Hop-on hop-off tours in Amsterdam: Everything you need to know
Amsterdam’s hop-on hop-off sightseeing trips can be quite a ride, so make sure you don’t miss them. Dutch Masters paint the walls at the Rijksmuseum, and culture takes on new meaning at the Amsterdam Cheese Museum. You can pause for a history lesson at Anne Frank’s House or to groove at Electric Ladyland. Maybe discover what is trendy in Dutch in Jordaan or get your shopping on in De 9 Straatjes.
These trips can also show you the “dam” in Amsterdam, Edam, Volendam, and more. There, maybe try some wooden clogs, or see those famous windmills in action.
Why should I take a hop-on hop-off tour of Amsterdam?
Find out why Amsterdam is also known as the “Venice of the North.” People still travel and live along the canals, so you can hop on and hop off boats as well as buses here. Relax in the bus or cruise along the canals. Alternatively, do both and get a view of the city from both land and water in addition to some postcard perfect pictures.
Whichever option you choose, you can explore at your own pace. Dive into a neighborhood or go straight for a destination. Don’t feel like walking? Sit back and enjoy the scenery. Most buses and boats are climate-controlled, so you’ll be comfortable no matter the weather outside. The audio commentary can be a good start while chatting with a guide can be an experience in and of itself. You might pick up some local lingo or learn a tip or two to go authentically Dutch!
Some tours feature routes through the countryside. No need to rent a car or try to convert kilometers into miles - they’ve picked the beauty spots for you. Just sit back and make sure your camera is charged and ready.
What attractions can I visit on a hop-on hop-off Amsterdam tour?
Ready to experience centuries of culture and history? Or check out some cool, quirky spots? Here’s a list of some of both that you can find on a hop-on hop-off journey through Amsterdam.
Art lovers come for the Rembrandts and Vermeers. Miniature fans swoon for the 17th century doll houses. Foodies flock to the Michelin-starred café. Then, there’s the Delft blue pottery, musical instruments, ship models, armory, and so much more. Download the museum’s app so you don’t miss anything.
Van Gogh Museum
You won’t find “Starry Night” here, but you will find “Sunflowers”, in addition to the artist’s self-portraits, including the one after he cut off his ear. This place celebrates his art and you may find yourself captivated.
Take an elevator with a light and sound show up 20 stories. Then look out onto Amsterdam and beyond. Get pics of you and your friends hanging off the edge with a little digital help. Or for a real adrenaline rush, try the “Over the Edge” swing. Yes, over the edge, 330 feet up.
What to do with a 120-year-old brewery? Turn it into an attraction! Take a walk and learn about this world-famous beer, then drink a couple! If you’re under 18, you can drink sodas. Note that tickets are allocated by time, so you may want to book in advance, or check with your guide first.
Anne Frank House
A solemn stop, but important. See the small space that hid eight people for two years and learn about the six people who defied the Nazis to help them.
Of course, visitors to “The First Museum of Fluorescent Art” become part of the art, so don’t miss out. You need an appointment, so this might take a little coordinating. Ask the guide for help. But rocks that burst into colors in the dark? Trippy glow-in-the-dark collages? Hendrix fans will understand.
One of Amsterdam’s oldest taverns used to accept monkeys as payment. You can’t do that now, but it’s still a funky stop for food or drink.
Tips and good things to know for hop-on hop-off Amsterdam tours
Tickets for trips within Amsterdam usually last 24 or 48 hours. Those that go into the countryside may be more limited, such as going one way only or valid for just the day. Check the schedules and terms to make sure you get what you want.
Some include entrance to certain attractions like the Heineken Experience. Also, check for apps - many operators offer audio tours, maps, walking tours, and sometimes more on their apps. Others have onboard audio (check if you have to rent headsets) and hand out booklets and guides. Some operators change schedules and routes during the different seasons, so make sure they’re going your way!