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

Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise

1. Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise

Discover the best of Amsterdam on a canal cruise, where you’ll see some of the best of this historical city. Admire new buildings, bridges, and much more in a city that’s rooted in history but continues to change. Choose between two departure points and take in the views of the 17th-century buildings lining the canals, and 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. You can also add an optional snackbox to your cruise for something to munch on as you see the sights.

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Madame Tussauds Amsterdam Ticket

2. Madame Tussauds Amsterdam Ticket

At Madame Tussauds Amsterdam you can sparkle among the stars. Right in the heart of Amsterdam you can drink a cup of coffee with George Clooney, get your picture taken with members of the Dutch Royal family and pick up your paintbrush alongside world-famous artists such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt. If you are you dreaming about a career as a real TV-host, come and discover your presentation skills at the new TV studio by reading the autocue. Or is music more your thing? How about recording a duet with Adele in the recording studio, or joining DJs Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Hardwell or Martin Garrix in the DJ booth. Immerse yourself into this amazing interactive world. You’ll never see as many stars in Amsterdam as at Madame Tussauds Amsterdam.

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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 bar service as you see thousands of lights highlight the hundreds of bridges and the iconic buildings alongside the canals. You will 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 in 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.

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Amsterdam: GVB Public Transport Ticket

4. 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.

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Amsterdam: Life of Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour

5. Amsterdam: Life of Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour

Find out more about Anne Frank on a small-group or private guided walking tour of Amsterdam, led by an expert guide. Discover the city’s centuries-old Jewish Quarter in a small group setting while your guide weaves in anecdotes about Anne Frank's life and World War II. You will hear all about Anne Frank’s family dynamics, their move from Germany, their time in hiding and her father’s life after the war. Start the tour outside the Portuguese Synagogue, a 17th-century Sephardic construction that still functions as a synagogue today. Find out about the background of the original Jewish neighborhood and how it developed over the centuries. Your guide will share stories of Anne Frank’s love of writing, the conditions she lived through in 1930s and 1940s Amsterdam, and how her diary became so famous. You will also hear about the Dutch Resistance during the Second World War and see where secret hiding places were located. Over the course of the tour, you will walk by the Jewish Historical Museum, stop at the Auschwitz Monument and see the outside of the Anne Frank House façade. Finish the tour with a small surprise at a local Dutch cafe.

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Amsterdam: Classic Boat Cruise with Cheese & Wine Option

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

Sit back and relax while you enjoy a 75-minute city cruise highlighting the city's famous landmarks and culture and listen to stories from its rich trading history. Seeing the city of Amsterdam aboard a covered and heated boat is the best way to discover one of Europe's most exciting cities.  During your cruise, your skipper will take you through to many of the city's highlights, as you relax and take in all the sights and sounds. This cruise is conducted in a group with a maximum of 24 people, and will provide you with both an immersive and interactive tour. There is also enough time during the tour for questions and recommendations you might require for the rest of your stay as you enjoy this beautiful city. Choose between a standard option where you can add unlimited drinks, or book right away with Dutch cheese, wine and other beverages all included.

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Amsterdam: Luxury Canal City Cruise

7. Amsterdam: Luxury Canal City Cruise

Admire Amsterdam’s picturesque waterside landmarks on a 100% electric, luxury cruise. Take in incredible views of the city’s famous landmarks and experience the most 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 and the posh Amstel Hotel.  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.

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Amsterdam: Culture & History Walking Tour in German

8. Amsterdam: Culture & History Walking Tour in German

Visit famous sites of Amsterdam downtown and get an overview of the city on this 2.5-hour walking tour dedicated to culture and history. Profit from tips every adventurous traveler needs to know and make the best of your trip. Find out which food you should taste and which districts can be discovered independently by bike. Listen to your guide telling you which architectural designs were popular in the past and get an idea of the people of Amsterdam. Hear stories about how merchants, salesmen and the poor used to live in the Middle Ages, why the world of art blossomed in the Golden Era, how World War II has changed the people of the city and what it feels like to live in the tolerant, multicultural city today. Start your tour in the heart of the city at Dam Square, where Amsterdam was founded. The tour leads you past the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, the New Church Nieuwe Kerk and past the former main post office, to Torensluis Bridge. See one of the tiniest houses of the city and learn more about the colonial times at the statue of Multatuli on Torensluis Bridge.  Stroll past romantic canal-side houses and cross Spui Square to get to the pearl of Amsterdam — Begijnhof. With its entrance hidden in a narrow side street, this very special hofje is waiting for you to be discovered. On the way back to Dam Square you will see the river that the city owes its name to: the Amstel. The city tour ends at the national monument that was originally built to remember the victims of World War II, but is now a memorial to all victims who lost their lives in any war worldwide.

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Amsterdam Light Festival 1.5-Hour Cruise

9. Amsterdam Light Festival 1.5-Hour Cruise

Climb aboard a boat and see the annual Amsterdam Light Festival from a unique perspective. Marvel at the light installations and projections from the comfort of a heated boat or enjoy the illuminated artworks from the outer deck. Experience the Amsterdam Light Festival as it celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. During this special edition, reflect on ten years of light art with the most popular artworks of the past nine editions making a come back on the canals of Amsterdam. About twenty light artworks can be seen along the route and you can learn all about them through your audio guide on board. Edition #10 is certainly not to be missed!

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Amsterdam: The Art of Play Wondr Experience

10. Amsterdam: The Art of Play Wondr Experience

Step into Amsterdam's first artistic playground for adults: a confetti-sprinkled world of color and sensation that invites you to play, share and explore. Get creative and make so spectacular pictures to remember your art of play experience. Inside you’ll find a 1,200 m² hyper-visual realm with over 15 interactive installations created in collaboration with some of the city’s most creative minds. It's a unique immersive experience that’s unlike anything else. Get lost in an otherworldly jungle. Dive into a sea of pink marshmallows. Dance under a glittering sky. Sing your heart out. Let your imagination run wild and experience the art of play.

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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 118,512 reviews

Was a good option to select a covered boat with the provision of wine and cheese. Enjoyable cruise along the canals of Amsterdam with live commentary in a light hearted manner. Generally. Groups were offered a cheese platter per 2 pax while if you are an individual traveller, you will get a single platter. This is good to minimise sharing of food in view of COVID. However, seatings are not exactly socially distanced but because the boat is not fully occupied, not sure if it is by design, there are still gaps between groups. Maybe better if spacings amongst groups are enforced. Our cups are regularly topped up so you will definitely have your fill. Would definitely recommend for a lazy afternoon along the picturesque canals.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our experience, and had an amazing time! Would highly recommend a visit, and look forward to going back ourselves one day soon!

We had an amazing tour with Thijs, he was very knowledgeable and entertaining. We had a great time :)

We enjoyed our time. They did a great job. Wod recommend the experience to others.

Great experience with a really great tour and interesting stories.