Plantage Walking Tour, Amsterdam (Self Guided)

Plantage is a neighborhood of Amsterdam, located in the Centrum district. It dates back to the 1600s and has been throughout the centuries a place of rest and entertainment. It is one of the greenest neighborhoods in Amsterdam, in part thanks to the fact that is home to the Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, and the Artis Zoo.
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Plantage Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Plantage Walking Tour
Guide Location: Netherlands » Amsterdam (See other walking tours in Amsterdam)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Author: clare
1
Royal Theater Carré

1) Royal Theater Carré

The Royal Theatre Carré is a Neo-Renaissance theatre in Amsterdam, located near the river Amstel. When the theatre was founded in 1887, it was originally meant as a permanent circus building. Currently, it is mainly used for musicals, cabaret performances and pop concerts.

German circus director Oscar Carré, looking for a location for circus performances in the winter, opened Circus Carré on 3 December 1887. In the beginning, it was just a wooden building with a stone façade. In the first years, it was only in use in the winter, but from 1893 on, Dutch theatre producer Frits van Haarlem brought in the summer months vaudeville shows. The shows became very successful, thus changing the circus building to a theatre for all forms of popular entertainment. In 1920, it changed its name to Theatre Carré. At the end of the 1960s, the theatre was in danger of being demolished. After protests from artists, the municipality of Amsterdam finally refused permission for demolition. In 1987, at the centenary, the Royal Predicate was granted and the name was changed to Royal Theatre Carré. In 2004, the theatre was completely renovated. The historic façade and interior design have been retained.
2
Magere Brug

2) Magere Brug

The Magere Brug ("Skinny Bridge") is a bridge over the river Amstel in the city centre of Amsterdam. The central section of the Magere Brug is a bascule bridge made of white-painted wood. The present bridge was built in 1934. The first bridge at this site was built in 1691 as Kerkstraatbrug and had 13 arches. Because this bridge was very narrow, the locals called it magere brug, which literally means "skinny bridge". A story told to tourists about the origins of the 1691 version of the bridge is that it was built by two wealthy sisters who lived on opposite sides of the Amstel river and wanted to be able to visit one another every day (and were presumably too busy, or not in good enough health, to go the long way round via another bridge, of which there must surely have been at least one). In one variant of the story the sisters, although wealthy, were not quite wealthy enough to afford a bridge of adequate width for general use and so built a very narrow bridge, hence its name. In another variant of the story the sisters' last name was Mager, hence the bridge's name (rather than from its narrowness).
3
Hermitage Amsterdam

3) Hermitage Amsterdam (must see)

Relations between the cities Amsterdam and Saint Petersburg in Russia date back to the late 1600s when Tsar Peter the Great sought Dutch help when building the city of St. Petersburg. A more recent example is the founding of the satellite Hermitage Museum on the banks of the Amstel River in Amsterdam. One of the largest museums in the world, the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg has its largest dependency located in Amsterdam.

The current building of Hermitage Amsterdam was constructed for elderly women and later also allowed older men. Renamed as Amstelhof (Amstel Court) in 1953, the building served as a retirement home till the day it could provide for its residents. In 2007, work on renovations began and Hermitage Amsterdam was inaugurated in 2009 by Queen Beatrix of Netherlands and Dmitry Medvedev, the President of Russia.

With an exhibition area of over 20,000 sq. ft. the Museum has dedicated one exhibit to highlight the relations between Russia and the Netherlands while in the other permanent exhibit you can find out more about the Amstelhof itself. A collection of over three million objects available with the parent museum, Hermitage Amsterdam has plenty to choose from when it comes to its rotary exhibits. On your visit, you could be lucky to see a Rembrandt or da Vinci’s work. As with other museums, you can visit the gift shop for some souvenirs and the café for some coffee.

Why You Should Visit:
A little slice of Russia, for those who can't get to St. Petersburg.

Tip:
The outdoors lunch place is good, and the staff there is adorable.
The audio guide is Dutch / English only.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm
4
Hortus Botanicus

4) Hortus Botanicus (must see)

One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, and one of Amsterdam's major tourist attractions.

Hortus Botanicus was founded in 1638 by the city to serve as an herb garden for doctors and apothecaries. It contains more than six thousand tropical and indigenous trees and plants. The monumental Palm House dates from 1912 and is renowned for its collection of cycads.

