The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Having never visited Amsterdam before, we decided that the Rijksmuseum was a tourist hotspot we couldn't miss. After a leisurely morning involving pastries and tea, we strolled over to Museumplein which was only a short walk from our apartment. Home to all of the major museums of Amsterdam, including Van Gogh and the Stedelijk, Museumplein is a lively square heaving with people and photo opportunities.
We were very fortunate with the weather as the sun had decided to come out, greatly appreciated by us Brits.

The illustrious building was all the more striking with the sun glittering on it, complemented by the clear blue sky.

We wandered through the large archway, arriving in an unexpectedly modern entrance hall. Spacious and crisp with magnificently high ceilings, the architecture is bound to leave you in awe.
If you hadn't yet got your ticket, this is the place to grab one or opt for a museum card, which will save you some cash if you're a museum fiend and are planning on exploring more.

The poor lighting in the galleries meant it was difficult to take good quality photos of the paintings so I've only included a couple of the most famous in this post.
I suppose that means you'll have to visit the Rijks yourself if you're fascinated to see the wealth of art and history it contains. Oh well, who would complain about a trip to Amsterdam?

After traipsing around the first few rooms of paintings, we stumbled upon a huge, central hallway enveloped by jaw-dropping stained glass windows. We couldn't help ourselves and got a bit snap happy - as you can see.

The tainted light filters subtly through the window panes, painting the room in a magical, rosy hue. The intricately decorated, curved ceiling is an ode to the incredible architecture of the entire Rijksmuseum building; possibly some of the most impressive in the whole of Amsterdam (which is saying something in such a beautiful city)!

Having taken more than enough photos, we followed the crowd into the subsequent room, anticipating something amazing given the eagerness of those around us.

We were met with the renowned 'The Night Watch' by Rembrandt, the most famous of the Rijks collection and all the more exciting given its connection with my favourite show.
All you Game of Thrones fans out there know what I'm talking about!

Flanked by stern guards and adorned with ornate pillars, the painting is surrounded by people desperate to admire the detail or take the perfect photo as a memento.
It's definitely the star of the show and not one to miss if you visit the Rijks.

The Rijksmuseum is also home to the library of any book lover's dreams. Reminiscent of that Beauty and the Beast library and bedecked with spiral staircases, it would be the ideal place to study or research. Although I suspect only a select few have access.

Having got our daily dose of art and culture, we left the Rijksmuseum building to relax in its surrounding gardens.

With the sun shining brightly and the sound of the trickling fountains in our ears, we chatted about our day so far and indulged in our favourite past time - people watching. Somewhat nosey but so entertaining.

Anxious to discover more of Amsterdam's beauty, we left the comfort of our bench and embarked on an afternoon of exploring.
^ This photo stands testament to the sheer number of bikes in the city. They are literally everywhere you look (no exaggeration).

We searched for the ultimate bridge for our very own stereotypical canal photo, locating this beauty only a few minutes from the Rijksmuseum.
When in Amsterdam, right?

After admiring the views from our bridge and dodging the influx of traffic for the perfect shot, we spent the remainder of the afternoon visiting new parts of Amsterdam.
We found the celebrated Bloemenmarkt, a floating flower market abundant in vibrantly coloured blooms.  

If only I was a local and could take some of these gorgeous flowers home with me.
Amsterdam inhabitants, I envy you.


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