Amsterdam may be most famed for its former industrial buildings alongside canals, Crimson Gentle District, and relaxed legal guidelines on marijuana consumption, however that doesn’t imply its listing of sights and actions doesn’t cease there. There are a whole lot of issues to do in Amsterdam, from visiting the Anne Frank Museum to taking day journeys to see tulip fields and windmills.
Amsterdam isn’t simply one other get together metropolis, which you’ll quickly uncover with strolling excursions of this picturesque metropolis and sights just like the Vincent Van Gogh Museum. The truth is, there are such a lot of issues to do in Amsterdam that we struggled to slender it down to only these prime 34. Earlier than you even take into consideration the place to remain in Amsterdam or e book flights, it’s good to have a look at which issues in Amsterdam you’d love to do. Your pursuits will dictate which neighborhood it’s finest to remain in.
On this information, we’ll provide you with all of the inspiration and logistics it’s worthwhile to get pleasure from visiting ‘Dam’. Whether or not you want historical past, partying, or paintings, Amsterdam has not less than 20 sights to squeeze into your itinerary. It’s secure to say that this well-known canal metropolis has many methods up its sleeve.
In case you nonetheless marvel why Amsterdam is such a cultural hotspot, go to the Rijksmuseum. This Nineteenth-century museum homes a few of the most precious Dutch Golden Age work, together with Rembrandt’s Evening Watch. It’s an artwork lover’s paradise and is equally alluring for these with an appreciation for historical past and tradition.
You may simply spend a couple of hours wandering the exhibition halls of the Rijksmuseum. And in order for you an indoor exercise in Amsterdam, this is likely one of the finest issues to do on a wet day.
2. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum has the world’s most in depth assortment of Van Gogh’s works, and if that’s not an indication of Amsterdam being a cultural hub, who is aware of what’s? Van Gogh is a globally acknowledged artist; whether or not you might be an artwork lover or not, it is a bucket listing expertise. You should buy tickets on-line or on arrival and shortly spend a complete afternoon strolling between famed portray after portray.
It isn’t simply paintings; there are letters and reveals on Van Gogh’s private life. The museum is a very intimate perception into the artist and his creations. Seize your tickets now..
In search of sunny day actions in Amsterdam? Vondelpark is likely one of the metropolis’s main choices and the most effective free issues to do. The park dates again to the Nineteenth century and boasts an unlimited open-air theater. It’s a low-maintenance exercise, too, with a youngsters’s park superb for touring households to go to early within the morning to let youngsters run off steam. There are additionally scenic ponds and picnic areas to sit down with a takeout espresso and lunch.
Vondelpark is a phenomenal place to go to in Amsterdam and an actual alternative to unwind and calm down.
4. Our Lord within the Attic Museum
Our Lord within the Attic Museum is called Ons Lieve Heer Op in Dutch. This Seventeenth-century canal home has a barely uncommon title, however it’s best to be capable of guess what the museum is about. It gives audio excursions of a secret – and mysteriously ornate – Catholic church hidden on the prime of a canal home. Our Lord within the Attic Museum was a private place for secret worship throughout a interval of historical past the place there was no freedom of faith. And the earlier house owners used their hidden church to proceed their spiritual duties.
An uncommon however heartwarming ode to religion, this distinctive historic attraction is a should when visiting Amsterdam.
5. Eye Movie Museum
The Eye Movie Museum is principally cinematic heaven. It has the whole lot from international to Dutch museums and paperwork the evolution of movie and fictional worlds. Set alongside the waterside throughout on the northern facet of the town, you’ll should catch a ferry to achieve this museum from behind Central Station. Even this provides to the dramatic enchantment, and the Eye Movie Museum feels suitably tucked away in its personal little world throughout the water.
The colourful and interesting reveals showcase posters, film clips, and extra. They’re like a little bit time capsule devoted explicitly to the film world.
