Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands where millions of visitors flock to each year. The city offers numerous things from shopping to eating to sightseeing.
Visiting Amsterdam soon and you are not sure what to do? Here is a list of some things that can make your trip extraordinary!
« What To Do In Amsterdam »
Spend a Few Hours in Vondelpark
Living in a big city, I know how important it is to have a nice quiet place to go to escape the madness. While Central Park is my favorite place to relax in New York City, Vondelpark became my peaceful haven in Amsterdam.
Location: Take tram 2 or 5 to Hobbemastraat
Experience Flower Power
Amsterdam is pretty big on a few things including bikes, coffeeshops, and flowers. Personally, I love to look at flowers; something about gazing at them is very relaxing. A great place in the city to check look at all the flowers your heart desires (and buy some too) is at the Bloemenmarkt!
Location: Singel between Koningsplein and Vijzelstraat
Buy Clogs (Klompen)
A klomp is a traditional wooden shoe from the Netherlands. While you may not see anyone in Amsterdam wearing them, you can easily find people in the countryside (such as farmers and rural workers) sporting the shoes on a daily basis. Over 6 million klompen are produced for tourists each year, so if protective wooden shoes are your thing, or you are looking for a nice souvenir for a family member, consider getting a pair during your trip.
Frolic by the IAmsterdam Sign
Located on Museumplein, the IAmsterdam sign is one of Amsterdam’s most iconic symbols. Hang out by the sign, take some pictures, and cool off from the summer hear by dipping your toes in the water or splashing around (if you dare).
Location: Located at the back of the Rijksmuseum on Museumplein
Take a Bike Tour
Amsterdam is a city of bikes; everyone owns one, and it is one of the fastest, most convenient, and environmentally friendly ways to get around. By taking a bike tour of the city, you will not only get a feel for the layout of the city, but you will also have the opportunity to fully participate in Amsterdam’s famous bike culture.
Looking for a bike tour? Check out Mike’s Bike Tours Amsterdam (€25 for the 3-hour city tour).
Visit the Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum is one of the most well-known museums in the Netherlands, and is the backdrop in photographs of the famous iamsterdam sign. The museum houses works from artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh, and is definitely not worth missing.
Location: Museumstraat 1 // Cost: General Admission €17.50; Under 18 Free
Visit the Anne Frank House
During the occupation of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany in the second World War, a little Jewish girl named Anne Frank was forced to go into hiding with her family to avoid being sent to an extermination camp. The secret hiding place of Anne’s family has been preserved and turned into a museum, where over 1 million people visit annually to learn about Anne’s life.
Location: Prinsengracht 263-267
Tip For Visiting: Buy your ticket in advance (and they sell out quick, so the sooner, the better) to avoid waiting on a 2+ hour line on the day of your visit.
See the Street Art
Amsterdam has a flourishing and beautiful street art scene featuring works from both domestic and international artists,
Where You Can Find Street Art in Amsterdam: Spuistraat, in and around the Snakehouse (Spuistraat 199)
Do a Cheese Tasting
Curious to know about Dutch cheeses and to learn about what they pair well with? Take a cheese tasting course and learn all about the cheese making process in the Netherlands.
Looking for a cheese tasting course? Consider Reypenaer Cheese Tasting (€15).
Visit the Amsterdam Cheese Museum
Cannot get your fill of Dutch cheese? Head on over to the Amsterdam Cheese Museum and learn about cheese in the Netherlands for free. While you are there, try some complimentary samples of cheese and pick up a cheese wheel while you’re there. Traveling for a long time and afraid your cheese will spoil on the road? They deliver internationally too!
Location: Prinsengracht 112, across the canal from the Anne Frank house
Visit Albert Cuypmarkt
Take a trip to Albert Cuypmarkt to eat some food that Dutch people like including the famous Hollandse nieuwe haring, stroopwafels, and frieten. While you’re there, you can also shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, clothing, and flowers.
Local residents in Amsterdam can be some of the best sources of information regarding what to do in the city. Here are some Amsterdam locals that can give you great tips and advice on what to do in the city:
- Your Little Black Book – Anne is a lifestyle blogger that lives in Amsterdam and shares her personal Little Black Book with all of her favorite addresses and things that she loves.
- Awesome Amsterdam – This website shares a massive list of tips on everything from food, to hotspots, to events.
