Amsterdam is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. Amsterdam has something to offer everyone, whether you head for a day trip or months. Countless tourists come to check out the beautiful canal streets and houses, but not all of them are in luck; those who manage to get there usually miss the less-explored side of Amsterdam – the hidden gems that have yet to be discovered by its many visitors. The farther you venture from the heart of Amsterdam, the more you will find.
Whether you seek enlightenment or just a cup of coffee and a slice of cheesecake, this guide will help you discover all that Amsterdam has to offer. This city is packed with history and culture that rivals Paris, New York and London.
It is also the perfect place to start your trip because there are so many sites worth visiting in its historic core; by no means are they all just for tourists or expensive. Moreover, the city has plenty of things to do at night, such as theaters, museums, art galleries and late-night restaurants.
To get things started, you need to make your way around Amsterdam. A walk can do this, but if you prefer not to walk back through the city and pass by a bike rental company, go for it! Otherwise, consider taking public transport.
The easiest option is the metro; you can purchase a day pass for just €7.50 (valid on all public transport, including buses and trams), which is fully refundable if you return your rental bike to the designated area before 10 pm.
Now let’s take a look at some of the things that Amsterdam has to offer:
Art & Culture
Amsterdam offers everything from world-class museums to street art. Visitors can take these museum tours, such as the Van Gogh Museum Tour, the Rijksmuseum Tour, the Stedelijk Museum tour, and the Anne Frank House or in various art galleries around town.
Art lovers can also stroll through Amsterdam’s canal streets to see the many artists who ply their trade. These street artists are known for their works of graffiti and for painting over old and dirty buildings. The most popular place for street art is the canals. Next time you’re in Amsterdam, take a walk down the Prinsengracht to the Rijksmuseum or take a walk through the Rembrandtplein to Dam Square.
For culture lovers, Amsterdam is a paradise with museums that feature everything from Ancient Egyptian antiquities to modern art and contemporary masterpieces. And what better place to find these than Amsterdam’s numerous art galleries?
Together with the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum Tickets, there is the Stedelijk Museum, which houses works such as Rembrandt’s Night Watch, Manet’s Luncheon on Bridge and Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters.
The Anne Frank House is a must-see. This house used to be occupied by Anne Frank, who hid there until she was discovered and sent to concentration camps. It is one of the most popular places in Amsterdam, so the queues tend to get long during peak season.
Visitors can see not just art galleries and museums in Amsterdam. The city also has various parks where you can find various sculptures and fountains. And what could be more beautiful than a fountain placed next to a flower bed? Het Botanic Gardens are one of Amsterdam’s most popular parks; here, you will also find a café to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Coffee & Scones
Amsterdam is home to plenty of independently owned coffee shops. Some of the best coffee places and some of the city’s most popular snacks are at these independent shops. You can find places to sit and relax in many of the city’s parks or street corners where you can enjoy your favorite snack from a vending machine.
In the center of Amsterdam, you will find plenty of coffee shops. Some to check out our Cafe Heffer, The Bulldog, Grey Area and The Coffee Company.
Amsterdam is also a great place to try different types of beer. There are numerous places to get great-tasting beer in the city’s pubs and cafes, each serving its selection of beer samples. Some of the finest beers are at the Bier Brewery, Cafe Brouwerij, the Dam Pub and Café De Prael.
Last but not least, there is a large variety of delicious pastries and cakes to enjoy. You can find many places in the city’s shopping centers where you can buy delicious snacks to nibble on during your stroll through town. These include the Zandvoort Market, the Spuistraat and the Arcaden Shopping Center.
Live Music & Dance
Amsterdam is a great place to go dancing. Several music venues have emerged to keep locals and tourists entertained when they want to let loose. Some of the best places are at De Melkweg, Paradiso and Melkweg 2.
Several bars offer live music; these include the Sunday Jazz Club, the Canal Café and The Bluebell bar. Amnesia has live house music weekly, while Revolution has a clubbing atmosphere with international DJs.
To check out some of the city’s biggest festivals, you should go to De Wallen. This is where you will find Terroir and Overtaarten, two of Holland’s biggest wine festivals. Other festivals include International Beer Festival, School Festival and Amsterdam Fashion Week.
Also Read: Top 15 Foreign Travel Destinations Around The World
The best thing to see during a visit to Amsterdam is its canals. You can only fully appreciate them if you have a boat tour. These are available from most of the major tourist attractions in the city, and they are also quite popular.
An average boat tour of the canals will cost about €28 for 30 minutes. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, as there are several other tours that you can enjoy. Visit the Waterlooplein Tour, the Harbour Tour, the Amsterdam City Tour and the Amsterdam Canal Cruise.
Amsterdam is also a great place to go on a boat ride. If you prefer going by land, you can visit the city’s many wharves along its canals for about €11 for 30 minutes of fun and entertainment. These floating fun houses are more commonly known as speedboats and will cost between €135 and €155 for 60 minutes.
Amsterdam is also a great place to go on a bike ride. Renting a bike and going for a spin is all part of the fun here. The city’s roads are pretty flat, so you need to ensure you’re wearing the right gear to keep yourself safe and secure. Head down to Zuidlaren or Zeeburg for some cycling fun!
The Dutch know how good their food is, and Amsterdam it’s no exception. Dutch cuisine is hearty and home-cooked, with plenty of meat and potatoes. The portions are significant, and the Dutch don’t just eat to live. They live to eat.
No visit to Amsterdam would be complete without sampling some local delicacies. Some of these are at the Lekker Lokken food market near Westerstraat, Spijenburgh and Prinsengracht.
When it comes to culture, Amsterdam is a unique place. It is a melting pot of diverse cuisines, art and music. It is also one of Europe’s major tourist destinations, and there are plenty of things to do and see in Amsterdam. But it’s the locals that create the most interesting scenes.
You will find them shopping or cycling down the city streets, carrying traditional baskets through the markets and chatting in small groups along the canals. They are an interesting bunch, so we hope you enjoyed this guide to Amsterdam!