10 Fun Things To Do in Amsterdam
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Amsterdam is one of the most charming cities in Europe. People cycling along the sparkling canals, riding in boats or lounging in the park. There is lots to do in amazing Amsterdam.
Here are some of the best Amsterdam tourist activities and some local secrets too. Let’s go!
10 Fun Things To Do in Amsterdam
Take a canal cruise: The beautiful canals of Amsterdam are the city’s most famous feature. Most visitors want to have the experience of floating through them by boat. You can take a typical one hour canal tour or even go for a pizza dinner cruise or rent a private beer boat with a group of friends. You can also rent your own little boat and explore the canals on your own. It’s one of the most romantic things to do in Amsterdam.
Visit a museum: You can’t visit the city without checking out the top Amsterdam tourist spots which includes the world famous museums. Amsterdam’s most popular museums can be found at Museumplein. Visit the Rijksmuseum to see the huge collection of 17th century works by artists like Rembrandt, or the Van Gogh Museum to see that master’s beautiful paintings. If you are a fan of modern art you’ll enjoy the Stedelijk, while contemporary art lovers will enjoy the Moco Museum with works by Banksy and Warhol. If you plan to visit more than one museum I recommend getting a iAmsterdam City card museum pass that also includes free transportation.
Go cycling: Do like the locals and hop on a bike in Amsterdam. It is a great way to see the city and of course Amsterdam is very cycle-friendly. You can rent a bike and explore on your own or of course you can also go with a fun guided bicycle tour to get an overview of the city and learn about its history or explore the backstreets and hidden gems. Be sure to check out the canal ring, and the Jordaan district, do a bit of window shopping in the 9 streets and cycle through the Vondelpark.
Check out Noord: Amsterdam Noord is a fun place to explore. You’ll find the EYE Film Museum, the Toren (see below) and many interesting bars and cafes. One of my favorites is Pllek, built from shipping containers. What’s even more fun is that you can get to Noord by hopping on a free ferry boat.
Do a walking tour: If you love learning about history you will enjoy taking a walking tour in Amsterdam. Take a walking tour of the Red Light District and learn about the legalized prostitution and see the oldest building in the city. You can even do a marijuana walking tour that visits several “coffeeshops” and teaches you about the drug laws in the city.
Chill in the park: If the weather is cooperating there is nothing better than grabbing a picnic and a blanket and heading to one of Amsterdam’s parks to spend the afternoon. Everyone escapes the office and finds a place to relax on the grass with friends and a few drinks. Vondelpark is the most popular, but other neighborhood parks like Westerpark or Oosterpark are lovely too.
Try Dutch food: When in Amsterdam, you should definitely try some Dutch foods. Find a pancake restaurant to sample pannenkoeken, or go for a beer and bitterballen – deep fried snacks. If you like fish you should try the haring. And of course Dutch cheese is always a good idea. You an also do a guided food tour with tastings in the charming Jordaan neighborhood – this tour is great – I’ve done it twice. You won’t be hungry afterward!
Check out a small museum: While Amsterdam has a few world famous museums – mentioned above – my favorites are the smaller ones. You can go to Museum Willet-Holthuysen to see a beautiful 17th century house or check out Huis Marseille or FOAM to check out the photography exhibits. The Rembrandthuis lets you peek into the home of painter Rembrandt. You can even visit a cat museum, marijuana museum or a houseboat museum! If you plan to visit a few museums during your visit to Amsterdam you can save money by purchasing the iAmsterdam card.
Get views from above: If you’ve had your fill of walking or cycling around the city, why not head to a perch a bit higher up to get some gorgeous views. Check out the newest vistas in town at the top of the A’DAM Toren. You can even sit on a swing on top of the tower that extends past the roof so you are flying through the air. The views are amazing! Get your entry tickets for the A’DAM Toren lookout here.
Explore more by bike: If the weather is nice, hop on your rental bike and head out of town to explore the green outskirts of the city. You can cycle to Waterland to the north of the city or go West along the Brettenpad. Maybe you’d like to go south to the nearby town of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. You can rent a bike online in advance here.
Hop on the train: Amsterdam is amazing but if you want to see more of the Netherlands you can hop on a train at Centraal Station and be in many other cities within the hour. Visit the charming town of Haarlem just a few minutes away or head to Rotterdam or Delft. You can even visit Belgium in just a few hours. Check NS.nl or NS International for ticket prices and schedules.
Are you planning to visit several museums and attractions while in Amsterdam? You may want to consider the iAmsterdam City Card which gives free access to many sights as well as free public transport. Click here for more information.
I hope this list helps you find some unique experiences in Amsterdam and fun things to do in Amsterdam during your visit. Go beyond the Red Light District to experience more Amsterdam hidden secrets. Enjoy!
Looking for the best area to stay in Amsterdam? Check out the city center, Jordaan neighborhood and near Vondelpark. Compare lodging prices in Amsterdam across booking engines at Hotels Combined. Or take a look at Airbnb and use this link to save around €30 off your reservation. If you prefer to use Booking.com you can register at Booking.com using this link and get $20 cash back after your stay!
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Headed to Amsterdam this autumn? Take a look at our packing guide for your trip to Europe!
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