There is no dearth of fun things to do in Amsterdam Netherlands, so if you’re headed that way for a vacation, gear up for an action-packed time! From its rich cultural heritage to the uber-inviting nightlife, there are plenty of inviting experiences that the city woos its visitors with. Amsterdam is beautiful, scenic and the locals are so much fun to interact with. The Golden Age canals, quaint, gabled buildings, vintage shops with endless covetable trinkets, and stunning cityscape are just a few of the pleasures Amsterdam has to offer. And the famous, fancy houses are sure to give some Instagram goals and much historical insight. Use this Amsterdam travel guide to prepare yourself for a visit to the city and learn the best way to get around the city.
How To Get Around in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a small city with most of its attractions being within walking distance of each other. But these are some of the other options you can consider if you are wondering how to travel around Amsterdam.
Buy an OV Card
Locally known as the ‘OV-chipkaart’, it is a travel card that allows you to travel with all public transport companies in the Netherlands including GVB. That means you can travel by metro, tram, bus and ferry services if you purchase these cards that usually have a validity for 24/48/72 hours.
The blue and white trams with their typical siren call are distinctive to Amsterdam and exude an old world charm. Having said that they are probably the quickest way around the crowded city. The bus and metro system in the Dutch capital is world class with the latest infrastructure and special facilities for the physically challenged.
Renting a motorcycle or a car
Consider this option only if you are planning a day trip from Amsterdam to idyllic locations on the outskirts of the Dutch capital like – Bruges, Zaanse Schans, Giethoorn or Keukenhof gardens.
Amsterdam – the city of many charms is also the city of many canals. It is no wonder that a fair amount of travelers prefer this means of transport. A canal cruise treats you to the many wonders of Amsterdam at a leisurely pace. If you are traveling along with a group of friends you can even plan to rent out a boat for yourselves.
P.S-If you are traveling with your loved ones, opt for the Amsterdam dinner cruise. Enjoy a 4-course meal along with fine wine. Nothing more romantic than cruising along against the backdrop of the shimmering city lights in the comfort of your modern canal boat.
10 Fun Things do in Amsterdam Netherlands
Amsterdam is a cosmopolitan city with citizens having explicitly open views about the use of marijuana and sex-trade. However, there is more to Amsterdam than just entertainment and the Red Light District. From finding the most photogenic canal views to hop bar-hopping, there is so much to do in Amsterdam. Here are a few our favorite fun things you can do when in the city and places that are worth visiting.
Visit the Popular Bloemenmarkt to Smell the Freshest Flowers
On the Southern Banks of Singel Canal is the prettiest flower market ever that goes by the name of Bloemenmarkt. This colorful attraction is a must visit for anyone coming to Amsterdam. We spent some time here gawking at the cutest souvenirs to take home. A trip to this colourful floating market of Amsterdam can brighten up your day. This market by the Singel canal belt is a must visit for everyone.
The Essence of Renting Tandem Bike
You haven’t truly experienced the welcoming energy of capital city of Netherlands if you haven’t pedaled on the same tune in a tandem bike ride with your loved ones. Why not pedal together and make the experience an objective one? And, such objective experience will surely have an everlasting impression on your relationship.
The Faddish Dam Square
Located in the heart of Amsterdam is the local square which remains crowded on all days at all times – The Dam Square. It opens a variety of options for you to indulge in. It has the potent to make you feel light with the numerous cafes, restaurants and bars, while at the same time, holding enough water to quench your keen thirst of exploring historical heritage as the area is also home to the museum and buildings that our history books acquainted us to. The prominent in the list being, the Royal Place of Amsterdam.
Memorable Cheese Tasting Session
Cheese tasting is the cultural inheritance in the Amsterdam. When the city warmly offers you to enjoy the taste numerous and the finest Dutch cheese with both the hands, why not open your mouth wide and have it all in? One of the best places to try the taste is- Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Room. It is ripened and matured in an entirely natural way which leaves an everlasting impression.
The A’DAM Lookout
You will definitely be in a full swing when you experience the adventurous, thrilling and adrenaline rush causing ride of A’ DAM sky deck. It has Europe’s highest swing, the ride of which will be an experience beyond description. When you swing, the city will not fail to amaze you with the complementary gift i.e. the view of the whole city from different unimaginable angles.
Lively Nightlife at De Wallen
De Wallen; the famous red-light district of Amsterdam is famous for all that it holds. It is one of the oldest parts of the city. The distinct florescent red light is typical of the area. With time the place has developed and it has started offering something more than sex trade. The area is also known for its big-named bars, restaurants, coffeeshops, window prostitution and peepshows.
