Hortus Botanicus


A botanical garden since 1638, it bloomed as tropical seeds and plants were brought in by Dutch trading ships. From here, coffee, pineapple, cinnamon and palm-oil plants were distributed throughout the world. The 4000-plus species are kept in wonderful structures, including the colonial-era seed house and a three-climate glasshouse.

The butterfly house is a hit with kids in particular. Free one-hour guided tours take place at fixed times or on request; check the schedule on the website.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Amsterdam attractions

1. Wertheimpark

0.11 MILES

Adding to the lush greenness of the Plantage area, the city's oldest park is a small, lovely, willow-shaded spot for lazing by the Nieuwe Herengracht. It…

2. Hollandsche Schouwburg

0.12 MILES

Few theatres have had a history of such highs and lows. It was opened as the Artis Theatre in 1892 and became a hub of cultural life in Amsterdam, staging…

3. Portuguese-Israelite Synagogue

0.15 MILES

With dizzying wooden barrel-vaulted ceilings, this was the largest synagogue in Europe when it was completed in 1675. It's still in use today, and has no…

4. Dockworker Statue

0.15 MILES

Mari Andriessen's Dockworker statue (1952), a monumental, aghast-looking figure, was commissioned to commemorate the general strike that began among…

5. Joods Historisch Museum

0.18 MILES

In this beautifully restored complex of four Ashkenazic synagogues from the 17th and 18th centuries, displays show the history of Jews in the Netherlands,…

6. Micropia

0.19 MILES

The world's first microbe museum is a germaphobe's nightmare. Micropia has hands-on exhibits and microscopes to peer through and fascinating, if…

7. Artis Royal Zoo


A wonderfully leafy expanse, mainland Europe's oldest zoo has a fine range of wildlife, with extensive habitats and room to wander. A lovely stretch runs…

8. Verzetsmuseum

0.21 MILES

The museum of the Dutch Resistance brings the horror of German occupation in WWII vividly alive, using personal stories, letters, artefacts, films and…