6. Bike Tour
You may’t go to Amsterdam and not take a motorbike tour. Amsterdam may be the town of canals, but it surely’s additionally the town of bikes. In case you’ve tried to stroll down the road or cross the street, you’ll perceive that the eco-friendly stance truly borders on hazardous pedestrians. And it isn’t an Amsterdam expertise till you’ve been yelled at by not less than one bike owner for by accident slicing them off. So, for those who can’t beat them, be a part of them. Experiencing Amsterdam from two wheels is likely one of the most basic and conventional methods to sightsee the town.
You may e book loads of completely different biking excursions of Amsterdam on-line, and as Amsterdam is a remarkably flat metropolis, you’ll haven’t any points maintaining.
7. Moco Museum
The Moco Museum is the place to move in Amsterdam for contemporary paintings. Its abbreviation stands for the Trendy Up to date Museum Amsterdam, and it showcases an unlimited vary of items, spanning from Dali and Banksy works to native artists. Artwork fanatics will love this attraction, however equally, the sheer vary of what Moco Museum covers renders it entertaining for artwork newbies and extra normal vacationers. The actual fact you possibly can see Banksy’s paintings is a draw for most individuals. And the whole lot from road artwork to modern items will depart you scratching your head.
Whereas solely small, the Moco Museum can simply entertain you for an hour or two. It’s a massively underrated attraction, and we suggest it when visiting Amsterdam.
8. Windmill Day Journey
One other vastly widespread factor in Amsterdam is a day journey to the windmills. Windmills had been traditionally used for water administration in Amsterdam and its surrounding areas. Nonetheless, these days, they’re additionally a profound supply of inexperienced vitality, utilizing wind turbine buildings to assist with electrical energy. There are over 10,000 operational windmills within the Netherlands, an unlimited proportion of that are round Amsterdam. These are famed for his or her conventional design – chunky picket buildings.
Molen Van Sloten is a well-liked day journey from the town middle, and it’s a working windmill and barrel-making museum. Zaanse Schans is one other frequent alternative. It’s reachable independently by bus in underneath 40 minutes – an enormous bonus.
9. Meals Tour
Taking a meals tour is a should when visiting Amsterdam. Indulgence is a crucial attribute of the town, and the tradition encourages not solely artwork and liberal attitudes to hashish but additionally glorious delicacies. Town middle has meals halls, the place you possibly can strive the whole lot from stroopwafels to Indonesian delicacies. The choices are critically beneficiant, and essentially the most organized and time-efficient option to expertise them is on a guided meals tour.
You may simply e book a meals tour on-line, which can take you round designated tasting hotspots.
10. Go to the Flower Markets
The flower markets are a large spotlight of visiting Amsterdam. Flower buying and selling has been an important a part of Amsterdam’s economic system for hundreds of years – wait till you hear about tulips in our subsequent part. Flower markets are the modern-day hive of this conventional buying and selling, and you should buy dozens of various crops. Bloemenmarkt (a floating flower market established in 1862) and Stins Flowermarket are the most effective markets.
In case you drive to Amsterdam or journey through public transport, you possibly can deliver some dwelling. In case you are flying, you’ll doubtless discover this too difficult, however you possibly can nonetheless go to for the aesthetic and expertise.
11. Day Journey to the Tulip Fields
The tulip fields round Amsterdam are actually well-known. You’ve doubtless seen photos of the Dutch tulips on Instagram or in journey magazines. The height tulip season is from April to Could, after which you’ll see many tulips in flower retailers and markets from December till Could. Amsterdam is understood for its tulips because of deep cultural and historic ties to the flower, which rose so excessive within the Seventeenth century that bulbs had been traded akin to inventory on the Amsterdam Inventory Alternate. They had been value greater than gold and offered at a ridiculously excessive value that solely essentially the most elite and rich might afford.
It’s simple to see the tulips for those who go to on the proper time of 12 months. You may take a day journey to Bollenstreek or e book an organized tour.
12. Oude Kerk Amsterdam
Oude Kerk is a giant deal. Amsterdam’s first church and oldest constructing, Oude Kerk, dates again to the Center Ages. The 14th-century church is now a functioning Calvinist place of worship that usually hosts spiritual and cultural occasions. Nonetheless, it’s additionally a sought-after vacationer attraction. In 2016, Oude Kerk was partially transformed right into a museum. Since then, it has hosted a group of artwork reveals. Guests can admire the artwork in its distinctive, historic setting.
