20 things to do in Amsterdam
1. Go for a picnic in Vondelpark
Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s most famous park. If the weather is good, look for a nice spot on the grass, take your lunch out of your picnic basket and spend an afternoon with the locals who love to get out in the sun. There is music, shows and children’s activities from June to September.
2. Have your photo taken with the “I Amsterdam” sign
Every city has a typical photo which can be seen in every tourist’s photo album. Amsterdam’s cliché photo can be found at the Musemplien, with the big letters of “I Amsterdam” with the Rijksmuseum in the background. Say cheese!
3. Visit Anne Frank’s House
In the secret annex of this house Anne Frank wrote her famous diary whilst she and her family hid from the Nazis. More than one million people visit every year to see first hand a piece of history we should never forget.
4. Play chess in Max Euweplien
Even if you are not a chess master, we recommend visiting this square named after Dutch player Max Euwe and play game on the giant board. You can also visit the museum, entrance is free.
5. Have a cocktail at House of Bols
Another thing to do in Amsterdam is journey through the world of Gin and liquors in the House of Bols. Best of all you can sample various cocktails. Definitely not for menors!
6. Get to know the Masters of Flemish Painting
No. You can not visit Amsterdam and not go to the Riksmuseum. If you do, you should be arrested. There are many other museums in Amsterdam, but this is one is a must. See the works of the great masters of painting.
7. Ride the streets of Amsterdam
Can you imagine Amsterdam without bikes? We can’t. Almost half of Amsterdam’s residents use a bicycle on a daily basis to go to work, class or wherever. If you want to join them, there are many place where you can rent a bike and in the tourist information centres they have special maps with marked routes to see the best of Amsterdam.
8. Stroll through Begijnhof
This could almost be described as a secret garden; it is a quiet area where you can take a break from the hectic pace of the city. It can be found in Spui, behind a wooden door and surrounded by houses belonging to the Beguines (catholic women, single or widowed who devoted themselves to prayer and charity).
9. Eat Herring
In the Netherlands they are known as “maatjesharing”, they are eaten as a snack and are sold in street stalls. They are normally accompanied with onion o gherkins. You have to try them!
10. Visit the Van Gogh Museum
Another museum you must visit in Amsterdam. From his dark initial works to his striking works after discovering impressionism in Paris, here you can contemplate some of the “crazy redhead’s” most famous paintings.
11. Wander the streets of Jordaan
The neighbourhood where Rembrandt once lived, today it is full of interesting shops, cafés and art galleries. Whilst you wander the streets keep you can entertain yourself looking for the small hidden gardens known as “hofjes”.
12. Explore the Red Light District
Its reputation precedes it; the red light district is Amsterdam’s most sordid neighbourhood. But there is more to it than pubs, sex shops, prostitutes in windows and coffee shops, for example, Oude Kerek Amsterdam’s oldest church. Rembrandt’s wife Saskia is buried in the cemetery.
13. Navigate the canals
If you want another perspective of Amsterdam take a small cruise through the canals. If you have no money left, you can always take free ferry called “buikersloterwegveer”. They depart from Centraal Station to other parts of the city where tourists seldom visit. The trip usually takes 10 minutes.
14. See the houses from seven countries in Roemer Visscherstraat
In this street, starting at number 20, there are seven special houses, designed by the architect Tjeerd Kuipers, which reflect the architectural styles of seven different countries from the 19th century: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Holland and England.
15. Buy Tulips at the Bloemenmarkt
Do you want to buy seeds, bulbs or tulips to plant at home? If you do you have to visit the Bloemenmarkt, flower market. If you want more flowers you can always visit the Amsterdam Tulip Museum.
16. Get some food from a vending machine
One of the most interesting things in Amsterdam are the fast food vending machines. The chain FEBO have many machines spread throughout the city. If you are willing to try all you have to do is feed the machine some money open the glass door and get ready to eat croquettes, a hamburger, chips or whatever else you have chosen.
17. Visit a coffee shop
Although a law came into effect in January of 2013 making coffee shops private clubs where the entrance of tourists was not permitted, Amsterdam has decided to continue allowing tourists to enter. If you want to explore cannabis culture more you can visit the Hash Museum.
18. Go out dancing in Amsterdam
The nightlife in Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most famed especially when it comes to electronic music. When night falls, get ready to visit famous nightclubs like Paradiso or Melkweg and dance into the early hours of the morning.
19. Cross the Magere Brug
Magere Berg (the skinny bridge) is the last operating drawbridge in Amsterdam and still opens several times a day to let large boast pass through. It’s a great place to go for a walk and steal a kiss from your partner.
20. Explore the psychedelic world of Electric Ladyland
Electric Ladyland is an interesting art gallery known to be the first fluorescent art museum in the world. If you want to go on a psychedelic journey of discovery, let the black lights, fluorescent coloured minerals and acid colours lead the way. Open the door and enter a psychedelic world.