- Jonathan Chum
Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the world. It's got everything: museums, art galleries, music halls, and shops galore. And the city has a rich history that you'll be able to appreciate if you know where to look for it. So here are some of my top picks for things to do within Amsterdam's walls:
Visit the Van Gogh Museum.
The Van Gogh Museum is one of the best museums in Amsterdam, and it's conveniently located in the heart of town. Visitors can enjoy a large collection of Vincent Van Gogh's work, as well as other interesting exhibits. Open every day except Mondays and with free entry, this museum is a great place to spend an afternoon learning more about this famous Dutch artist.
See the Rijksmuseum.
The Rijksmuseum is one of the largest art museums in the world. It has a collection of over 850,000 objects and is located on the Museumplein in Amsterdam and houses a wide variety of paintings from the Dutch golden age: Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Vermeer, Frans Hals, and many more. The museum also has a sculpture garden where you can see works by Rodin and Degas among others. This beautiful museum is worth spending some time at if you want to get an insight into Dutch history as well as art history.
The best way to get there is by taking tram 3 or 4 from Amsterdam Central Station (Central Station).
Take a Canal Cruise
Canal cruises are one of the most popular things to do in Amsterdam. There are many different types of canal cruises available, so you can choose the one that best suits your interests and budget. Some options include:
A relaxing cruise through the canals with a meal and wine tasting included (around 100 euros per person)
A sightseeing tour of the city, which includes a trip down a side canal (around 35 euros per person)
An evening dinner cruise with live music and dancing on board (around 60 euros per person)
Explore the Red Light District.
The red light district is one of the most famous areas in Amsterdam and can be found on Oudezijds Voorburgwal. As you enter the area, you will see hundreds of windows with scantily-clad ladies behind them.
The ladies are only allowed to show their faces and are not allowed to smile or make eye contact with customers. It's also illegal for them to approach people outside their windows (though it does happen). The area has been regulated since 1880 and is open 24/7, 365 days per year so there is always something happening here!
If you want to take a stroll through this part of town but don't want to feel pressured into buying anything from any of the women working there then we recommend visiting after dark when there are fewer tourists around. There are plenty of bars nearby where you can grab some drinks while enjoying some great views over Amsterdam's canal system too!
Visit the Jordaan neighborhood.
The Jordaan neighborhood is one of the loveliest areas in Amsterdam, and it's also one of the most interesting places to visit if you want to see what makes this city tick. This lovely neighborhood is home to many of the city's most interesting shops and restaurants, as well as its best-loved churches. The area is divided into three parts: De Jordaan (the Lower Jordaan), De Pijp (the Pipe), and The Brouwersgracht (Brewers' Canal).
Enjoy a picnic at Vondelpark.
Vondelpark is a beautiful park in the middle of Amsterdam. It's a great place to relax, have a picnic and enjoy the outdoors. If you are looking for something more active, there are many sports facilities in Vondelpark that you can use. You can also go for a walk or jog around it if you want to get some exercise while enjoying nature.
Have a drink at Cafe De Doffer.
Cafe De Doffer is one of the most popular bars in Amsterdam. It's a great place to sit back and relax, as well as being one of the cheapest places to get a drink in town. The staff is friendly, and they offer some pretty good music if you're looking for something to listen to while you enjoy your alcoholic beverage! Located on the outskirts of Amsterdam's city center---near Vondelpark---this bar is easily accessible by public transportation or taxi (although it's not close enough for walking).
Go shopping on the Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes)
The Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes), also known as the Diamond Quarter, is a shopping district just southwest of Amsterdam Central Station. The area includes several small streets that are lined with shops selling designer clothes and accessories, vintage fashions, and even food markets. It's a great place to shop for souvenirs, especially if you're looking for something unique and Dutch-made.
The street names here are named after precious stones: Goudsbloemstraat (Gold Flower Street) and Smaragdstraat (Emerald Street) are just two examples.
Take in a performance of The Concertgebouw Orchestra.
The Concertgebouw Orchestra is the most famous in Amsterdam, and they perform at the Concertgebouw, a concert hall that has the best acoustics in the world. The building was designed by architect Willem Dudok, and it opened in 1911. The building's facade is made almost entirely of glass; this has led to it being called "a temple of light." The interior of this beautiful concert space features an organ that was built by Pels & Van Leeuwen Orgelmakers. It's one of only three organs left from that company still intact today---and all three are found within Dutch churches or cathedrals!
