Amsterdam is the largest city in the Netherlands and a city full of energy, life, action and events. Amsterdam is a city full of culture. You can visit Amsterdam at any time during the year and the city is never the same. In Amsterdam everything is in motion at any time. It seems as if the city never sleeps.
Hi folks, another trip to Holland. On Saturday late afternoon we did not exactly know what to do with the up-coming Sunday and considered, little wonder, to go somewhere in Holland. Weather was promising, at least according to the BBC weather forecast, so we packed our bags, and early on Sunday morning we went off to Amsterdam.
We parked the car somewhere near the Centraal Station (main station) packed our stuff on a trolley and got on our walk-about round the old city centre. It is worthwhile and, a must go and must see when the weather is good. And guess what, probably everyone else did the same, the city was simply packed to the rafters, so to speak.
When going to Amsterdam for a day trip, don't just go there. First consider what you want to see. If you go by car, find yourself a car park where you can leave the car for the day. The car par should not be too far away from where you want to be. Figure out how much time you will need to go about town. Do not arrive too late. Even 10 am is actually too late during the weekend, especially on a Sunday. Better be there before 8 am. If you are early, especially in summer, you have the place nearly to yourself. Amsterdam will fill with people early enough.
Amsterdam Map Location and Route Planner
We all think of canals (Grachten) when we think of Dutch cities and towns, and that is, of course, quite an attraction, as you can see on the left. It appears that in Amsterdam almost everyone has a boot and spends the free time on the water. Still the streets were full of people as were the pubs, brasseries, cafes and all the places people would like to go to on a Sunday.
What you can see are the old houses. What is special about old buildings in Amsterdam are the, at times, tilted facades. Yes, one must say "at times", because there are also old houses which are absolutely straight.
On the left: Pub at the corner Prinsengracht / Browersgracht.
We went down Prinsengracht till we turned into Leliegracht. See below
There are house boats moored in Leliegracht and at times the owners put some art on display for the passersby and, of course, for themselves. See below:
We were en route to the Amsterdam Royal Palais, simply walking down the streets looking what the city has on offer.
Ronde Lutherse Kerk Singelgracht
Above: The Ronde Lutherse Kerk was built in the 17th century when immigrants from Flandern and the Baltics arrived in Amsterdam. The then Lutherian Church was too small and the Lutherans were not allowed to build a church with a bell tower, so this round house was erected. To be found at Singelgracht.
Again, we see these tilted facades.
View into a side lane of Singelgracht, below:
Amsterdam Red-Light District
More by chance we drifted away and into a single lane with some strange buildings that prominently had red lights on display.
Finally we made it to the backside of the Amsterdam Royal Palace. The palace could be any building because it is situated in the midst of the city and doesn't actually look the part, aside from the globe which is prominently put on display on the roof.
Above and left: Spuistraat at the corner Raadhuisstraat
Below: Backside of De Groote Kerk, situated beside the palace.
People enjoy themselves on Amsterdam canals, called Gracht, whenever possible. Honestly, what else could one do, when living in such a beautiful city?
The Royal Palace
In the middle of the old Amsterdam, the Dutch Royal Family has, of course, their own domicile. The palace does not really come across as something special. Not at all. If you would not know, you were to hold the building for an administration building, for the magistrate's court or something else. The building fits perfectly into the urban ensemble of Amsterdam. What really stands out, when looking at the rear side of the building, is the man bearing the globe on his shoulders.
The Greek legend has it that a man called Atlas was given the task to bear the globe on his shoulders, a task from which he could never retire, he was forced to bear the globe, and therefore the world for ever.
Question is why that symbol is on the rear side of the Amsterdam Royal Palace.
Below you can see the front side of the Palace. Compared to Buckingham Palace in London you would not consider the building to be very impressive. Remarkable is the large square in front of the palace which is used by the people without any restrictions
Walking through Amsterdam leads you from district to another. You simply walk into another street and you are in another world. So it is with China Town. It simply starts and you are in the middle without much ado. The district shows all the trimmings you would expect there to be. Nonetheless there are also other shops, for example Thai shops.
Amsterdam is full of canals and therefore also a city full of bridges. You will find there drawbridges, arch bridges, the lot. The most famous of all Amsterdam bridges is said to be "de Magere Brug", which is a drawbridge.
We took some pics when we were there; although, I must admit, we were there at lunch time, meaning at the worst possible time, with regard to available light.
But see for yourself, at least there are some pics available.
Of course there are drawbridges in Amsterdam bigger than de Magere Brug. For example the "Nieuwe Keizersgracht Brug, which is adjacent to de Magere Brug. A pic is below.
Certainly not bad for a Sunday day trip to Amsterdam and, promise, we will be back to Amsterdam soon.