The Netherlands

The Netherlands Travel Guide

Amsterdam has a longstanding history in the diamond trade, in which Coster's has played a major part.

A 17th-century merchant's house is now a museum of contemporary photography showcasing a changing but reliably excellent collection.

A great activity if you have teens in tow, this tour takes you to a part of town rarely seen by tourists, to see some of the city's best contemporary street art. A refreshing change when you've seen one too many masterpieces in Amsterdam's museums.

One of Amsterdam's newest museums, this is a branch of the famous Saint Petersburg museum, and has full access to its magnificent collection for its program of interesting and well designed exhibitions.

Considered one of the world's great concert halls thanks to its impeccable acoustics, the Concertgebouw is also an architectural gem. Over 900 concerts are held here each year, including orchestral and chamber music performances featuring the finest international musical talents.

The 'negen straatjes' (or nine little streets) are Amsterdam's most-loved shopping area, full of one-off boutiques and galleries, quirky and cool independent stores, and atmospheric cafes and restaurants - all with a real local flavor.

Great for sports fans, the Arena is the home of Ajax, the legendary Amsterdam football team. Tours of the stadium give you an insider's view and bring you up to date with the club's glorious history.

A 47-hectare green space in the heart of Amsterdam, the Vondelpark is the place to go for a run, try out your cycling skills, observe the locals and tourists at play or just soak up the sun.

Founded in 1632, Amsterdam's Hortus Botannicus is one of the oldest botannical gardens in the world. Today, a vistt there takes you back to a simpler time, providing a restful interlude from city life.

Dating back to 1307, this quiet courtyard was once home to the lay sisterhood, the Beguines - women who lived a religious life but without taking vows.

Originally Amsterdam's city hall, today this is one of the Netherlands' three royal palaces, used for various receptions and other state events.

This canal house looks like all the others, but it hides a secret: a concealed Catholic church, built in the 17th-century in Calvinist Amsterdam, when Catholics could not be open about their religion. The secret church, which is still in use, is located in the top portion of the building.

The artist Rembrandt lived in this house towards the end of his life, from 1639 until 1656, when bankruptcy forced him to sell all his possessions at auction.

Housed in the former city orphanage dating back to 1580, the Amsterdam Museum is a fascinating journey through the city's history, with exhibits ranging from medieval maps to a portrait gallery from the Golden Age.

Originally built for the city's mayor around 1685, this grand canal house is still partly furnished in the style of the time, while other rooms date back to the 18th century. The museum houses a fine collection of 17th-century art and artifacts as well.