Top attractions in Amsterdam
Sure, everyone knows about the coffee shops -- but what else is fun to do in Amsterdam? Holland’s capital city is a hub for happy cyclists, lazy beers by the canal, and art-lovers. As you start planning what to see, here are ten activities you can’t miss.
Whether you’ve read the diary or not, the Anne Frank House is a must-visit. If you want to avoid the tourist traffic, book a ticket in advance and hop to the front of the line.
By boat or by land, you won’t be able to avoid Amsterdam’s famous canal ring. Go for a stroll, hop on a ferry tour, or people-watch in a canal-side bar.
The Van Gogh Museum is home to the world’s largest Van Gogh collection, and one of the most popular museums in the world. Even the artistically uninterested love the modern architecture (and free wifi).
Find your way to Museumplein, the "Museum Quarter" at the heart of the city. Three museums, lunchtime concerts in the Concertgebouw, plenty of shopping, and grassy green space.
The national museum of Holland boasts works by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Plan to arrive first thing or in the late afternoon - or book a Rijksmuseum ticket in advance in order to skip the queue.
Whether you’re looking for a museum, a “souvenir," or some risque nightlife: the Red Light District is sure to delight and entertain.
Established in 1864, Heineken is now one of the world’s biggest beer producers. The lighthearted, fun, historical tour takes a quick 90 minutes. The Heineken Experience ticket includes two beers.
A part-time wedding chapel for Dutch monarchs, New Church is Holland’s most important church and a historical cornerstone in Amsterdam. Between coronations, check out their rotating exhibits.
For city history, visit the aptly-named Amsterdam Museum. Educate yourself on everything from famous Amsterdamians to fashion and architecture. Some exhibits are interactive!
Amsterdam’s go-to bohemian neighborhood is brimming with coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. Go before dinner and spend the late afternoon wandering through the Albert Cuypmarket.
There’s no right answer, but you can get a real feel for the city if you allocate three full days. That will give you enough time to hit the big sights, see the canals, and explore your way through some neighborhoods.
Amsterdam is an easy city to navigate. While the public transport is first class, most visitors find that the city is compact enough to be 100% walkable, save for the train to-and-from Schiphol Airport. Plus, you can easily rent a bicycle when the weather's nice.
While there are a couple big activities you will have to pay for (like the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum), Amsterdam is full of street markets and small independent galleries. And the city is so walkable that you won’t need to spend a lot on public transportation.
- LanguageDutch and lots of English
- CurrencyEuro (€)
- Time ZoneUTC (+01:00)
- Country Code+31
- Best time to visitThere’s never a promise of good weather in Amsterdam, but you can expect milder temperatures and longer days between April and September. April is especially lovely -- those famous tulips will be blooming, and you can celebrate Holland’s biggest holiday of the year, King’s Day.
Things to Do in Amsterdam
Top Attractions in Amsterdam
Cities in Netherlands
Other Sightseeing Options in Amsterdam
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What people are saying about Amsterdam
It was funny and amusing, only there was a problem because you didn't write Heineken Experience should be the first and canal cruise second activity. Otherwise, it was really pleasant and we would recommend people to take this opportunity to save some euros by combining activities. Amsterdam is really beautiful and Heineken is... well, Heineken :)
We had a great time on the small boat canal cruise and the Van Gogh Museum. The skipper on our small boat canal cruise was so great! He was very knowledgeable and so funny! It was very laid back and we learned so much about the city of Amsterdam! The Van Gogh Museum was also excellent. We learned so much about his life and his paintings. We highly recommend doing these attractions if you are visiting Amsterdam!
Whether you plan your visit and activities well in advance or do things as you come across them, this public transport ticket will save you time and hassle, when it comes to getting to and from your hotel from and to activity/tour venues. I took my ticket vouchers to the GVB Tickets & Informatie office, outside and to the south of Amsterdam Centraal station, and helpful staff there quickly scanned and exchanged them for contactless card tickets, which became active on first use and stayed valid for the period that I had paid for. To avoid problems, ensure that you scan your card as you get on and as you get off public transport services, which include city trams, buses, and the metro, but not other train services. If you plan your activities such as they end close to where you started to use the public transport system, you can reduce the required validity period of your ticket and save yourself some money on the ticket cost.
On our last day at Amsterdam, after storing our luggage in the lockers at Amsterdam Centraal train station, we took the free, fast, and frequent pedestrian ferry from Centraal Station to Buiksloterweg and visited A'DAM Lookout, early on a Friday morning. Despite the official opening time being 10:30, we got in earlier, which avoided the crowds and let us appreciate Amsterdam a nice elevation. As we had the premium tickets, we each got two drink vouchers, which we used at the bar, where the lift dropped us off. While there, you can have your photos taken in front of a green screen, which then allows your photos to be superimposed on different photos of Amsterdam, while looking like you're sitting or standing on a metal girder at a construction site. Note that getting high-resolution copies of these photos online, or printing them as you leave, can cost between €5.00 and €15.00. Also getting on the swings at the top of the building costs €5.00 a ticket.
If you have never seen a Body Worlds exhibition before and don't want to get overwhelmed by the larger ones, this is a good exhibition for you to visit. Also, if you visit before 11 AM or after 16 PM, you could save yourself some money on the ticket prices. Note that I am not sure if the issue has now been resolved, but the ticket vouchers that I received did not include a QR code or barcode, which meant that we couldn't be let in. We had to e-mail the vouchers to Body Worlds, before being let in.