Oude Kerk is likely one of the most budget-friendly but historic issues to do in Amsterdam. And in order for you an inspiring exercise in Amsterdam, we suggest visiting.
13. Lease a SUP
In case you don’t fancy the canal tour or free ferry, why not hire a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) and go alone? It is a extra unorthodox factor to do in Amsterdam, however who cares? Life is about journey, proper? You may hire an SUP from all around the metropolis in numerous shops and water sports activities facilities, particularly round Amsteldijk. Lease a stand-up paddleboard for a couple of hours and take it to the water. You’ve 165 canals at your disposal, finest skilled from the water.
Prepare. It’s about to get energetic and thrilling. In case you haven’t gone paddle boarding earlier than, know that there’s a excessive chance you might be coming off in some unspecified time in the future. So that you’ll have to be carrying appropriate garments for a fast swim. A water-proof digicam can be a fantastic shout.
14. Design Your Personal Chocolate Bar
Have you ever ever puzzled in regards to the technique of designing chocolate bars? This weird area of interest expertise is a should for anybody with a candy tooth. You may create your individual chocolate bar at lots of Amsterdam’s chocolate shops and sights – sure, there are a number of. Tony’s Chocolonely Superstore and the Chocolate Firm are two most important choices. Amsterdam is famed for Milka and Droste chocolate, and chocolate is particularly made across the western harbor space of the town.
Dutch chocolate is famously clean tasting because of the alkaline remedy that it makes use of within the chocolate-making course of. So head right down to one of many shops and test it out.
15. The Nationwide Maritime Museum
Subsequent up is the Nationwide Maritime Museum. This interactive museum is scenically set alongside the waterfront in a former storehouse. It introduces you to Amsterdam’s naval and ocean historical past. As a canal metropolis, it gained’t shock you that Amsterdam has a lot maritime historical past to inform. You can too rise up near a reproduction of an 18th-century service provider ship, which helps to deliver the tales to life.
The Nationwide Maritime Museum is massively interactive and nice enjoyable to go to. There are even digital voyages that you may take. Its entrance charge is modest, too, making it one of many cheaper issues to do in Amsterdam.
16. Smoke Some Weed
Relying in your beliefs and values, it’s possible you’ll wish to smoke some weed or strive an area cake – aka desserts full of marijuana – when visiting Amsterdam. Town is known for its liberal tackle this pure drug, and it’s a huge motive for the floods of vacationers that go to annually. In case you do determine to dabble, understand that Amsterdam’s weed is notoriously sturdy. It’s best to remain secure with a bunch of trusted mates. Particular lodging may also have strict guidelines in opposition to marijuana consumption, so examine that forward of time.
If you wish to take a sober strategy to studying extra about Amsterdam’s marijuana, you possibly can go to the Hash Marijuana & Hemp Museum. Self-designated because the world’s first museum devoted to the hashish plant, it takes you thru the historical past and tales round weed, even showcasing a reside backyard.
17. Go to Chinatown
Each good metropolis has a fair higher Chinatown – we don’t make the foundations; that is only a truth of life. Amsterdam is not any completely different, and its Chinatown is an absolute hub of Asian delicacies. In case you love Asian delicacies, then it’s a must to cease by. Whereas it’s referred to as Chinatown, it consists of Malaysian, Thai, and Indonesian eating places and cafes, in addition to Chinese language. This implies you’ve gotten hundreds of scrumptious dishes and specialties at your fingertips. And that’s earlier than you even take into consideration the eclectic retailers and aesthetic decorations strung alongside these slender canal streets.
In case you are searching for an affordable meal or one thing to do in Amsterdam, visiting Chinatown ought to be in your listing. Whether or not you decide pad Thai or Indonesian meals, you’ll have a tasty time.
