Best things to do in Amsterdam

Explore top activities to do in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam, known for its charming canals, historic architecture, and lively atmosphere. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, a foodie, or simply someone seeking a unique cultural experience, Amsterdam has something to offer for everyone. From world-class museums and iconic landmarks to picturesque parks and bustling markets, this city has a diverse range of things to do and see. Get ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance of Amsterdam as we guide you through the top attractions and hidden gems that make this city a must-visit destination.

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Coolest Things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam: Authentic Food Tasting Tour of Jordaan

Stockholm: The Nordic Food Walk

Join a knowledgeable guide as you stroll through charming streets, immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and savoring the diverse flavors this neighborhood has to offer. Indulge in a delectable array of delicacies at handpicked venues, allowing your taste buds to experience the true essence of Amsterdam's culinary scene.

Amsterdam- Open Boat Canal Cruise with Local Guide

Amsterdam: Open Boat Canal Cruise with Local Guide

Delight in insider commentary as you glide past iconic sights such as the Hermitage Museum, the renowned Skinny Bridge, and the elegant Amstel Hotel. Immerse yourself in the rich history and captivating stories of these landmarks, all while basking in the picturesque beauty of Amsterdam's renowned canals.

Amsterdam- Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and Marken Day Trip

Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and Marken Day Trip

Discover the picturesque villages of Zaanse Schans, Volendam, and Marken, each offering a glimpse into traditional Dutch life. Explore the cobbled streets lined with historic windmills, quaint houses, and colorful shops. As you delve deeper into the cultural heritage of the Netherlands, make a stop at a traditional Dutch cheese factory.

Amsterdam- Life of Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour

Amsterdam: Life of Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour

A poignant journey through Amsterdam as you delve into the life of Anne Frank on a captivating small-group or private walking tour. Led by an expert guide, gain deep insights into the writer's formative years and the historical significance of the Jewish Quarter during the Second World War.

Are you going to Amsterdam, the Netherlands?

Are you planning a trip to Amsterdam, the Netherlands? Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in one of Europe’s most captivating cities. Amsterdam, with its picturesque canals, historic architecture, and vibrant atmosphere, has something to offer every traveler. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a food lover, an art aficionado, or simply seeking a unique and memorable experience, Amsterdam has it all. 

From world-class museums housing masterpieces by renowned artists to charming neighborhoods brimming with trendy cafes and shops, this city promises a perfect blend of rich history, cultural diversity, and modern sophistication. So pack your bags and prepare to immerse yourself in the charms of Amsterdam, where every corner reveals a new discovery and every experience leaves a lasting impression. Get ready to create lifelong memories in this enchanting city that truly has something for everyone.

Things to do in Amsterdam for Young Adults

Amsterdam is a vibrant city that offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions for young adults. Whether you’re looking for cultural experiences, nightlife adventures, outdoor adventures, or unique experiences, Amsterdam has something to cater to every interest. Here are some top recommendations for things to do in Amsterdam for young adults:

Explore the City by Bike

Rent a bike and join the locals in navigating the city’s charming streets and picturesque canals. Amsterdam is known as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, making it a fun and efficient way to get around while immersing yourself in the city’s lively atmosphere.

Visit the Museums

Discover Amsterdam’s rich art and history by visiting renowned museums such as the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Stedelijk Museum. These cultural hotspots offer fascinating exhibitions and collections that showcase the works of world-renowned artists.

Experience the Nightlife

Amsterdam’s nightlife scene is legendary, catering to all tastes and preferences. Explore vibrant neighborhoods like Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein, which are packed with bars, clubs, and music venues. Dance the night away, enjoy live performances, or simply relax with a drink at a cozy pub.

Explore Food and Drink Scene

Indulge in Amsterdam’s diverse culinary offerings by sampling local street food, visiting trendy cafes, and trying traditional Dutch dishes. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor delicious Dutch cheese, stroopwafels, and herring from the local markets.

