It’s the city at the top of everyone’s bucket list, Amsterdam! There are endless ways to spend your time here, no matter what the weather! The olive-green canals and gabled mansions are indeed beautiful and inhabitants here are a creative and imaginative bunch who bring the place to light. Amsterdam is known for a few things, like the cycling capital of Europe. Locals cycle everywhere and it’s believed that there are more bicycles than people! Coffee houses that sell more than hot drinks and beers such as Heineken are other things Amsterdam is famous for. Visit Amsterdam and stroll along canals, stop off in the city’s famous museums, sit in a coffee shop to watch the world go by and enjoy the Dutch way of life!
Things to do in Amsterdam
Looking for some of the best things to do in Amsterdam? Check out our top 7 recommendations!
Anne Frank House
Located on the Prisengracht, you can visit Anne Frank House, a museum that preserves the secret annexe where the young diarist, Anne Frank, told the story of how her family hid from Nazi persecution from 1942 until they were captured in 1944. The rooms are on an enclosed courtyard behind a 17th-century canal house that served as the Dutch headquarters of the spice and gelling companies her father, Otto worked for. This is one of the best things to do while you’re in Amsterdam, as you can see into the life of the Frank family, and experience what it was like to live in hiding. Her father Otto was the only sole survivor after the Holocaust and decided to publish his daughter’s diary in 1947. Find the original copy of Frank’s work, as well as photographs and other belongings from the Frank family.
Visit Amsterdam’s version of Central Park, New York
Amsterdam Bos lies on the southern edge of the city and is almost three times the size of New York’s Central Park. Visit Amsterdam’s lush open space for ample opportunities to do as the locals do, ride bikes! You can also take strolls, go for picnics, visit the flower-blanketed valleys or barbecue with your friends. In the forest, you can visit Farm Ridammerhoeve, where you can meet goats, chickens, cows, pigs, horses, and lambs! There’s even a Meerzicht Farm and Pancake house where you can overindulge on Dutch-style pancakes.
Amsterdam’s Jordaan District
The Jordaan district is often cited as Amsterdam’s most charming neighbourhood, where wandering around feels like you’re stepping back in time. The area was originally working-class, but now the narrow streets and quaint buildings make up one of Amsterdam’s most desirable quarters. Things to do while you’re in Amsterdam’s arty district are visiting the independent art galleries, antique shops, and atmospheric bars and restaurants. Lose yourself in the labyrinth of narrow lanes sprawling eastwards from the Prisengracht canal.
Visit the heart of Amsterdam, the majority of visitors are sure to find their way through it at some point. Dam square is a busy focal point for visitors and shoppers. Street performers set up on the square’s cobblestones, tourists stroll around taking pictures and feeding the pigeons all while trams frequently rattle past in the background. During the summer months, cafe terraces on the northern flanks fill up with coffee and beer drinkers.
If you’re looking for party-orientated things to do in Amsterdam, take yourself to Leidseplein, directly on this central square is where you will find the nightclubs, cinemas, restaurants, and even a casino. You can also find some of the most famous coffee shops here such as Bulldog. In the summer when the sun is shining, Leidseplein is dominated by restaurant and cafe terraces, as well as street performers.
Van Gogh Museum
Back in 1973, the Van Gogh Museum opened and it hosts the largest collection of work by Vincent Van Gogh in the world. There are 200 paintings, more than 500 drawings, and 750 letters. If you love art and are planning to visit Amsterdam you will not be disappointed! The museum has more than 2.1 million visitors a year and is the most popular museum in the Netherlands.
Cruise past Amsterdam’s canal houses and bridges
You cannot visit Amsterdam and not do the most common thing to do while you’re here, a canal cruise! Created back in the 17th century to keep the sea at bay, Amsterdam has a UNESCO protected canal belt, which is the quintessential postcard-perfect version of Amsterdam. It’s what you see in almost every Instagram picture! Taking a cruise offers an unbelievably pretty sight, even after sundown when the bridges are illuminated by fairy lights. A guided tour is the best way to get under the fabric of the city, learning lots of interesting facts along the way!