Sometimes, I think I must be the only person in Europe who hasn't visited Amsterdam! I've cycled around the world, climbed mountains, sailed across the sea, and yet never been there. Crazy, right?! So, when I was asked to write a post about Amsterdam, I embraced this as a chance to gain some travel inspiration, and set a goal to visit Amsterdam in 2016.
Why I Should Visit Amsterdam in 2016
1. Bicycles – This seems an obvious one really, especially for me! Holland is often described as being one of the most bicycle-friendly countries in the world. Forget cycling being exclusively for lycra-clad middle aged men. It appeals to every social and economic group, and is an accepted part of society. The cycling culture in Holland is something that the rest of the world can only dream of for the time being. Recent figures, suggested that there were over a million bicycle in use in Amsterdam alone last year. The city also has great cycling infrastructure, consisting of bicycle lanes and purpose-built bicycle parking spaces. I would love to see this for myself, and this is a big incentive to visit Amsterdam in 2016.
2. The Rijksmuseum – Regular readers of Dave's Travel Pages will not be surprised that a museum features on my list of things to do in Amsterdam! (I am currently on a mission to see all the museum in Athens!). The Rijksmuseum houses works of art from the Dutch golden era, including those of Rembrandt and Vermeer. During my research, I found out the British artist Anish Kapoor has a temporary exhibition there between November 27 2015 to March 6 2016. One of the works he is displaying is Internal Object in Three Parts which is inspired by the Greek legend of the satyr Marsyas. Like how I put another Greek connection in there?!
3. Van Gogh Museum – Van Gogh is by far my favourite artist, and so I would love to see this museum if I visit Amsterdam in 2016. It is one of the most visited museums in the country, and houses many works of art from Van Gogh. Little appreciated during his own lifetime, he is now arguably one of the most popular artists of all time. (He also acted as inspiration for one of my favourite episodes of Doctor Who – Vincent and the Doctor. Apologies for my geekiness!).
4. The Condomerie – As I researched the things I would like to see if I visit Amsterdam in 2016, I stumbled across the Condomerie. This was, believe it or not, the world's first specialist condom shop! Apparently, there are condoms there of all shapes, sizes, colours and designs. It's kind of a home of latex art! I would definitely drop by here when in Amsterdam, as much for a laugh as anything else! On a serious note, the Condomerie is recognised as having broken down barriers and taboos which surround issues such as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and more. There is also a small museum there.
5. Street Art – For someone who can't even draw a matchstick man very well, I am still very interested in art! As a result, if I visit Amsterdam in 2016, I would like to check out the street art there. Street art is a great way to get a feel for social, political, and economic issues of a city or country. Due to the fact that street art is constantly changing, I always think it is better to hook up with a local tour group that offer alternative street art tours. A local is going to know where the new graffiti is, what may be cleared away, and may be able to explain the story behind them.
I still have to finalise my travel plans for 2016, but I aim to include a trip to Amsterdam among them. In fact, I should have a blog post going live over the next week or two outlining my travel plans for 2016, so remember to drop back by! You can also sign up to my newsletter, by using the box at the top of this page.
Have you visited Amsterdam, and do you have any suggestions of things to do or see that might appeal to me? Please leave a comment below.