Places I will definitely visit someday: 02/01/13

Friday, February 1, 2013


I think Amsterdam is one of the cities I want to visit in the first place. Where else can you visit district with prostitutes showing off their bodies in windows, legally smoke weed or eat a brownie with pot, feel yourself as a bottle of beer or see a couple having sex in the park? The answer is Amsterdam. Only in Amsterdam!

Amsterdam is a top global tourism destination, with beautiful architecture, romantic canals, and trendy shopping. Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands with population more than one million and more than 3,66 million international visitors annually. There is something for everyone: culture, history, nightlife, arts and sophisticated charm. 

The Canal Ring or “The Grachtengordel” 

Amsterdam is colloquially known as Venice of the North, because of its canals with more than 1,500 bridges. The Canal Ring or “The Grachtengordel” is perhaps one of the most authentic Amsterdam attraction. The Canal Ring was dug in the 17th century to attract wealthy home owners and it is still considered as one of the city’s richest neighbourhood with many Dutch celebrities living there. The Canal Ring with its crescent-shaped web of waterways and beautiful houses surrounding the old center was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010 and celebrates 400 years since its completion in 2013. 

I think this is the best way to get acquainted with the city and its atmosphere is to take a boat cruise along the canals of Amsterdam. 

The Floating Dutchman

Besides usual boat cruises through The Canal Ring in Amsterdam, there is a tour you should definitely try out. The Floating Dutchman tour is a 45-minute amphibious bus tour through the famous canals of Amsterdam. The bus splashes directly into the canals to show you the sights and return you to the location where you departed. It is powered by 198 batteries and is therefore a silent and CO2-neutral way of sailing through Amsterdam's many canals. I won’t miss the opportunity to ride an amfibia bus!

The Van Gogh Museum

As I’m an art lover, I’ll definitely visit museum dedicated to the works of the one of the world’s greatest artists, Dutch post-Impressionist Vincent van Gogh.

The Van Gogh Museum is another cultural landmark of Amsterdam, offering the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings. The permanent exhibition shows five periods of Van Gogh’s artistic life - The Netherlands, where his works were dark and somber, Paris, where he discovered vivid colour, Arles, where he was incredibly productive, Saint-Remy and Auvers-sur-Oise. The exhibits include such famous paintings as The Potato Eaters, Bedroom in Arles, The Yellow House, Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers and nine of the artist’s self-portraits. The museum also has a large collection of works by Van Gogh's contemporaries, including paintings by Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec. 

The Vondelpark 

Another place to be in Ansterdam is the central park called ‘Vondelpark’, which attracts 10 million visitors annually. Besides rose garden, ponds, playground and bike paths, Vondelpark has a tea house, restaurant, bar, Film Museum and an open air theater, where you can witness great performances during the summer. Since 2008 adults were planned to be legally allowed to have sex in the Vondelpark, on the condition that they took their garbage with them afterwards and never had intercourse near the playgrounds. However, Amsterdam Police announced that they would not in fact tolerate this as the law required them to prevent it. I wonder whether I manage to to see something like that?


I still believe in fairy tales, that’s why the next place is definitely for me! Efteling is the largest theme park in the Netherlands and one of the oldest theme parks in the world. Since its opening in 1952, the park has evolved from a nature park with a playground and a Fairy Tale Forest into a full-sized theme park and now it is twice as large as the original Disneyland park in California.

The park is fantasy-themed. Huge park area presents numerous entertainments and amusement attractions such as performances with gnomes, dragons and Ginny, a ride on the inflatable boat, roller coasters, seasonal musical shows, concerts and light shows. No matter what age you are, it will be difficult to believe that it’s not a fairy tale. I may consider staying there longer…

Heineken Experience

Beer… I like all types of beer… That’s why visiting The Heineken Experience would be a very special occasion for me. 

The Heineken Experience is a historic brewery and corporate visitor center for the internationally distributed Heineken beer, where you can learn everything about Heineken, from the history of the Heineken family and the company's philosophy, to the full process of beer making. The Heineken Experience takes about one and a half hours and includes lots of interactive activities including being brewed like a beer - you’ll get shaken up, sprayed with water, subjected to heat and then you’ll get bottled. Two drinks included in the entrance fee!!! I’m lovin’ it!

