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Top 10 Amazing Things To Do In Amsterdam (Netherlands)


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Guendolen Nave



Welcome to Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands. Known for its picturesque canals, historic architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, Amsterdam offers an array of exciting and unique experiences for visitors. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or a food enthusiast, this city has something to captivate your interest.


With its charming streets lined with bicycles and picturesque canal views, Amsterdam has a distinct and unmistakable ambiance. It’s a city where traditional and modern elements seamlessly coexist, creating a vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere.


Amsterdam’s rich history can be seen and felt throughout the city. From the iconic canal houses to the world-class museums, the city boasts a wealth of cultural treasures. The unique blend of Dutch heritage and international influences make Amsterdam a truly diverse and dynamic destination.


This article will guide you through the top 10 amazing things to do in Amsterdam, ensuring that you make the most of your visit to this enchanting city. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover in Amsterdam.


Explore the Historic Center

One of the best ways to experience the charm and beauty of Amsterdam is by exploring its historic center, also known as the Old Town or the Amsterdam-Centrum. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a labyrinth of narrow streets, canals, and historic buildings that dates back to the 17th century.


Start your exploration at Dam Square, the heart of the city. Here, you’ll find iconic landmarks such as the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), and the National Monument. Take a moment to admire the stunning architecture and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere.


As you wander through the streets, you’ll come across charming canal houses with their distinctive gabled facades. Make sure to take the time to explore the smaller side streets and alleys, where you’ll find hidden gems like cozy cafes, boutique shops, and unique boutiques.


Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the famous Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes), a series of picturesque streets lined with trendy shops, art galleries, and cozy restaurants. It’s the perfect place to indulge in some shopping and enjoy the local ambiance.


Another highlight of the historic center is the vibrant Leidseplein, a bustling square with a wide selection of bars, clubs, and theaters. It’s a hub for nightlife and entertainment, offering a variety of options for a fun-filled evening out in Amsterdam.


Whether you choose to explore on foot, by bicycle, or even by taking a guided tour, diving into the historic center of Amsterdam will give you a true sense of the city’s rich history and unique charm.


Visit the Anne Frank House

A visit to the Anne Frank House is a must for anyone interested in history and the human spirit. Located on the Prinsengracht canal, the Anne Frank House is the actual house where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II, as described in her famous diary.


As you step inside the Anne Frank House, you’ll be transported back in time to the days of the Holocaust. The museum provides a poignant and emotional journey, allowing you to understand the struggles that Anne Frank and her family faced while in hiding.


As you make your way through the museum, you’ll see the rooms where Anne and her family lived in hiding, the bookcase entrance that concealed their secret annex, and personal artifacts that tell their story. The museum also includes exhibitions that provide valuable context about the Holocaust and its impact on the world.


Visiting the Anne Frank House is a powerful and somber experience that serves as a reminder of the courage and resilience of Anne Frank and the many others who suffered during this dark period in history. It’s a place that honors the memory of Anne Frank and serves as a tribute to all those affected by the Holocaust.


Due to its popularity, tickets for the Anne Frank House can sell out quickly. It’s advisable to book your tickets in advance to secure your visit. Keep in mind that the museum is located in a historic building, and accessibility may be limited for individuals with mobility issues.


When you visit the Anne Frank House, it’s important to approach the experience with respect and sensitivity. The museum serves as a reminder of the atrocities of the past and the ongoing need to promote tolerance and understanding in our world today.


By visiting the Anne Frank House, you’re not only immersing yourself in history but also paying tribute to the strength of the human spirit and the importance of remembering the past to shape a better future.


Take a Canal Cruise

Exploring Amsterdam’s iconic canals is a must-do experience that offers a unique perspective of the city. Amsterdam is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” due to its intricate network of canals, which were built during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century.


One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the canals is by taking a canal cruise. There are numerous companies that offer guided tours, allowing you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic views as you glide along the waterways.


During the canal cruise, you’ll pass by breathtaking canal houses with their elegant facades, picturesque bridges, and historic landmarks. The knowledgeable guides will provide interesting commentary, sharing fascinating insights about the city’s history, architecture, and culture.


Opt for a daytime cruise to soak in the charm of the city and witness the hustle and bustle of daily life along the canals. Alternatively, for a magical experience, consider taking an evening cruise and admire the beautifully illuminated canal houses and bridges.


There are also specialty canal cruises available, such as food and drink cruises, romantic candlelight cruises, and even themed cruises that cater to specific interests. Whether you’re a history buff, a music lover, or a nature enthusiast, there’s a canal cruise tailored to suit your preferences.