18. Have a Seaside Day
A seashore day? From Amsterdam? Sure, you possibly can completely get pleasure from a seashore day when visiting Amsterdam. And that is exactly why it’s best to take not less than a couple of days to see the town– Amsterdam has implausible day journeys. Zandvoort aan Zee is the closest seashore to the town and is definitely accessible through Central Station. Zandvoort Seaside is gorgeous, with lengthy golden sands and laidback bars and eating places lining its promenade. Enjoyable and light-hearted, it’s the place to move on a sunny day in Amsterdam.
It takes lower than an hour to achieve through sprinter prepare. You may be sunbathing at Zandvoort very quickly.
19. NEMO Science Museum
This is likely one of the coolest science museums you’ll ever see. The constructing is formed like an precise boat, designed so it juts out over the waterfront – trying like an actual boat taking to the water. The edgy traits proceed indoors, too, with interactive reveals and a baptism-of-fire-style immersion into the whole lot science-related. The museum spans dramatic five-floor reveals, with colour and wow-factor reveals at each flip.
If you need an indoor exercise in Amsterdam, positively go to the NEMO Science Museum. Equally, it’s best to observe this for those who see the town with youngsters.
20. Europe’s Highest Swing
How does Europe’s highest swing sound to you? A’DAM Lookout is arguably the most effective place to get pleasure from overlooking Amsterdam. The statement deck has a panoramic viewpoint, and you’ll admire the UNESCO-listed canals from a vantage level you might by no means obtain at floor degree. As such a flat metropolis, A’DAM Lookout ticks a massively wanted field. And on that statement deck, you possibly can take issues one step additional with the very best swing in Europe – which hangs 100 meters above the bottom and swings you over Amsterdam.
Is it courageous or silly? We’ll allow you to determine. However whether or not you watch different individuals undertake the swing or have a go your self, A’DAM Lookout is a should while you go to Amsterdam.
21. Dam Sq.
Dam Sq. is beautiful, particularly on a sunny day. The sq. has a central location and a wealthy historical past. Even for those who simply go to feed the pigeons, it’s a must-add to your Amsterdam itinerary. The environment is unparalleled, and you’ll get pleasure from views of a few of the most notable buildings within the metropolis. It’s a cultural hub and hosts common occasions. At Christmas particularly, visiting this Sq. is a should.
Add this sq. to the listing in order for you free actions in Amsterdam. It takes simply minutes to understand, making it a great itinerary filler amongst extra time-demanding sights.
22. Stedelijk Museum
Stedelijk Museum is an acquired style, to say the least. The trendy artwork museum is likely one of the most uncommon and bizarrely collections of paintings, with items akin to large pigs and partitions of Arabic typography describing the affect of abusive relationships. In case you fancy an summary look into the trendy artwork world, the museum is ideal. Arrive able to problem the whole lot you beforehand thought of artwork in Amsterdam.
Enjoyable and whacky, this museum is likely one of the prime museums in Amsterdam for anybody craving quirky sights and artistic inspiration.
23. Torture Museum
This museum is each bit as horrific because it sounds. If you need an perception into the historic strategies of torture utilized in Amsterdam, that is the most effective place for you. Gory, grotesque, and painfully detailed, it’s a particular kick for anybody who likes horror-related sights. The museum showcases over 40 completely different torture gadgets and strategies that date again to the Center Ages.
Whereas the museum is unquestionably not for the faint of coronary heart, it is an interesting and spine-shivering historic attraction in Amsterdam. In case you are bored of the run-of-the-mill historical past museums in main European cities, this attraction will shake issues up.
24. Heineken Expertise
The Heineken Expertise is a should when visiting Amsterdam. The attraction is a working brewery creating craft beer and providing tasting room experiences and excursions that final about an hour. As one of many world’s most well-known beers, it’s a fascinating expertise getting behind the scenes on the Heineken brewery. And it is a prime main exercise while you go to the town, conveniently positioned simply south of the town middle.
25. Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam
Few museums cowl the affect of World Struggle II in such a uncooked means because the Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam. The Museum of WWII Resistance paperwork the town’s battle in opposition to Nazi invasion and the timeline of the battle. Treasured reveals and artifacts showcase the expertise with photographs, movies, and private gadgets belonging to these impacted.
Many individuals know the historical past of the warfare. Nonetheless, this museum offers a way more intimate perception into the ordeal. You’ll be taught all about what life was like underneath occupation and the actual individuals behind the statistics. This museum is ideally mixed with a go to to Anne Frank’s Home.
26. Canal Cruise
A canal cruise is definitely one of many main issues in Amsterdam – you might be within the metropolis of canals, in spite of everything. Amsterdam has 165 canals in whole, all simply prepared and ready to be explored from the water. You may drift serenely together with an audio or guided tour expertise, admiring the historic buildings and Amsterdam’s distinctive surroundings.
There are such a lot of tour operators in Amsterdam providing canal cruises. We’d suggest simply going to the part of the canal simply earlier than Amsterdam Central Station and asking charges the place you see the boats moored.
If you wish to be actually sneaky, there’s additionally a free ferry service that you may catch. It is a nice, budget-friendly choice to see the canals in Amsterdam.
27. Intercourse Museum
A museum devoted to intercourse is unquestionably on model in the case of visiting Amsterdam. The Intercourse Museum is the world’s first and oldest museum fully devoted to documenting the historical past and nature of intercourse. There are erotic sculptures and pictures, in addition to the historical past of the intercourse trade in Amsterdam.
Set in a Seventeenth-century constructing, the Intercourse Museum is hilariously misplaced on its busy Amsterdam road. And for those who fancy a giggle but additionally a critical look into the town’s perspective and tradition behind intercourse, this museum is a best choice on your itinerary.
Damrak is a piece of the canal the place you’ll discover rows of moored canal boats able to embark on excursions. Nonetheless, additionally it is the place you’ll discover a social media-famous shot of a row of canal buildings. The row of canal home after canal home are all terraced and joined right into a – seemingly – endless row. The colour scheme is very photogenic, with deep blues, reds, and yellows. And in order for you a picture-perfect shot of Amsterdam’s buildings, Damrak is the place to go.
It is a free exercise in Amsterdam, mixed with taking a canal boat tour or heading to the central prepare station.
29. 9 Streets
9 Streets is the district acknowledged by UNESCO as Amsterdam’s canal district. ‘ This close-knit row of canal streets is the town’s most aesthetic and consultant part. It’s the place most individuals go to snap iconic canal pictures. This district is the postcard picture of Amsterdam’s canal scene.
You may go to to snap your photographs and luxuriate in strolling the canal banks. There are over 250 retailers on this district, so take your time, window procuring or procuring if you want. And there are cafes and museums to dip out and in of. A self-guided tour of ‘De 9 Straatjes’ solely takes half-hour to an hour however is an unmissable exercise in Amsterdam.
30. Filmhallen Artwork Home Cinema
Filmhallen Artwork Home Cinema is uniquely positioned in an outdated tram depot. It’s on the outskirts of the town middle, within the Amsterdam Oud-West district, a brief stroll away from De 9 Straatjes. In case you fancy a laidback exercise in Amsterdam, visiting the cinema is the perfect wet day or low-energy exercise. And the tram depot setting makes it much more attractive. Filmhallen is the place to move to the cinema in novelty model.
31. Crimson Gentle District
If you speak to anybody who has visited Amsterdam, they are going to have a narrative or an opinion on Amsterdam’s Crimson Gentle District. No matter your ideas on legalized intercourse work, this district is an fascinating cultural phenomenon. It’s widespread amongst all vacationers, and the primary draw is simply strolling down the 2 streets, that are cut up by a canal and illuminated in comfortable purple lighting. It’s stated thus far again to the 14th century. Nonetheless, it established itself within the Seventeenth century – so it’s as a lot historic as something seedy.
You may stroll by the district or go to the Intercourse Museum in its southern nook. Many excursions additionally run by the Crimson Gentle District, providing informative strolling excursions and insider particulars.
