The City of Amsterdam is a compact living museum, a world heritage site where it is easy to walk to most everything. Visitors can find everything from diamonds to museums and art galleries to legal sexual favors and marijuana. Most people think of the city center when they thing of the Port of Amsterdam, but most everything outside the city's former moat and fortifications was built after 1870. The Port of Amsterdam has grown in every direction. Its Waterland region is a protected rural landscape. There are limitless choices for visitors to the Port of Amsterdam, many more than can be described in this article. To get details on the many things to see and do in the Port of Amsterdam, please visit the city's tourism website.
The Port of Amsterdam has a pleasant cool oceanic climate with prevailing northwestern winds. Daytime winter temperatures rarely fall below 0 °C (32 °F). Surrounded on three sides by large bodies of water, the Port of Amsterdam enjoys a heat island effect. Nights are warmer than nearby communities, and summers are warm but not often hot. Rain is common, falling some 175 days per year, but it usually falls as drizzle or showers. Clouds are the norm from October through March. Temperatures range from an average high of 22 °C (72 °F) in August to an average low of 0.2 °C (32 °F) in February.
No trip to the Port of Amsterdam is complete without a canal cruise. There are several canal cruises available that last one or two hours. The Canal Bus runs three routes that stop at major attractions like the Rijksmuseum or Anne Frank's House. Travelers get on and off when they want, and they pay for the option. The company also offers a Canal Bike tour that is great for groups who want to go at their own pace. The Lovers Canal Cruise treats riders to a luxurious cruise boat tour with a guide who comments on the canal-side houses, buildings, bridges, and docks along the way. The Lovers Cruise group offers several packages like the architecture, dinner, evening canal, and hermitage cruises. Amsterdam Jewel Cruises offers an exclusive evening dinner cruise on a classic riverboat that takes a leisurely three-hour cruise while riders enjoy a delicious a la carte meal.
There is no place in the world except the Port of Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum where you can see so many of the great artist's paintings. The museum is divided into three sections: Van Gogh's work, work of other artists, and the museum's history. The Van Gogh section contains over 200 canvases, 500 drawings, and 700 documents by Van Gogh. The artist's works are arranged by the chronological periods of his life in the Netherlands, Paris, Arles, Saint-Remy, and Auvers-sur-Oise. Paintings include the "Self-Portrait with Felt Hat" and "The Bedroom." The section for other artists features Van Gogh's contemporaries, like Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who he knew in Paris.
For a bittersweet experience in the Port of Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House is a museum that tells a difficult story. In the center of the Port of Amsterdam, it is the hiding place where Anne hid with her family and wrote her famous diary before being taken to the concentration by the Germans during World War II. The original diary is on display, and the exhibitions tell the story of the persecution of the Jews, racism, anti-Semitism, and contemporary fascism. Millions of people from all over the world have been deeply moved by their visit to this popular attraction. The House has two sections: the rear where the family hid and the front where Mr. Frank's company operated. An adjoining building is used as an entrance, and the rear annex remains in its original condition. The story is told using quotes from Anne's diary, and original objects, documents, and photographs are on display.
For a change of pace, the Port of Amsterdam's Heineken Experience is a multi-media event that focuses on the world's biggest beer exporter, Heineken. Both fun and educational, visitors enjoy a "Bottle Ride" that moves along the route that a bottle of beer takes through the brewery. Each room in the brewery has its own historic atmosphere. The hop boilers in the original brewing room have been preserved. Visitors learn about the Heineken company, the discovery of Heinekens special yeast, and beer in general. You can choose a group tour or an individual route. Either choice ends with a sample of the world-famous beer.
The Port of Amsterdam's NEMO Science and Technology Center is located on the Port of Amsterdam's Eastern Dock facing the historic port. The building was designed to represent the voyage between fantasy and reality, and the exhibition makes clear the effect that our rapidly-changing world has on us. NEMO explains the modern scientific and technological changes and the forms of human creativity: science, technology, and art. Visitors enjoy interactive exhibits, performances, and demonstrations. Exhibitions focus on science, technology, biomedical industry, and information technology. Visitors have fun learning about light, sound, static energy, and relativity theory. A special section for younger children allows them to dress up, appear on television, and experiment with light and sound.
De Wallen (also called Walletjes or Rosse Buurt) is a special area for legalized prostitution within the Port of Amsterdam. Known as the city's red light district, it contains roads and alleys where sex workers offer their services. There are also sex shops, theaters, peep shows, and a sex museum. The district also contains some very popular coffee shops offering cannabis products and a cannabis museum. Some quarter of the visitors to the Port of Amsterdam visit the district, yet the number of brothels is decreasing.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Amsterdam by sea can find a long list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.