Thinking about visiting Amsterdam? Amsterdam is more than just coffee shops, Heineken, and the red-light district. It is a cultured city that has a lot to offer, with amazing food and an abundance of attractions. It is approximately an hour flight from the UK - making it an easy destination to spend an extended weekend. Here are our top things to do in Amsterdam that are memorable, fun and won’t break the bank.
One of the reasons the city of Amsterdam is so distinctive is its waterworks intertwining throughout. Explore the city by the canal belt by taking one of the many canal cruises that venture around the city centre every day. Giving you the chance to see Amsterdam from a different perspective. Depending on whether you want to take in the views of the canal houses and discover Amsterdam’s history, or let your hair down and party, there is an option for you with the choice of day or night cruises.
Don’t forget to grab a hot stroopwafel to wander around the city with – one of the Netherlands’ tastiest treats! Stroop is a special Dutch thick caramel sauce, used inside their delicious Stroopwafels or poured on top of Pancakes. With the Dutch having their special take on pancakes, Amsterdam is scattered with pancake houses that are available to have morning, noon, or night.
Home to the famous "The Night Watch" by Rembrandt and "The Milkmaid" by Vermeer, the Rijksmuseum is perfect for admiring classical renowned art. Spanning over four Floors, the museum building is a beauty in itself with spectacular architecture outside and in. Situated in the City’s Museumplein area.
If you are not all "arted out" you can pop over to the most visited museum in the Netherlands, the Van Gogh Museum. To see the Dutch legend Vincent van Gogh’s post-impressionist range of works. Or head to the Stedelijk, the city’s museum of modern art, to see contemporary pieces. The Museumplein, otherwise known as the Museum Quarter, located in the Amsterdam Oud-Zuid region, also has a large communal green space and picturesque water feature to enjoy.
A stone’s throw from the Museumplain at the centre of Amsterdam is the city’s public urban park, Vondelpark. Opened in 1865, it is the largest municipal park in Amsterdam, popular with tourists and locals alike. Attracting over 10 million visitors a year, the green space has cafes, an open-air theatre, and a river meandering through. Making it ideal for relaxing in the sun, having a picnic or just to stroll around taking in nature and the park’s sculptures.
This is not your average attraction and certainly not for the faint hearted! Body Worlds exhibits a collection of donated real anatomic human models to view. To explore the wonders of the human body’s inner workings in the most captivating and tangible way. This fascinating display is enlightening and intriguing to say the least - definitely one to put on your list of things to do in Amsterdam.
A must-do in visiting Amsterdam is seeing the famous Dam square. Pay a visit to the bustling city centre to take in its beauty, then head over to the shops and bars situated on the streets veering off. The town square known as Dam square is home to three famous landmarks; the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Kerk, and the National Monument.
The Royal Palace is a magnificent parliament building with an ornate façade that is lit up at night. It is still used by their current monarch and is open to visitors to view. The Nieuwe Kerk translated as "The New Church" is a 15th century church on the square that hosts frequent exhibitions. And the National Monument remembrance pillar is a 22 feet white column marking the centre of the square. It is also worth mentioning another point of interest close to the Dam square is the central station building "Amsterdam Centraal", its grand design is another perfect photo opportunity!
Strictly speaking not inside Amsterdam, but only a few miles away the Keukenhof botanical gardens is the world’s largest flower garden. Spanning over 32 hectares with over seven million blooming flowers. Open to the public in the months of March and April, visitors can see stunning landscaped tulip gardens, take boat tours around the tulip fields, and view a traditional Netherlands Windmill. For more precise opening dates information on specialist displays see the Keukenhof site https://keukenhof.nl/en/
Top tip: we recommend buying a tram ticket for the duration of your stay. As using public transport is the cheapest and most efficient way to get around. Trams regularly run every few minutes, covering all areas of the city. They are easy to hop on and hop off, making getting around a doddle!