Check out Museumplein for museums and more.
Museumplein is a must-see place in Amsterdam. It's the city's main square, located in front of the famous Rijksmuseum, and it's home to some of the most popular museums in Europe. The square itself is beautiful with its massive fountain and trees lining its perimeter. There are so many things to see here that you could spend days there without ever getting bored!
However, if you want to be able to move around more freely within Museumplein, we recommend renting a bike instead of taking public transportation. This way you'll have more flexibility as far as where you go during your time here (and also have fun riding around town). Plus it'll save money compared with taxis or Ubers which can be quite expensive for short trips like these into different parts of Amsterdam."
The Waterlooplein Flea Market
While many people know of the famous Amsterdam flea market, few know where it is. It's located in Waterlooplein square, which is a short walk from Amsterdam Central station. The market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
Anyone who has ever been to a flea market knows that there are a lot of interesting things for sale---and this place is no exception! You can find everything from hand-knitted sweaters to secondhand electronics and clothing (both vintage and modern).
If you're looking for something specific, it helps to have an idea of what you're after before heading down there. Otherwise, your search could be long and fruitless---unless you enjoy browsing through endless rows upon rows of junk! But if you do find yourself getting bored with the current selection on offer, don't fret: just move on to another vendor's stall or check out some other part of the market where different vendors might be selling more interesting products than those nearby yours at present!
The Museum Quarter
In the Museum Quarter, you can visit four of Amsterdam's top museums:
Van Gogh Museum
Stedelijk Museum (the independent art museum)
Hermitage Amsterdam (the Russian art museum)
Stroopwafel: A Dutch treat, stroopwafels are made by filling waffle batter between two thin layers of baked dough. They can be eaten warm or cold and are often served with coffee or tea. You can find them at most supermarkets and grocery stores in Amsterdam, where they're commonly sold next to the cash register.
Doner kebab: This Turkish meat sandwich is known for its succulent meat and tasty sauce---but it also boasts a quick cooking time (which makes it great when you're traveling). The pitas used for this dish are usually filled with lettuce, onion, tomato slices, and cabbage; however, the toppings vary based on regionality so do some research before heading out to try one yourself!
Visit a brown cafe
A brown cafe is a gem of Dutch culture. You'll know it when you see it---the walls are painted with various hues of brown, from light to dark. In Amsterdam's Red Light District, there are plenty of places to find these seedy but fascinating spots. For instance, De Rode Hoed has been around since 1781 and is famous for its beer selection and low prices.
If you're not in the mood for beer (or want something more upscale), then head over to Cafe de Spuyt on Warmoesstraat 42-44. This beautiful establishment has been around since 1665 and offers tea service as well as plenty of coffee options; they also have free Wi-Fi so you can work while enjoying your drink!
The most important thing about visiting a brown cafe isn't what kind of food or drink they serve---it's the atmosphere! These cozy little venues are perfect places where locals come together every day just like any other neighborhood bar might be back home in America: just without all those pesky rules about drinking age limits or dress codes (not that anyone cares anyway).
Do the Heineken Experience
You can get tickets to the Heineken Experience online or at their ticketing office. Tickets are €20 and you can use them at any time, day or night. The experience is about an hour long and includes a guided tour of the brewery where you learn about the history of Heineken, taste beer in the tasting room, and see how beer is made.
You'll also be able to visit their museum which houses many artifacts from their archives as well as interactive exhibits that allow you to experience what it was like during pivotal moments in time for the company like when they first started selling beer outside of Amsterdam or when they opened up pubs all over Europe (and eventually beyond).
Eat your body weight in cheese at a cheese market
The cheese market is the largest in the world and has been around for over 300 years. It's located in Amsterdam's oldest neighborhood, Jordaan. With over 180 stalls from all over the world, there are more than 200 different cheeses to try at this famous market. The cheese market is open every day of the week and sells a variety of cheeses, spreads, and jams. You can also buy your entertaining souvenir here: giant wooden cows!
And that's it! Amsterdam is a city with so much to offer, and we hope our list has given you some ideas of things to do while you're there. Whether you go on all 10 of these or just one or two, we think you'll have an amazing time exploring this beautiful city and learning about its fascinating history. So what are you waiting for? Get packing!