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Travel guide to Amsterdam | Discover the best sides of the city

We created this travel guide to Amsterdam, relying on the city’s experts. Please read it to make the most of your trip to Amsterdam!

Between a canal cruise and a visit to the coffee shops, your stay in Amsterdam will become an unforgettable experience.

Many tourists like to rent a bike to feel like a local or taste the famous Kibbeling.

Whatever your wish is, Amsterdam will fulfill it because it’s a city incredibly rich in surprises!

Amsterdam at a glance

  • Airport: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • Local language: Dutch
  • Currency: Euro
  • Time zone: (GMT+2)
  • Population: 821,752 (2015)

Travel guide to Amsterdam | 10 Top Things to do and see

1. Visit Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum

Our travel guide to Amsterdam cannot miss the city’s most popular museum: the one dedicated to Vincent Van Gogh.

This is one of the most beautiful museums in Europe and perfect for people of all ages. Its rooms host splendid paintings by the great Dutch artist, interactive halls, events, and activities.

Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands


2. Don’t miss the Rijksmuseum

We want museums! Amsterdam is full of them!

Another attraction you shouldn’t miss is certainly the Rijksmuseum! 

You’ll discover 800 years of Dutch history in its halls and marvel at paintings by authors such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh.

Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands


3. Book a cruise on Amsterdam’s canals

There’s no better way to see the city than through a trip on its canals!

Several local companies provide this service with an audio guide. On average, a tour lasts one hour and costs around €16 per person.

In addition to offering you spectacular views of the city, these short cruises will also allow you to feel the city’s intimate connection to the water.

4. Stroll through Vondelpark

Vondelpark is an oasis of peace right in the heart of the old town and is located just a few meters from the most popular museums and attractions.

Opened to the public at the end of the 19th century, this park was created in the English style by architects Jan David Zocher and Louis Paul Zocher.

Inside you’ll find lakes, statues, bike paths, and picnic areas. This park is perfect if you want to rest a little bit or in town with your kids.

You can access it through several entrances.

5. Take a day trip to Haarlem

If you stay a few more days in Amsterdam, you might want to take a trip to Haarlem.

This location in the Netherlands is much loved for its beautiful historical buildings and old squares.

It offers its visitors splendid museums such as the Teylers Museum or the Frans Hals.

You can reach it in about ten minutes from Amsterdam Sloterdijk.

6. Explore Anne Frank House

This house commemorates one of the saddest pages in human history, yet so important.

Here lived Anne Frank, the author of the famous Diary, killed in the concentration camps of Bergen-Belsen in 1945.

Visiting her home and the small biographical museum is an intimate experience and will take you into the world of a teenager during World War II.

Address: Westermarkt 20, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website and tickets.

7. Heineken Experience 

Want to experience an incredible tour through the beer giant’s history inside a former brewery with a tasting room at the end?

Then you need to stop by the first brewery of perhaps the most famous beer in the world.

This self-guided tour will let you discover all the secrets of this drink: the ingredients, the brewing, and the bottling process.

Address: Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands.


8. Relax in the Jordaan

The Jordaan began as a neighborhood for workers who moved to Amsterdam from other cities in Holland and Europe during the Golden Age. Over the years, this place soon became overcrowded and degraded.

Many inhabitants, especially the more affluent ones, soon decided to move to quieter and cleaner houses in the suburbs.

Today Jordaan is one of the most fashionable areas of Amsterdam, and its rents are very high.

Here you will find great restaurants, cafes, and boutiques.

9. Red lights district (De Wallen)

If you’ve had enough of museums and bike lanes, you can head to one of the city’s most alternative areas: the Red Light District.

In the past, it was an unsafe neighborhood, but today it can be visited quietly both during the day and at night.

Of course, many clubs are forbidden to minors.

10. Coffee Shops

This ultimate guide to Amsterdam cannot forget the famous Coffee Shops.

Just like prostitution, some drugs are legal in the country.

Many young (and not so young) people enter these coffee shops to relax and smoke some weed. 

Inside the coffee shops, there are also several gadgets, books, and themed furniture items.

Recommended coffee shops: 

Travel guide to Amsterdam | How to save money in the city

If you plan to visit all the most famous museums and attractions in the city, you should definitely buy the I Amsterdam City Card.

It gives you access to over 70 world-class museums, top attractions, and activities. It includes city-wide public transport by metro, tram, bus, and ferry and a unique cruise over Amsterdam’s historic canals.

Okay, Amsterdam has so many delicious restaurants that are quite expensive. However, many budget restaurants in the city offer tasty local specialties or fast food.

If, however, you want to spend even less, we suggest you organize a tasty picnic in one of the city’s beautiful parks or the relaxation areas near the canals. 

Do you love events? Then check out what free shows are in the area now!

How to get around

In Amsterdam, you can get around easily with the public transport network that includes:

  • subways
  • buses
  • trams
  • ferries
  • trains

You can save money on travel by purchasing I Amsterdam City Card with an unlimited GVB public transport system for 24, 48, or 72 hours.

Another great and eco-friendly way to explore the city is by bike!

Useful Dutch Expressions

Good morning = Goedemorgen

Good Evening = Goedenavond

Thank you = Dank u wel / Dank je wel

You’re welcome = Graag gedaan

I am sorry = Sorry

Yes / No = Ja / Nee

I [don’t] understand. = Ik begrijp het [niet.]

How much is it? = Wat kost het?