AMSTERDAM 3-DAYS ITINERARY AND TRAVEL GUIDE

Welcome to Amsterdam, one of the new hotspots in Europe, a city surrounded by beautiful old canals and a rich, cultural history. This guide aims to provide you with all the information you need to enjoy three wonderful days in Amsterdam. You will discover the best places to stay, eat, where to go out, unusual things to do, the best day trips and so much more. For your convenience, we have included google maps so that you can quickly navigate to all the suggested spots from your smartphone, while you are in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam History & Society

From its humble beginnings as a 13th-century fishing village on a river bed to its current role as a major hub for business, tourism, and culture, Amsterdam has had a strong tradition as a center of culture and commerce

Resourceful beginnings

When the last millennium was still quite young, a handful of adventurers came floating down the river Amstel in hollowed-out logs. Out of the marshlands and swamps surrounding the Amstel River, a structure of dams and dikes was forged – the first of which is marked by the Dam square at the heart of the city today. These canny “Aemstelledammers” began exacting toll money from the passing beer and herring traders of the roaring Eastern Sea Trade of the Baltics. They quickly became expert boat builders and brewers; attracting more interest in the emerging town. In 1275, Count Floris of Holland formalized these activities by granting special toll privileges to the merchant city, and in 1300 the town got its first charter.

Trade

The right to free passage proved to be crucial for the economic development of Amsterdam. Free passage meant that traders could operate cheaply. In particular, beer and herring proved popular commodities. For example, in 1323 Amsterdam owned the exclusive right to import beer from Hamburg. Moreover, the herring trade grew rapidly after the invention of herring curing – a technique that involved removing the fish’s intestines directly after they were caught to keep them fresh longer. This allowed fishermen to catch more fish and thus make more profit.

Golden Age

By the end of the 15th century, the city developed rapidly. After the Spaniards had conquered Antwerp, many wealthy Jews fled to Amsterdam. The money they brought with them was used to organize trips to India, which proved a huge commercial success. Then in 1602, the Dutch East India Company was founded. The city of Amsterdam had a majority share in the organization, which was to become the first multinational company in the world. The result was a period of unprecedented prosperity, causing the 17th century to become known as the Golden Age.

During this period, the city underwent two massive urban expansions, and for the first time, both functionality and beauty were taken into consideration. The results were the now-famous canals and the Jordaan district.

The art scene was also flourishing at this time. In the first half of the 17th century, the number of artists grew enormously, and there was an explosion of art and art dealers in Amsterdam. Within just thirty years, Amsterdam became a thriving cultural city, leaving a legacy of Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, and Jan Steen.

Industrialisation

At the end of the 17th century, the Amsterdam economy came to a standstill, resulting in a period of decline and increasing poverty. However, with the construction of the North Sea Canal (1876), Amsterdam finally had a direct connection to the sea. From that moment on steamships became part of everyday life in Amsterdam’s port. It was a turning point for the city. Thanks to trade with the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), Amsterdam acquired an important position in the world spice trade. The diamond trade with South Africa also began to evolve at this point.

That new period of prosperity is reflected in the construction of great, architectural masterpieces. In 1889, Amsterdam’s Central Station was completed. A few years later, the Concertgebouw, Theatre Carré, and Hotel Americain followed.

Past century

The 20th century began well. The Amsterdam School, an idealistic architecture movement, provided a low-cost housing around the old city. The city also expanded to include Schiphol Airport, which remains the home of Dutch national carrier KLM – the oldest airline in the world.

Although the Netherlands remained neutral during World War I, a severe food shortage befell the country, and products had to be rationed. In 1917, a ship arrived containing potatoes intended for the army. However, the local population was dismayed by this, resulting in the “potato riots.” This began a turbulent period in the history of Amsterdam.

During the crisis years (1934) a revolt broke out. Protests took place against the reduction of unemployment benefits; for many people the only source of income. In particular, residents from the Jordaan participated, throwing rocks at the police. This uprising became known as the Jordaan riots, and as a result, all streets in the area became paved so that the stones could no longer be pulled up and used as weapons.
World War II caused little physical damage to the buildings and infrastructure of Amsterdam. However, starvation during the period did take many lives, and as a result of the persecution of the Jews, the city lost ten percent of its inhabitants.

