Even Prudes Can Choose Their Pleasures Carefully in Amsterdam

As a rather naïve young guy in my first ever job I used to wonder why my boss would disappear on regular weekend trips to Amsterdam.

He often missed his flight home and would arrive to the office looking bleary eyed and dishevelled on the Tuesday or Wednesday. Wasn’t travelling about relaxing and coming home refreshed and full of energy instead of looking like you had slept in someone’s garden shed for the entire weekend?

It was only a few years later that I found that there are different types of travelling pleasures and that in some destinations it pays to pick your pleasures carefully. Being a bit of a prude I prefer to see some interesting sights, try new food and walk around rather than get up to anything that would lead to me missing my flight home and taking a week to recover from the trip. Thankfully, Amsterdam has a lot to offer prudes as well.

van-gogh-museamThe Van Gogh Museum

I must confess to not being able to tell a Van Gogh from a Picasso. However, I still love the feeling of walking round a big museum or art gallery and seeing what it has on display. I was surprised to find that about 1 and a half million people visit this place every year. It features, perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest collection of Van Gogh’s work on the planet. I recognised Sunflowers and Self portrait. At a push I would have said that the one about people eating potatoes was probably one of his as well. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of 19th century post impressionist art you should still enjoy a look round here.

A Lovely Stroll  

My favourite cities are the ones which I can stroll around and really feel at home in. There are a few different walking tours you can join in the Dutch capital but my preferred method of doing this is to just start walking and see where my feet take me. You might find that the city is bigger and more interesting than you had expected, so setting a few hours aside for a stroll is a good idea. If you really want to feel part of the city then you could hire a bike and explore Amsterdam in that way.

Visit Anne Frank House

Even if you’ve never read the book you are sure to know a little bit about Anne Frank and her famous diaries. This museum is in the house where she hid during WWII and where she wrote about life as a Jewish girl in hiding. It is a horrifying story and the museum is sure to leave a strong impression on you. In fact, you might be tempted to pick up her diary from the bookshop in here and find out more about the sad secret life Anne was forced to live in this place for two years.


After seeing the space where Anne Frank was forced to live cooped up for a couple of years of her young life you will probably want to head out to some nicer, open spaces. There are plenty of them in the city and Vondelpark is among the best. This is a fairly centrally located green area which isn’t too far from the Van Gogh Museum I mentioned earlier. About 10 million people come here every year and it is great place to sit down and watch the world go by. In fact, if you bought the Anne Frank book maybe this would be a great place to read part of it. There are often free open air music concerts here and the park is filled with trees and birds. It is a very relaxing place and an ideal setting for enjoying your last few hours before heading off home. It makes for a wonderful final impression of the city and is sure to tempt you to travel back to Amsterdam again soon.

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