If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also rent a small boat or a pedal-powered canal bike to explore the canals at your own pace. This gives you the freedom to navigate the waterways and discover hidden gems along the way.


Taking a canal cruise not only provides a relaxing and enjoyable experience but also allows you to witness firsthand the beauty and charm of Amsterdam’s historic canals, which have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a quintessential Amsterdam experience that should not be missed.


Discover the Van Gogh Museum

If you’re an art lover, a visit to the Van Gogh Museum is an absolute must-do when in Amsterdam. This world-renowned museum is dedicated to the life and work of famed Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh.


The Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world. As you explore the museum, you’ll have the opportunity to admire iconic masterpieces such as “Sunflowers,” “The Potato Eaters,” and “Starry Night.”


The museum takes you on a journey through Van Gogh’s artistic development, from his early works to his later, more vibrant and experimental pieces. It provides valuable insights into his personal struggles, artistic process, and the profound impact he had on the art world.


In addition to Van Gogh’s works, the museum also displays a rich collection of artworks by his contemporaries, offering a broader context for his artistic legacy. You’ll have the chance to see pieces by artists such as Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.


Aside from the main collection, the Van Gogh Museum frequently hosts temporary exhibitions that explore various aspects of Van Gogh’s life and work, as well as other related topics in art history.


It’s recommended to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long queues, as the museum can get quite busy, especially during peak tourist seasons. Consider booking a timed entry ticket to ensure a smooth and pleasant visit.


The Van Gogh Museum offers an immersive and captivating experience for art enthusiasts, providing a deeper understanding and appreciation of Van Gogh’s genius and artistic contributions. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to delve into the world of one of history’s most celebrated artists.


Experience the Anne Frank Huis

Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the Anne Frank Huis (Anne Frank House) is a historic house that provides a poignant and powerful glimpse into the life of Anne Frank during the Holocaust. It was here that Anne and her family hid from the Nazis for over two years, and where she wrote her world-renowned diary.


Visiting the Anne Frank Huis is a deeply moving experience that offers a unique opportunity to step into the footsteps of Anne Frank and gain a deeper understanding of the human impact of World War II. As you walk through the cramped rooms and hidden annex, you can visualize the challenges and hardships that Anne and her family faced while in hiding.


The museum provides an insightful and educational journey, combining original diary excerpts, historical documents, and multimedia displays. The exhibits shed light on the life and struggles of Anne Frank, her family, and the others who lived with them in the secret annex.


As you make your way through the museum, you’ll witness the actual rooms where Anne and her family lived, preserved in their original state. The museum also features thoughtful exhibits that delve into the larger historical context of persecution and discrimination, encouraging visitors to reflect on the importance of tolerance and respect in contemporary society.


Given the museum’s popularity, it’s advisable to book tickets in advance to secure your visit. Guided tours are available, providing additional insights and context about Anne Frank’s life and the Holocaust.


Visiting the Anne Frank Huis is a solemn and humbling experience. It serves as a reminder of the atrocities committed during the war and the importance of preserving and learning from history. The museum also encourages visitors to reflect on the values of freedom, equal rights, and social justice.


The Anne Frank Huis is not only a significant historical site but also a tribute to the enduring spirit of Anne Frank. By experiencing her story firsthand, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for her courage, resilience, and the lasting legacy of her diary.


Enjoy the Famous Bloemenmarkt

When in Amsterdam, be sure to visit the famous Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market. Located along the Singel canal, this vibrant market is a visual feast for flower enthusiasts and a must-see attraction for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Dutch flora.


The Bloemenmarkt is a colorful spectacle, with a variety of stalls and floating barges filled with an incredible array of flowers, bulbs, and plants. From spring blooms like tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils to exotic orchids and vibrant roses, there’s no shortage of options to satisfy your floral desires.


Even if you’re not in the market for flowers, the Bloemenmarkt is still worth a visit for its unique atmosphere and charming ambiance. As you stroll along the canal, you’ll be enveloped in the fragrant aroma of fresh blooms and be greeted by friendly vendors ready to share their expertise and help you choose the perfect arrangement or souvenir.


In addition to flowers, the market also offers an extensive selection of Dutch souvenirs, including wooden clogs, ceramic tulip vases, and Delft blue pottery. It’s the ideal place to find a special gift or a memento to remind you of your time in Amsterdam.


If you’re looking to bring home some Dutch floral beauty, the market provides the opportunity to purchase flower bulbs and seeds, allowing you to try your hand at growing your own vibrant blooms back home.


