5. Amsterdam: Private Pedicab Historical Sightseeing Tour
You'll start the tour at Dam square, birthplace of the city, the main square and heart of the old centre of Amsterdam. It's the place from where Amsterdam started to evolve and where we find the royal palace, the new church and the national monument. Next stop is Zeedijk, nowadays a street but in the old days one of the dikes protecting the old city. Here you'll see the oldest cafe still standing today with it's original interior and a bit futher down the street get a glimpse of the nearby Chinatown. New Market square, with it's most important building, the 15th century city gate, standing right in the middle of it. This place is full of history and you'll learn all about it. Minutes later there will be a stop at the Montelbaanstoren, an old watch and defense tower, part of the Amsterdam expanded defense line early 16th century. From here there is also a good lookout over the 'oude Waal' where there are a lot of houseboats lined up with 17th century canal houses as background decor. Next will be the jewish quarter where you'll see the very first synagoge that jewish people were allowed to built in Western Europe over 350 years ago, the 'big synagoge'. On the other side of the street you'll see the Portuguese synagoge. Nearby there is the holocaust name monument with 102 thousand bricks giving the names of the dutch jewish victims of the second world war. Just opposite the monument are a row of beautiful old 17th century canalhouses that were inhabited by jewish sefardic immigrants who were succesfull in the diamond business. Then you'll see the Hermitage, a huge old 17th century widowhouse that nowadays houses the hermitage museum. The skinny bridge is one of the most iconic bridges of Amsterdam that beautifully lights up at night when hundreds of light bulbs accentuate it's skinny but stylefull design. From here you have a panoramic over the canalised river the Amstel, which is the main and widest canal in Amsterdam. It's a good place to take pictures! The ride continues thrugh the canal district which is the 17th century neighberhoud surrounding the old centre of Amsterdam. On any city map it can be clearly seen as half circles that go around the centre. Here you find the majority of the typical Amsterdam canal houses that were once the homes of successful merchants. Unlike modern times, all canal houses are slightly different, although we will see there are some typical similarities among them that unveil their building era. The final stop before returning is at Museumsquare which is the biggest and greenest squares of Amsterdam with beautiful scenic views over the surrounding museums. On one side resides the largest museum of the Netherlands, the Rijksmuseum, where the bigger Rembrandt paintings are on display, on the other side we will see the Concertgebouw, concert hall for classical music. Also located next to the square are the Van Gogh museum, the Stedelijk museum for contemporary art, the Moco museum (Banksky) and the Diamond museum. Enough to keep you busy for a few days if you have the time. You can set a desired location to finish the tour before hand.