18 Best things to do in Amsterdam – Travel Guide

by Ranjit

Well, If you have never been to Amsterdam or to the Netherlands (Holland ), Be prepared to experience the nicest people and calmest atmospheres on the planet.

Amsterdam is famous for many things. To start with Canals, Historic and beautiful buildings, Brothel houses, Legalized Soft drugs as Cannabis in all forms (Sold in Coffee-shops), Windmills, and quite a lot other indigenous things.

I would say Amsterdam is one of the most liberal cities in the world. So a trip to Amsterdam is a must at least once in a lifetime

Info :

How many days do you need to explore Amsterdam : a stay of 3 days, 2 nights is recommended.

Language spoken in Amsterdam : Dutch, English.

Do locals speak English: Yes, You won’t feel of them as just Dutch. Quite alot of locals are fluent in English and even Bilingual.

Currency used : Euros ( € )

Here are the most famous top best things to in the city of Amsterdam and the surroundings.

1. Leidseplein

Leidseplein is one of the busiest squares in the city, located in central Amsterdam. It is the center main center for restaurants, music, cinemas, parties, basically a base for all sorts of entertainment. You can find many budget hostels and hotels in this area to crash.

Note: If you are looking for coffee-shops to buy some stuff to get high, start your day from this square. You will find quite a ton of coffee-shops, peep show units, sex shops, and many more things nearby.

Leidseplein : source
Night life at Leidseplein : source

2. Red Light District

As long as you’re in the surroundings of Red Light District in Amsterdam, A feeling of being in the history is guaranteed.

All the brothel workers and houses are legal by the laws. In-face, they have a union for their services. Besides from what happens in the surroundings, It’s a beautiful area to explore which is filled with Neon lights, Narrow streets is fascinating and pleasing in a way.

Red Light District Streets, Amsterdam
Tourist Exploring the Red light District Streets

3. Canal Cruise

We all love sailing on the waters. Steady motion on the canals, beautiful buildings with an intriguing architecture on the both-sides is one the best things to experience in the city.

4. Van Gogh Museum

Vincent van Gogh is till-date the most influential artists from the history. Van Gogh Museum in dedication to him, has a tremendous collection of his artworks and oil-paintings.

Price : The museum charges 19 euros as of now for an adult to enter and free entry for kids under 18 years.

Outside of Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Portrait Painting by Vincent Van Gogh.

5. Anne Frank House

It’s very rare, a person hasn’t heard of Anne-France and her book “The Diary Of a Young Girl”

Anne-Frank biographical Museum was her house and also the place where she went hiding along with her family and other four people.

Visit to Anne Frank House is definitely worth, envisioning ourselves how cruel the time was for her and the Jews.

Outside of Anne Frank House

6. Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum (which means Imperial Museum in English) is a Dutch national museum, dedicating it to arts and history. It is located on the museum square along with the Van Gogh Museum and a few others. Rijksmuseum is the best museum in the world to unravel Dutch art.

Price : It costs 17.50 Euros as entry fee for adults and free of charge for kids under 18 years.

Outside of Rijksmuseum
Library Hall – Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Inside Rijksmuseum

7. Vondelpark

Vondelpark is a public park spread across 120 acres, but also more of an open-air theater and a playground. It hosts over 10 millions visitor every year. It is located south to Leidseplein and nearby the museum square.

Note : The entry is free for everyone and the park is open throughout the night.

Vondelpark : Source

8. Hire a bike to explore

The best way to feel like an Amsterdammer and a Hollander is to explore the city around on a bicycle. It costs almost nothing to rent a bike and a ton of companies offer this service all over Amsterdam.

Tip: Don’t forget bicycling around these famous and beautiful areas: Herengracht, Keizersgracht, Singel & Jordaan District.

Couple bicycling in Amsterdam

9. Dam Square

Dam Square is a historical center, also is one of the busiest and well-known public areas in Amsterdam. You always find something going on around this place. It is also quite a center to reach to Madame Tussaud, Royal Palace, Red light district, Coffee-shops, Shopping outlets and what not.

Dam Square, Amsterdam
Street Artist Performing at Dam Square
Crowded Dam Square

10. Albert Cuyp Market

Market on Albert Cuyp in Amsterdam is the most busiest markets in Netherlands, also reputedly the largest daytime market in Europe. It became a touristic attraction for the wide collections of items that vendors sell.

