The Dam is situated just within 5-minutes walk from Amsterdam Centraal. It is the main City square on which the Royal Palace (now the museum), National Monument (in remembrance of the WW2 victims) and posh shopping malls are located. The square occupies the territory of the old dam at Amstel river built on 1270. Currently it pulses with life 24/7, the multi-national crowds visit the Madam Tussauds’, the Bijenkorf (the well-known shopping mall) and make pictures in front of the National Monument. The world-famous and expensive Krasnopolsky hotel faces the Dam proudly.
Museum Quarter is located a couple kilometers away from the Dam square. The famous Rijks- and Van Gogh Museums are situated there. The monumental Rijksmuseum hosts the exhibitions from the Middle Ages till present days: the Dutch paintings, sculptures, armaments and various furnitures. On weekends it is quite busy, so be prepared to wait in line to buy a ticket. The Van Gogh museum is situated next to the Rijksmuseum in the modern building and hosts the collection not only Van Gogh himself but also Edvard Munch’s. It is worth visiting and spending a couple of hours there as well.
If you are in Amsterdam you can not miss the visit to a coffee-shop, to drink a cup of coffee and smoke a ’cigarette’ :) It is a symbol of Amsterdam, nevertheless, the Dutch people themselves usually do not go to such places. So the ’shops’ are mostly for the tourists who are happy to openly relax with a joint and contemplate the Amsterdam sightseeings:) The place I recommend is the coffee-shop called ’Russland’ in the Russian street, very close to City Center. The symbols of the USSR, including the famous painting depicting the kiss of Brezhnev and Honecker are exposed there, so you feel the pretty authentic Soviet atmosphere. Take a cup of coffee, a cigarette and... relax for an hour)
If you are a fan of beer, especially such a famous brand like Heineken, the must-see is the Heineken Experience that is very close to the Museum Quarter. The huge building contains the rich collection of the equipment for processing the yeast and brewing the delicious drink. You will not only watch the process of brewing but also taste the beer in the bar (2 drinks per person are included). The free city map is given to all the visitors.
The Red Lights block is another famous sightseeing of Amsterdam located next to the Central train station. The numerous coffee-shops and famous windows where the ladies offer their ’services’ openly are located here. It is especially romantic to visit the district in the evening time to enjoy the seductive red lights and crowds of the idly walking tourists (pictures are not welcome here since the prostitutes do not like the publicity:))
Another sightseeing is the Amsterdam’s central station, notable for its grandeur architecture (built in the end of 19th century). It is huge and always crowded since the trains from Centraal run not only within Netherland but also to the other countries (the famous Thalys go to Brussels & Paris). The airport — City trains arrive here as well, so you start your acquittance with Amsterdam from the Central station. Numerous cafes and shops are located in the building.