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I’m heading to Amsterdam next week for the first time, continuing my pandemic-interrupted mission to see more of Europe by living and working in the UK. I have a rough idea of what I’d like to explore, but even by my standards of not wanting to over-plan I haven’t done a lot of research or put a lot of thought into an itinerary. So I turned to my good friend ChatCGP. I’ve been experimenting with the Artificial Intelligence chatbot at work to see whether I can bow down to my robot overlords or retire in ignominy any time soon. (The answer: not yet, but AI can occasionally help with the dreaded curse of the blank page and get me started on a piece of writing, or propose creative ideas for icebreakers, for example.)

I love its realistic itinerary, plus the additional suggestions when I realised I hadn’t specified books/literature in my list of interests. There’s no way I’ll get to everything, especially once I build in time to wander and enjoy meals and sleep, and I might want an additional daytrip outside the city, but I have more confidence now that I won’t miss something obvious that I’d love to see. Here’s our conversation:

Can you offer suggestions for what to do in 4 days in Amsterdam? I like museums, exploring, science, space, culture.

Certainly! Amsterdam is a beautiful city with plenty of things to do, especially if you’re interested in museums, science, and culture. Here are some suggestions for what to do in four days:

Day 1:

  • Start the day by visiting the Rijksmuseum, one of the world’s most famous museums, which houses a large collection of Dutch art and history.
  • Afterward, head to the Van Gogh Museum, which is home to the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings and drawings.
  • Take a stroll through Vondelpark, a beautiful park in the heart of the city that’s perfect for relaxing and people-watching.
  • End your day by visiting the Anne Frank House, a museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Anne Frank and her family.

Day 2:

  • Visit the NEMO Science Museum, which is designed to be interactive and hands-on and is perfect for people of all ages who love science.
  • Take a boat tour through Amsterdam’s famous canals, which offer stunning views of the city’s architecture and history.
  • Visit the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, which is located in Dam Square and is open to the public for tours.
  • End your day by visiting the Amsterdam Museum, which offers a comprehensive look at the city’s history and culture.

Day 3:

  • Start the day by visiting the Tropenmuseum, which showcases the art and culture of non-western societies.
  • Explore the Jordaan neighborhood, which is full of charming streets, cafes, and shops.
  • Visit the Hermitage Amsterdam, which is an offshoot of the famous Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia and houses a collection of artwork and artifacts from around the world.
  • End your day by visiting the EYE Film Museum, which offers a look at the history of cinema and features a variety of film screenings.

Day 4:

  • Take a day trip to the nearby city of Haarlem, which is known for its stunning architecture and rich cultural history.
  • Visit the Frans Hals Museum, which showcases the work of the famous Dutch painter Frans Hals.
  • Explore the city’s many historic churches, such as the Grote Kerk and the Sint-Bavokerk.
  • End your day by visiting the Teylers Museum, which is the oldest museum in the Netherlands and features a collection of art, science, and natural history exhibits.

I hope these suggestions help you plan your trip to Amsterdam and that you have a great time exploring this beautiful city!

That’s amazing, thank you! Any additional suggestions for my interest in books and literature too?

Absolutely! Amsterdam has a rich literary history, and there are plenty of places to explore if you’re interested in books and literature. Here are some additional suggestions:

  • Visit the Amsterdam Athenaeum, which is one of the city’s oldest and most famous bookstores. It has a large selection of books in English and Dutch, and is a great place to browse and find something new to read.
  • Take a walking tour of Amsterdam’s literary landmarks, such as the houses of famous writers like Anne Frank, Multatuli, and Harry Mulisch.
  • Visit the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, which is housed in a beautiful building that dates back to 1986. The company regularly puts on operas, ballets, and other performances.
  • Explore the OBA Central Library, which is one of the largest public libraries in Europe and has a huge collection of books in various languages. The library also regularly hosts literary events and workshops.
  • Visit the Multatuli Museum, which is dedicated to the life and work of the famous Dutch writer Eduard Douwes Dekker, who wrote under the pen name Multatuli. The museum houses a collection of his manuscripts, letters, and other personal items.
  • End your day by visiting the Begijnhof, a historic courtyard surrounded by buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s a peaceful and serene place to relax and read a book.

I hope these additional suggestions give you some ideas for exploring Amsterdam’s literary scene. Enjoy your trip!

Thanks ChatGPT, you’re the best. Until you take my job and then you’re the worst. (No, I didn’t say that.)