Our third day in Amsterdam was a full day, and it started quite early. We were up by 7am and out the door to explore the city and find breakfast by 7:30am. Given how quiet we’d noted the nightlife to be the previous evening, we had suspected the city would be bustling in the early morning, but that was not the case in reality.
In fact, the city was very quiet, and there was hardly anyone outside. We walked along the canal that would later host the Pride Parade and noted a few early birds setting up their floats or their viewing spots, but the city was mostly calm. We managed to find one breakfast place open. After a delicious meal, we headed to the first of many museums for the day: The Amsterdam Museum.
When we travel to a new city, we like to start with learning about the history of that city, as the city itself chooses to present. We’re both hoping that one day Toronto gets a similar institution to showcase our history for visitors; the courts currently housed in the Old City Hall will be moving out shortly, hopefully a Toronto Museum will move in!
As for the Amsterdam Museum… again, we arrived too early, so we had a coffee around the corner, and then later went back for some learning.
The Amsterdam Museum is all about the history of Amsterdam and how the city came to be. It’s located in the old historic city centre, in a building that once housed a municipal orphanage.
The museum begins with lessons on the city’s founding, and then evolves into exhibits on the modern features of Amsterdam, including a couple of interactive exhibits about what the city’s future should include.
The history of the city was well presented and it told an interesting tale. While most other European communities at the time were ruled by royalty, Amsterdam’s power was held by groups of regents, and membership in the ruling class was somewhat accessible. Relative to other cities in Europe at the time, Amsterdam was also know to be quite tolerant of religious diversity, and thus it was a popular destination among immigrants.
There’s much more to all this, and it’s described in greater detail on Wikipedia – check it out!
If you’re going to Amsterdam but you don’t know much about the city itself, this museum is well worth visiting. See below for photos from our early morning adventures and our time at the Amsterdam Museum!