Amsterdam takes a special place in the world of Diamonds. Walking down the streets you will see a lot of Diamond and jewelry stores as well as a lot of places that are locked up with signs saying „guided diamond tours from 2 to 4 PM“.
Actually going on some of these tours you’ll have a chance to see some fantastic diamonds and you’ll have a chance as well to see how they are cut and polished. And if you want to, you can buy them for $4000 to $400,000 each.
These are some of the companies offering guided tours:
Amsterdam has a long heritage in the diamonds, and has been a major diamond centre since Sephardic Jews introduced the diamond cutting industry in the later 16th century. Nowadays there are about a dozen diamond factories in the city, five of which offer guided tours. The tours are free and are usually conducted 9am to 5pm every day. Diamonds aren’t necessarily cheaper in Amsterdam but prices are fairly competitive. At least you will have seen how they are worked, and when you buy from a factory you get an extensive description of the purchase so you know exactly what you are buying.
The following renowned diamond stores offer diamond-cutting and polishing tours, and sales of the finished diamonds:
Van Moppes Diamonds the first company to offer guided tours.
If you have a chance eat an „uitsmijter“ as well.
Best time to visit is april or late september when the leaves on the trees are not blocking the view of the monumental facades. The winters are penetratingly cold and damp with lots of rain and sleet.
It actually feels colder than 30 below in Canada.
Bring a pair of good glasses: we tend to use very small letter types for the legends in museums.
Here are some of Amsterdam’s major attractions:
Anne Frank House (Anne Frank Huis)
National Museum (Rijksmuseum)
Van Gogh Museum
Red Light District
National Museum of Modern Art (Stedelijk Museum)
Amstelkring Museum (Our Lord in the Attic Chapel)
Museum Het Rembrandt Huis (Rembrandt House)
Jewish Historical Museum (Joods Historisch Museum)
If you love boats, KNSM Island is where you should go. Not just because of its shipping past. Every 5 years this harbor area of Amsterdam hosts the Sail event. Each new edition attracts more visitors (Sail 2000 welcomed 2.5 million people). Each edition also offers more Tall Ships and more cultural activities in the area.
The Van Gogh Museum contains the largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh who shot off his ear and then committed suicide. You will find more than 200 fantastic works from the Master’s hand, as well as 500 drawings and 700 written documents. Together these provide a fantastic insight into his life and work.
Amsterdam is a fascinating place with lots of things to see and do.
Also, remember and try all its culinary delights.