Amsterdam is overwhelming as far as locations go. The entire city is just so picturesque, it’s feasible to step outside and immediately start snapping. From afar, the buildings all look similar, but as you get closer you start to notice differences in architecture, each one prettier than the next. In order to make the most of what Amsterdam has to offer, I have narrowed down my favourite locations in and around Amsterdam.
Housing a rose garden, a tea garden, multiple statues and a small dam, Vondelpark is also home to extensive foot traffic. But the grounds are so beautiful. The summer brings out the colourful flora – tulips and roses, while fall colours swipe the park leaving it a eye-catching skeleton even through winter. There is no time of the year that this park does not offer pretty views, sometimes with rows of the classic Amsterdam houses peeking out through and above the treetops. Get here early to avoid traffic as it is very difficult to catch this site with no people in it.
Amsterdam has a lot of cute houses and canals, but the district of Jordaan does not have the heavy tourist traffic and brand heavy store-lined streets, making it more quaint. The difference of not having neon lights and storefronts blaring around you allows for a subtle and more relaxing, classic backdrop.
‘Wake Me Up When I’m Famous’ sign
A beautifully simple mural in black and white, capped off with a bench and framed by tulips, this sign is a favourite for some. While it is unique to Amsterdam, it is more of a gimmicky location.
The Cube Houses of Rotterdam
An architectural dream, the Cube Houses are a row of yellow cube houses piloted by architect Piet Blom. Constructed to capitalize on urban living space in such cramped country, Blom’s idea was to utilize the roof space with more functionality than the lower levels of the homes, resulting in top-heavy cubes resting on regular buildings. The end product is a beautiful yet unsettling cityscape.
A beautiful oasis in the middle of bustling Rotterdam, the park offers an isolated and intimate floral backdrop. When in bloom, the park tends to shades of pink with roses and tulips again prevailing as the Dutch flowers of choice. If Vondelpark proved too busy, Trompenburg sees little to no traffic as it is mostly frequented by elderly couples on evening strolls. It is near the university, which is surprising considering it hasn’t become a student retreat.
The exterior of the Maritime Museum Rotterdam
The museum is located on a port, which is home to several vintage ships and a cleaner river than any canal in Amsterdam. Therefore, the water actually looks blue, and the various options provided by the ships allow for themed shooting. The shipyard also rests on a rear skyline view.
A gorgeous suspension bridge affectionately known as ‘The Swan’ for its shape, Erasmusbrug itself is a symmetrical wonder perfect for architectural shots. The bridge also offers a panoramic view of the Rotterdam skyline.
Windmills at Kinderdijk
while not technically in Rotterdam or Amsterdam, these are a short bike ride from Rotterdam central and are well worth the visit. Old-school Dutch windmills turn in the distance as you approach from across the river. The surrounding land is open fields of daisies, as this was recently made a UNESCO World Heritage site. The attached farmhouse is now a museum paying homage to the time long traditional Dutch farm life.