Disclaimer- keeping in mind the privacy of the sex workers there, photography of them is highly restricted. Doing so may cause you to pay high prices.
Pay a Compulsory Visit to Begijnhof
It is one of the treasures located at the heart of the city. It holds a historical importance as it was built somewhere around 14th century. When you are tired travelling in the hustle and bustle of this magical city, relax your mind by visiting Begijnhof. The calm, serenity and grandeur of the place will refuel your energy to the brim. It has the most uniquely built historical houses with gardens and churches.
The All Scrummy Food Trucks
You will never be able to forget the lip-smacking taste of the delicacies that the food trucks offer you in Amsterdam. The food truck culture is trending so why not have your fill before you come back to your city. Attend one of the innumerable food truck festivals and treat your taste-buds and enjoy the food in a distinct aura.
Let’s Pronounce ‘I Amsterdam’ to the Universe
A perfect picture with red and white coloured background saying- I Amsterdam is a must and declaratory after reaching the city. This iconic sign has to be mandatorily floated through all your social media accounts. The place is open to public throughout the day but it is still always full of people busy getting the perfect captures in their long-planned poses. So, to avoid the repercussions of it, it is preferably suggested to go early morning.
Go to the Anne Frank Museum
If one is asked to describe Amsterdam travels in a word, what would it be that will justify it in a true sense? Won’t it be the museums? Yes, definitely ‘the museums’ it would be. Anne Frank House is a writer’s house and a biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime well known diarist Anne Frank. It offers you the facility of cloakroom, free audio tour, museum cafes and shops to provide you with an insight and makes it unforgettable.
Highlights of Our Trip to Amsterdam
√ Asian dinner at the Chin Chin Club
√ The fact that there are more bikes than citizens in Amsterdam
√ Canal cruising that helps you know the city better
√ The Jordaan area that has a rich history. Visit to the oldest Dutch cafe – Cafe De Jordaan
√ Night walks around the Red Light area
Where to Stay in Amsterdam
Finding ideal accommodation in Amsterdam is not a difficult task at all. From hippiest hotels to luxury romantic hotels, there is no dearth of options to stay in the city.
During our visit to Amsterdam, we stayed at two of the best hotels in Amsterdam – Marriott Amsterdam and Renaissance Amsterdam. Both the luxury hotels are situated in the prime locations and are close to all major attractions.
Foods You Must Try in Amsterdam
Over the past decade, traditional Dutch cooking has been reinvented with a generous dollop of foreign influence to suit the palette of the 18 million hungry travelers who travel to Amsterdam every year.
We have put together our top five dishes in the city, so here we go:
These baby pancakes are as tasty as they are cute. They are usually consumed as a snack and topped with a bit of butter and sugar. We loved trying these and can safely say you can try them at De Vier Pilaren. Another really nice place to try Poffertjes in Amsterdam is The Pancake Bakery.
The Dutch love their cheese and even have a museum dedicated to it! Amsterdam produces several varieties of cheese, Gouda being the most popular. Gouda cheese is a special one as it is matured for 4 years. De Kaaskamer (a kilometer walk from the flower market) is a good place to do your cheese shopping. Alternatively, you can buy cheese from Old Amsterdam from the canal side passage.
Are they waffles or are they cookies? These thin discs of crisp waffle batter with a sweet syrup and are perfect as munchies.
‘Patatje oorlog’ (the Dutch version of fries), ‘ontbijtkoek’(a kind of gingerbread), ‘kroketten’ (Dutch croquettes)…the list goes on. The modern Dutch cuisine speaks the delectable language of refined cooking and the art of cooking with the freshest ingredients that are often locally sourced.
Cycling in Amsterdam
Pedaling around the city is a must because that’s what the Dutch do. The Dutch capital prides itself to be one of the forerunners of the bicycle movement. Amsterdam is one of the most cyclist-friendly cities we have traveled to. It is a fun way to explore the city and leaves a zero carbon footprint. Prices for renting a bike go upwards of €10/day.
The bicycle lanes are clearly marked out and reddish in color. For walking use the pedestrian lane (next to the bike white and white in color) to save yourself from mishaps.
Is it the historical heritage that fascinates, the sight of mouth-watering cuisine that leaves you lip-smacking or is it the assorted art and architecture that makes you awestruck? The choice is all yours, but why choose one, when you have an option to be charmed by all separately and together? Amsterdam can be real merriment without putting much artificial efforts if you plan it really well. So here, to simplify and make your visit worth, and follow our list of fun things to do in Amsterdam.
Let us know if you would like to add anything to our cool things to do in Amsterdam list.