by Zara Mohammed, Entertainment Columnist
Published in Entertainment on 14th August, 2019
The capital of the Netherlands is famous for having more bikes than it has people. There are over 800,000 bikes in Amsterdam, which sounds like a hell of a lot, but the city is literally made for bikes with its flat landscape.
It is indeed a city made up of a network of cycling lanes like no other city in the world, and as it is often stated, cycling is a way of life for everyone who lives in Amsterdam.
It goes without saying then that if you are visiting the city for your holidays or just taking a short trip, cycling is the best way of getting around and exploring the streets and canals.
Families can hire bikes and cycle together safely, couples can enjoy some exercise side by side while taking in the sights, and lone travellers will feel just like one of the locals cycling alongside the city's residents.
For a more relaxing and entertaining way of moving around the city, why not enjoy exploring the city's canal network on a canal cruise?
Amsterdam's UNESCO protected canal belt was created in the 17th Century to keep the sea at bay, and it is now a beautiful feature of the city and a familiar, not to mention extremely pretty postcard scene.
Guided tours offer insight into the culture of the city as you cruise through it, and interesting titbits can be discovered that you can share with friends and family -on the back of a postcard perhaps?
You can choose from a variety of different types of tours, like hop on hop off sightseeing tours or even candlelit cruises at night that set a romantic atmosphere for dinner and drinks on the shimmering water.
Once a working class area, the narrow streets of Jordaan are now admired by many, with it's quaint buildings and places to discover. Exploring the nooks and crannies of the town makes an exciting and unpredictable shopping experience to enjoy during your trip to Amsterdam.
You will find independent art galleries and antique shops, adorable cafes and hidden restaurants, courtyard gardens and atmospheric bars. It is easy to keep entertained for the whole day wandering around and discovering something new to explore around every corner.
Inspire the whole family with a taste of history and take a trip to the Prinsengracht house where the famous little diarist Anne Frank hid with her family for two years from the Nazis after feeling persecution in Germany.
The back annex of the house has been preserved so that you can step back in time and imagine exactly what it would have been like for Anne Frank and her family in the place where they hid, and the front of the house has been transformed into an informative and thought-provoking museum.
It is advised to book your visit online ahead of time, or at least arrive early in the morning as the attraction is a popular one and waiting times can often be quite lengthy.
Tulips are a definitive symbol of Dutch culture, and so during your trip to the Netherlands you should definitely seek out some of these charming flowers, even if it is a bit of a cliche.
There is a unique way to enjoy these pretty flowers though, as the Bloemenmarkt is the world's only floating flower market, and therefore most certainly the best way to appreciate the country's symbolic flowers in all of their glory on the colourful market stalls.
You can buy tulips and bulbs here. Or just takes plenty of holiday snaps to enjoy memories of your trip there.
Museumplein is the cultural centre and beating heart of Amsterdam, home to the famous Van Gogh Museum, which houses more than 200 Van Gogh paintings, 500 drawings, and 700 of Van Gogh's letters, along with the Stedellijk Museum which is dedicated to modern and contemporary at and design, and the Rijksmuseum displaying Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The open square in between the large buildings holds open-air exhibitions and markets to enjoy, and there is even a large paddling pool for those warm summer days.
In the wintertime the square is transformed into a vast magical ice rink, so you can enjoy the space no matter what the season.
De Gooyer is the tallest wooden mill in the Netherlands. It is an impressive and large octagonal structure dating from 1725 and standing 26.6 meters high. It is one of eight remaining windmills in Amsterdam.
One of the best things about visiting De Gooyer is that beneath the majestic sails of the mill there is an award winning artisan microbrewery. Not only can you can enjoy the large outdoor drinking terrace, but you can also enjoy a 30-minute guided tasting tour, which is perfect for lovers of ale.
The Nemo Science Museum is an ideal outing for the whole family, and a fun way to keep the kids entertained for hours. The museum offers a unique museum experience not only for young children but also for older ones and adults alike with activities and exhibits spanning over its five floors to engage all ages.
Your family can enjoy quality time together, getting involved in interactive experiments and learning about science in a fun and accessible way.
A plus for kids and their sticky little fingers that like to get into everything is that at Nemo you can touch practically everything on display in the museum, so there is plenty to keep the youngsters occupied and the parents feeling relaxed.
Some of the things you can look forward to are learning about how lightening works, discovering how to build a proper bridge, and finding out how to capture energy from sources such as water, wind and light.