Note : Albert Cuyp Market is open six days a week from 9 am till 5 pm except for on Sundays.

Albert Cuyp Market, Amsterdam : Source

11. Royal Palace Amsterdam

Royal Palace in Amsterdam was built in 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age. It was originally built to serve as a townhall for the city, which eventually became the royal palace of King Napoléon Bonaparte.

The royal palace is well-known for its rich, grand and impressive decorations in the interior. The finest sculptures in the country were brought into the palace and the famous painters served to contribute to the interior.

Price : The palace is open for visitors at a cost of €10 (euros) for adults and free entry for kids under 18 years.

Royal Palace, Amsterdam

12. Heineken Experience

Heineken was the first brewery in the city, is now a touristic attraction in the central Amsterdam. It offers self guided tours in the brewery at price of €18 (euros) for an adult and you get to have 3 free drinks of beer.

It is an interesting experience to go through to know about the brewing process, its heritage and their strategy of innovation.

Outside : Source
Brewery Process Show Case – Heineken Brewery, Amsterdam
Pub Inside of Heineken Brewery, Amsterdam

13. Madame Tussaud Amsterdam

Madame Tussaud is wax museum located in the central Amsterdam at the Dam Square. It has various collections of wax sculptures in the categories of Music,Movies,Sports and the golden age of Dutch history.

Madame Tussaud in Amsterdam was the idea of Josephine Tussaud, the great-great-granddaughter of Marie Tussaud who was the founder of wax sculptures and Madame Tussaud Museums.

Note : I strongly recommend booking the tickets online for Madame Tussaud in advance.

Madame Tussaud, Amsterdam : Source
Wax Figure of Doutzen Kroes
Wax Figure of Marilyn Monroe

14. Night Stroll ( Experience the nightlife)

Taking a walk around the city at night time is a must and the best of the whole trip to Amsterdam. The city is filled with lights, crowded streets and the social night life are inexplicable. If you happen to take interest in photography, you got yourself a great deal strolling through the streets at night in Amsterdam.

Houses along the Canal in Amsterdam : source

15. ARTIS Zoo

ARTIS Zoo short for Natura Artis Magistra is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and one of the oldest in Europe. Along with Zoo, It also has an Aquarium, a Planetarium, and even an Arboretum.

It takes around 2 hours to visit the Zoo. Its location is in the central city. It’s a complete worth for what you get to see and experience in the zoo.

16. Keukenhof (40 km South-East to Amsterdam Central)

Keukenhof is one of the largest g flower gardens in the world, is also known as ” the Garden of Europe“. It is located in a town called “Lisse”, in the Netherlands, 40 kilometers away from Amsterdam in south-east direction.

Keukenhof is widely famous for its tulips. It opens for 8 weeks from mid-March to mid-May, with its best viewing of tulips happening around mid-April, depending on the season and their growth. The best time is to be there is early in the mornings at around 8 am.

Windmill by Tulip Garden, Keukenhof
Tulip Garden, Keukenhof

17. Zaanse Schans (20 km North to Amsterdam Central)

Zaanse Schans is a neighborhood of Zaandam city in the province of North Holland. It is famous for its collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses. The whole neighbourhood is a popular tourist attraction and there is a debate in local politics on how to reduce overcrowding

You can reach to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam central in less than an hour.

Zaanse Schans
Sunset at Zaanse Schans
Long Exposure Picture, Zaanse Schans

18. Volendam (20 km North-East to Amsterdam)

Volendam is a fishermen village in the Netherlands. Trust me, Volendam is definitely a must-visit to experience the authenticity of Dutch culture in combination

Volendam is a reclaimed land located by the harbor, which literally means (Filled Dam). It is a well-known tourist attraction for its old fishing boats, traditional clothing still worn by some locals.

You can reach to Volendam from Central Amsterdam in 30 minutes by bus. As long as you are there at Volendam, You can also visit Edam Town in combination which is quieter and nicer only 2 km away.

Volendam by the harbor : source
Streets of Volendam
Netherlands’ Women in Traditional Clothing

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