• Amsterdam, Netherlands


Amsterdam still looks much like it did in the 1600s — the Dutch Golden Age — when it was the world's richest city, an international sea-trading port, and the cradle of capitalism. Wealthy, democratic burghers built a city upon millions of pilings, creating a wonderland of canals lined with trees and townhouses topped with fancy gables. Today's Amsterdam is still a city of good living, with cozy cafés, great art, street-corner jazz, stately history, and a spirit of live and let live. It's a place where carillons chime quaintly from spires towering above coffeeshops where young professionals go to smoke pot. Take it all in, then pause to watch the clouds blow past stately old gables — and see the Golden Age reflected in a quiet canal.

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Anne Frank House Young Anne's hideaway during the Nazi occupation.

▲▲▲ Rijksmuseum Best collection anywhere of the Dutch Masters — Rembrandt, Hals, Vermeer, and Steen — in a spectacular setting.

▲▲▲ Van Gogh Museum More than 200 paintings by the angst-ridden artist.

▲▲ Red Light District The world's oldest profession in the city's oldest neighborhood.

▲▲ Our Lord in the Attic Museum Catholic church hidden in the attic of a 17th-century merchant's house.

▲▲ Stedelijk Museum One of the Netherlands' top modern-art museums.

▲▲ Portuguese Synagogue Beloved synagogue that serves today's Jewish community.

▲▲ National Holocaust Museum Powerful, modern exhibit displayed in a former teacher training school.

▲▲ Dutch Resistance Museum History of the Dutch struggle against the Nazis.

▲ Royal Palace Lavish City Hall that takes you back to the Golden Age of the 17th century.

▲ Begijnhof Quiet residential courtyard lined with picturesque houses.

▲ Amsterdam Pipe Museum A collection of pipes from around the globe, displayed in a 17th-century canal house.

▲ Hash, Marijuana, and Hemp Museum All the dope, from history and science to memorabilia.

▲ Rembrandt's House The master's reconstructed studios, office, and bedroom.

▲ H'ART Museum Temporary home of Amsterdam Museum city history collection; also hosts exhibits from Centre Pompidou in Paris, British Museum in London, and Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.

▲ Jewish Museum Exhibits on Judaism and culture.

▲ Dutch Holocaust Memorial of Names Brick walls bearing names of Dutch dead.

▲ Netherlands Maritime Museum Rich seafaring story of the Netherlands, told with vivid artifacts.