- Spotted By Locals: Amsterdam – A collection of 7 Amsterdam locals share their favorite tips for things to do around town.
« What To Eat in Amsterdam »
For me, eating is a big part of traveling. While in Amsterdam, I got to try many different foods that Dutch people like, and a few other things that were recommended to me.
Apparently chocolate in Amsterdam is quite a big deal, however it is often overlooked when compared to well-known chocolate loving cities like Brussels and Zurich.
A visit to Amsterdam would be incomplete without stopping into one of Amsterdam’s most famous chocolatiers Puccini Bomboni (Staalstraat 17) and sampling the different treats they have to offer.
I am a huge lover of lamb, and during my stay at the Westcord Art Hotel, I had some of the most amazing lamb chops to date, which were succulent, juicy, and definitely worth having again on a return trip to Amsterdam!
Who would think that when visiting Amsterdam you would be eating gelato? Sure, it is something that you would definitely try in Italian cities (such as Florence or Rome), but Amsterdam?
While visiting the city, a local recommended that I try the gelato at Monte Pelmo (Tweede Anjeliersdwarsstraat 17), and even though I had a little difficulty finding this hidden gem, I was glad that I did, and I can honestly say that it is the best gelato that I have had outside of Italy.
The bike culture is something serious in Amsterdam. I was in complete awe of it. I will take a bike tour the next time that I’m there. Amsterdam is easily one of my favorite cities.
It definitely is Regina and when I go back, I will ride again 🙂
Fun and Yum!!! Great resource for Amsterdam! I want the clogs and the chocolate and to go bike riding there!
Thanks Nadeen! The chocolate was delicious 🙂 You must try it!
Love your photos and your recommendations!
Thank you Penny! 😀
Have been an Amsterdam several times and really love it. One of my favourite places are a whisky bar called Whisky Café L&B, have never seen so many different bottles in one bar before.
Hi Anders 🙂 Thanks I will have to check it out when I return to Amsterdam!
I’m hoping to go to Amsterdam soon one day soon and there are some great tips here! I’ve heard about the cheese tasting there before – that sounds like great fun!
Thanks Shikha! The cheese tasting was wonderful, I hope you get to try it!
The Pancake Bakery is awesome! It’s pretty close to Anne Franck’s House so it’s easy to get to. The pancakes are absolutely amazing, big as a plate and it’s always packed because the food is so good. If you go you MUST try the Wieckse Rose Beer. I’m not a beer drinker but this one is wonderful. So wonderful that my friend and I paid $60 for a six-pack shipped from Holland to the States. Totally worth it!!
Great tips for my next trip and I am sure a reader will benefit too! Thank you for the tips Tryphena! 😀
Tryphena, I would try both of your suggestions! The fact that you said “I’m not a beer drinker” lets me know that Rose Beer must taste good! lol. $60 to ship a six pack from Holland? It must taste reallly good!
Great tips! Amsterdam is one of my favorite European cities. I also love the public library.
The public library? I have never heard anyone recommend that before; I will have to check it out when I return! 😀
I can’t believe that you’ve just written about Amsterdam as I got back a fortnight ago. Such a thrill! So what did I do, I went on a cruise, took a deep look at myself at the Micropia (germ museum), ate lots of cheese, waffles, and chips with mayo. And oh yes, I went to a sex-show. Whoops!
It sounds like you had a wonderful time (and interesting) Victoria!
It’s been years since I last went. Am looking forward to going back. Great round-up!
I cannot wait to return Taylor 😀 Thanks!
So, I have a layover in Amsterdam that is sooo short and I’ve been comtemplating about whether or not I want to chance it and get lost in the city. LOL! These pictures make the option of exploring so tempting. I love gelato. So much in fact that I can’t even look at ice cream in the same way! And the street art is beautiful. I’ve seen so many pictures of it around the web and I almost thought they weren’t real. 🙂 The Anne Frank house would also be a must for me. I had the book when I was younger and every time I read it I hoped that the ending would be different. Thanks for these recommendations in the event that I spend a few hours running around the city during that layover!
Hi Michaela! I hope you do get out of the airport in Amsterdam, even if just for a little while (and the gelato is definitely a good excuse!)
It sounds like you had a wonderful trip Frances and I too loved the samples at the Cheese Museum! 😀