Hortus Botanicus is now a popular attraction for both Dutch and international visitors. The collection is famous for some of its trees and plants, some of which are on the "danger" list. Well-known plants and trees like the Persian ironwood tree can also be found here.

Hortus Botanicus's initial collection was amassed during the 17th century through plants and seeds brought back by traders of the East India Company (VOC) for use as medicines and for their possibilities for commerce. A single coffee plant, Coffea arabica, in Hortus's collection served as the parent for the entire coffee culture in Central and South America.

Recent additions to Hortus include a huge hothouse, which incorporates three different tropical climates.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautiful, eye refreshing, interesting and informative; one of the best and most complete botanical gardens for the price.

Tip:
If you buy something from the gift shop, hand them your guide leaflet to "recycle" and in return you should receive a 10% discount on most items.
There is also a small coffee shop across the bridge next to the botanical garden, enjoy!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Auschwitz Monument

5) Auschwitz Monument

The Wertheim Park is a small, quiet and beautiful hideout in the city where you could tap into the philosopher in you.

A walk in the Wertheim Park will get you to the memorial that was built in remembrance of one of the most tragic occurrences in the recent past of Europe, the Nazi Concentration camp at Auschwitz. Built in 1993 by artist and writer Jan Wolkers, the monument is made of broken glass that reflects the permanent wounds that man has caused in the sky.

During the Second World War and the Nazi invasion, Jews were sent in large numbers to concentration camps in Poland. Among the several camps organized by the Nazis, the one that earned quite a notorious reputation was Auschwitz. Out of the approximately 140,000 Jews living in the Netherlands before the war, by 1944, 107,000 had been deported to concentration camps. There were over 95,000 among those who were sent to Auschwitz and by the end of the war only 500 had survived.

Commissioned by the Dutch Auschwitz Comité, the monument was initially residing in a Municipal cemetery. Every year the 27th of January is observed as the Memorial Day for the countless people who lost their lives in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.
6
Hollandsche Schouwburg

6) Hollandsche Schouwburg

The grand platform for the performing arts since 1892 was tainted as the gateway to doom for thousands of Dutch Jew families. The Hollandsche Chouwbusrg, once a popular theatre staging well known plays and dramas was renamed as Joodsche Schouwburg or Jewish Theatre after the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam.

With an intention of curtailing the Jewish population and families, the theatre was strictly meant for Jews and no other community. However, this was not the worst part. The Joodsche Schouwburg soon became the reporting point where all Jewish families were forced to report before being transported to the concentration camps.

However, after the Second World War, the plight of the theatre did not improve any further. Due to massive protests, the glory of this magnificent theatre was put to an end. In 1960, the building was turned into a memorial in honour of all the Jews who were lost in the Holocaust of the Second World War. The place that once housed the old stage now has an obelisk reflection of the tragedy.

In 1993, a memorial chapel was installed mentioning over 6,700 families roughly 104,000 Dutch Jewish individuals, who did not make it from the concentration camps.
7
ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo

7) ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo (must see)

ARTIS, short for Natura Artis Magistra (Latin for "Nature is the teacher of art and science"), is a zoo in the centre of Amsterdam. It is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and one of the oldest zoos of mainland Europe. Artis Royal Zoo is not just a zoo, it also contains an aquarium and a planetarium. Artis also has an arboretum and a fairly large art collection. A part of the art collection is on display in the Aquarium building of the zoo. Artis contains 27 monumental buildings, most of which are used as enclosures for the animals, making Artis a unique cultural heritage of the 19th century.

Why You Should Visit:
Very well kept zoo with beautiful plants around the animal exhibits.
Fences/cages are kept to a minimum so you can really observe the animals.
Plenty of benches and special activities for children.
Food and drink are available for purchase.

Tip:
You might want to spend some extra on a joint ticket and visit the adjacent Micropia, which is a zoo for bacterias.

Opening Hours:
1st of November until 28th of February: 9am-5 pm; 1st of March until 31st of October: 9am-6pm; Every Saturday in June, July and August: 9am-sunset
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Dutch Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum)

8) Dutch Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum) (must see)

Just across the Artis (Amsterdam Zoo) a small museum takes it visitors back to a very important time in Dutch History, the time of the Dutch Resistance. Called Versetzmuseum in the local language, the Dutch Resistance museum is like a catalogue that marks the rise of Hitler in Germany, his invasion of Netherlands and then the struggle of the Dutch during the period of World War II. 