De Wallen District

Next well-known attraction of Amsterdam shows a complete picture of the city's liberal attitude towards prostitution and drugs. I wonder what red-light district looks like? Is it gross? Or am I going to like that red colour of the windows? We’ll see…

De Wallen District also best known as the Amsterdam’s red-light district has become one of the city’s best known tourist destinations, where most of the red lights illuminated windows are and where girls offer their services. The district also offers such unique attractions as numerous sex theatres, a sex museum, sex shops and peep show bars. The presence of police and security cameras ensure that ‘De Wallen’ is one of the safest areas of Amsterdam. Remarkably, the oldest church in Amsterdam, the Netherlands-gothic Oude Kerk on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal at Oudekerksplein locates in the center of window prostitution.

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam 

Art is my passion. Especially I love modern art, where things are so abstract and weird. The best part of modern art is that you can understand it any way you like. I love to imagine what the author wanted to say with his “masterpiece”. I have a very wild imagination that’s why I like it a lot. So The Stedelijk Museum is a “must see” for me!

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (colloquially Stedelijk) is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design in Amsterdam. The permanent collection of modern classics includes paintings by Monet, Picasso and Chagall, sculptures by Rodin, abstracts by Mondrian and Kandinsky, some thought-provoking contemporary art collections and much, much, much more.


The Coffeeshops, not to be confused with coffeehouses or cafes, has became another well known attraction in Amsterdam, allowing the customers to buy small quantities of cannabis or hash and have it along with a cup of coffee or a spacecake, that is a variation of pot brownies. There are over 200 coffeeshops in Amsterdam, but only several of them that are well known for their reliable and trusted reputation: The Bulldog, Mellow Yellow, Barney’s Coffeeshop Greenhouse United. They are very popular because of the low prices and high quality of the weed. Earlier you also could have tried magic hallucinogenic mushrooms there, but the usage of mushrooms has been forbidden since December 2008 after two fatal incidents with foreign tourists. Hmmm… I think I wouldn't have refused to try some hallucinogenic mushrooms…

The Tropenmuseum 

It’s always interesting to know something about different cultures, traditions, beliefs and religion… The Tropenmuseum is a perfect place to find out about a life in different countries with weird and obscure traditions…

The Tropenmuseum is an anthropological museum located in Amsterdam, which accommodates eight permanent exhibitions and an ongoing series of temporary exhibitions, including both modern and traditional visual arts and photographic works collection of colonial artefacts, presented with insight, imagination and a fair amount of multimedia. The museum houses collections for many geographical areas such as Southeast, South and West Asia, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. You can stroll through an African market or a Central Asian yurt, see ritual masks and listen to recordings of exotic musical instruments. 

Vodka Museum Amsterdam

The next one popular attraction I’m going to visit is a small, modern museum that has been launched responding to the growing popularity of vodka in the world. I’m not a fan of vodka, but the museum dedicated to vodka is sure worth visiting. It must be fun! In this museum you can learn about the history of vodka in Russia, see the collection of unusual vodka bottles (a bottle that looks like the crown jewels of Russian king, a bottle in the shape of the Moscow’s Kremlin, or another one that has a shape of an AK-47 machine gun). There are anti-alcoholism Soviet propaganda posters on the walls of this museum. You may taste some vodka very comfortable vodka bar or buy a bottle out of 80 sorts of vodka in the museum shop.

Madame Tussauds Amsterdam

The celebrities of Madame Tussauds are located in the city center of Amsterdam at Dam Square, where you can meet Michael Jackson, Barack Obama, David Beckham, Van Gogh, Lady Gaga and Merilyn Monroe at the same time. At Madame Tussaud’s live-sized wax figures of internationally famous royalties, pop- and sports stars, world leaders and national celebrities are waiting for you. So don’t forget your camera or you’ll be sorry not to have pictures with all this well-known celebrities later!!!

Amsterdam, here I come!