Take a Canal Cruise

Experience the charm of Amsterdam’s iconic canals with a scenic canal cruise. Opt for an evening cruise to enjoy the enchanting views of the illuminated cityscape while sipping on a drink.

Discover Street Art

Amsterdam boasts a vibrant street art scene, with colorful murals adorning the city’s walls. Take a stroll through the artistic neighborhoods like Jordaan and NDSM Wharf, where you can find captivating street art and graffiti.

Enjoy Outdoor Spaces

Take advantage of Amsterdam’s beautiful outdoor spaces. Visit Vondelpark, the city’s largest park, for a relaxing picnic or bike ride. Alternatively, head to the Amsterdamse Bos, a vast forested area, where you can enjoy activities like hiking, cycling, and even canoeing.

Shop in Trendy Neighborhoods

Explore fashionable neighborhoods like De Pijp and Nine Streets, which are lined with unique boutiques, vintage shops, and trendy stores. Discover stylish clothing, accessories, and local designer brands to bring home as souvenirs.

Amsterdam offers endless possibilities for young adults seeking adventure, culture, and fun. So grab your friends and make the most of your time in this dynamic city, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Things to do in Amsterdam for Adults

Amsterdam offers a plethora of activities and attractions that cater specifically to adults, ensuring a memorable and enriching experience in this vibrant city. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food and drink connoisseur, a culture seeker, or simply looking for a unique adventure, Amsterdam has plenty to offer. Here are some top recommendations for things to do in Amsterdam for adults:

Explore the Museums

Amsterdam is home to a wide range of world-class museums. Visit the iconic Rijksmuseum, which houses an extensive collection of Dutch masterpieces, including Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.” Discover the thought-provoking exhibits at the Anne Frank House or immerse yourself in the works of Van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum. The city’s museums provide a fascinating insight into art, history, and culture.

Cruise the Canals

Experience Amsterdam’s charming canals on a leisurely boat tour. Choose a guided tour to learn about the city’s history and architecture while admiring the picturesque canal houses and bridges. Alternatively, rent a boat and navigate the canals at your own pace, enjoying the scenic views and the unique perspective of the city.

Indulge in Food and Drink

Amsterdam is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse culinary scene. Sample Dutch specialties such as herring, bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs), and stroopwafels (caramel-filled waffles) at local markets and food stalls. Explore trendy neighborhoods like De Pijp or Jordaan, known for their vibrant restaurant scenes, or take a beer tasting tour to discover the city’s craft breweries.

Visit the Red Light District

Known for its unique atmosphere, the Red Light District offers a glimpse into Amsterdam’s liberal culture. Take a walk through the narrow streets lined with red-lit windows, visit a museum to learn about the district’s history, or enjoy a performance at the famous Casa Rosso theater.

Discover Amsterdam's Nightlife

Amsterdam has a bustling nightlife scene with an array of bars, clubs, and live music venues. Head to Leidseplein or Rembrandtplein, where you’ll find a vibrant mix of nightlife options catering to different tastes and styles. Dance the night away to electronic music, enjoy live jazz performances, or unwind with a cocktail at a cozy bar.

Bicycle through the City

Join the locals and rent a bicycle to explore Amsterdam like a true Amsterdammer. With an extensive network of bike lanes, cycling is a popular and convenient way to get around the city. Pedal through the charming streets, along the canals, and venture beyond the city center to discover hidden gems.

Take a Day Trip

If you have more time, consider taking a day trip from Amsterdam to nearby attractions. Visit the beautiful tulip fields at Keukenhof Gardens during the spring season or explore the historic windmills at Zaanse Schans. The Netherlands has many fascinating destinations just a short distance away from Amsterdam.

Amsterdam offers an abundance of activities and experiences for adults, ensuring that your visit to this dynamic city will be both entertaining and enriching. Soak up the culture, indulge in delicious cuisine, and create lasting memories in this captivating destination.

