Thursday, December 10, 2015

Amsterdam - City Walks within Amsterdam Centrum and Museum Quarters

Date: 11th & 12th October 2015

I would like to call Amsterdam as a city of canals. It has 165 canals that we fully enjoyed exploring vide boat canal cruising. During our short stay, we only managed to cover 2 main areas of the city attractions, i.e. Amsterdam Centrum and Museum Quarters. We merely stroll casually on day 1 after all the museums has closed it's door and taking a tram from Amsterdam Centrum back to hotel area for quick shopping. We ended our stay by having a coffee stop at the famous pancake shop nearby our hotel. On 13th we were scheduled to leave for Hamburg city. 

Photo downloaded from showing the canals route vis-a-vis cities attraction

In addition to the world-famous historic Canal Ring, Amsterdam's City Centre district ('Centrum') is a home to a host of renowned museums, charming and high-end shopping areas, fantastic culture and entertainment. It is famous for Amsterdam’s renowned art and culture and top shopping where you may find the magnificent Canal Ring, but there is so much more besides the canal. The inner city, for instance, is bursting with interesting museums, sometimes hidden behind beautiful canal-side facades. The diversity of the city centre’s culture is vast, from the emotional Anne Frank House in the west of the centre, through to the upbeat nature of Science Center NEMO in the east. In between, tourist may find an inspiring collection of art and history.

During our strolled on the first evening, we get to know a guy who is looking after the groceries stall. He enlightened us with an interesting story about HOHO boat canals. Apparently, he is selling the HOHO ticket and we were there to share his heater as weather was very cold at sundown. His stall seated parallel with Amsterdam's Hard Rock cafe, not far from where the hotel that we stayed is located. He speaks fluent English. We informed him that we were scheduled for Tours & Ticket package deal on the next day. He helped us to check the pick-up time before we parted that day.

Gothis building at Stadhouderskade canal ring
A photo in front of Stedelijk Museum

In fact, we were just came from exploring what was there to see at the Amsterdam’s Museum Quarter when we met him. We wish to uncover the museum quarters neighborhood that is claimed as home to some of the world’s most important artistic and historical treasures, chic dining experiences, many of the Netherlands’ fanciest shops and also one of the best-sounding orchestral concert venues on the planet. It is there a cultural place that ties in the heart of Amsterdam, hence we spent quite a lot of time in the plush part of town known as the Museum Quarter. Amsterdam’s answer to London’s South Kensington and New York’s Museum Mile is located just south of the centre, bordered by the Stadhouderskade to the north, the Hobbemakade and Reinier Vinkeleskade to the east, Vondelpark to the west and Emmastraat to the south. Get yourself with a city map and you will understand what I meant.

Citroen headquarters
Open courtyard at the Museum's Quarters

Amsterdam top shopping area may be found at many areas of the cities. There is a vast array of shopping opportunities from fashion brands and chains at Nieuwendijk-Kalverstraat through to independent innovators and inspiring market stalls, such as at Noordermarkt. Some people get lost shopping in the Jordaan or in the 9 Straatjes meaning 9th Streets, the lanes that link the canals and where the most exclusive and original shops can be found, just like in the Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk. As for us, we have some times left on the 2nd day after the canal cruise that we decided to shop somewhere nearby the hotel. It was where the tram stopped at the nearest point to the shopping street not far from the museum quarters.

Taking city tram to reach the shopping street, P.C. Hooftstraat i.e. nearby our hotel

The Museum Quarter is home to Amsterdam’s most famous shopping street, P.C. Hooftstraat, where tourist can find many of the world’s major fashion brands and boutiques. But serious shopaholics should also visit the adjacent Van Baerlestraat for stylish local brands, while lovers of independent shops and boutiques should head to nearby Jacob Obrechtstraat and Cornelis Schuytstraat. Amidst all the purchasing potential, there are plenty of delicacies to be found despite the time, as well as some suitably swanky drinking establishments. We were told that the House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience, has even become a tourist attraction in its own right, I mean to those who loves drinking and clubbing, obviously not us 2.

At the shopping street before got myself lost in H&M boutique thereafter 

Before I end this entry, there's a rags to riches story that I wish to share in here. Some 130 years ago, a stinky wax candle factory and marshy meadows made way for what’s become the city’s most affluent area. Construction began following the completion of the Rijksmuseum, with a street plan based on the design of P.J.H. Cuyper, the museum’s celebrated architect. Unsurprisingly, the quarter’s name comes from the presence of the city’s 3 major museums (Van Gogh, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijks) on Museumplein, all of which have recently been refurbished, adding a layer of lustre to the area. In addition to the aforementioned Rijksmuseum, there’s the Stedelijk Museum of modern art and the Van Gogh Museum. Also overlooking Museumplein is the Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam’s most important orchestral concert venue, internationally renowned for its acoustics and its house orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The vast open space of Museumplein itself plays host to major events each year, from screenings of Dutch football matches to large concerts and events, plus a picturesque ice rink in the winter. While the I amsterdam letters in front of the Rijksmueum have become the city’s most photographed attraction. Give yourself a photo of evidence with I amsterdam letters like Anne and I did.

We ended our memories in Amsterdam by having a last coffee break in the Pancakes

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