The Bloemenmarkt is open year-round, but it’s particularly enchanting during the springtime when the iconic tulips are in full bloom. It’s a visual spectacle that shouldn’t be missed, offering a glimpse into the Netherlands’ rich horticultural heritage and the country’s long-standing love affair with flowers.


Whether you’re a flower enthusiast, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique and vibrant shopping experience, the Bloemenmarkt is a must-visit destination in Amsterdam. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors, fragrant aromas, and friendly atmosphere of this iconic floating flower market.


Wander Through the Vondelpark

Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s most famous and beloved park, is a green oasis located in the heart of the city. Spread across 120 acres, this urban park offers a serene and picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.


Wandering through the Vondelpark is a delightful way to soak up the beauty of nature and immerse yourself in a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. The park is adorned with lush lawns, flowering gardens, tranquil ponds, and winding paths that invite leisurely strolls.


As you explore the park, you’ll encounter an array of recreational activities and amenities. It’s a popular spot for picnics, jogging, cycling, and rollerblading. There are also playgrounds for children, open-air theaters for cultural performances, and several charming cafes where you can pause for a refreshing drink or a snack.


The Vondelpark is not only a place for relaxation but also a vibrant hub for social interaction and cultural events. During the summer months, the park hosts various festivals, concerts, and outdoor movie screenings, attracting both locals and tourists alike.


One of the notable highlights within the park is the statue of Dutch poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel, after whom the park is named. The statue serves as a focal point and a reminder of the park’s historical significance and cultural heritage.


Visiting the Vondelpark is a great way to experience the Dutch lifestyle and witness a slice of daily life in Amsterdam. The park is teeming with locals and visitors from all walks of life, providing an opportunity for people-watching and immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant and diverse community.


Whether you’re seeking tranquility and relaxation or a vibrant outdoor experience, a visit to the Vondelpark is a must. It’s a place that allows you to recharge, connect with nature, and experience the essence of Amsterdam’s green and sustainable living.


Visit the Royal Palace of Amsterdam

Situated in the heart of Amsterdam on Dam Square, the Royal Palace is an architectural marvel that showcases the grandeur and regal history of the Netherlands. Also known as the Koninklijk Paleis, it serves as a ceremonial palace and a symbol of the Dutch monarchy.


The Royal Palace was originally built in the 17th century as a city hall during the Dutch Golden Age. Designed in a neoclassical style by renowned architects Jacob van Campen and Daniël Stalpaert, the palace exudes elegance and sophistication.


Visiting the Royal Palace offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of Dutch royalty. As you step inside, you’ll be awestruck by the palatial interiors, adorned with lavish furnishings, intricate artworks, and magnificent chandeliers.


The highlight of the palace is the impressive Citizen’s Hall, renowned for its grandeur and architectural splendor. This expansive hall features marble statues, richly decorated ceilings, and sumptuous marble floors.


Throughout the year, the Royal Palace hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase art, history, and culture. These exhibitions provide deeper insights into the palace’s significance and offer a contemporary perspective on its historical legacy.


It’s important to note that the Royal Palace is still an active palace used for official functions, state visits, and other ceremonial events. There may be occasions when certain areas of the palace are closed off to the public, but this does not detract from the overall experience of visiting this magnificent attraction.


Be sure to check the opening hours and any guidelines before your visit, as they may vary depending on official events and maintenance schedules. Audio guides are available to enhance your understanding of the palace’s history and significance.


A visit to the Royal Palace of Amsterdam is a chance to immerse yourself in the regal splendor of Dutch royalty. It’s an architectural gem that offers a window into the past, allowing you to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the Netherlands.


Explore the Rijksmuseum

No visit to Amsterdam is complete without a trip to the world-renowned Rijksmuseum. Located in Museum Square, this iconic institution is home to an extensive collection of Dutch art and history, showcasing masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age and beyond.


The Rijksmuseum is housed in a stunning building designed by renowned architect Pierre Cuypers. Its grand facade and intricate architecture provide a fitting backdrop for the treasures that lie within.


Inside the museum, you’ll find a vast collection of artworks spanning over 800 years. From the works of Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh, to sculptures, decorative arts, and historical artifacts, the Rijksmuseum offers a comprehensive insight into the rich cultural heritage of the Netherlands.


One of the museum’s most famous exhibits is Rembrandt’s masterpiece, “The Night Watch.” This iconic painting is a symbol of Dutch art and is displayed in a specially designed Gallery of Honor, alongside other notable works from the Dutch Golden Age.


In addition to the art collection, the Rijksmuseum also boasts an extensive library, a well-stocked gift shop, and various dining options, including a charming café and a Michelin-starred restaurant.


