ‘work­ing girls’ who of­fer their sex­ual ser­vices from be­hind a win­dow or glass door. The rooms are usu­ally lit with a red light, hence the term Red Light District of Am­s­ter­dam. The area also has a num­ber of adult shops, adult the­atres, peep shows and nu­mer­ous bars and cof­fee shops. The area is quite pop­u­lar with the av­er­age tourist who is just cu­ri­ous and wants to see for him­self what all the fuss is about. The Red Light District area is gen­er­ally quite safe, with regular po­lice pa­trols and door­men ev­ery­where. But tourists are not al­lowed to take pho­tos of the work­ing girls, or they may find their cam­era tossed to the bot­tom of a canal.

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