A one-time historical exhibition about these years led to the establishment of this Museum in 1984. Through its pictures and artefacts, the Museum takes you to the years when the people of the land made small and valuable contributions that would help the Allied Forces. Whether it be distributing secret newspapers or helping people with falsified documents, the common people of Amsterdam in their own small ways resisted the mighty Nazi. The Museum aims to bring this Resistance to notice. 

The building of the museum bears a Star of David and is named after Petrus Plancius, an Amsterdam clergyman. The Plancius café next to the Museum building is a great place to go for some coffee and discussions after a visit to the museum.

A visit to this museum will be a special one for people interested in studying events that occurred around the time of the Holocaust. The exhibits are well labelled in English and you can also opt for more interactive guided tours at a small fee if you are traveling as a group.

Why You Should Visit:
A change from the art scene museums that gives a more recent historical experience.
You will get to see a series of themed exhibits of a very modern standard, majoring on personal stories, video & audio, rather than static displays.

Tip:
The children's part of the museum is really the most interesting and should not be missed.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Fri: 10am-5pm; Sat-Mon: 11am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Netherlands Maritime Museum

9) Netherlands Maritime Museum (must see)

The Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum (Netherlands Maritime Museum) is housed in a former naval storehouse constructed in 1656. The museum moved to this building in 1973. The museum is dedicated to maritime history and contains many artifacts associated with shipping and sailing. The collection contains, among other things, paintings, scale models, weapons and world maps. The paintings depict Dutch naval officers such as Michiel de Ruyter and impressive historical sea battles. The map collection includes works by famed 17th-century cartographers Willem Blaeu and his son Joan Blaeu. The museum also has a surviving copy of the first edition of Maximilian Transylvanus' work, 'De Moluccis Insulis', the first to describe Ferdinand Magellan's voyage around the world.

Why You Should Visit:
Fun museum, nicely broken into 3 separate sections, each with multiple floors and nice artifacts for everyone, starting with children and ending with adults (engineers or not).

Tip:
Do not miss the free virtual reality show on the East India ship, but be careful to pre-book the tickets for it online.
The Royal Barge in the exhibit room opposite the ship is worth checking out as well.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Create Your Own Walk in Amsterdam

Create Your Own Walk in Amsterdam

Creating your own self-guided walk in Amsterdam is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Amsterdam without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Amsterdam, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Southern Canal Belt Walking Tour

Southern Canal Belt Walking Tour

Grachtengordel (Dutch for the Canal District) is an international icon of urban planning and architecture in Amsterdam. Still very much intact after four centuries, the area is known for its small bridges, crossing the canals, and 17th-century homes. Forming a horseshoe around the Old City Centre, the Canal Ring comprises Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht canals, built during...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Canal Belt Nightlife

Canal Belt Nightlife

A major cosmopolitan city with an absolutely electrifying nightlife scene, Amsterdam offers a variety of entertainment, from live music to underground house music, including ultra-chic to casual hangouts. Amsterdam is also home to variety of bars and clubs located inside historic buildings, allowing some of these former establishments to live on thematically, including the industrial chic of a...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Old Side Walking Tour

Old Side Walking Tour

Amsterdam's Old Side or Oude Zijde in Dutch is a neighborhood of true contrast. On one side we have centuries old medieval buildings, churches and landmarks, and on the other hand we have the Red Light District, which is not in fact a district, but an area within the Oude Zijde of Amsterdam.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Museum Quarter Walk

Museum Quarter Walk

The museums of Amsterdam are among the main tourist attractions of the city. Some of its museums are quite small, but nevertheless important, and some, like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are world famous and should not be missed. This tour gives you an opportunity to visit Amsterdam's most renowned museums and learn more about history, art and even the world of diamonds.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Amsterdam without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Amsterdam, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


The Oldest and Historic Pubs of Amsterdam

The Oldest and Historic Pubs of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a stunningly beautiful city, steeped in history, with hidden treasures and fascinating tales practically around every corner. Like all marvelous cities, Amsterdam has its share of dining and drinking establishments from the modern to the ancient. This guide will assist you in exploring...
Souvenir Shopping in Amsterdam: 20 Dutch Things To Buy

Souvenir Shopping in Amsterdam: 20 Dutch Things To Buy

Tulips, red lights, weed... Other than these, there are plenty of good things to remember Amsterdam by. What's more, you can take home some of them quite legally. Look here to see what to buy in Amsterdam and...
Dutch Sweets and Pastries

Dutch Sweets and Pastries

Known primarily for their cheeses, the Dutch have proven just as passionate about their sweets and pastries, many of which have come about as a result of the centuries of colonial past that had infused Holland with Oriental flavors and ingredients. Blended with their own dairy-rich European...
Top 7 Dutch Cheeses to Try in Amsterdam

Top 7 Dutch Cheeses to Try in Amsterdam

Don't mind things turning a bit "cheesy" when in Holland. After all, this small country is renowned for its cheese manufacturing and successfully competes, in terms of cheese exports, with such economic giants as the United States and Germany. Amsterdam alone and its vicinities are...
12 Traditional Dutch Foods You Must Try in Amsterdam

12 Traditional Dutch Foods You Must Try in Amsterdam

Cool climate, closeness to sea, and sense of adventure have made the Dutch what they are – skillful farmers, industrious seafarers and, generally, people with the taste for life and good hearty meal, whether it comes from the sea they live by or the land they set their feet on. All of this has...
Bars of De Pijp, Amsterdam

Bars of De Pijp, Amsterdam

Sitting to the south of the Centrum (city centre) De Pijp area of Amsterdam is a fascinating mixture of trendy urbanites, students, immigrants and Amsterdammers. De Pijp has a long history as the Bohemian part of town, which is reflected in the different cafés of the area. There truly is something...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Amsterdam for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Amsterdam has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Amsterdam's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the I Amsterdam City Card, Amsterdam City Pass, Amsterdam City Pass Plus, or Amsterdam Pass (by Stromma).

A city pass combines all or multiple Amsterdam' top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Amsterdam hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Hotel TwentySeven, Swissôtel Amsterdam.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Amsterdam, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Amsterdam typically costs from around US$25 up to US$40 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off sightseeing boat calling at all of Amsterdam's major attractions, museums and shopping centers. En route, you can listen in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages and get on and off at any of the stops along the way as often as you like.

- Discover Amsterdam with the taste of beer on a relaxing 75-minute canal cruise gliding past beautiful bridges, buildings and houseboats, calling at the former Heineken brewery for an ultimate cultural experience and a free pint to enjoy.

- Pedal your way around Amsterdam's quirky quarters and picturesque waterways on a guided city bike tour. In the course of 3 hours you will visit the city's eclectic sights stopping at the most notable of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Take a morning walk around Amsterdam with a knowledgeable guide for an insider view of Holland's most fascinating city. This tour will take you along Amsterdam's enchanting canals to its must-see attractions away from tourist crowds. A complete overview of Amsterdam from the ground up!

- Treat yourself to some of the best Dutch and international delicacies Amsterdam has to offer on a 3-hour food journey across the city visiting, among other locations, a typical local market, beer garden, and a family-run restaurant.

- Step back in time to the dark years of the German occupation of Holland during World War II on a 2-hour historical walking tour of Amsterdam. Feel what it was like, learn the story of Anne Frank, visit the Jewish Quarter and other memorable places.

- Visit the infamous Red Light District, once the most dangerous part of Amsterdam, now synonymous with the city itself. See how the area has transformed, over the years, from the dark “gutter” with shady dens of vice to the lively district with welcoming pubs and restaurants.

Day Trips


If you have a day to spare whilst in Amsterdam, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Giethoorn, Bruges, Zaanse Schans, Keukenhof, and Holland’s countryside. For as little as US$50+ to US$180+ per person you will get a chance to discover “Venice of The Netherlands” and the Garden of Europe, visit one of the most captivating cities in Belgium, explore the charming Dutch villages with eye-catching windmills and picturesque canals, acquaint yourself with the traditional Dutch crafts (clog- and cheese making), taste the local pancakes and cheeses, and so much more! For any of these tours you may be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Amsterdam, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or minivan to the destination of your choice and back again.