Amsterdam is one of the world’s greatest small cities. It has so much to offer to visitors and locals alike. From the Amsterdam canals, to the world famous Museums, as well as the amazing historical sites, such as Anne Frank’s house. Amsterdam is also one of the most romantic cities in Europe and offers unique experiences you can only find in Amsterdam.
This is an incredibly vibrant yet mysterious city, bursting with artistic creativity. Amsterdam is bonafide bucket list worthy. If you’re planning to visit Amsterdam then check out this Quick Travel Guide to Amsterdam.
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When planning your trip to Amsterdam, you can find some great hotels rates here with Booking.com.
Fun Things to Do in Amsterdam
Things to see and do are plentiful in Amsterdam and depending on the length of your stay you may be able to see most of the highlights. If you’re like us, and only have a few days in town your will have to pick the tops on your list. For us, we definitely wanted to visit Anne Frank’s House and the Van Gogh Museum. We also made sure to take a canal cruise. Our friends at the Moxy Hotel also turned us on to a Music, Art and Food fest that was wrapping up soon and that was quite a bit of fun too!
Take a Canal Boat Cruise
To really enjoy the extensive canals in Amsterdam I recommend a canal cruise and there are many to choose from. Choices range from single hour tours for the highlights, which cost between 12 and 16 euro per person, or hop on hop off boat options, dinner cruises and the like. t’s a great way to see a large part of the city quickly if you’re not a walker like myself, but I encourage you to invest in some good walking shoes and just get lost in Amsterdam for a few hours. I think you’ll be glad you did.
Visit Anne Frank’s House
Ann Frank’s House is the one museum in the world I believe every person should visit. It is a modest museum to say the least, but definitely the most emotionally and thought provoking one I have ever visited. It is captivating to remember how a young teenage girl shared her story with the world after her death in the pages of her diary.
If you go, be sure to purchase your tickets online at Anne Frank’s House in advance because while they release tickets each day at 9:00 a.m. for purchase, they are gone in an instant.
Van Gogh Museum
We visited the Van Gogh museum this time and it was lovely and gave a thorough understanding of Van Gogh’s appreciation and love of art. Van Gogh’s determination to learn and improve his style from the artists that inspired him is impressive. It was interesting to take the journey of his life and see how his art evolved.
Amsterdam is home to numerous museums and I appreciate the city’s love of art and history and meaningfully sharing it with their visitors. The Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum and two of the most popular. They are highly recommended, but there are other popular and modern art choices as well. If you are planning a visit to Amsterdam be sure to purchase your tickets for the museums in advance or you may only get to tour the grounds outside the museums.
Royal Palace of Amsterdam
What makes this palace so special is the location. It is built on Dam Square in Amsterdam Central, the most popular meeting place in all of Amsterdam. Indeed it is a great place to hang out and people watch!
Red Light District
Of course this area is not very child friendly, but the red light district is one of the main tourists attractions of this vibrant city. Additionally it is a thriving bar and nightclub area, with seemingly endless restaurants and coffee shops. Definitely, this is one of the more interesting places in Amsterdam.
Best Neighborhoods to Stay
Amsterdam has some of the most amazing accommodations you will find. The huge canal system is a UNESCO World Heritage site in itself. Amsterdam is such a wildly diverse city that it really depends what you want. Here are some guidelines on which neighbourhoods are the best places to stay.
- Westerpark – Tourists or first timers
- Oud Zuid – Budget travellers
- De Pijp – Partying and nighlife
- Joordan – Cool area to stay
- Plantage – Families
Getting around Amsterdam is relatively easy as their transit offers trains, buses, and Uber for getting around. That being said, you can also just take your time and walk all over the city as we did.
Of course, you also have the option to take ferries and canal cruises. But biking is the transportation of choice for the people of Amsterdam. Mind you the Amsterdam folks are super friendly, but do not get in the way of their bikes. Be sure to stay on the proper walkways for pedestrians and yield to the bikes at intersections or you may find yourself on the ground. Americans could benefit from following the Danish and bike to more places instead of always taking the car.
Obviously, I hope you enjoyed this post about Amsterdam. There is so much to do and there is something for everyone to enjoy. If you’re looking for more travel ideas, then check out our London or Bruges, Belgium posts for more inspiration.
If you have any other suggestions for the best things to do in this area, please share a comment below, I would love to hear from you!
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