Things to do in
Amsterdam

Broad canals crisscross a city famous for its world class art, tolerance, and happy cyclists.

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Our most recommended things to do in Amsterdam

From Amsterdam: Keukenhof Skip-the-Line Ticket and Transfer

1. From Amsterdam: Keukenhof Skip-the-Line Ticket and Transfer

Enjoy hassle-free and efficient transportation from central Amsterdam to Keukenhof Gardens, and journey by comfortable bus at a time to suit you. Arrive at the world's largest spring garden in just 55 minutes, benefit from fast track entry on arrival, and stay for as long as you please. Buses to Keukenhof Gardens depart daily from the 'This is Holland' experience, opposite Central Station. Simply take the free ferry from Amsterdam Central Station to the opposite side of the IJ, where 'This is Holland' is a mere 2-minute walk away.   Board the bus, and then admire the Dutch landscape en route to Keukenhof Gardens. Watch a video presentation about Dutch history, the colorful landscape and interesting information on why Holland is so famous for its flowers. Upon arrival at Keukenhof Gardens, skip the long lines and explore the floral displays of the spring garden at your own pace. Marvel at up to 7 million bulbs in bloom, and see vibrant flower beds and fragrant floral displays. Enjoy the Keukenhof Gardens at your leisure, and benefit from frequent departures with guaranteed seating on a luxury coach back to Amsterdam between 1 PM and 6:30 PM. Get a free copy of the Amsterdam city map to help you find your way around the city as a bonus.

Amsterdam: Classic Boat Cruise with Cheese & Wine Option

2. Amsterdam: Classic Boat Cruise with Cheese & Wine Option

Relax on a canal cruise through the UNESCO Heritage listed Golden Age Canals of Amsterdam. View city highlights like the Skinny Bridge, the Red Light District, and the Old Harbor. Have the option to choose standard tour or a tour with unlimited delicious Dutch cheese, wine, and other drinks. Board the ship and let your local skipper tell you about local history as you sail past sights in the Jordaan district and the Skinny Bridge on the the Amstel River. Admire views of parts of the Red Light District, the former city locks, and Old Harbor. Capture pictures of the stately architecture of the Maritime Museum and the prestigious Gold Bend neighborhood. See pieces of history as you sail by places like the Anne Frank House. Ask your guide questions about the city and get recommendations for things to do and places to eat.

Amsterdam: 1.5-Hour Evening Canal Cruise

3. Amsterdam: 1.5-Hour Evening Canal Cruise

Climb aboard a canal boat to experience Amsterdam at its most beautiful - when the sun goes down and the city lights are switched on. Enjoy the view as you see thousands of lights highlight the hundreds of bridges and the iconic buildings alongside the canals. Cruise along some of the most scenic waterways of Amsterdam’s Canal Belt, passing the illuminated buildings, bridges, and boats that give the city an almost fairytale appearance. Enjoy an open-air space in both winter and summer.  A host will welcome you aboard and tell you many stories, legends, and historical facts about Amsterdam as you sail. Sit back to learn about the local hotspots, including notable restaurants and nightclubs. Complete your experience during the canal cruise by buying some drinks and snacks in the ticketing office prior to boarding.

Amsterdam: Luxury Open Boat City Canal Cruise

4. Amsterdam: Luxury Open Boat City Canal Cruise

Admire Amsterdam’s picturesque waterside landmarks on a 100% electric, luxury cruise. Take in incredible views of the city’s famous landmarks from an open boat and experience a relaxing way to sightsee, free of traffic. Learn informative and entertaining insights about the sites along the route. See the 17th-century buildings lining the famous canals, as well new stylish buildings showcasing the influential 21st-century city that Amsterdam has become. Sail by the Hermitage Museum then glide past the Skinny Bridge, the posh Amstel Hotel and the charming neighbourhood of Grachtengordel. Enjoy an open-air boat experience on a sunny day or stay warm with a protective covering on cooler days. In the winter months, relax on an enclosed boat to keep you warm. Benefit from the flexibility of a one-use ticket that can be used on any one of the cruises departing within the hour you booked.

Amsterdam: GVB Public Transport Ticket

5. Amsterdam: GVB Public Transport Ticket

Experience Amsterdam stress-free with an unlimited travel card for all public transport networks operated by GVB throughout the city. Purchase a ticket valid for a day or a multi-day ticket that best suits your plans. Travel on the metro, trams, buses, and ferries and experience the city like a local. Using your ticket is easy. Simply check in when boarding a tram, bus, or metro, and then check out when you exit or disembark the vehicle. Your ticket will be validated on first use and can be used for unlimited travel until the end of its validity. If you have additional questions, or your ticket appears to be defective, you can easily go to one of the designated pick-up locations or call the number presented on your mobile voucher for assistance.

Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum Ticket

6. Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum Ticket

As one of Amsterdam's most popular attractions, the Van Gogh Museum draws over a million visitors each year. With this ticket, discover over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and more than 750 letters from Van Gogh at your own pace. Access a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibitions.  Home to the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam transports visitors on a fascinating journey through the life of the artist and his contemporaries. The museum introduces the complete story: the artist, the context, Van Gogh’s personal ambitions, his emotions, the myths that surround him, and his influence right up until this very day. The Van Gogh Museum’s collection includes world-famous paintings such as Sunflowers, Almond Blossom, and The Potato Eaters.  The museum also organizes 3 temporary exhibitions every year. The Van Gogh Museum is open 365 days a year. Tickets are available online only. Don’t miss out, book in advance. Visitors can discover more about Van Gogh and his contemporaries with the multimedia guide, available in 11 languages. With more time to enjoy inside the museum, you can dive straight into the fantastic collections on display.

