Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It features many kinds of beauty. Mostly, it’s a land of natural wonders with spectacularly beautiful open space: its central desert with Aires Rock in its center, its extensive woodlands & grasslands, mountains, and breath-taking ocean coastlines and beaches.
Australia is a very large country (as big as America) whose land comprises of the continental mainland, the large island of Tasmania plus other islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It lies in the southern hemisphere.
Australia is one of those marvellous places where action-packed adventure is everywhere with its numerous wonderful outdoors sites. But beyond adventure travel, there are other things to do on your vacation such as laying on the beach and doing absolutely nothing or visiting its interesting cities.
Top 10 Things to See & Do In Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef and located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia. Whatever you do, don’t skip this site! It is often dubbed as one of natural wonders of the world. It was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1981. It is very popular tourist destination. You can enjoy scuba diving and boating in the warm clear waters of the reef.
Gold Coast is a wonderful coastal city in the southeast corner of the state of Queensland. It is often dubbed as Surfers Paradise. The city is famous for its sunny subtropical climate, popular surfing beaches, grand waterway & canal systems, beautiful skyline & skyscrapers, active nightlife, and countless tourist attractions. You can enjoy the beaches, lovely airs, and vibrant nightlife of the city.
Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is a very popular destination. You can enjoy shopping at Queen Street Mall in central business district (CBD); enjoy eating & walking at restaurants, cafes, & boardwalks in South Bank; enjoy vibrant nightlife in Fortitude Valley; enjoy shopping & eating at artsy shops and cafes in West End; enjoy dinning at trendy dining places in New Farm; and cruising on the Brisbane River at Brett’s Wharf.
Daintree National Park, in Far North Queensland, is a popular tourist destination. Founded in 1988, the park consists of two sections, with a settled agricultural area that includes the towns of Daintree Village and Mossman. Home to numerous with tropical birds, butterflies, reptiles and countless species of wildlife, Daintree Village is a nature-lover’s paradise.
Melbourne is really the culinary, sporting and cultural capital of Australia. Often dubbed as one of the most cultured cities of Australia, Melbourne is widely known for its Victorian-era architecture, many cultural institutions such as museums, galleries and theaters, and large parks and gardens. You can enjoy every bit of Melbourne.
Royal Botanic Gardens, located near the centre of Melbourne, Victoria, are the finest in Australia and the best in the world. On the south bank of the Yarra River, the Royal Botanic Gardens are 354,000 square metres (35 hectares or 87 acres) of beautifully landscaped gardens. You can see a wide range of flora and enjoy the refreshing scenic beauty of the gardens.
Sydney is a unique city where the sun seems to always shine and where many of its various suburbs are all facing waterfront. Cute ferries take you from one area to another. Located on the south-east coast of Australia, the Harbor City certainly is globally influential in the fields of culture, art, fashion, cuisine and design. The city is home to the Australia’s two most iconic structures Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can enjoy the vibrant life of the dynamic city.
Sydney Opera House, designed by Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect, is one of the wonders of the modern world. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, the opera house is the most iconic building of Australia. It is the most famous performing arts venues in the world. You can enjoy the world famous theatrical, musical, and dance performances at this World Heritage Site.
Australian Museum, originally known as the Colonial Museum or Sydney Museum, is located in College Street, Sydney. Famous in the fields of natural history and anthropology, it is one of the oldest museums in Australia. You can enjoy witnessing wondrous collections of vertebrate & invertebrate zoology, mineralogy, palaeontology, and anthropology, and exhibitions at the museum.
I encourage you on your next visit to Amsterdam to leave BoomChicago alone and instead, explore these marvelous ideas on what to do and see, and share in the take-home lessons they offer.
Here are 5 of my favorite things to do in Amsterdam
1. Visit Anne Franks’ home on the Prinsengracht.
Anne Frank lived with her family and four others in the concealed annex of the Anne Frank building. This is where she wrote her world-famous diary. Visiting this site in an incredible experience! It gives you insights into culture, the horror of wartimes, and just how tiny their living quarters were. Take-home thought for you: next time you’re about to complain that your apartment is too small, think back of this experience and be grateful.
