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 contains the Auschwitz Memorial, designed by Dutch writer and artist Jan Wolkers: a panel of cracked mirrors installed in the ground reflects the sky, and an inscription reads 'Nooit Meer' (Never Again). Buried beneath the monument lies an urn with ashes of those who died at Auschwitz.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Amsterdam attractions

1. Hortus Botanicus

0.11 MILES

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…

2. Hollandsche Schouwburg

0.11 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. Verzetsmuseum

0.13 MILES

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

4. Artis Royal Zoo

0.14 MILES

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…

5. Micropia

0.14 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…

6. Kadijksplein


This tranquil square sits on the edge of 17th-century canals at the point before they widen out to the docklands. It has several laid-back cafés (pubs and…

7. Entrepotdok

0.21 MILES

In an area northeast of the Plantage, there is a 500m row of warehouses that once belonged to the Dutch East India Company (VOC). This powerful…

8. Portuguese-Israelite Synagogue

0.21 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…