WHAT TO DO AND SEE IN AMSTERDAM ?
How not to fall in love with Amsterdam? It is one of the most visited cities in Europe and rightly so, with its beautiful typical gabled houses bordering canals dug hundreds of years ago and spanned by 1700 bridges, its relaxed atmosphere, its museums which shelter masterpieces of painting … Amsterdam is ideal to visit in a few days, with its compact city center that can be explored in a few hours by bike. It is an ideal destination for a weekend, whether traveling alone or with others. That said there are so many things to see that it will be better to optimize your time on site if you only have to stay two days.
Some tips before going to Amsterdam: remember to book as soon as possible a hotel because there are few places and rooms are relatively expensive (see Booking); try to go out of the tourist season (ideally in the spring); also take care of the rain. You can find more practical tips on the Travelfornoobs Amsterdam Visit page.
Here are 10 things to do and see in Amsterdam:
1. WALKING ALONG THE CHANNELS
They make all the charm of the city: built at the beginning of the Golden Age to extend the city, they unfold in a half-moon west of the historic center and are lined with beautiful houses, built on stilts in architectural styles varied (as in Venice). The ideal way to discover them is to walk, cycle or even better by boat. The canal belt of Amsterdam has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. THE MUSEUMS
The three main museums to visit are the Rijksmuseum (art and history of the Netherlands since the Middle Ages); the Stedelijk Museum (modern and contemporary art); and the exceptional Van Gogh Museum. We can visit this one at night every Friday night until 22h, but remember to book your ticket in advance because it is very popular.
Apart from these three museums, one can also visit the Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum (the largest museum in the world devoted to navigation), the Amsterdam Museum which tells the story of the city’s development; the Rembrandt House Museum; or the Tropenmuseum (museum of the tropics). If you are with children, visit the NEMO (Science Museum) where you can also enjoy the view. There is also the Canal House Museum (Het Grachtenhuis Museum); the Museum of Resistance; To discover the history of the city’s canals, go to the Het Grachtenhuis museum.
Book now your entrance tickets on Getyourguide.
3. THE RED QUARTER
Apart from the famous windows, you can visit the Ons’ lieve heer op solder (Le Bon Dieu au Grenier), a clandestine church built in 1663 in the attic of a mansion. See also the Oude Kerk, the oldest church in Amsterdam.
4. THE BEGUINAGE OF AMSTERDAM
Called Begijnhof in Dutch, it is one of the oldest inner courtyards of the city, with a small garden in the center and lined with traditional houses of the XVIII century (now private homes). A haven of peace isolated from the rest of the city and only disturbed by the presence of tourists. It was once occupied by beguines, women who belonged to a secular religious community.
5. CELEBRATE THE ANNIVERSARY OF KING
The most important party of the year in Amsterdam, with an incredible atmosphere in the streets of the city. Everyone is dressed in orange, the boats are decorated and there are concerts and shows everywhere. Stands on April 27 but the party begins already the day before in the bars of the city.
6. THE HOUSE OF ANNE FRANK (ANNE FRANKHUIS)
The old house where the Jewish girl was hiding for two years to escape the Gestapo. There are many people, remember to book in advance or use the Amsterdam card.
7. THE JORDAAN DISTRICT
A former working district north of the city, renovated and very nice to explore on foot. It is now a nice neighborhood to visit, with many brown cafes. The Westerkerk, the largest Protestant church in the Netherlands dating back to 1631, can be visited.
8. CHECK THE VIEW FROM A’DAM TOREN
An essential site to enjoy an exceptional view of the city from the terrace on the 21st floor. There is a bar and a restaurant. There is also a swing over the void. To get there, take the free ferry from Centraal Station.
9. BLOEMENMARKT FLOWERS MARKET
A huge flower market, very touristy, where stands along the canal and on barges sell bulbs, plants and flowers by the thousands.
10. THE HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE
For beer lovers, this interactive museum lets you discover how this world-famous beer is made. A beer is offered at the end of the visit.
THE ESSENTIALS OF AMSTERDAM ON GOOGLE MAP
Museums, parks, tourist sites, bars and clubs, as well as the best photo spots and views of the city: