15 Amazing Things To See And Do In Amsterdam


For such a small city, Amsterdam is packed full of amazing things to see and do. This capital city is famous for its expansive network of canals, beautiful narrow houses, and cyclists wherever you look. Indeed, Amsterdam is well-known for those coffee shops and the Red Light district, but it's also a place full of incredible museums, parks, and great food. 

No matter what you're after in a European destination, whether it's a weekend away partying with friends, or a more quiet cultural trip, Amsterdam will have something for you. This liberal Dutch capital has an incredibly chilled out vibe, making it one of the most popular cities to visit in Europe. 

Here are 15 things to see and do in Amsterdam:

1. Visit the Anne Frank House
If there's one museum you visit whilst in Amsterdam, make it the Anne Frank museum. Here you can learn more about the tragic history of the Frank family (and other Jewish families for that matter) and learn about what happened in The Netherlands during the second world war. Visitors can walk through the rooms where the Frank family hid, and hear extracts of Anne's diary. It's a heartbreaking place to walk around, but definitely an important one.

Top tip for visiting: Book your tickets two months in advance at €9 each for adults. Otherwise, you'll most likely end up queuing for 2-3 hours on the day to buy tickets. If you're looking to buy tickets 2-3 weeks before your trip and the ordinary tickets are sold out, look at purchasing the ticket with an introductory programme at €14 each. These tickets are only released roughly 2 weeks in advance and include a 30 minute introduction to the life of Anne Frank before you then enter the house. It's definitely worth it to avoid the queues! We purchased this ticket as I wasn't organised enough two months in advance, and we really enjoyed the introduction.

2. The Royal Palace & Dam Square
The Royal Palace in Amsterdam was originally built as a city hall, and became a palace in the early 19th century. You certainly can't miss this impressive building and the main square during your visit.

3. Wander along the canals
Wherever you walk (or cycle!) in Amsterdam you'll be sure to see plenty of canals. Make the effort to wander through the different districts as they each have their own vibe. The Old Town and by the Amsterdam Centraal train station have slightly wider canals, whereas the Southern canals have much smaller streets.

4. Visit the Amsterdam Museum
My second favourite museum is the Amsterdam museum, which is only a 5 minute walk from the Royal Palace. The museum is really interactive, and visitors get a free audio guide included in the ticket price. Here you can learn about how the city grew and developed over the years, and how it came to be so liberal.

5. Go cheese tasting
One of the best things I did during my visit was go to Reypenaer Tasting Rooms for a cheese and wine tasting session. Amsterdam has seriously good cheese! On almost every street you'll walk along in the city you'll be sure to see at least one cheese shop or cheese museum.

Check out: 5 Foods To Eat In Amsterdam

6. Visit the Jordaan district
One of my favourite districts was the Jordaan area. It's west of the Anne Frank house, and has some beautiful canals and streets. It's much quieter than other areas in Amsterdam and less touristy.

7. Go on a cruise along the canals
The best way to explore the network of canals is to get out on the water! There are plenty of tour companies all over the city offering cruises, especially near the central train station and the Rijksmuseum. If you're feeling brave you could even hire your own boat or a pedalo.

8. Eat pancakes 'poffertjes' for breakfast
These small pancakes are delicious and fluffy, typically served with powdered sugar. As you can see I went all out and had mine with strawberries and melted chocolate!

9. Visit the flower market
Unfortunately we didn't time our visit with the tulip season, but the floating flower market was still a cool place to wander around. When it's not tulip season it's a great place to buy bulbs, and plenty of other Dutch souvenirs.

10. Eat chips
It may seem slightly random... but Amsterdam do really good chips/fries! I've never been anywhere before that serve chips with a peanut satay sauce - it was heavenly!

11. Visit the Rijksmuseum
Another well-known museum that shouldn't be missed is the Rijksmuseum that's full of Dutch art and history. The outside of the museum is also incredibly grand and impressive.

12. The 'Iamsterdam' letters
You've all seen the Instagram photos of friends climbing over the infamous Iamsterdam letters. If you fancy taking your own photograph then head to the front of the Rijksmuseum and follow the crowds. The park outside of the museum is also a great place to have a picnic.

13. The Van Gogh Museum
The last museum on this list, the Van Gogh museum is home to the largest collection of his artwork, and even has letters that he sent to his family.

14. Vondelpark
This is the one of the most popular parks in the city, and it's easy to see why. The park is full of beautiful lakes and paths, and is a great place to go for a wander, or maybe even a bike ride.

15. See the Red Light District
And last, but not least, the Red Light District! Even if you just walk through it in the daytime (or cruise through it along the canals) to say that you've been there.


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