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Discovering Amsterdam's Hidden Treasures

Jun 8, 2008
Accommodation in the city reflects its popularity with options ranging from luxury hotels, to youth centers or campgrounds. Whatever your interests or your style, Amsterdam can cater for you.

Amsterdam was founded in the year 1200 as a fishing village based around the Amstel River. Today, it is the nominal capital of the Netherlands. It was built with many semi-circular rings of canals with around 400 bridges over them. Amsterdam is quite appropriately referred to as "the Venice of the North."

This year, in 2008 tourism in Amsterdam has been given a boost with the city focusing on the theme of "Amsterdam Hidden Treasures." The aim of the project is to allow visitors to Amsterdam the ability to discover some of the city's lesser known attractions. It is focusing on the areas of art, performance, history and fashion and design. In terms of culture, Amsterdam boasts many museums. It is home to over fifty museums, some better known than others. If you visit Museum Quarter, you will find some of the more famous of Amsterdam's museums, such as Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum. You can also visit Rembrandt's House, the Amsterdam Historical Museum, the Maritime Museum and the Amstelkring Our Lord in the Attic, the hidden church in the attic of a canal house. These are to mention just a few of interesting museums that can be found in the city. The Concert Building can also be found in Museum Quarter.

During the summer months, the Royal Palace is open to the public. This 17th century building is beautifully maintained as it is still used for official functions by the Queen. Spend some time walking around the popular and bustling, Dam square. The areas of Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are wonderful areas to walk around during the day as they are full of street performers, acrobatic arts and music. At night the locals can be seen here going to the theatres, cinemas and clubs in the area. Don't miss out on visiting Jordaan, the little village that was built in 1612. Today it is a trendy area of restaurants and bars within Amsterdam itself.

The Oude Kerk is a popular tourist spot. It is an old church with little houses attached to its sides. It was built in a Gothic-Renaissance style and is interesting to view if just from an architectural perspective. You should make sure to follow the narrow vaulted passageway to the quaint Begijnhof. The garden is surrounded by many old structures, including the oldest house in Amsterdam and a medieval church.

If you prefer natural beauty, you can find that in Amsterdam as well. The Botanical Garden is the oldest of its sort in the world, being built in 1682. It is a beautiful area to relax in. You can take a boat cruise or canal tour along the rings of canals. Bike, boat or walking tours of the city are also available and they are an excellent way to see the historical sights.

Amsterdam offers many holiday accommodation options, ranging from luxury-styled to small boutique-styled hotels. Self catering rental apartments are also available, as are youth centers. Campgrounds that offer bungalows are also an option at some times of the year.
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