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Flickering red lights and cosy coffee shops come to mind at the mention of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Of course, impressions and reality are often different once you take the time to explore.

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From historical sites to beautiful windmills, Amsterdam has a great deal of beauty awaiting exploration. While there’s a ton of destinations to tour in the country, I narrowed my experience down to Amsterdam itself, where I had the opportunity to explore some amazing attractions. Here are some budget-friendly options to visit while traveling through Amsterdam on a European tour.

Walk the scenic streets of the neighboured of Jordaan

Once known for its poor living conditions, the neighboured of Jordaan was long home to the working class and immigrants. Today, it is one of the most popular and opulent neighbourhoods in Netherlands and is considered an attraction.

Spend a day in the neighbourhood and you’ll discover its people’s reputation for partying and over-the-top sing-a-longs are not too far off. There’s a lot to explore in Jordaan as it is home to an array of restaurants, galleries, and specialty shops that could have you walking all over the place.

Go back in time via the Singel canal around the city

During the Middle Ages, the Singel canal-encircled the city and was used as a means of transport around the city until the late 1500’s. Over time the city has expanded around the Singel canal, and many attractions can be seen on either side of it. These attractions include:

  • The narrowest house in the world
  • Monumental canal side house built in ca. 1600
  • The Muttoren Tower
  • Round Lutheran Church.

Tour the Natura Artis Magistra Zoo

This zoo, called the Artis for short, is situated in the centre of Amsterdam. The Artis is the oldest zoo in Netherlands and could be the oldest in mainland Europe. The zoo is more than a show of animals as it also encompasses an aquarium and planetarium. What’s more, the Artis has a large collection of art and monumental buildings open for exploring. It’s safe to say that the Artis is a unique cultural experience of the 19th century.

Immerse into the beer culture of the Dutch

Beer is a huge part of Dutch culture, with Amsterdam being the home of Heinekens’ first brewery. The Heineken Experience gives you a glimpse into the history of the world-famous brewery via a fun and interactive tour centered on the production of the drink.

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