The clatter of trams and ringing of bicycle bells can be an assault on the ears, but there’s a hidden oasis of peace in the heart of Amsterdam if you need a little quiet time. The Begijnhof is a small grassed courtyard surrounded by beautiful 17th- and 18th-century houses that were originally built for pious Catholic single women. It’s right in the middle of town and reachable by a gateway at the end of a lane leading off one of the city’s busiest shopping streets, but it is almost eerily silent. The courtyard also holds a small English Reformed Church and a Catholic chapel. If you don’t manage to get into the Rijksmuseum to see Rembrandt’s ‘‘Night Watch,’’ right around the corner from the Begijnhof is another hidden (and free) gem of the city, the Schuttersgalerij, or Civil Guard Gallery, of the Amsterdam Museum. This short covered passageway is home to — among other things — a handful of much smaller portraits of civil guards similar in style, if not size, to Rembrandt’s famous work.