Best Places to Eat in Amsterdam

Fenan Klein Afrika

Fenan Klein Afrika in Amsterdam is an exceptional restaurant that offers an authentic culinary journey through the flavors of Africa. With a warm and inviting ambiance, attentive staff, and a diverse menu showcasing dishes from various regions of the continent, this hidden gem provides a memorable dining experience. From the flavorful Suya Skewers to the aromatic Doro Wat, each dish is meticulously prepared with high-quality ingredients. The dessert menu, featuring the indulgent Malva Pudding, is equally delightful.

Barrica food

Barrica

Barrica restaurant in Amsterdam offers an exceptional Spanish dining experience with its warm atmosphere, attentive staff, and a menu that showcases the best of Spanish cuisine. From the delicious tapas to the flavorful paella and delectable desserts, each dish is crafted with expertise and made with high-quality ingredients. The restaurant’s dedication to authenticity and attention to detail make it a must-visit for anyone seeking an unforgettable taste of Spain in Amsterdam.

Bistro Bananas

De Kas restaurant in Amsterdam offers a unique and unforgettable dining experience in a beautifully restored greenhouse. With a commitment to sustainability and sourcing the freshest seasonal ingredients, each dish at De Kas is a culinary masterpiece. The attentive staff, tranquil atmosphere, and impeccable service make it a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts. From refreshing salads to flavorful main courses, the menu reflects the natural beauty and diversity of the ingredients. De Kas is a culinary oasis that combines the art of gastronomy with a celebration of nature.

What You Can't Miss Food-Wise in Amsterdam: A Food Lover's Guide​

Amsterdam is a culinary paradise that tantalizes the taste buds with its vibrant food scene. From traditional Dutch delicacies to international flavors, the city offers a diverse range of gastronomic delights. If you’re a food lover, here are some must-try culinary experiences in Amsterdam:

Stroopwafels

Indulge in the sweet goodness of stroopwafels, a quintessential Dutch treat. These thin, caramel-filled waffles are best enjoyed warm. Watch as they are freshly made at local markets or seek out specialized shops that offer a variety of flavors and toppings. The combination of the buttery waffle and gooey caramel is simply irresistible.

Cheese Tasting

Amsterdam is renowned for its exceptional cheeses. Visit one of the city’s cheese shops or markets and embark on a cheese tasting journey. Sample a variety of Dutch cheeses, such as Gouda, Edam, and Leiden, and learn about their distinct flavors and production processes. Pair the cheeses with local wines or craft beers for a complete sensory experience.

Dutch Street Food

Start your culinary adventure by exploring the street food scene in Amsterdam. Don’t miss out on trying herring, a popular local delicacy. Sample it the traditional way by eating it raw with onions or opt for a herring sandwich. Pair it with a typical Dutch snack called bitterballen, which are deep-fried meatballs with a crunchy exterior and a savory, creamy filling.

Indonesian Cuisine

Amsterdam has a rich Indonesian culinary heritage due to its historical ties with Indonesia. Treat yourself to a rijsttafel, which translates to “rice table,” and feast on a selection of small dishes showcasing the vibrant flavors of Indonesian cuisine. From spicy satay skewers to fragrant curries and aromatic rice, the rijsttafel offers a gastronomic adventure that shouldn’t be missed.

Dutch Pancakes

Delight in the fluffy goodness of Dutch pancakes, known as pannenkoeken. These thin, oversized pancakes can be enjoyed in various ways, whether sweet or savory. Opt for a classic sweet version topped with powdered sugar and syrup or try a savory variation with ingredients like cheese, bacon, or vegetables. Pair your pancake feast with a refreshing Dutch beer or a locally brewed cider.

