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20 Things To Do In Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a city filled with wonder, great foods, coffeeshops, canals, museums and so much more. This beautiful city is worth exploring for any visitor. When the weather is perfect, the crowds will come out, which can make it hard to figure out what to do. After many visits, we have come up with what you can do in Amsterdam, with a few extra day trip suggestions as well.
So, here are the top 20 things to do in Amsterdam!
Museums You Should See
1. Ann Frank House
This was the first museum my wife and I visited when it was our first time in Amsterdam. Waited over 3 hours in a line and it was worth it. Now they have made things a bit easier and more efficient.
The tickets are only available if bought online and should be purchased in advanced. They will release 80% of the tickets, 2 months out and the remaining are released the day of at 9 a.m.. I repeat, you can not buy tickets at the museum, everything is online now. Check out more at the official Ann Frank House Museum website.
It is a piece of history that everyone needs to see. It helped to give a better picture and understanding of what Ann Frank and others went through, compared to reading the book. Frankly, this should be a must for anyone visiting, whether you are a history lover or not.
The famous Rijksmuseum is at the end of the Volderpark and a few minutes walk from the Van Gogh Museum. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. and tickets will cost €20 or you can buy online and save €1.
The museum has a collection of Dutch masterpieces, like Rembrandts famous “Night Watch”. Other collections includes miniature silverware, doll houses, pottery, ship models, and many rare books.
3. Van Gough Museum
Love the art and history of Van Gogh, then you will need to visit the Van Gogh Museum. A marvelous collection of his paintings, exhibited throughout a few floors. You will pay €19 for an adult ticket and anyone under 18 is free. Buy the tickets in advance.
If you have a disability, then check with the website first. They have some great accommodations for those who are blind, partiality sighted, deaf, and more. Disabled visitors can have their companion free of charge. This is the same at a few other museums, so always check ahead.
4. Visit MOCO
MOCO is a contemporary art museum that is consider full of boutique art. Art collections can range from the unauthorized Banksy collections of a few of his iconic pieces to the MOCO masters like Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Damien Hirst.
5. Nemo Science Museum
Love science, then take a look at the Nemo Science Museum. There are over 19,000 artifacts and 4 core collections to walk through. They range from technology to energy storage. This museum has something for the little science nerd in you.
6. Micropia Museum
Okay, here is another museum for the person who likes science. The Micropia Museum is a collection and history of microbes. We can not see them with the naked eye, but microbes are an important part of our world.
From a healthy ecosystem to medicine we use, microbes are everywhere. It can be fascinating to see where they come from, how we use them, or how they can cause us harm. Go find out what’s crawling in your body.
Things To Do
7. Rent A Bike
Renting a bike in Amsterdam for most is considered a must do. This is a great way to see the city, get around, and help lesson your carbon footprint a little. It isn’t considered the “bike capital of the world” for nothing. Biking in the city is safe, but always watch out for other bikers if you are walking.
Renting a bike is easy and cheap. It can be short, for only a 3 hour segment, to a few days or more. Most shops will charge €8 – €10 per day. Here is our Amsterdam City Travel Guide that includes what to expect, what seasons to visit, tours, and more to help you make the best trip possible. .
8. Stroll Through The Albert Cuypmarket in the De Pijp Neighbored
This is the place you will want to stroll through if you are in Amsterdam Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You will find traditional Dutch products, foods, bikes, gadgets, cloths, souvenirs and more. A favorite for locals and tourist. It is located in the ‘De Pijp’ neighbored. Check out their website for more info.
9. Look Through The Oudemanhuispoort Book Market
Found this one by accident, honestly. We love walking around the streets and came across this small alley lined with tables, stacked high with used books. Most will be in Dutch, but you can find a few English titles scattered throughout. Not only are there books, but maps, posters and more.
10. Take A Canal Tour
Taking a canal boat tour is a great way to see and learn about Amsterdam or to get around. Picking the right one should be about what you wish to get from it. Some will offer a history lesson while others food and drinks.
