Museum quarter, Amsterdam
Nestled south of Leidseplein is the plush 19th century Museum quarter (Museumplein). Unashamedly, Museum quarter is the pinnacle of sophistication and home to the three major and most important museums in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gogh Museum makes this an art lover’s paradise par excellence. Without doubt, any culture vulture will be in their element in this recently renovated quarter. Also, in amongst the stylish hotels and cafés, lays the majestic Concertgebouw.
The Concertgebouw is located on Van Baarlestraat and is home to the famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest). In the early 1800’s, architects fiercely competed over plans to build a proper concert hall in the district but the battle came to a head with the prize going to architect A.L. van Gendt. Soon after, the Concertgebouw opened its doors to an excited public in 1888. Today, the concert is renowned the world over for its breathtaking acoustics and locally, for its free lunch time classical concerts. Every year, some 650 concerts reverberate in this venerable hall but if you want to catch a show, book early to avoid disappointment. If however, you don’t get a chance to see a concert inside the Concertgebouw itself, you might just be in luck as the orchestra occasionally holds a concert outdoors.
The Museum quarter is arguably the cultural hub of the city, offering a kaleidoscope of activities and attractions. A stroll down the exclusive P.C. Hooftstraat, Pieter Cornelisz or Van Baerlestraat will take the fashionista into some of the world’s most chic couture houses. From diamonds to leather shoes to designer handbags, just don’t forget to take your credit card! Museum square also caters for children or even the child in us with its skateboard - park and wading pool, which in the winter doubles up as an ice rink. Another attraction of the district is Vondelpark where relaxing is the order of the day unless it is Queens Day or Uitmarkt when the park is swarming with hoards of visitors.
Hotels nearby include Museum Square Hotel that is suitable for families with children.