2. Eat raw herring at the fish monger.
Next to Anne Frank’s house is the Westerkerk. This church dates back to 1631 and is the highest church in town. It’s also the place where Queen Beatrix was married and where Rembrandt was buried. Of course, the church itself is worth exploring. Go check out the pipe organs, and the giant bell in the clock tower. On Sunday morning’s you can even enjoy mass.
Before or after exploring the church, try something Dutch and order some raw herring at the fish monger right in front of the Westerkerk. If you love sushi, you’ll love this. Besides obtaining the wonderful taste, consuming the fish’s omega-6 fatty acids are what this feast is about. These wonderful fatty acids helps your body cope with the colder weather of winds and hail that prevail in Holland in winter. However, the herring tastes good year round. Take-home thought: In Rome, do as the Romans. In Holland, do as the Dutch and try the herring.
3. Go bicycling along the canals and bring a map.
You can rent a bike from Bike City in the ‘Jordaan’ neighborhood at the Bloemgracht for about Eur 10/day. Just bike away, wander and enjoy the scenery. It’s delight to pass by historic warehouses and grand mansions. You’ll see cosy corner cafes and espresso-sipping locals on outdoor terraces when the sun is out.
When you have enough of biking, just take your map out. As downtown Amsterdam is built in a semi-circle, chances are that you are not that far from where you begun. Take-home thoughts: it’s easy to have fun on a small budget and getting a nice workout can be fun.
4. Get off the bike on one of these corner cafes in the ‘Jordaan’ neighborhood.
The Jordaan is Amsterdam’s oldest corridor. It used to be a working-class neighborhood. Today, it’s a trendy hotspot. This is where you can best experience a uniquely Dutch concept of ‘Gezelligheid’ — loosely translated as ‘cosy’.
What’s special about the old cafes in the Jordaan is that they are like aunty Betsy’s living room. There may even be a central big table as well as individual tables. For sure, there are thick handmade carpets on the table and a barman with ‘attitude’. A nice attitude.
It seems at times that only snaps is served. For an adventurous selection: try out the schelvispekel – an old drink sourced from Rotterdam. It was typically drunk by the fishermen there. It’s sweet with a likable & unique flavor. For a less adventurous but still marvelous selection: try a local beer on tap. It’s easy to spend hours in these cafes. But be warned: don’t drink more than one schelvispekel as it’s real strong. Thought to take home: the good things in life are best enjoyed in moderation, and if you want one more: these cafes remind me of an old Dutch proverb: ‘Gezelligheid kent geen tijd’. It translates as ‘time flies when you’re having fun’.
5. Visit the Brewery….. or ..
Heard of the Heineken beer brewery? It’s right downtown Amsterdam on the Stadhouderskade. Yes, at the end of your brewery tour, you get to sample the beer. It’s particularly fun when you’re visiting Amsterdam with a group of friends.
However…. I’m not a beer drinker, so instead, where I go, is just a few blocks away from the brewery. Whenever I’m visiting Amsterdam, I try to see the Night Watch, Rembrandt’s most famous painting. The painting is hanging in the Stedelijk Museum, also located on the Stadhouderskade.
The Night Watch was painted when Rembrandt was at the peak of his fame and fortune. At that time, he painted the wealthy helped by his arsenal of students. Soon after completing the painting, Rembrandt’s wife passed away, and then his last son. This was a turning point for him. He became both sad and less interested in portraiture of the noblesse. He ended up poor in more than one way. Morale of the story: cherish all that gives meaning in our lives.
Oh, there are about a dozen more things to do in Amsterdam that are top tourist attractions and fun for locals alike.
These are 5 top things to enjoy when visiting Amsterdam when I have international friends with me. What are your favorites ? Drop us a line…