After the war, the composition of the Amsterdam population changed rapidly. Many first Amsterdammers left for satellite towns like Purmerend, Hoorn, and Almere. At the same time, an influx of Surinamese, Turkish and Moroccan immigrants boosted the city’s population. Amsterdam is now home to more than 780,000 residents from 180 different countries.

Useful Facts and Information

Population: 805k inhabitants in the city, 2.3m in the metropolitan area.
Safety: Amsterdam is ranked as one of the 25 safest cities in the world.
Speaking English: 85% of Amsterdam residents speak English fluently.
Distance to the Airport: Amsterdam is 20km away from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Number of Bicycles in Amsterdam: 880.000
Time to Walk from One End of the City to the other: 30 minutes
Metro Lines: There are four subway lines
Tram lines: There are 16 tram lines
Bus lines: There are 49 bus lines
City Parks: There are 45 city parks
Museums: There are 51 Museums
Art Galleries: There are 141 art galleries
Cafes and bars: There are 1400 cafes and bars, 755 restaurants, twelve 5-star hotels, 52 hostels.
Weather: It has an oceanic climate, similar to the one of Great Britain. The warmest months are June, July, and August, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 27 C.
Timezone: CET +1
Electric Power: 220 to 240 Volts AC (50 cycles). If you are from US, Canada, you should bring a converter with you, as they are not that easy to find in Amsterdam.
Currency: The European Euro (€)
Tap Water: It is safe to drink. Amsterdam has the cleanest tap water in Europe.
Tips: Tips are not necessary, although they are always welcomed. You will be okay with a single digit % tip (e.g., 5%).
Shopping Hours in Amsterdam: Monday from 10 am to 6 pm,  Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM, Thursday from 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM, Sunday from noon to 5 PM.

Before Your Trip

Here are some suggested activities that you can pre-purchase online, to save time from waiting in the queues or money from the entrance tickets which are usually more expensive:

Van Gogh Museum Ticket: Get it here (it helps you avoid the line)

Skip-the-Line Rijksmuseum Entrance Ticket: Get it here (skip the line)

Heineken Experience Ticket: Get it here

Amsterdam Canal Cruise for 1.5 hours: Get it here

Madame Tussauds VIP Fast Track Ticket: Get it here

Amsterdam Hop On-Off Bus and Boat Tour: Get it here

Best places for photo shoots in Amsterdam:http://www.hdrshooter.com/top-5-spots/top-5-photography-spots-amsterdam/


Where to Stay in Amsterdam

There is a lovely, centrally located Hotel called Misc EatdrinkSleep. It is very family-friendly, but also an ideal pick for single travelers and couples.  All rooms have either a canal or garden view, and your stay includes universal adapters in each room, Wi-Fi, and freshly prepared breakfast every morning.  Rates start around $200 a night, but the hotel offers regular specials and discounts.

Misc EatdrinkSleep Hotel: Kloveniersburgwal 20, 1012 CV Amsterdam, +011 31 85 888 4691. [for prices and booking, click here]

The closest you are to the Dam square, the more convenient it is, in general. However, the hotels in the center are expensive. A very nice hotel off the center is Novotel. It has a tram station of the tram number 4, next to it, and with this you can be at the dam square in twenty minutes. To get to Novotel from the airport you can get an Uber(21euros) or get the train from the airport and get down at the Rai station (5euros per person). It has a parking area for 22 euros per day. It offers a bike rental service too.

Read below our review of this hotel.

Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City: Our Review

So, we chose to spend four days, three nights in Amsterdam, as a couple and we have been searching for a decent hotel to stay, that would not break the bank and would be convenient for seeing the main attractions of Amsterdam and getting to know the city. We ended up with the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City and here is our review, with all the pros and the cons.

The first point to remember: Amsterdam is very expensive in lodging. Even more expensive than London. The four-star hotels in the center of Amsterdam cost north of 150 euros per night and they don’t offer anything special in terms of accommodation. Airbnb is pretty expensive too. So, don’t expect to get any great room, in a very convenient location for under 100 euros per night.

The second point to remember: The absolute center of Amsterdam is the Dam Square. Draw a circle of around 2kms from Dam Square and almost everything you want to see is in that area: The Red light district, the coffee shops, most of the museums (though not the Van Gogh museum), Leidseplein, the Central Station and so on. But the accommodation in this area is not good value for money.

