Criss-crossed by bridges and canals, Amsterdam is known as the Venice of the north. But its waterways are not all it’s famous for. In fact, mention the name of The Netherlands' capital city and you’ll get a whole list of associations. Clogs, cheese and windmills top the list, followed closely by World War history, cutting-edge art and coffee shops. One thing’s for sure, when you join the millions of tourists that flock to the city every year, you won’t have to look hard to find something that interests you.
- Sit back and relax onboard Amsterdam’s most traditional mode of transport – a canal boat. Pleasure cruises have been running up and down the city’s waterways since 1621.
- Discover the secret hideout where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during the Second World War. The tiny annex is now part of a museum, where you can follow the Franks’ story from the beginning to the tragic end.
- Cast an eye over the paintings of one of the 20th century’s most influential artists. The Vincent Van Gogh museum showcases a selection of the painter’s work, including the famous Sunflowers still life.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
Amsterdam City & Canal Cruise►
Thanks to its huge network of canals and waterways, Amsterdam's often referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’. On this tour, you’ll get to explore Holland’s answer to the City of Water in the best way possible – on a canal boat. As you set sail through the city’s waterways, your guide will fill you in on the origins of the architecture that overlooks you. Lots of the houses and buildings that line the waterfront date back to the 17th century, and their tall, narrow shapes and gable rooftops are synonymous with the city. Once your scenic cruise comes to an end, you’ll jump on a bus to explore the rest of Amsterdam on four wheels. You’ll pass the 17th-century National Maritime Museum, the Royal Zoo and the old Portuguese synagogue, which was built back in 1675. You’ll also visit Waterloo Square, with its second-hand market, and Central Station, which is one of the most photographed spots in the city.
Amsterdam & Van Gogh►
Amsterdam is arguably one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Its canals and waterways are criss-crossed by chunky bridges, and edged by thin, gable-topped houses. On this trip, you’ll see a handful of the main sights by bus. You’ll trundle past the Maritime Museum, the Royal Zoo and the larger-than-life Tropen Museum. The city’s impressive railway station and second-hand market are also on the agenda. Your guide will fill you in on the history as you go, before you reach the trip's main highlight. You'll make your way to the Van Gogh Museum in the city’s famous Museum Square. This place is the largest shrine to the painter in the world, and it’s packed with more than 200 paintings and drawings. Among the famous works to look out for are The Potato Eaters, Bedroom in Arles and one of the three Sunflowers paintings.
Diamonds might not be the first things that come to mind when you think of Amsterdam, but the city actually has a huge history in the production of the sparkly stones. On this tour, you’ll learn all about them at a diamond factory – how they’re formed, mined and cut into the beautiful pieces we see in shop windows. The factory itself dates back to 1878, and it’s run by the Gassan family. When you arrive, you’ll be shown how the diamonds are produced, cut and priced. And if you fancy splashing out, you can even choose your own to buy – the staff will mount your diamond onto a jewellery piece of your choice in less than half an hour. The scenic journey to the factory's worth a mention, too. As you drive through the streets, your guide will point out sights like the Royal Zoo, the Maritime Museum and the Van Gogh Museum, where the biggest collection of the famous painter's works are kept.