Most people who visit Amsterdam see the canals but do not know that all these canals end up in the IJ, a large river that runs behind the central station.
For a different view of Amsterdam, walk out the back of the central station to the ferries. Take the one of the boats labelled Amsterdam North (free) and you will end up in the northern part of the city. Take the footpath to the right and after five minutes you'll see a bar/restaurant called the Wilhelminadok. From here there’s a fantastic view of the old city and when it's sunny you can sit on a huge terrace floating on the water.
Alternatively you can go out the back of the central station and to the right (along the waterfront) for about 10 minutes until you reach the new concert hall, Muziekgebouw aan het IJ, which also has a fantastic view of the city and the river.
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