Surinamese and Moroccan Cuisine

Amsterdam’s multicultural makeup is reflected in its vibrant food scene. Explore the neighborhoods of De Pijp and Oud-West, where you’ll find an array of Surinamese and Moroccan eateries. Indulge in Surinamese roti, a delicious flatbread filled with spiced chicken, potatoes, and vegetables, or savor the aromatic flavors of Moroccan tagines and couscous dishes.

Craft Beer and Gin

Amsterdam boasts a thriving craft beer and gin scene. Visit local breweries and taprooms to taste a wide range of artisanal beers, including traditional Dutch brews and innovative flavors. Alternatively, explore the world of gin in Amsterdam’s trendy cocktail bars and gin distilleries. Sample unique gin varieties and creative gin cocktails that showcase the city’s passion for this spirit.

Amsterdam is a city that truly caters to food lovers, offering a tantalizing array of culinary experiences. From iconic Dutch treats to international delights, the city’s food scene is sure to leave you with a satisfied palate and fond memories. So come prepared to indulge in Amsterdam’s gastronomic treasures and embark on a delicious journey through the heart of the city.

Can't miss experiences in Amsterdam

Amsterdam offers a range of must-see experiences that capture the essence of the city. From exploring the iconic canals and visiting cultural landmarks like the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum to immersing yourself in local neighborhoods and indulging in Dutch cuisine, there is something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to cycle like a local and embrace the unique biking culture of Amsterdam. These experiences will ensure a memorable visit to this vibrant and culturally rich city.

Amsterdam: Dutch Street Food Market Tour

Amsterdam: Dutch Street Food Market Tour

A delectable journey with a knowledgeable foodie guide through Amsterdam's renowned market. Indulge in local cuisine, immerse yourself in captivating stories, and discover the essence of Dutch culture in a relaxed and enjoyable manner.

Amsterdam: Guided Bike Tour of Central Amsterdam

Amsterdam: Guided Bike Tour of Central Amsterdam

Immerse yourself in Dutch culture as you pedal through the streets of Amsterdam on a guided bike tour. Discover the city's iconic canals while learning about its rich history and heritage.

Amsterdam: Evening Canal Cruise with Unlimited Drinks

A captivating boat cruise along Amsterdam's UNESCO-listed canals, indulging in unlimited drinks along the way. Let your knowledgeable skipper and hostess guide you through local landmarks, while uncovering the city's hidden gems and popular attractions.

Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum Entrance Ticket

Marvel at an extraordinary collection of more than 400 masterpieces by renowned artists like Jan Steen, Frans Hals, and Rembrandt. Immerse yourself in the captivating world of Dutch art and explore the intricately designed doll's houses and a treasure trove of exquisite silverware. Prepare to be captivated by the rich artistic heritage on display.

Best Things to do in Amsterdam with Kids

Amsterdam offers a wide array of activities that are perfect for families with kids. Here are some must-do experiences to enjoy together:

Explore the interactive exhibits at NEMO Science Museum

Spark your child’s curiosity and love for science at NEMO Science Museum. With hands-on displays, experiments, and workshops, kids can engage in fun and educational experiences.

Discover the wonders of nature at ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo

Take a trip to the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo. Encounter a variety of animals, explore the planetarium, and learn about wildlife conservation.

Enjoy a day of excitement at Efteling Theme Park

Venture outside of Amsterdam to visit Efteling, a magical theme park filled with enchanting rides, fairy tale attractions, and live entertainment. It’s a place where dreams come true for both children and adults.

Take a boat tour along the canals

Hop on a family-friendly boat tour and explore Amsterdam’s picturesque canals. It’s a relaxing way to see the city while keeping the little ones entertained with fascinating views and interesting facts.

Discover the wonders of art at the Van Gogh Museum

Introduce your children to the world of art at the Van Gogh Museum. Engage in interactive exhibits, art workshops, and storytelling sessions designed specifically for kids.

Have a blast at TunFun Indoor Playground

Let your kids burn off some energy at TunFun, an indoor playground located in an old tunnel. With slides, trampolines, climbing structures, and ball pits, it’s a perfect place for them to have a fun-filled adventure.

