Amazing Amsterdam

Let me take you on a little journey to the amazing city of Amsterdam!

Why Amsterdam?

Because back in 2012, the Global Art Agency invited me to exhibit my artwork as part of a group event together with over 100 wonderful artists, in the gorgeous and vibrant city of Amsterdam. If you missed last week’s post, you can read all about the exhibition here: Amsterdam exhibition.

#amsterdam, #europe, #exhibition

After the manic and hectic one day of setting up at the exhibition, standing on your feet for hours, talking endlessly to a plethora of people, and meeting wonderful artists as a part of this innovative event, followed by the excellent after-event party, it’s time to explore Amsterdam.

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Map: Google

Visiting Amsterdam on a couple of previous occasions, and on each new visit, there’s always something intriguing to discover and explore.

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Enjoying street buskers

Without a planned tour or even planned days, you can do what you please, when you please – the freedom of travelling with only your partner.

What to see

Wander Amsterdam’s cobbled alleyways some of which date back over 740 years, which is the city’s age, for a remarkable and exceptional adventure.

#amsterdam, #photographyexhibition, #exhibition, #europe
Silent laneways

Amsterdammers are super friendly and polite. Couples ride past on bicycles, joined together only hand-in-hand from each other’s bikes.

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Bicycle haven

Art galleries, museums, unusual street stalls, international and multi-cultural buskers, horse-drawn cart rides, canals, and the Red Light District, Amsterdam can be exhausting if you try to see everything in this dynamic city.

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Canal Cruise

Drawing millions of tourists each year, Amsterdam’s 165 canals some of which are over 400 years old, are known worldwide and captivating.

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Watery backyard garden

The lifeblood of Amsterdam and not just for transportation, locals live by and on the city’s ancient canals. And, although I’ve never taken a canal boat trip during the several occasions of visiting Amsterdam, I’m sure I’ve walked a good majority of the over 100 kilometres of canals. Why not hire a boat?

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Smoke break

Don’t forget, you can always hire a two-wheeled bicycle from one of the bike hire shops that are abundant around the city.

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Quintessential vista

After your exhaustive bike ride through the city, should you still feel energised and revived, then why not enjoy a stroll along some of the 1,700 bridges framing Amsterdam’s canals, snapshotting a vista in time.

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35mm B&W Fuji film

Dam Square

Inevitably, you will find yourself in Dam Square, Amsterdam’s main town square where locals and tourists meet.

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Around 750 metres from the Amsterdam Centraal station and the main transportation hub, Dam Square is also an alluring people-watching space.

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Waiting for the next fare

Royal Palace

Only becoming a palace during the 19th century, the luxuriant neoclassical palatial building was opened in 1655 as the city’s town hall.

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Royal Palace

In addition to the opulent internal marble work, in the centre of the building is the citizens’ hall, the floor of which is inlaid with maps of the world.

Anne Frank’s House

If you haven’t heard the tragic but incredibly inspiring story of the German-born Jewish girl Anne Frank, her remarkable story is definitely worth reading. Or better still, visit Anne Frank’s Museum while in Amsterdam. Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding for two years in the Secret Annex (named by Anne), while she diarised their existence hiding during the Nazi persecution and occupation during WWII. The story is heart-wrenching.

Visiting Anne Frank’s House in 1985, a line-up and expensive entry ticket were unheard of, and a very different experience. Instead, I was allowed to wander through the house taking my time. From memory, only a small coin donation was expected, which went towards the upkeep of the house.

How times have changed.

These days, Anne Frank’s house is a lucrative museum with a lineup that starts at the entrance and crawls around the corner. Maybe it was the day we were there, but with a tasselled cordoned-off barrier forcing people to line up, a hundred people were waiting to enter. At €16 (2023) per adult entry, this makes the visit expensive. Although, I’m sure Anne Frank’s Museum has totally transformed since 1985 and regardless of the cost, this visit is a profound encounter.


Built during 1695 as the lockkeeper’s house, you can find the very crooked free-standing Sluyswacht opposite the Rembrandt House museum (previously Rembrandt’s actual house).

When Rembrandt lived across from the Sluyswacht, he painted one of the oldest pictures of this particular lock.

#Sluyswacht, #amsterdam, #europe, #exhibition

For the last twenty years or so, Sluyswacht has been offered as a cosy cafe for all to enjoy.


With around 75 museums in Amsterdam, it’s impossible to visit even one-third in a two-week visit, so a couple not to miss are the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum.


One of the world’s finest art museums, the Rijksmuseum houses over 8,000 art pieces across four floors of over 1.5 kilometres of galleries. And, includes masterpieces from greats such as Vermeer, Rembrandt, and of course, Van Gogh.

Van Gogh Museum

Most are familiar with Van Gogh’s lush yellow and blue palette with distinctive rough brushwork. The Van Gogh museum’s permanent exhibition includes 500 drawings and 200 paintings of Van Gogh’s work. The museum also hosts Van Gogh’s unusual Japanese prints and other artists’ contemporary exhibitions influenced by Van Gogh.

Day trips from Amsterdam

The beauty of Amsterdam is that not only is the city organised very well, but the train system is reliable, and you can easily pick up a train ride, of under an hour to the gorgeous city of Delft. But also, a high-speed train of under 2 hours to arrive in stunning Belgium, then make your way to one of my favourite cities, Bruges. Both are definitely worth day trips from Amsterdam if you have a little extra time.

