During the nineteenth century, Amsterdam burst out of its restraining canals, gobbling up the surrounding countryside with a slew of new residential suburbs. Neither did the developers forget to impress for it was here in the 1880s, on the southern edge of the city centre, that Petrus Josephus Hubertus Cuypers, the creator of Centraal Station, built the city’s Rijksmuseum, an imposing edifice designed in an inventive and especially attractive historic style. No mistake, the museum possesses one of the most comprehensive collections of Dutch paintings in the world and although it is in the throes of an extraordinarily long-winded revamp, the kernel of the collection – Dutch paintings from Amsterdam’s seventeenth-century Golden Age – is still on display in the Philips Wing, the only part of the museum to remain open during the refurbishment, which is supposed to be completed in 2013. Equally enticing is the neighbouring Van Gogh Museum, which boasts the most satisfying collection of van Gogh paintings in the world, with important works representative of all his artistic periods. Taken together, the two museums form one of Amsterdam’s biggest draws – and they are supplemented by the modern and contemporary art of the newly reopened Stedelijk Museum. From the Stedelijk Museum, it’s a brief walk northwest along van Baerlestraat to the sprawling greenery of the Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s loveliest park. As an alcoholic counterblast to all this culture, the area is also home to the Heineken Experience – a hoppy hop round the old brewery with tasting included.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Netherlands features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

5 reasons why Nijmegen might just be the Netherlands' summer capital

5 reasons why Nijmegen might just be the Netherlands' summer capital

Nijmegen is a lively university city around an hour-and-a-half by train from Amsterdam. Beyond its famous Four Days Marches, it’s a fairly unassuming place a…

08 Aug 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
Photos: tulip season in the Netherlands is well under way and it's gorgeous

Photos: tulip season in the Netherlands is well under way and it's gorgeous

During a trip to Keukenhof in the Netherlands, travel photographer Nori Jemil captured Holland's tulip season through her lens and the results are beautiful. H…

25 Apr 2016 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
12 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

12 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

With its canals, narrow cobbled alleys and trams, the novelty value of Amsterdam can prove entertaining enough for many kids. There’s also a whole host of att…

30 Mar 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month