32. Royal Palace Amsterdam
The Royal Palace Amsterdam is likely one of the main metropolis sights and has been a royal residence since 1808. When it isn’t in use, it’s open to the general public to get pleasure from with a guided tour or audio tour and has a number of exhibitions to get pleasure from. You’ll have to stick to strict guidelines – that is the house of the Netherlands’ royal household – however you’ll get an perception into royal life in trade on your abiding by the foundations.
In case you are concerned with politics or the royal household, it is a lovely place to go to. The grandeur of the structure can be splendid, and historical past lovers can respect all the knowledge you get on guided excursions.
33. Anne Frank Home
The Anne Frank Museum is likely one of the hottest issues to do within the metropolis middle. This industrial constructing is the place Anne and her household hid within the secret annex through the Nazi occupation in central Amsterdam. The household and their mates lasted 25 months in secrecy, solely being found in 1944 after they had been tragically transported to focus camps – after which solely Otto, Anne’s father, survived.
On the museum, you possibly can stroll by the annex the place the group lived and examine all their possessions as they might have been displayed. There are additionally extracts and brief movies taken from Anne’s Diary. The attraction is harrowing however completely important when visiting Amsterdam.
34. Houseboat Museum
Ever puzzled what life on a houseboat is like? Effectively, step aboard this 1914 freighter convert and test it out. This museum lets vacationers expertise being onboard one of many basic canal boats and be taught extra about this conventional way of life. Canal boats are central to Amsterdam’s historical past and tradition. With 165 canals within the metropolis, you’ll see lots of them from an outsider’s perspective. It is a distinctive alternative to see the approach to life from an inside perspective.
Visiting Amsterdam: FAQs
So, you now know exactly what it’s best to add to your Amsterdam itinerary. However how do you slender issues down? You’ll in all probability should be cutthroat until you’ve gotten limitless time in Amsterdam. These are the most effective FAQs that can assist you finalize your selections and decide your dream itinerary.
Is it value going to Amsterdam for 3 days?
With three days in Amsterdam, you possibly can go to a handful of nice sights and style the town properly. You’ll doubtless be capable of take a canal tour and go to the Anne Frank Home, the Crimson Gentle District, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Royal Palace. If that floats your boat, you can even get pleasure from an evening out and the town’s weed tradition.
What shouldn’t be missed in Amsterdam?
You shouldn’t miss visiting the Anne Frank Museum or a canal tour in Amsterdam. These two actions are the highest actions to do in Amsterdam and actually pivotal elements of the town’s identification.
What’s Amsterdam is known for?
Amsterdam is known for being a liberal metropolis, sex-positive and marijuana constructive, with plenty of creatives and hyperlinks to the world-renowned Vincent Van Gogh. It additionally has plenty of World Struggle II historical past, as an illustration, on the Anne Frank Museum.
Is 2 days sufficient to see Amsterdam?
You’ll be hard-pushed to see the most effective of Amsterdam in simply two days. You may squeeze in 3-4 sights, just like the Anne Frank Museum, Royal Palace, and Crimson Gentle District. Nonetheless, you’ll miss out on the ‘genuine’ Amsterdam and really feel rushed. Keep in mind that for those who fly to Amsterdam, you’ll additionally lose a substantial chunk of this time simply touring between the airport and permitting further time at safety.
Amsterdam is full of distinctive actions and issues to do, whether or not you wish to fill your historical past bucket or embrace your internal flower aesthetic with a go to to its floral markets. Town is a phenomenal weekend getaway, and it’s simple to see why it’s thought-about one of many finest European metropolis getaways. You may admire Van Gogh’s paintings or cruise down a sedate canal. There’s simply a lot at your fingertips when visiting Amsterdam.
Now you’ve bought your itinerary nailed, you possibly can buy groceries on your boutique lodge or fun-loving hostel keep – get pleasure from your journey. For extra day journey concepts, you possibly can try our information on the finest journeys you possibly can take from Amsterdam, which is superb for those who keep within the metropolis longer than a couple of days. And in order for you additional inspiration on visiting the Netherlands, try our information right here.