Top attractions in Amsterdam
What to do and see in Amsterdam
Sure, everyone knows about the coffee shops -- but what else is fun to do in Amsterdam? Holland’s capital city is a hub for happy cyclists, lazy beers by the canal, and art-lovers. As you start planning what to see, here are ten activities you can’t miss.
1. Anne Frank House
Whether you’ve read the diary or not, the Anne Frank House is a must-visit. If you want to avoid the tourist traffic, book a ticket in advance and hop to the front of the line.
2. Amsterdam Canal Ring
By boat or by land, you won’t be able to avoid Amsterdam’s famous canal ring. Go for a stroll, hop on a ferry tour, or people-watch in a canal-side bar.
3. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is home to the world’s largest Van Gogh collection, and one of the most popular museums in the world. Even the artistically uninterested love the modern architecture (and free wifi).
Find your way to Museumplein, the "Museum Quarter" at the heart of the city. Three museums, lunchtime concerts in the Concertgebouw, plenty of shopping, and grassy green space.
The national museum of Holland boasts works by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Plan to arrive first thing or in the late afternoon - or book a Rijksmuseum ticket in advance in order to skip the queue.
6. Red Light District
Whether you’re looking for a museum, a “souvenir," or some risque nightlife: the Red Light District is sure to delight and entertain.
7. Heineken Experience
Established in 1864, Heineken is now one of the world’s biggest beer producers. The lighthearted, fun, historical tour takes a quick 90 minutes. The Heineken Experience ticket includes two beers.
8. New Church
A part-time wedding chapel for Dutch monarchs, New Church is Holland’s most important church and a historical cornerstone in Amsterdam. Between coronations, check out their rotating exhibits.
9. Amsterdam Museum
For city history, visit the aptly-named Amsterdam Museum. Educate yourself on everything from famous Amsterdamians to fashion and architecture. Some exhibits are interactive!
10. De Pijp
Amsterdam’s go-to bohemian neighborhood is brimming with coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. Go before dinner and spend the late afternoon wandering through the Albert Cuypmarket.
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
- Dutch and lots of English
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+01:00)
- Country Code
- 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
Amsterbike tour of central Amsterdam was definitely the best experience I had in the city of Amsterdam. I had the chance to explore the city by bike, cycling around the canals and some of the most interesting spots of the city centre and, moreover, during this bike tour to learn about the history of this beautiful city, its hidden gems and its current situation. It was a really pleasant tour with my guide, Red, who is a very polite, pleasant, knowledgeable and eager to share his stories about the city person and of course a diligent cyclist! I recommend this tour to everyone in order to have a unique Dutch experience by bike!
This was an amazing tour, a real eye opener!! We visited Amsterdam several times, so we wanted to do something different. It was very interesting and we never knew some of the extreme crime this city has. We learned about the old Dutch mafia but also about the new Moroccan mafia that is getting more powerful in the Netherlands. In recent years there was even a decapitated head found of one the mafia members in Amsterdam! This tour is a must do for anyone that is interested in crime!! You will get a real insight of the current situation of crime and mafia in the Netherlands. Crazy stuff!
Przewodnik okazal sie osoba bardzo obeznana w temacie, opowiadal bardzo ciekawe historie z zycia miasta. Wyjasnil dlaczego domy sa krzywe, opowiadal o problemach z narkotykami w dwudziestym wieku, o poczatkach prostytucji, o znanych osobach z czerwonej dzielnicy, pokazal najstarszy sklep z condonami, jeden z najstarszych Kofi shopow. Nie sposob przytoczyc wszystkiego. Wycieczka byla zaplanowana na 2 h, przedluzyla sie do 3 godzin o czym zorientowalismy sie dopiero po powrocie do hotelu, bo wydawalo nam sie ze jestesmy na miescie moze z godzinke. Szczerze polecam
Me and my girlfriend went to Amsterdam in the last week of October for a few days and got the Amsterdam card for 2 days of the trip and we managed to get so much done! We went to the ARTIS Zoo, Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Moco museum and went on a canal cruise. We also went to the Body Worlds exhibition. The card is definitely value for money and I just wish I'd have got an extra day on it to do more things. Amsterdam is amazing and the I Amsterdam City Card is 100% worth getting!
Best bike tour available in Amsterdam!! Covers so many more great sites and the guide (Stan) was just amazing. Because corona the streets were very empty what made it even a better experience.