Experience the magic of fairy tales at the Hans Christian Andersen Statue

Visit the Hans Christian Andersen Statue in the Vondelpark and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of fairy tales. Kids can have their pictures taken with the famous storyteller and let their imaginations run wild.

These are just a few of the many exciting activities for kids in Amsterdam. Whether it’s exploring museums, enjoying outdoor adventures, or indulging in playtime, Amsterdam promises a memorable and enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Amsterdam overview

My Relationship with Amsterdam

My girlfriend Emma and I made the decision to relocate to the vibrant city of Amsterdam, Netherlands, after our serendipitous meeting in the southern part of the country, specifically in the charming city of Tilburg. Having previously embarked on an exchange program in Oslo, Norway, I had the good fortune of forging friendships with a few Dutch individuals, making our move to the Netherlands all the more convenient.

Upon settling into our new home, I quickly found myself establishing connections and forming friendships within my workplace. The diverse and dynamic environment allowed me to meet people from various walks of life, fostering a sense of community and belonging.

What I Loved About Living in Amsterdam

One of the aspects that truly captivated my heart was the unique and ubiquitous biking culture in Amsterdam. I found myself falling in love with the freedom and joy that came from pedaling through the city’s picturesque streets, immersing myself in the charming canals, and navigating the bustling urban landscape. It was an invigorating experience that quickly became an integral part of my daily routine.

Another delight that Amsterdam offered was its remarkable food scene. The city boasted a culinary tapestry woven with a myriad of flavors, influences, and cuisines from around the world. From savoring traditional Dutch delights to indulging in global gastronomic adventures, Amsterdam presented an abundance of options to tantalize our taste buds. Exploring the city’s vibrant markets, trendy eateries, and cozy cafés became a cherished pastime for us, as we savored each delectable bite and discovered new culinary gems.

Amsterdam became more than just a new home for us; it became a place of adventure, growth, and connection. From the joy of biking through its streets to the pleasure of exploring its diverse food offerings, our journey in this enchanting city was filled with countless moments of discovery and delight.

Life was different in Amsterdam than it was in Sydney and Stockholm. But read about my journey and best things to do in Stockholm too. 

my tiny family in amsterdam

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Travelling to Amsterdam, the Netherlands - FAQs

Amsterdam can be visited year-round, but the months of April to October are considered the peak tourist season with pleasant weather. The famous tulip fields are in bloom during spring (April to May), and summer (June to August) offers longer days and outdoor festivals. However, keep in mind that the city can be crowded during these months, so consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring or autumn) for fewer crowds and potentially better prices.

The currency used in Amsterdam and the Netherlands is the Euro (€). It is advisable to exchange your currency to Euros before your trip or withdraw cash from ATMs upon arrival.

Amsterdam has an excellent public transportation system, including trams, buses, metros, and trains. The most popular mode of transportation within the city is cycling, and renting a bicycle is a great way to explore. Walking is also a convenient option, as many attractions are within a short distance of each other.

Amsterdam offers a range of must-see attractions. Some popular landmarks and attractions include the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Jordaan neighborhood, the Vondelpark, and the famous Canal Ring (a UNESCO World Heritage site). Don’t forget to take a scenic canal cruise and visit the vibrant Albert Cuyp Market or the floating Flower Market.

 

Tipping is not obligatory in the Netherlands, as service charges are usually included in the bill. However, it is common to leave a small tip (around 10% of the total bill) for good service at restaurants and cafes.

he voltage in Amsterdam is 230V, and the standard plug type is the two-pin European plug. If your devices use a different voltage or plug type, you will need a travel adapter.

Amsterdam is generally a safe city to travel in. However, like any popular tourist destination, it’s important to be cautious of pickpocketing and take necessary precautions to safeguard your belongings. It is also advisable to stay informed about any travel advisories or alerts before your trip.

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