Foam stands for Photography Amsterdam (in Dutch). It’s a world renowned magazine with it’s headquarters in Amsterdam. And if you’re lucky enough to visit, you can pop into their wonderful museum to check out the latest exhibition, and grab a perfect macchiato and appeltaerte (Dutch apple pie) at the café downstairs. While I was there the light streaming in from outside gave it the perfect Saturday morning hipster coffee appeal.
3. Anne Frank Museum
Like many, I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was young. I remember feeling shock and surprise to find out she didn’t survive the war. I was still at the age where the Disney Happy Ending was my dominant understanding of the way the world worked. Before his own death many years later, Anne’s father helped the city of Amsterdam to preserve Anne’s memory by converting the factory building where she hid for two years into a museum. This is absolutely unmissable. But reserve tickets online early – they’d sold out by the time I got to it, and I had to queue for nearly two hours.
|A replica of the bookcase that sealed the secret annexe where Anne and her family hid, in the position of the original bookcase.|
4. An afternoon at The Hague
All I knew about The Hague before visiting was that it was home to the International Criminal Court. That was enough curiosity to convince me to visit, once I realised it was under an hour from Amsterdam by train. I spent most of my time in the dystopian beach area of Scheveningen. With an enormous, mostly deserted, shopping mall right on the beach, along with a large pier, this area has a bizarre but fascinating vibe. It was worth visiting, but I’d suggest steering clear of the gelato… it tasted stale and watery.
|You can see why I called Scheveningen dystopian. This reminds me of the angels in suits on the beach in City of Angels.|
5. Van Gogh Museum
This hardly needs an explanation. My favourite Van Gogh (Starry Night) is on display at MoMA in New York, but this museum offers an insight into his earlier years, and includes his genius, well-known self-portrait. The queue is always long, but a stall across the road sells them for the same price – allowing you to join the pre-booked queue and save an hour or more!
6. The Red Light District