Amsterdam Short Break - Walking Tour Guide
If you're on holiday in Amsterdam, prepare to see and experience everything from priceless old Rembrandts to raw mackerel (a local delicacy). Small, compact and lovely for walking, Amsterdam is a city where you grab your camera, a pair of trainers and this handy guide for experiencing Amsterdam breaks on foot.
The city's system of canals divides the streets into five concentric half circles; the main canal routes are the Herengracht, the Prinsengracht, the Keizersgracht, the Singelgracht and the Singel. The grid can be somewhat confusing; maps are highly recommended for all visitors on an Amsterdam break.
Short Breaks on foot - Anne Frank House, Dam Square
Starting at the Centraal train station, walk south along Damrak to Dam Square, Amsterdam's bustling centre location. Cross to the west side to look at the grand Het Koninklijk Paleis te Amsterdam (Royal Palace), open to tourists when the Queen is not in. The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) stands right of the Palace.
If you keep heading west from Dam Square you will come to De Wallen, the city's most infamous district, heralded by its red lights. Here you'll find the city's famed 'legal illicit activity,' plus loads of cafes, bars and Nieuwmarkt square. Continue on from Dam Square around the Palace to Raadhuisstraat, cross the Herengracht canal and turn right to see the grand Nederlands Theatermuseum. Return to Raadhuisstraat and turn right, following along to Westermarkt until you see the Westerkerk (West Church) on the right; Rembrandt is buried here. Pass the church, go right and follow the Prinsengracht canal to the Anne Frankhuis (Anne Frank House).
Across the Prinsengracht is the Jordaan neighbourhood, a funky Boho area that is full of cafes, boutiques and bars. Sit down and grab lunch at a café before heading south along the Singelgracht canal to Museumplein (Museum Quarter). Here you'll find the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum. When the weather is pleasant the grassy square is packed with visitors and picnicking locals.
If you head north along the popular shopping street of Nieuwe, you'll come to the busy Leidesplein and Rembrandtplein neighbourhoods. The area is hopping with street performers, tourists and crowded street cafes. Return to Dam Square where you can easily pick up Nieuwendijk, a pedestrian-only street loaded with stores and shops where you can branch off into the main shopping centre east of Dam Square.