It may be small, but Amsterdam is jam packed and offers so many unique things to do that it would not be possible to see it all in one day. The city is split into various areas by waterways and is easily accessible by foot, bicycle, tram or canal boat. This city knows how to deal with small spaces and every nook and cranny is wisely used. There are an endless amount of side streets and corner shops just waiting to be explored
Consider Amsterdam as a living museum, thus making it one of the most fascinating and exciting destinations in Europe.
PORT OF AMSTERDAM
The port, Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA), tends to be starting point for cruise ships heading to the Northern European nations. Some ships do make Amsterdam a port of call as well. Approximately 300,000 passengers pass through the port each year. The newest ship for Holland America, the ms Koningsdam will be calling PTA its home from May through to September. With a passenger count of 2886, this is bound to increase 2015’s figure substantially.
The port is located very close to the city centre and public transport options are within walking distance. The Passenger Terminal contains an enormous reception hall, catering and shopping locations and a tourist office. The terminal also plays host to interesting exhibitions, showing off Amsterdam’s creative vibe as soon as you step into the terminal.
For those that are arriving by plane to Amsterdam, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is located only 15 minutes away from the port.
THINGS TO DO
Right in the physical centre of Amsterdam sits Dam Square. This top meeting point of the city is a great place for people watching. It is surrounded by the World War II National Monument, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the 15th-century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and the neoclassical Royal Palace.
Holland is known for scenic settings and its great beer. Indulge in both with the Beer Bike Tour and join 10 to 20 others to pedal around the city while enjoying a cold brew. This is one time that burning calories will be a pleasure!
No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without taking a canal tour. The canal tours are usually accompanied with a tour guide that points out interesting sights and offers a different perspective on iconic sites. Some tours offer hop-on hop-off passes.
Amsterdam serves as one of the diamond centres of Holland. Coster Diamonds is one of the oldest factories in diamond polishing and offers tours. The most valuable diamonds in the world, including the Crown Jewels belonging to the British Royals made their way here. Watch the diamond polishers at work using the same techniques and tools from the 1850s as well as the amazing gems on display.
You could also learn something new at the Post Modern museum known as Nemo. This museum is actually very close to the port. It differs from the norm by having interactive experiments that visitors of all ages can take part in. The Media Lab allows you to produce music and short films for all the other visitors to view.
Take in one of the greatest Dutch masters work at the Van Gogh museum. Van Gogh is arguably the best known artist in the world and the museum reflects his and other artists work in over four stories. Everything from obscure pieces such as Red Vineyard to masterpieces such as the Starry Night can be seen here. There is a large wing dedicated to other Dutch masters and Impressionist artists, making this a hotspot for art lovers.
Cruise lines visiting or embarking from Amsterdam in 2016 include: Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity, Costa Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages and Fred Olsen.
Written by Veronica Shine