Check back next week for more of this Amsterdam two-week sojourn.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

church, Delft, Netherlands, Europe
Know the name of this church?
#stopaids, #amsterdam, #europe, #exhibition
Stumbled on this unusual street exhibition

46 thoughts on “Amazing Amsterdam

Add yours

  1. Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities to explore. My friend now lives in Rotterdam, so when I visit we always go to Amsterdam to wander around Jordaan and have a curry in one of our fav restaurants, Shah Jahan. Love your photos, they make me smile! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Gill
      Thank you for the lovely feedback.
      Is that Chris that lives in Rotterdam or is he still in Thailand? There are so many gorgeous areas around Amsterdam and I’d love to go back. Not sure if I mentioned, I’m off again in March. 😉
      Hope all is well.
      Nilla x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My visit back in ’80 was considerably shorter – maybe a day or two – so I didn’t see that much. I remember being struck by the age of the place. I took a picture of a cornerstone dated 1612, when for most of the places I was familiar with 1912 was old. Another memory; sitting on the Dam, minding my own business when a guy walked up looking to sell me a joint. And of course, walking around the red light district was an eye opener for my then still naive experience.

    I think everyone should travel, if for nothing else, to learn that their parochial ways aren’t the only ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it incredible? Sometimes it’s hard to fathom the age of those buildings but it’s the same in loads of European countries.
      I remember the cathedral in Wells (Somerset) is 1,000 years old from memory – I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.
      Sounds like you had a pretty cool experience in Amsterdam. I love returning. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Wilhelm Ruys which later became the ill-fated Achille Lauro and in yet another incarnation sank. Just one of 3 ships I travelled that went to the bottom! There was also a little freighter called Merwe Lloyd which Mum and I took from Bangkok to Penang, stopping 6 days in Singapore. It was really nice. (And I got a crush on one of the officers. But I was only 14)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sinking ships make me quite sad, but you have so many wonderful stories and memories, Carolyn. You really need to write about these as I’m sure your readers would be interested.
      Was the officer blond-haired and blue-eyed? 😉


  4. A very nice rendition of Amsterdam. We used to live right on a canal, in Amsterdam Zuid (South). Close to the Beatrix Park. I would ride my bike to Amstelveen and other places. At 10, after being chauffeured everywhere in Africa. (No option) to have your bike and be allowed to roam everywhere until an agreed upon time was freedom and bliss.
    Tot ziens mevrouw. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brian, and appreciate your feedback.
      Another country that you’ve lived in…you are full of surprises! That would have been amazing. How long did you live there?
      Another language that you’re fluent in?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. We lived in Amsterdam for 3 years. (And remember I only “did” about 30-40 countries way below your 60+. LOL)
      Sadly I did not really try to learn Dutch, but I understand a few words here and there.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. True. Though your travel styles take you very deep inside the country. And you do manage a bit of Bahasa, Kawanku. 😉
      And yes, Dutch is always a bonus when going back. Any culture appreciates the effort some foreigners do to say “hello”, “how are you?”, “please”, “thank you”.
      When are you leaving? For another series of adventures? (You got all your shots I hope?)

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Indeed my friend… 😉
      I know Italians love it when a foreigner speaks Italian or at least tries and yes, learning the basic words is polite in every country – even if you purge the words when you leave.
      Leaving The Land of Oz on the 3rd of March and heading for Singapore for 4 nights before Osaka. Have 3 COVID shots but not sure what else I need for Japan, so thanks for the reminder.
      Not getting excited until I’m on the plane!

      Liked by 1 person

    5. You are quite right. On the plane with the door shut… 😉
      3 shots should be all right. We had our 4th last year. MD daughter has not pushed for more. And she says (she’s an infectologist) things are relatively stable on that front. Influenza might be a good idea?

      Liked by 1 person

    6. Ha, ha, everything is so uncertain with flights these days. My flight from Brisbane to Newcastle (only 1.15 hrs) on the 17th has just been moved to an hour later!
      Thanks, Doc 😉 Not getting a flu shot. Had only one in my life during my early 30s and was as sick as a dog for 3 weeks straight after, so I vowed never again.

      Liked by 1 person

    7. I didn’t know that but it wasn’t a great experience, so I was pretty hesitant about the COVID vaccines. I was quite sick with them but not for 3 weeks, so better. 😉
      Especially these days, it seems that airlines cancel on a whim…fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

    8. You probably have some sort of strong immunity reaction… better be on the safe side…
      I think the airlines have still not recovered from the COVID disaster… It may take time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amsterdam’s main charm comes from its canals. Without them, wouldn’t it be an ordinary city? There are still the museums, although nowadays we have to book the time to enter in advance, which does not prevent queues. We can use these little waiting times to observe the life around us, indeed, Amsterdam is not like other cities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amsterdam wouldn’t be ordinary for me without the canals as the sheer age fascinates me and I love the city, but I understand where you’re coming from…
      I’m not a fan of booking anything in advance, especially museum tickets and prefer the more spontaneous method. More and more we’re forced to book ahead, which is a pain.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Alas! The only times I touched my feet in Holland was in transit at Schipol. My friend Tim had a “connection” at KLM which afforded us free tickets but we were always pressed for time and had more distant horizons. I often ask which of those far-flung places I would have been willing to sacrifice in order to see more of Europe or even my own country (UK that is). Sudan, perhaps, although that was a worthwhile experience. I am not a city person but I think I might survive in a place like Amsterdam. And I always like blue-eyed, blond gentlemen! Travelled on Dutch ships too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, free tickets? Unheard of these days! Shame you didn’t stop a little longer to explore.
      Ha, ha, you’re too funny, so you have a preference for blond hair and blue eyes. I’ll have to trawl through your site to see if I can find a post on Dutch ships.


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