When a new attraction opens its doors in Amsterdam, hotel staff often gets invitations to have a look, so you can tell your guests about it from your own experience. Needless to say that we often have an outing due to the many attractions that opened recently in Amsterdam. The one we visited today is situated in Amsterdam North. Citizens being born and raised in Amsterdam (centre), used to think that Amsterdam North was not really Amsterdam, but now it is the place to be. All kinds of hotspots like clubs, restaurants and tourist attractions are opening their doors in this part of Amsterdam.
With the ferry from Central Station you cross the “IJ” to go to the other side and then it is only a 3 minutes walk to “This is Holland”. An experience that takes you through Holland at a glance.
After entering the building you can leave your bag and coat in a locker. The tour starts at a bench in front of a green screen where you can have your picture taken. The green screen shows a décor and on our picture it looked like we were sitting on a beam above the water, their might be a variety of different décors. After that, you go up the stairs to a wall full of Delft blue tiles. Just looking at it, it looks great, and when you look through the camera of your phone, it looks completely different. We are not going to tell you what you see, but is very well designed.
At the end of the wall you can enter the experience itself which consists of 3 parts. While you are waiting for your turn to enter, you can play a quiz on a tablet. The quiz asks all sort of questions about Holland and the Dutch and multiple languages can be chosen. Fanatic as we are, we wanted to have a 10 out of 10. Eventually we succeeded after trying 6 or 7 times, as you only got some of the questions twice, most of them were new ones. The quiz made waiting fun and we learned something too. Did I already mention that this experience is excellent for children, something they will enjoy, they won’t be bored.
In the first part of the experience you’ll watch a movie about the history of Holland. Our relation with water, what we are good at and how we dealt with the water problems being below sea level. The film is 8 minutes, just long enough to be interesting for children too. The film is available in multiple languages or with subtitles. Upon entering the second part, you see the map of the Netherlands. With a projector and television images another part of Holland is explained. The number of windmills we have, how many tulips we export, what the different provinces offer in different seasons and all other Dutch highlights.
Last but not least you enter the third part. You are seated in chairs next to each other as if you would go into a roller coaster, now in front of a large screen. You are strapped in and then the lights are switched off. The chairs move forward and it looks like you are flying over the Dutch landscape. The movement of the chairs, the fragrance of flowers, the wind through your hair and the water coming up from the sea and rivers, this all makes it a truly great experience. It is so realistic that we pulled up our legs a couple of times because it felt like we were going to hit some trees or dip them in the sea.
After this last part, you go down the stairs again, where you can see the picture that was taken at the beginning. You can buy it for € 7.50 and in the shop are typical Dutch souvenirs, like tulip bulbs. Outside again you realize how beautiful Holland actually is and how clever some of our inventions are. This is Holland is worth the visit for both Dutch locals and you, visiting from abroad. You will have a great day, especially if you combine it with for instance the Adam Lookout or the Eye film museum.
We say: YES! to This is Holland
Janine Zootjes, General Manager of XO Hotels Park West