What To See: Amsterdam, Netherlands
What can only be described as walking into a fairy-tale, Amsterdam will astonish you with its infinite number of bicycles, canals at every corner and stunning Golden Age canal homes; it’s no wonder UNESCO added the 17th-century Canal Ring to their World Heritage List in 2012. But more than the obvious touristic centre, Amsterdam has seven districts, further divided into neighbourhoods, that offer much more for the avid traveler to discover. We present a few of our top spots to note in the capital city of the Netherlands!
Moving from Vondelpark to the northern bank of the IJ Harbour, you’ll find EYE Filmmuseum. Designed by Viennese firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, EYE is the first cultural institution to open across the IJ and is part of the new Amsterdam district, Overhoeks. Taking inspiration from the concept of film, the illusion of light, space and movement which becomes reality through projection, EYE is designed to appear in motion over the water. You can purchase tickets to view films and exhibits or visit the building which is free admission and open every day to the public.
A’DAM Toren is the new name for ‘Toren Overhoeks’. Designed by architect Arthur Staal and commissioned by Royal Dutch Shell, the tower is also known as ‘Shell-toren’ by many locals. Officially opening in 1971, A’DAM went through a massive renovation in 2016, transforming it into an iconic, multifunctional tower. Along with offices, cafes, restaurants and a hotel, the tower offers a panoramic view that can be enjoyed on ‘Over the Edge’, Europe’s highest swing on the Sky Deck, swaying back and forth 100 meters above the ground.
What was once an industrial shipyard is now a cultural hotspot, where artists and musicians find inspiration. Walking through the streets, the murals are a key indicator to the creatives that reside on this park of the Amsterdam Noord area. The warehouse is home to Kunststad, a network of 250 artist studios, as well as the Amsterdam ‘NOORD’ sign. Once a month, the venue hosts one of Europe’s largest flea markets at IJ-Hallen.
Amsterdam Centraal Bus Station
The fourth station roof was designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects and has become a landmark along the IJ, with its red and orange ‘AMSTERDAM’ lettering on the 365-meter-long glass roof. The colours are meant to give off a certain lighting effect, similar to the old advertising texts in the gables of the steam roofs and extend onto the quay, sheltering those traveling from bus to ferry. Giving it a modern look, Benthem Crouwel Architects combined forms and techniques to match the two existing roofs, adding to the city’s historical charm.
The largest city park in Amsterdam, the Vondelpark, was designed by landscape architect L.D. Zocher and was named after Dutch poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel. Awarded national heritage status, the Vondelpark is the perfect place to enjoy nature within the city. With its proximity to Rijksmuseum, the museum quarter, it welcomes over 10 million visitors each year. Because it was constructed on a muddy damp area, the ground level constantly lowers itself resulting in the Vondelpark needing complete renovations every 30 years, otherwise it would be covered in water!
By Aleyah Solomon