It is no secret that I am a great fan of Hop on Hop off services. I find these an incredibly convenient way to get the feel of a new city, and to work out my priorities of “things to see and do.” Amsterdam provides a great twist in this, as the Hop on Hop off service is via Canal Bus. These boats make the rounds of the city’s canal system, and make a really pleasurable way to explore the town.
Canals and Bridges 1
Canals and Bridges 2
Amsterdam grew as as town after the dam was built on the Amstel. Over time the rings of canals were added to facilitate continued expansion of the city. This system of waterways is perfect to connect the various parts of the city, and to tour from.
Stops include the central station, the Rijksmuseum, and Anne Frank’s House, and the bus can be joined at any of these [plus several more]. So we started at the train station and began our day of leisurely discovery.
As the water bus made its way around the rings of canals, we were able to take in the Dutch architecture and, as it was a Hop on Hop off, to do some souvenir shopping including the “must have” wooden shoes.
We had several great foodie moments in Amsterdam as well, and the canal based eateries were really easy to reach from the Hop on Hop off. Hard Rock Cafe is always a favourite of ours, and several coffee houses are found on the banks as well, providing places to chill and watch the water traffic.
Dutch East India Company
The open harbour area has several “must see” attractions including the Nemo Museum, A Dutch East Indiaman (museum), and a floating Chinese restaurant.
I Amsterdam Sign near Rijksmuseum
There is a large park near the Rijksmuseum where the I am sterdam sign/monument is located, and the museum itself if full of national treasures including Rembrandt’s Night Watch. This is a really impressive painting, and for Pratchett fans, the inspiration of one of the Vimes novels.
[Here is a great video of a Flashmob stunt which was staged to mark the return of Rembrandt’s Night Watch to the Rijksmuseum].
Amsterdam is a great city to visit, and the Canal Bus option is a real winner to aid you in your explorations.
Canal Bus Link