You'd expect an interesting city like Amsterdam to have a rich and varied past. The Amsterdam Museum (formerly known as the Amsterdam Historical Museum) offers an lively and interactive insight into this multilayered international city. From medieval times to football-crazed fans, a varied collection of art, objects and archaeological finds brings Amsterdam to life.
Housed in a former convent, walk past the huge portraits in the Civil Guards Gallery to access the Amsterdam Museum's current exhibitions. The Amsterdam DNA exhibition is an opportunity to get under the skin of the local Amsterdammers and see how the values of enterprise, freedom of thought, creativity and civic tenets underpin and helped to shape the modern-day city. This 1000-year-old metropolis built on a swamp has known both good fortune and crushing poverty, tolerance and oppression and produced great art and a thirst for knowledge and adventure.
The Golden Age exhibition is a celebration of Holland's Golden Age of the 17th century – an era of great adventure, world trade, the United Dutch East India Company, economic wealth and growth, cultural and religious diversity, monarchy, artistic endeavours and the construction of the Amsterdam canals. However it was also a dark time of slavery and war. This historical period, considered to be the blueprint for the modern incarnation of the Netherlands, comes to life in multimedia displays and stunning pieces by Golden Age contemporaries such as Rembrandt.
If you have the time, consider taking one of the walking tours and discover the city from the street. The Amsterdam DNA Tours are a collection of four themed routes based on the Amsterdam DNA exhibition that traverses the themes of enterprise, freedom of thought, creativity and civic values to bring the city to life through multimedia. The Pink Perpectives tour provides an insight into Amsterdam's gay and lesbian heritage. This guided tour reveals historical sights, hidden meeting places, contemporary tales and tips. The Amsterdam Museum is a 15-minute walk from Centraal Station via Damrak, Dam Square and Kalverstraat. Admission for adults is €10, €5 for children aged five to 18 and under-fives for free.