In spite of a lukewarm recommendation from our guidebook, we decide to visit the Amsterdam Historical Museum. We are glad we do.
The cost is reasonable at €6, with concessions for children and seniors.
The museum is housed in buildings, which once comprised the City Orphanage. Through the main-entry archway and to our left is a computer-generated exhibit called "Growth of the City." It's fascinating. Don't miss it.
We just follow the signs in Dutch and English to see everything we want to see. The explanations are in both languages. The galleries are user-friendly and contain artifacts, exhibits, and paintings, including a Rembrandt, "The Anatomy Lesson."
I learn a lot, not only about Amsterdam and how it grew, but also about the history of Holland and its relation to the rest of Europe. I'm especially impressed with the 17th-century and WWII sections.
I may overrate this place because I love the study of history. However, my wife, Pam, who is not all that interested in history, enjoyed our visit very much, so I'm going for a top recommendation.
You can learn much more and take a virtual tour of the museum at http://www.ahm.nl/emuseum.php. The website is in both Dutch and English.