Amsterdam: Heineken Experience Ticket

7. Amsterdam: Heineken Experience Ticket

1867 was a good year for beer. It was the year Gerard Adriaan Heineken built a new brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. In the pumping heart of the old brewery, you can dive into the world of Heineken beer.   On a 1.5-hour self-guided tour you’ll learn about the company’s heritage, the beer brewing process, Heineken’s innovations, and about what it takes to serve a world-famous beer. There will be a short presentation in English provided inside the factory.   Find out the 4 natural ingredients that make this beer, and discover the brand’s sponsorship activities with Formula 1, the UEFA Champions League and the Rugby World Cup. And sure enough, at the end of the tour you can raise your glass with new friends.

Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum Entrance Ticket

8. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum Entrance Ticket

Treat yourself to a wonderful day in one of Amsterdam’s grandest museums, the Rijksmuseum, located in the heart of the city. The Rijksmuseum's internationally revered collection features some of the nation’s most famous works, including historic art by Vermeer, Frans Hals, and perhaps most notably Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’, which takes pride of place in a beautifully lit hall allowing visitors to enjoy every tiny detail.  Visitors can expect much more than just paintings by Dutch Masters from the Golden Age. The Rijksmuseum’s expansive, evocative collection also includes Delftware, sculptures, archaeological artefacts, clothing, Asian art, prints, items from Dutch maritime history, and many other culturally significant objects, all combining to vividly retell 800 years of Dutch history within a global context. And naturally, the collection isn't frozen in time – new items such as a Mondrian-inspired dress by Yves Saint Laurent dating from 1965 can also be seen. The largest research and restoration project ever for 'The Night Watch' has started. This is happening live in the museum and you can be part of it and support the project with a donation.

Amsterdam: ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo Entry Ticket

9. Amsterdam: ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo Entry Ticket

At the ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo, nature, culture, and heritage come together. Every tree, creature, building, microbe, and planet has its own story. ARTIS has been telling these stories since 1838, and each day they are born anew. Experience it all for yourself with your entry ticket. Stroll through the historical city park with its centuries-old trees and wealth of plants. Delight your taste buds at de Plantage, a café-restaurant. Relax in a chair near the fountain on Artisplein. Experience nature and discover its significance for civilization, because a better understanding of nature fosters a greater respect for all the life around you.

Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise

10. Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise

Discover the best of Amsterdam on a canal cruise. Admire old and new buildings, bridges, and much more in a city that’s rooted in history but continues to change. Hear about the city from your audio guide. Take in views of the 17th-century buildings lining the canals, as well as the cosmopolitan 21st-century city that Amsterdam has become. See the many sides of the city from the Golden Bend to Overhoeks, the city’s newest quarter, and from the Music Building in the harbor to the VOC ship. Add an optional snack box to your cruise for something to munch on as you see the sights. Listen to your personal audio guide while on board, with commentary in 20 languages and complimentary headphones. The little ones will love the special "freshwater pirate" kids audio commentary and their own goody bag to enjoy on the boat.

Frequently asked questions about Amsterdam

What top attractions are a must-see in Amsterdam?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days should you spend in Amsterdam?

    There’s no right answer, but you can get a real feel for the city if you allocate three full days. That will give you enough time to hit the big sights, see the canals, and explore your way through some neighborhoods.

  • Getting around town

    Amsterdam is an easy city to navigate. While the public transport is first class, most visitors find that the city is compact enough to be 100% walkable, save for the train to-and-from Schiphol Airport. Plus, you can easily rent a bicycle when the weather's nice.

  • How expensive is Amsterdam?

    While there are a couple big activities you will have to pay for (like the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum), Amsterdam is full of street markets and small independent galleries. And the city is so walkable that you won’t need to spend a lot on public transportation.

Good to know

  • Language
    Dutch and lots of English
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +31
  • Best time to visit
    There’s never a promise of good weather in Amsterdam, but you can expect milder temperatures and longer days between April and September. April is especially lovely -- those famous tulips will be blooming, and you can celebrate Holland’s biggest holiday of the year, King’s Day.

Other Sightseeing Options in Amsterdam

Want to discover all there is to do in Amsterdam? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Amsterdam

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 122,690 reviews

We booked the tour as we missed out on getting tickets. However we absolutely loved it and was worth it. Melissa our guide was a wealth of information without it being too high brow. We learned loads and she was always on hand for local tips and recommendations. We got far more out of the museum than we would have ordinarily (as well as having a better time). Thanks Melissa!

Fantastic trip with Virginia our host & John our Skipper! They were so knowledgeable, so friendly & welcoming! Thank you for a great trip.

Th trip was on time. The guide was nice, a lot of experience, attentive. The staff at the office are kindly.

Guide was first class,informative knowledgeable insightful and amusing Would totally recommend this tour

Our experience from start to finish was seamless and very enjoyable.