The third point to remember: Amsterdam is a flat city. And it has a great transportation system, mainly with the tram. 

So, our decision was to go for a hotel that would be decent enough, with a lower price than staying in the center and that would be close enough to transportation (tram), so that we could move easily to the center of Amsterdam (Dam Square) and preferably to the airport.

That’s why we went for the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City. I have to admit, that we paid around 130 euros per night, which is not cheap, however, the central hotels were asking for 170 euros per night. Here are the pros and cons:

+ Going to Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City from the Airport of Schiphol is quick (10 minutes by train) and easy (the train leaves from a station which lies inside the Schiphol airport). It is also cheap. The ticket costs 4 euros per person. An Uber from the Airport of Schiphol to the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam city, took us 21 euros, while a “regular” taxi would cost around 35 euros.

+ There is a Tram Station, in 3 minutes walk from the hotel. It is the Tram line 4, which gets you to the Dam Square in around 25 minutes. And it leaves every 7 minutes. So, all in all, to get from your room to Dam Square you will need 30 minutes. The tram lines operate until 00:30 in the evening and then you can get the night buses (or taxis, which are obviously more expensive). 

+ Next to the Tram Station, there is the Amsterdam RAI station, which is a hub for trains. So, when you want to get to the hotel from the airport, you pay 4 euros per person, you enter the train station at Schiphol station, after 10 minutes you are at Amsterdam RAI, you walk 3 minutes and you are at Novotel hotel. Pretty easy and straightforward.

+ The rooms are pretty much ok, even though the lobby area is more “modern” and you would be waiting for something more ….interesting. 

+ The room service is fast and convenient.

+ There is a free wireless everywhere in the hotel, which is fast-speed and works great almost everywhere, in the room or in the lobby.

+ There is a shop inside the hotel where you can buy some coffee, snacks etc.

+ It is a 100% non-smoking hotel. Of course, for others, this might be a minus 🙂

On the downside now:

– You lose at least 60 minutes per day for transferring from the hotel to the city center and back. So, the “time toll” for four days is around 4 hours and if you save an average 40 euros per evening, you sacrifice 4 hours from your trip to win around 120 euros or 30 euros per hour. On the other side, the tram goes through Amsterdam canals and it is a pretty beautiful trip. Moreover, you always find a seat in the tram, as the Tram Line 4 begins from Novotel Hotel.

– The check-in starts at 15:00. Not at 12:00 as in most hotels around the world. We were there earlier at 13:00 and they let us wait in the lobby. After an hour of waiting, we went and asked again and they made us the favor to give us a room at 14:00, instead of 15:00. So, we lost one-hour waiting. Of course, this is not the hotel’s fault, as we knew that the checkin was at 15:00 but 99% of the times we travel, the hotels are flexible enough to give you a room a couple of hours earlier.

– The employees at the lobby are smiling and trying to do their job but…how should I put it… They are a little bit tight. They will not bend the rules easily for you or do the extra mile to help you. Of course, if you ask you will get a reply but you will not get the “real warm feeling of hospitality”.

– There is no breakfast included in the price we paid. For 130 euros per night, I would expect a breakfast for two persons to be included. And the water is crazy expensive in the shop. You have to pay 2.7 euros for 500ml of water. You should better get a beer, it might be cheaper.

To check the prices for the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City, click here.


Day 1 in Amsterdam                

 9:00am: Arrival at the airport or train station

Information on public transportation in Amsterdam:

Tram is a popular and convenient transportation means in Amsterdam

It is straightforward to get around the city, the best mode of transportation is the tram or the bus. From the airport, you have many coaches to choose from that go directly to the city center. Line 197 departs every 15 minutes from the city center and is probably your best option since your hotel is located in this general area. Also, check with your hotel, in case they offer shuttle buses to and from the airport.  If you are arriving by train, the same applies: Schiphol Station lies directly below the terminal.

