The ultimate guide to Amsterdam

The ultimate guide to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is renowned for its charming canals, unique architecture, and picturesque neighbourhoods. Here, you can also find intriguing monuments and impressive museums that will awake your inner artist. Find out how to make the most of your trip with the ultimate guide to Amsterdam!


Things to do in Amsterdam

When you plan a getaway to Amsterdam, you should take into consideration that it is a pretty small city: you can totally explore it by foot! So, get ready to walk a lot and fall in love with every corner of this colourful destination. Here are the best things to do in Amsterdam:

Dam Square is a popular meeting place and the main spot where frequent events take place. Located in the historical center of Amsterdam, this square is known for the National Monument - an obelisk that honours World War II and fallen Dutch soldiers. Besides visiting this iconic landmark, you can also find relevant buildings in the surroundings, such as Madame Tussauds wax museum, or De Bijenkorf, one of the Netherlands' premier department stores. 

A must-see here is the Royal Palace, the most visited attraction in the area. This opulent site was built back in the 17th century as a city hall, and later became the residence of the Dutch Royal House. As it is now open to the public, you can admire its interiors and feel like an authentic member of the royal family! If you want to learn more about the building’s past and the historical area of Amsterdam, you should consider joining a Free Walking Tour. You can choose between many different activities and book the one that best fits your interests!


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Another monument in Amsterdam that is visited by hundreds of tourists every year is the Anne Frank House. Her diary, regarded as a unique testimony of the Holocaust, was published in 1947 by Otto Frank, Anne’s father. The original copy, as well as personal photographs and items, is kept in this museum, the same building in which Anne Frank hid for more than 2 years. It’s a truly fascinating place to visit.

You will probably want to visit the most popular places in the city, and De 9 Straatjes or The 9 Streets is one of the most iconic areas in the Dutch capital. These photogenic 9 streets are located along Amsterdam’s canal belt, and boast quirky shops, cafés and restaurants. Feel the atmospheric local ambience while taking a stroll and admiring the beautiful buildings overlooking the calm waters of the canals. It is a must on your trip to Amsterdam!

If you are into trendy neighbourhoods, then you will love De Pijp. Think trendy bars, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and the best cafés to take a break in. Here you will also find the Netherlands’ largest street market, Albert Cuyp Markt. With around 300 stalls, this impressive open air market is the perfect place to find local products and buy souvenirs or sweet treats. 

Another neighbourhood where you should spend some time is the Jordaan District. This area, first inhabited by the city’s working class, is today one of the best places to go in Amsterdam thanks to the incredible street art that decorates it. A stroll around this picturesque district feels like a visit to an art museum!

Looking for a place to escape the busy crowds? Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s largest park and the locals’ favourite spot to take a break on sunny days. Come here to take a walk, have a picnic, or just lay down on the grass. You can even visit a sculpture by Pablo Picasso called The Fish. It is one of the best things to do in Amsterdam!

Art lovers will be in their element in the city’s Museum quarter. This area dates back to the 19th century and is home to the iconics Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gogh Museum. Just in the Rijksmuseum you can already see some of the world’s most famous artworks, including The Night Watch by Rembrandt. While the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art offers unique exhibitions by contemporary artists, at the Van Gogh Museum you will learn more about the artist’s life, what inspired him and how he became the icon he is today. You can easily spend a whole day in each museum due to the many artworks and exhibitions, so plan ahead how much time you want to spend here!     

Amsterdam like a local

Want to hear the best advice to explore Amsterdam like a local? We’ve got you! We asked some questions to Tatiana, an intrepid traveler who has been living in the Netherlands for 6 years. She has shared some of the best tips to discover the Netherlands’ capital, so here they are!

Where can you find the best food in Amsterdam? I believe there’s almost any possibility available in Amsterdam for different prices, so everybody can find something that matches their preferences. Alex+Pinard is a favorite of mine due to its coziness and combo of wine and pasta. But as I am a vegetarian I cannot encourage people enough to try the Vegan Junk Food Bar in Amsterdam. Absolutely amazing!  

What are the best non-touristy things to do in Amsterdam? This one is difficult, since it seems tourists are almost everywhere in Amsterdam. But around the Jordaan district you will see less of them, which is funny because it’s one of the most authentic neighbourhoods in Amsterdam (you should try to find the tiny hidden houses there). And if you are a cat lover like me, go to Kattenkabinet, a museum dedicated to cats and art.   

Where should you stay in Amsterdam? This is a tough one because I’ve been living in the Netherlands for 6 years and I was never a tourist here. But hotel prices can be quite expensive in Amsterdam, so I would always recommend getting a bit out of the city center and you’ll find nice cute places for almost half the price.   

What surprised you about Amsterdam? The first thing I thought about Amsterdam was that it was overcrowded. I am used to traveling a lot, but the amount of tourists for such a small city (with a bit over 800k people residing in the city) overwhelmed me. Besides that, I soon realized that the city has way more to offer than what people know Amsterdam for.   

What is a must-do in Amsterdam? This is a favourite of mine: go for an amazing cocktail to the SkyLounge Amsterdam, the best rooftop terrace in the city. I absolutely love it there. Best views and cocktails that don’t disappoint!    




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More tips to visit Amsterdam 

-Amsterdam weather is, to be frank, not the best: it can go from sunny to cloudy in a matter of hours, and chances are that it will rain during your getaway regardless of the season. That’s why we would suggest coming prepared with rainproof clothes and an easy-to-carry umbrella. 

-How to get around in Amsterdam. The Netherlands’ capital is known as the most cycle-friendly city in the world. That is why you should go ahead and hire a bike: the average price is 10 euros per day, and you will get the chance to see Amsterdam like a local. However, if you prefer to take public transport, you should consider buying a travel chip card, which will allow you to access trams, buses, metros and trains. 


We hope that this guide will help you explore Amsterdam and enjoy your trip to this amazing city. If you want to make the most of your getaway you can always check out the activities available on our website and join the ones that you like the best! 
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