It’s recommended to allocate several hours for your visit to fully explore the museum’s vast collection. Audio guides are available in multiple languages to provide informative and engaging commentary, enhancing your understanding of the artworks.


With its impressive collection, architectural splendor, and immersive exhibitions, the Rijksmuseum offers a captivating journey through the arts, history, and culture of the Netherlands. It serves as a testament to the country’s rich cultural heritage and its contributions to the world of art and civilization.


Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about Dutch culture, a visit to the Rijksmuseum is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the artistic legacy of the Netherlands.


Indulge in Dutch Cuisine

Exploring Dutch cuisine is a delicious and essential part of any visit to Amsterdam. From hearty traditional dishes to international culinary influences, the city offers a wide range of culinary delights that will tantalize your taste buds.


One iconic Dutch dish that you must try is stroopwafel. These thin waffle cookies with a caramel syrup filling are a sweet treat that can be found in street markets, bakeries, and even supermarkets throughout the city. Enjoy them fresh and warm for an extra gooey and delightful experience.


Herring is another traditional Dutch delicacy. Typically served raw, herring is marinated in a mix of salt and vinegar and served with onions. Be sure to try it the traditional way by holding it by its tail, tilting your head back, and taking a bite. It may seem intimidating, but it’s a culinary adventure worth trying.


For a heartier meal, don’t miss out on indulging in some Dutch comfort food. Try bitterballen, deep-fried and crispy meatballs served with mustard for dipping. Or sample stamppot, a comforting dish made with mashed potatoes and vegetables such as kale or sauerkraut, often served with a sausage on the side.


Indonesian cuisine has also made its mark in Amsterdam, thanks to the historical ties between the Netherlands and Indonesia. Treat yourself to rijsttafel, which translates to “rice table,” featuring an elaborate spread of small Indonesian dishes, allowing you to savor a variety of flavors and spices.


Of course, no culinary exploration of Amsterdam would be complete without indulging in some cheese. Head to a local cheese shop and sample a variety of Dutch cheeses, such as Gouda and Edam. Pair them with a crunchy Dutch bread or enjoy them on their own for a truly quintessential Dutch experience.


When it comes to drinks, make sure to try a local Dutch beer, such as Heineken or Amstel, which are widely available. For a unique experience, visit a traditional Dutch “bruin café,” or brown café, where you can enjoy a pint of beer in a cozy, old-fashioned setting.


To satisfy your sweet tooth, venture into Amsterdam’s bakeries and pastry shops, where you’ll find a mouthwatering array of treats. Try a gevulde koek, a buttery almond-filled pastry, or a banketbakkerij, a traditional Dutch pastry filled with almond paste.


Amsterdam is a melting pot of culinary influences and flavors, offering a diverse and vibrant dining scene. Whether you choose to indulge in traditional Dutch dishes or explore international cuisine, Amsterdam’s food scene is sure to leave you satisfied and craving more.


Remember to explore beyond the tourist areas and seek out local eateries to truly immerse yourself in the authentic flavors of Dutch cuisine. Bon appétit!



Amsterdam, with its rich history, iconic landmarks, and vibrant culture, offers a plethora of experiences for visitors to enjoy. From exploring the historic center and visiting world-class museums to indulging in delicious Dutch cuisine, there is something for everyone in this captivating city.


The historical center of Amsterdam showcases the city’s charm and beauty, with its picturesque canals, narrow streets, and historic buildings. Taking a canal cruise allows you to witness the city from a unique perspective and immerse yourself in its architectural splendor.


Visiting the Anne Frank House and the Anne Frank Huis offers a powerful and moving experience, providing insight into one of history’s darkest chapters. These sites serve as a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of promoting tolerance and understanding in our world.


For art enthusiasts, exploring the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum is a must. These museums showcase the works of notable Dutch artists, providing a deeper understanding of their legacies and contributions to the art world.


The Bloemenmarkt and the Vondelpark offer unique experiences of their own. The Bloemenmarkt provides a vibrant display of flowers and Dutch souvenirs, while the Vondelpark offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city, allowing visitors to enjoy nature and embrace the local lifestyle.


Lastly, indulging in Dutch cuisine is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the local culture. From trying traditional Dutch dishes like stroopwafel and herring to exploring international flavors and savoring Dutch cheese and beer, Amsterdam’s culinary scene is sure to satisfy any palate.


In conclusion, Amsterdam’s attractions and experiences make it a city like no other. Its rich heritage, diverse cultural scene, and warm hospitality guarantee an unforgettable visit. So, grab your bicycle, wander along the canals, and immerse yourself in the magic of this extraordinary city that endlessly captivates visitors from around the world.