You can find a Schiphol departures map at:

https://www.schiphol.nl/en/download/1492598693/1HpeRtxnyckeO8ae6guEEo.pdf

For your transportation around Amsterdam we strongly recommend that you get a GVB card with unlimited travel in bus, metro, tram for three days. It costs 17.5 euros. You can get it at machines in the stations, eg at the Rai station. Don’t try to get on the buses without tickets. Each day, trams, buses and metros are in service starting at six in the morning and run until twelve thirty at night. Between 00:30 and 07:00, you can travel on the night buses. You pay a separate night fare for the night bus. However, a GVB day or multi-day ticket is also valid in the night bus.

Where can you purchase an OV-chipkaart for GVB?

OV-chipkaarts, such as the GVB paper day or multi-day tickets, are available at GVB Tickets & Info counters. You can also purchase a GVB day ticket from the driver or conductor in the tram or bus. All day tickets can also be purchased at ticket vending machines at all metro stations. Are you going to purchase a ticket in the tram? If so, plan to have the correct change to pay for it.


You can also get it at https://www.getyourguide.com/amsterdam-l36/gvb-1-7-day-amsterdam-public-transport-ticket-t97926/?utm_medium=button&utm_source=en.gvb.nl&utm_force=0

Tip: the tram number 2 line has been awarded as one of the most beautiful lines in the world. You can get it from the Central Station and enjoy Several sights of Amsterdam such as, the Vondelpark, the canals, the Rijksmuseum, and the Stedelijk and Van Gogh museums. More info on the route at https://en.gvb.nl/ontdek-amsterdam/tram-2-toeristische-attractie

Another great option, upon your arrival at the hotel, is to rent a bike. Amsterdam is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe, and it is a beautiful way to see the city. You can choose among many bike rental places, but one of the most popular ones is Mac Bike: http://www.macbike.nl/.

10:00 am :Arrival at the hotel – time to freshen up and drop off your luggage

11:00 am: Head out and explore! First stop: Van Gogh Museum

This is a must visit for anybody who is even just a little appreciative of art. Here you get to see the largest collection of this amazing Dutch artists’ work and won’t be disappointed.

History of the Van Gogh Museum (source: Wikipedia)

Upon Vincent van Gogh’s death in 1890, his work not sold fell into the possession of his brother Theo. Theo died six months after Vincent, leaving the work in possession of his widow, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger. Selling many of Vincent’s paintings with the ambition of spreading knowledge of his artwork, Johanna maintained a private collection of his works.

The collection was inherited by her son Vincent Willem van Gogh in 1925, eventually loaned to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam where it was displayed for many years and was transferred to the state-initiated Vincent van Gogh Foundation in 1962.

Design for a Van Gogh Museum was commissioned by the Dutch government in 1963 to Dutch architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld. Rietveld died a year later, and the building was not completed until 1973 when the museum opened its doors.

In 1998 and 1999, the building was renovated by the Dutch architect Martien van Goor and an exhibition wing by the Japanese modernist architect Kisho Kurokawa was added.[

Starting in late 2012, the museum was closed for renovations for six months. During this period, 75 works from the collection were shown in the Hermitage Amsterdam.

On 9 September 2013, the museum unveiled a long-lost Van Gogh painting that spent years in a Norwegian attic believed to be by another painter. It is the first full-size canvas by him discovered since 1928. Sunset at Montmajour depicts trees, bushes, and sky, painted with Van Gogh’s familiar thick brush strokes. It can be dated to the exact day it was painted because he described it in a letter to his brother, Theo, and said he painted it the previous day 4 July 1888.

Art thefts

In 1991, twenty paintings were stolen from the museum, among them Van Gogh’s early painting The Potato Eaters. Although the thieves escaped from the building, 35 minutes later all stolen paintings were recovered from an abandoned car.

Three paintings – Wheatfield with Crows, Still Life with Bible, and Still Life with Fruit – were severely torn during the theft. Four men, including two museum guards, were convicted of the theft and given six or seven-year sentences. It is considered to be the largest art theft in the Netherlands since the Second World War.

In 2002, two paintings were stolen from the museum, Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen and View of the Sea at Scheveningen. Two Dutchmen were convicted for the theft to four-and-a-half-year sentences, but the paintings were not immediately recovered. The museum offered a reward of €100,000 for information leading to the recovery of the paintings. The FBI Art Crime Team listed the robbery on their Top Ten Art Crimes list and estimated the combined value of the paintings at US$30 million. In September 2016, both paintings were discovered by the Guardia di Finanza in Naples, Italy. The two artworks were found in a “relatively good state,” according to the Van Gogh Museum.

