Top Things to do in Amsterdam

There are many cities that have something special to offer to the world. Amsterdam is one of those cities. It carries a reputation as a cultural and artisticmelting-pot, making it a popular tourist destination. The wealth of Amsterdam attractions, the relaxed atmosphere and the charm of canals make the city irresistible to anyone who wants to explore the cultural and historical wonders of the Netherlands.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or looking for an exciting revisit, here’s our list of the best things to do in Amsterdam.

Visit the Canal Belt

The city of Amsterdam is built on more than 90 islands and bridges. One of the most iconic landmarks in Amsterdam is the canal belt, with 165 canals that weave around the city. The canal belt is a great place for tourists to explore, as it offers stunning views of the architecture, houseboats, and link the city’s many sights.

There are several ways to explore the canal belt, including taking one of the historic canal boats, enjoying the tales from an experienced local tour guide, or renting a cycle and riding along the picturesque canals.

Explore the Markets

Amsterdam is home to many vibrant markets, includingAlbert Cuyp Markt, Noordermarkt, and the Westergasfabriek market. Each offers a great mix of foods, art, antiques and clothes to explore.

At Albert Cuyp Markt, which is the largest market in Amsterdam, visitors can try the Dutch delicacy herring and sample the various Dutch cheeses, while the Noordermarkt is great if you’re looking for organic food and sustainable items.

The Westergasfabriek market is often considered to be the hippest place in town, with its industrial backdrop and trendy cafés.

Visit the Iconic Museums

Amsterdam’s museums are among the city’s most popular attractions. The world-renowned Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and Anne Frank House are all located in the city and well worth a visit for anyone interested in art and history.

The Rijksmuseum showcases more than 8,000 objects of art and history from the Dutch Golden Age. The Van Gogh Museum, meanwhile, doesn’t need an introduction, as it houses one of the biggest collections of the famous artist’s works.

The Anne Frank House is a moving tribute to the teenage Jewish girl who was forced to hide in an attic during the Holocaust. This interactive museum allows visitors to gain an excellent understanding of what Anne, her family, and her friends went through during those difficult times.

Relax at Vondelpark

Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam and one of the city’s most beloved green spaces. The beautiful park is perfect for relaxation, picnics and sightseeing.

Vondelpark is particularly lovely to visit during the spring, when the wildflowers are in bloom and the blossom trees perk up the green space. The park also hosts music festivals, markets and popular outdoor screenings events, all of which are worth attending.

Taste Authentic Food

If you’re looking for some typical Dutch cuisine, then Amsterdam is the place to visit. The city has some of the best restaurants in the world, so make sure you make room for some local dishes during your visit.

The Dutch love their cheese and the city has a plethora of places to sample the nation’s most loved delicacy. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try some of the Dutch specialties like herring, kroketten, or poffertjes.

The city is also known for its sweet treats like the Stroopwafel, waffle cookies filled with a sticky caramel syrup, and the famous Gouda cheese market.

Party in the Red Light District

The heart of Amsterdam’s nightlife is located in its notorious red-light district. That part of the city is crowded with restaurants, bars and clubs for all tastes, including the Coffeeshops, where marijuana is legally sold and consumed.

The Red Light District is also a major cornerstone of the city’s culture, and the area houses many theaters, museums, art galleries and small boutiques. You can also take a tour to discover the city’s colourful history of prostitution and explore the particularly vibrant part of Amsterdam.

Visit the Flower Markets

Amsterdam is a city famed for its vibrant tulip displays. Every year, the city is flooded with tourists looking to observe the vibrant gardens of colourful tulips and explore the charming flower markets.

The Bloemenmarkt and the Nieuwmarkt are two of the most iconic markets in the city and can be found in the canal-ring district. Visitors can purchase all kinds of flowers, from potted plants to bulbs, to take home as souvenirs from the city.

The Flower Market is also the place to go for anything and everything tulip related, from tulip-shaped souvenirs and books about tulips to tulip art and postcards.

Take a Stroll Along the Old Town

The Old Town of Amsterdam, known as ‘De Wallen’, is the most famous area in the city and like the symbol of Amsterdam itself. It’s an incredibly atmospheric spot, home to quaint old buildings and architecture, as well as intriguing cobbled streets and quaint canals.

The area is bustling with locals and tourists, looking to explore the narrow alleyways and wide canals, interspersed with Amsterdam’s iconic cycling lanes. The area also houses a few of the city’s secret cafes and other attractions.

Stay On the Houseboats

The canals of Amsterdam are world-famous, and what better way to experience them than staying on one of the city’s iconic houseboats. Along the main canals, you will find many barges with brightly coloured façades moored in the water.

Renting a houseboat is a great way to explore the city. You’ll be in the heart of Amsterdam and enjoy easy access to all the best attractions, as well as fabulous views of the ever-changing canals.

Take a Day Trip

If you have some extra time during your Amsterdam trip, then why not take a day trip? Amsterdam is a relatively small city and close to many other amazing attractions in the Netherlands.

Take a day trip to the Keukenhof, the nation’s most famous flower garden, for an afternoon of spectacular tulip fields and colourful vistas, or head to the city of Delft for a day of exploring Delftware pottery, windmills and charming canal roads.

In an hour or two you can reach the cities of Utrecht, Rotterdam, or The Hague- all known to be cities with a lot of historical charm.

Sample the Nightlife

Amsterdam is famous for its wide variety of nightlife. The Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein areas are lined with many bars, pubs and clubs, each with their own speciality.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, then Jordaan is the place to be. Its side streets are full of cocktail bars, live music venues and hidden beer pubs. For something a little bit different, head to the Flevopark district. It’s an eclectic mix of art galleries and bars overlooked by Amsterdam’s iconic windmills.

Shopping

For some retail therapy, make sure to visit the Negenoord and De Pijp districts. The former houses all the best and most elegant bigger brands, while the latter is the spot for vintage and independent shops.

You can also shop for souvenirs and unique items in the city’s nine different markets, or indulge in some of the high-end Dutch designer boutiques.

No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll be sure to find it in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a truly unique and vibrant city, that offers visitors a wealth of things to explore. From cultural attractions such as the city’s iconic museums and flower markets, to the vibrant canal belt and the lively nightlife, Amsterdam has something for everyone.

So if you’re looking for a must-see European destination, you won’t find one more diverse and charming than Amsterdam.