Looking for one that can teach about the environment more, then check out Plastic Whale boat tour. Want to BYOB (bring your own booze) and party some then buy tickets for Those Dam Boat Guys. A typical canal tour is Blue Boat Company. Lastly, if you want to smoke some recreational flower on board then go toke it up on the Smoke Boat Tour.
11. Stroll Through A Park
Amsterdam is a beautiful city, full of tall houses, canals, and city parks scattered throughout. These creations are made up of gorgeous trees, plants, and ponds.
The biggest park and most visited is the Vondelpark, which is close to the Van Gogh Muesum and the Rijksmuseum. Want to visit it on a bike, then try out a Amsterdam bicycle tour, where you can learned about the history and facts about this park, which was open in 1865.
Another option is the amazing ecological designed Frankendael Park. Enjoy walking, hiking, biking or eating at one of the two sustainable restaurants they have here.
Attractions You Should Try
12. The Heineken Experience
The Heineken Experience is a less than 2 hour tour located in an old Heineken brewery that was closed in 1988. Entrance fees start at €18 and up.
The tour will show you parts of their museum, which tells the beers story, how it is made, and a small taste of some at the end. The tasting will be given in a small Heineken glass that you will keep and for kids, they can have some soda or water instead.
13. House Of Bols
House of Bols is a cocktail and Genever (Dutch Gin) experience that lasts an hour. Here you will pay to learn about the history of it, taste, smell, and feel. Only people 18 years and over are allowed and it will cost you €16 to start.
Food Places Not To Miss
14. Try Raw Haring From Stubbe's Haring Food Truck
When in Amsterdam, you should try the authentic Dutch Haring at Stubbe’s Haring. A local and tourist favorite that serves their haring on a roll with pickles and onions. If you love sushi, then you will enjoy this treat very much.
Located on the Singel, between Brouwersgracht and Haarlemmerstraat street, it makes it very convenient to grab a quick snack. For this reason you will not find any benches or tables to eat at. Just grab one and keep on walking. Plan on spending a little less than €5 for a roll.
A place not to be missed is Rene’s Croissanterie, which you can find by looking for a large crowd stuffing their faces with delicious food. Spending a few day in the city then I can guarantee you will want to stop by a few times to try different deserts.
The fresh churros with Nutella on top is amazing along with so many other treats, it can be hard to choose. Oh, don’t forget they have sandwiches as well for when you need more than a sugar high.
For The More Adventurous Adults
16. Go See A Sex Show
As the title says, if you want something different and more on the sinful side, then go watch a sex show. These establishments are a huge hit on busy nights, with some having long lines, just to get in.
What to expect? Expect to pay an entrance fee starting around €40 and up. Some might offer a free drink or two with entrance. Each establishment can be different on what shows they offer. You can choose from strip shows to a more risqué show of two people participating in an entertaining sexual performance.
For others that have decided to try out a show, emotions can be mixed at the end. Some find it disturbing, yet fascinating, while others enjoy the elaborate acts. The Banana Bar has its name for a reason, for their banana acts, so pick wisely if you plan on watching one.
17. Walk Through The Red Light District
It is easy to find those glowing red lights when walking through the red light district. Don’t end up one of the tourist, which are yelled at for trying to take a photo. They are not allowed.
Have we personally partaked in what they have to offer? No we haven’t, but we have witnessed enough people playing the “lets make a deal” game. In my opinion, the ladies never looked happy when offers where too low. Respect that the women are working and need to make a living as well.
18. Enjoy A Smoke At A Coffee Shop
It can be easy for some who have never been to get confused between coffee shops and cafes. One has something that the other dose not. Cafes are where you would get that morning coffee and snack to help start your day.
Feeling adventurous or have partaken in recreational marijuana, then the coffee shops are what you’re looking for. It is impolite to try to smoke in public and not in a designated area. Remember to respect the locals because you wouldn’t want someone doing that in front of your house or where your children are walking.
Most coffee shops expect you to buy their own products they are selling when deciding to smoke. You will find the herb in three different forms. First is flower where they sell by gram and will range from €12-€19. Picky on THC and CBD percentage then you can ask what they have. Be warned, there is no tight regulations for the genetics of the marijuana, so strains can be off from what they tell you.