The Van Gogh Museum (By Taxiarchos228 at the German language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4108013)

The Van Gogh Museum (By Taxiarchos228 at the German language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4108013)

Admission: 17.50 Euro
Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, +31 20 570 5200
Opening hours: Daily from 9:00 am – 18:00 pm, but on Fridays, it is open until 22:00 pm
Van Gogh Museum Ticket: Get it here (it helps you avoid the line)

13:00 pm: Lunch at CT Coffee and coconuts, http://ctamsterdam.nl/

A unique and casual lunch place that allows you to sip your water out of an actual coconut! The food is fantastic, and most dishes cost under 10 Euros, such as the Almond and Buckwheat Pancakes with roasted coconut (it is a hit!). The setting is unusual as well: The dining tables are dispensed from the ceiling, or you can just choose to sit on a large and comfortable bean bag couch.

Address: Ceintuurbaan 282-284, 1072 LR Amsterdam, +31 20 354 1104
Hours: Every day from 7.00 -11 pm; Saturdays and Sundays it opens at 8 am.
Menu:http://ctamsterdam.nl/media/2015%20CT%20Coffee%20&%20Coconuts%20menu%20EN_def-web.pdf

15:30pm

De Pijp District

It is a stylish neighborhood (however, you will notice how stylish and fashion-oriented Amsterdam is in general!) with some great shopping opportunities. Make sure to check out Hutspot, a kind of department store with a photo booth and barber shop on site, perfect for any occasion, and make sure to pay a visit to Albert Cuypmarkt, the largest open-air market in the country. Before the shopping, however, I would either recommend taking a tour of the Heineken Experience, to learn about the beer’s history or, if you are traveling with children, spending some time at Kinderboerderij de Pijp, a cute little Petting Zoo. Since all of these activities are in the De Pijp District, you will easily spend several hours exploring this neighborhood.

Heineken Experience: Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 523 9222
Hours: Friday – Sunday from 10.30 to 9 pm and Monday-Thursday from 10.30-till 7.30pm. Moreover, of course, there is a tasting room at the end of the tour.
Admission: €16 for adults, €12.50 for children age 12-17, €49 for VIP tour (no underage children): Includes tasting session, a tour of 2,5 hours and snacks. Last admission is 2 hours before closing.
Address: Kinderboerderij De Pijp, Lizzy Ansinghstraat 82, 1072 RD Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 664 8303
Hours: Monday –Friday from 11.00-5pm, Saturday-Sunday from 1.00-5pm Price and Booking for the Heineken Experience Ticket: Get it here

19:00pm

Dinner at Terpentijin Restaurant, http://www.terpen-tijn.nl/en/

It only opened last spring, serving Asian-French fusion cuisine, and it has already made headlines with its delicious and well-priced dinner menu that is not to be missed.
Address: Rokin 103, 1012 KM Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 333 0014
Hours:  Daily from 10:00 am -3 am (Fridays and Saturdays they are open until 4 am)

From here on you have the option to explore the Red-Light District after dinner, if you want to extend your night for a little bit longer, or head home to your cozy hotel.


Map of Activities for the 1st Day in Amsterdam

You can get this map online if you visit: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aLfqAaasVFiIXfHCUWYN5QibJLU&usp=sharing


Day 2 in Amsterdam                     

8:30 am: Breakfast at ‘t Nieuwe Kafe (in case you want to escape your hotel breakfast)


This is a very nice location to begin your second day in this gorgeous city. It overlooks Dam Square and offers a wide variety of delicious breakfast items.
Address: Eggertstraat 8, 1012 NN Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 627 2830
Hours:  8.30-6pm daily 
Website: http://www.nieuwe-kafe.nl/

10:00 am:National Monument

This is right by your breakfast place at Dam Square and worth looking at – the design is interesting. Just keep in mind, it gets crowded all the time. If you have some extra time before, take a little stroll around the area. It offers many shops and historic buildings to take a closer look at if time allows.

The National Monument of Amsterdam at the Dam Square is a monument to the casualties of the World War II. Every year, on the 4th of May, a “Remembrance of the dead” ceremony takes place at the monument.

