Amsterdam is a vibrant city located in the Netherlands. It's known for its carefree attitude and incredible history with canals, museums, art galleries and much more for tourists to visit. When you come to Amsterdam for the first time, there are at least ten or twelve things you should do and see. Instead of giving you the whole cheat sheet, we thought we would share the top five and let you color in the rest for yourself. Here's our list of the top five must-see Amsterdam attractions.
De Wallen (The Red-Light District)
Amsterdam's neighborhood of De Wallen is better known as The Red Light District. It is a district known for its brothels, sex shops and infamous red glow that operates day and night. Although you probably should shy away from approaching anyone for their services, you can still take a stroll through the streets of this neighborhood to pick up souvenirs and snap some photos of the buildings.
The Amsterdam Canals
The canals in Amsterdam have been hailed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to their long history and amazing construction. The canals wind their way through streets and under bridges and can be seen from the streets that run alongside or cross over them in addition to from a cruise boat. You can even book a Canal Cruise with dinner for a really special time on the water.
St. Nicholas Square
St. Nicholas Square is a collection of several Catholic churches in the city center. The most impressive of these is the Basilica of St. Nicholas, which holds masses every day of the week with English ones being held on Sundays. The gorgeous architecture is enough, but the history and artwork inside each of the churches take it over the top. Take a bike tour to this amazing spot for a real Dutch vacation experience.
Considered the oldest of the remaining non-religious buildings in Amsterdam, De Waag is a gorgeous building that was first constructed starting in the middle of the 15th Century. It served as one of the city's many gates. The building has served many different functions throughout the years and was once dedicated to the arts and science. You can see the building in one of famous Dutch painter Rembrandt's work The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp where the operating theater is portrayed. Nowadays, the building serves as home to the Waag Society in addition to a restaurant known as In De Waag.
The Rijksmuseum is the Netherlands' national museum and the site of the infamous 'I Amsterdam' sign that everyone loves to take pictures with when they are at the building's entrance. The museum features work by Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt and many other artists known the world over in addition to an extensive account of Dutch history with exhibits and artifacts that show off the nation's rich culture and history. There are also traveling exhibitions that come to the museum for shows of impressive world treasures. This is a definite must-see museum if you can visit no others.