Second, is the ground up form, which is put in a joint to smoke. Lastly, is a spliff where it is a mixture of ground up flower and tobacco in a joint form. Not all places will have spiffs or allow them to be smoked. Be responsible if you plan on smoking and don’t get too intoxicated where you can not function correctly or need others to take care of you.
19. Go Clubbing
Adults who want a night of dancing and music should go check out one of the cities clubs. The Radion has a 24 hour license to play music, so you know they are serious. Perfect if your looking for a rave.
Another option, is De School, a club located in a old school, which for anyone who wanted to listen to music loud in class will appreciate this establishment. For the LGBTQ and drag community, go check out Club NYX. A place to enjoy music for everyone on 4 floors in an old carriage house.
20. Yes, Those Truffles Are Magic
Walking along the streets in Amsterdam, you might come across a store with the famous Amanita muscaria mushroom, or otherwise known as the mushroom associated with Alice in Wonderland. This picture along with the “magic truffles” words printed under it will give you an idea on what they sell.
Truffles are not actual truffles you would eat on a dish, nor are they related to the fungi strain for truffles. Instead, they are located underneath certain strains of psychoactive mushrooms. Within the roots there will be small peanut like structures that grow, which can give psychoactive affects. Some say they taste better and are easier to ingest than regular magic mushrooms.
A selected few shops will sell a variety of truffles that can give you a high. If you plan on trying to use some then talk with an expert at the shop, have a safe space, friends or loved ones who can help you if need be, and lastly, a good attitude about it. Like with any drug, there are always risks, so please plan accordingly.
Try One Of These Day Trips
I think this small city is an amazing place that everyone should visit, at least once. A realitivly short 2 hour train ride from Amsterdam will put you in one of Europe’s most beautiful stations. Also became know as the international center for diamond industry due to their reputation for cutting diamonds.
Another thing about Antwerp is the amazing selection of food they offer. Consider taking the Belgium Food Tour. The groups are small and will take 3 hours for €55. It includes 6 plus establishments to taste food, drinks, sweets, and learn the history.
If you want to see a massive amount of flowers, then check out this flower park. During the fall, they plant over 7 million Tulip bulbs and more to have bloom during the spring. This coming year 2020, will open from March 21st to May 10th.
Each year has a theme and this upcoming year will be, World of Colors. Make sure to buy your tickets in advance and figure out how you want to get to the park. Either rent a car, take a public express bus starting at €28, or go with a tour company for around €59.
This little village lacks streets and instead has canals. It can be considered what a picturesque type of Dutch village should look like, from an outside tourist perspective.
Expect the spring and summer months to have larger crowds, due to perfect weather. Unfortunately, the only two ways to get to the village is either by tour or by renting a car, driving the 1.5 hours yourself, or taking a few forms of public transportation, which should take around 3 hours.
Alkmaar Cheese Market
Love cheese, then you need to check out the cheese market in Alkmaar. Only taking place on Fridays from March to September. Starting this past year, 2019, they created a night cheese market, on Tuesdays, during the months of July and August.
Getting to the market is easy with taking a direct train from Amsterdam Central Station, renting a car for the day, or booking a tour. Expect some crowds.
Want to see some traditional Dutch windmills, then this is the place to go. It can be touristy at certain busy times of the year. Filled with historic 17th to 20th century windmills, houses, and more.
Located less than a hour train or bus ride from Amsterdam. More windmills and better weather will greet you in the summer months. If you plan on riding a bike around the town, then 3-4 hours is more than enough time to explore everything.
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Have you visited Amsterdam before? Did you enjoy yourself and is there anything you would recommend? Have any other activities or places we should see, let us know in the comments section. From Phoenix? Hi neighbored! Thanks for taking a look at our site and don’t forget to subscribe for future articles and tips.
The information on this website has come from research and by experiencing it ourselves. Opening hours, closures, prices, etc. are always subject to change. We try to keep up to date on any new information, or tips to help make your adventure more enjoyable.