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Top 10 things to do in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Updated: May 30, 2019

Amsterdam Canals

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and it is known for its beautiful canals! It is a biker city as cycling paths abound throughout Amsterdam. At night, go for a stroll at the red light district and gaze at the vibrant night life! You can't say you have been to Amsterdam without visiting the Red Light District!

How to get to Amsterdam?

By Sea

Amsterdam is indeed a beautiful city and we got to Amsterdam via Stenaline from Cambridge. Do consider taking the sea route to Amsterdam if you're visiting from the United Kingdom!

By Flight

Otherwise, the nearest airport's the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Easyjet flies here so you could get a cheap ticket to and from Amsterdam.

From the airport, take a train to Amsterdam Central Station. Depending on where your accommodation is, you can either walk, or take a tram!

By Train

Another popular way to visit Amsterdam is the train route. Amsterdam is only a couple of hours by train from London and Paris.

Where to stay in Amsterdam?

EasyHotel Amsterdam City Centre South - 41 euros/night

If you are on a budget, we definitely recommend the EasyHotel. It is a fuss-free hotel that provides a good sleep and shower. It is tiny and does not have any amenities but if you are one that will always bring your own, this is a great choice! It is also located walking distance to the Albert Cuyp Market. We stayed at here during our trip and we had a good 3 nights!

The Toren - 149 euros/night

This hotel is great for a luxurious stay in the city centre of Amsterdam. The rooms are beautiful and nicely decorated. Breakfast is also included in the night's stay!

Yotel Amsterdam Airport Hotel

Should you be in Amsterdam for just a short layover, staying in the airport may be a good option. Read This Big Wild World's review of Yotel!

How to get around Amsterdam?

In Amsterdam, the best way to get around is to take the trams. The tram covers many locations in the city and only costs 2.70 euro. What is great about the tram ticket is that you'll get unlimited travel for the entire hour.

Tourists can also consider purchasing the I amsterdam City Card that gives you free travel for 24, 48, 72, or 92 hours. It grants you entry to over 60 museums and attractions and also include a free 1-hour canal cruise. With the card, you'll enjoy discounts and special offers in various restaurants and stores throughout Amsterdam and the surrounding areas.

Otherwise, cycling is the other cost-effective and great way to see Amsterdam! You can find many bike rental companies all around Amsterdam!

Now that we've got the basics out of the way, let's check out the 10 best things to do in Amsterdam

1. Visit the Heineken Beer Museum

Heineken Experience

If you are a beer lover, you definitely can't miss heading to the Heineken Beer Museum. The Heineken Experience is one of the best beer museum visit that we have had so far! For just 21 euros (or 18 euros if you purchase online), you get to tour the interactive museum, try your hand at being a beer sommelier, get 2 chilled beers and get a free amsterdam map! When we visited, they even provided a free canal cruise and a free heineken glass! But it seems like it isn't the case now... Oh, and should you want to skip the queue, purchase your Heineken Experience fast-track tickets here!

Heineken Experience

Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE in Amsterdam

2. Go on a Canal Cruise

Definitely go for the Canal Cruise! Amsterdam's Canal Ring was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010. A cheaper option is to get the one along with the Heineken Experience also known as the Rock the City tickets! Otherwise, the Canal Cruise Tickets cost 10 euros online. In winter, there is also the Amsterdam Light Festival running from late November to early January and you can go on an evening cruise to admire the light-up!

3. Shop at the Albert Cuyp Market

The Albert Cuyp Market is a street market that sells everything from clothes, groceries, and food. It is interesting to just walk down and watch the local shop. There are several stores in the market that sells freshly-made Stroopwafels that you should try! Check out also some of this list of typical dutch foods that you should try!

These Stroopwafels are warm and is a great snack to eat during the cold winter months! Try the original ones that has warm gooey honey in-between the waffle.

4. Have Pommes Frites

Pomme Frites

A popular snack in Amsterdam is the Pommes Frites (or what we know as fries). In Amsterdam, fries are double fried and are serve in a cone-like holder with tomato, mayo, and onions! You can find them at the Albert Cuyp Market, or go hunting for the best!

Manneken Pis

So yummy!

Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis is voted as one of the best place for Pommes Frites in Amsterdam! You'll often see a long queue where hungry locals and tourists line up for the best fries!

Manneken Pis

Damrak 41, Amsterdam

5. Cycle in Amsterdam (or not...)

Bicycles in Amsterdam

There are many bike paths throughout Amsterdam and that is the preferred way to commute for locals. An interesting sight that we witnessed during our trip was how bicycles often end up in the canals and they would have to use this contraption to pick up all the bikes that were disposed of in the canals.

6. Visit the Von Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Even if you're not a Van Gogh fan, you should still visit this museum that houses the biggest collection of Van Gogh pieces!

Van Gogh Museum

Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

7. Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is the Dutch national museum and is located close to the Van Gogh museum. At the back of the museum, you'll find the famous Iamsterdam letters!

It is often packed with tourists that want to take home a part of amsterdam as a picture! Look at the great view of the Rijksmuseum too!


Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands

8. Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is the original house where Anne Frank and her family hid during the Nazi Period. You get to actually walk through the house and see the condition in which they lived. It is an extremely great historical place and museum.

Should you wish to learn more about Anne Frank, join the Anne Frank Story and Neighbourhood tour as you embark on a small group tour that brings you through her childhood.