Architecturally, it is 22 meters high, and it is made of stone. The pillar carries an inscription in Latin:

“Hic Ubi cor patial monumentum cordibus intus quod gestant cives spectet ad astra dei.”

(freely translated: “Here, where the heart of the fatherland is, may this monument, which citizens carry in their heart, gaze at God’s stars”) [Source: Wikipedia]

Interesting fact: The Monument was revealed on 1956. During the 60’s and 90’s, the monument became the symbol of hippies for more freedom in life. Every night, many hippies were sleeping around the memorial in sleeping bags.

10:30 am: 2-3 Hour Free walking tour (starting at the National Monument)

It is a donation-based tour (you can give as much or as little as you want if anything), and it is a great way to learn about the city and go where most other tour guides will not. This tour covers the Royal Palace and Red-Light District, to name just some of their highlights. It will give you great insider knowledge about Amsterdam, including some fun facts. It is an awesome all-around activity that will allow you to see the city from a different angle.

You can reserve a spot online and ask any additional questions you might have: http://freewalkingtoursamsterdam.com/

You can also follow a walking tour on your own, following this google maps (https://drive.google.com/open?id=18CTofpLHbjiUAKarL3f_f96f4sUjwbKI&usp=sharing ), which starts at the central station of Amsterdam and takes you around the best spots to see in the city’s center.


13:30pm:Lunch at Blue Amsterdam

A lovely lunch restaurant with a 360-degree view of the city located on the top of a shopping center. Well worth a visit!


Address: Singel 457, 1012 WP Amsterdam, +31 20 427 3901
Hours:  On most days open from 10.00-6.30pm (Sunday it opens at 12, Monday it opens at 11 and Thursday they stay open until 9 pm)

15:30 pm: Foam – Fotografiemuseum

This is an unusual museum with constantly changing photography exhibitions, situated in a lovely building that used to be a warehouse.  It also has a library, café, and bookshop inside.

Address: Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam, +31 20 551 6500
Hours:   Saturday – Wednesday 10.00-6pm, Thursday – Friday 10.00-9pm
Admission:    Adults €10, Students €7.50, Children under 12 are free. Free guided tours in Dutch and English every Thursday at 18.30pm

17:00 pm: Begijnhof

A lovely and peaceful garden to take a walk through if you still have the energy after all this walking today! It is one of the oldest inner courts in the city, and you can easily walk around it within an hour. It is free of charge.

Address: Gedempte Begijnensloot, 1012 RM, Amsterdam,+0206221918

18:00 pm: Head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and your last night in beautiful Amsterdam.

19:30 pm: Dinner at Choux, http://choux.nl/

This divine restaurant offers a multi-course menu for a little over €30 with unique items and frequently changing ingredients.
Address: De Ruijterkade 128, 1011 AC Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 6 16512364
Hours:  Mondays 10.00-5pm, Tuesday-Friday 10.00-1am, Saturday 6.00- 1 am (Closed on Sundays)


Map of Activities for the 2nd Day in Amsterdam

You can get this map online at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WSVhTD5SoeApZXjLVN-EDST46wQ&usp=sharing



Day 3 in Amsterdam                     

9:00am: Visit the Rijksmuseum

This is by far one of the most impressive art museums in the world! Since it had reopened in 2013, it has drawn millions and millions of visitors annually and not without reason! Located in Museumplein, the famous museum district of the city, it is in perfect walking distance to Vondelpark, our next stop, and you should be prepared to spend about 3 hours in here – or even longer if you want to see absolutely everything.

Website: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en
Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam
Hours: 9.00-5pm daily
Admission: Adults €17.30, Children under 18 are free


13:00 pm: Vondelpark

This is Amsterdam’s largest park, and it has quite a bit to offer. It gives you plenty of green space to lay down a blanket and indulge in some people-watching, take your kids to one of its playgrounds, catch an outdoor theater show, or, even better, take a guided bike tour! The choice is all yours.

Van Baerlestraat & Vondelpark | Museum Quarter

14:00pm: Foodhallen

Great spot to try some local cuisine for lunch – it is a quintessential indoor food hall that has a huge variety and selection of a little bit of everything. Make sure to try some traditional Dutch croquettes, one of the countries’ specialties.

Address: Bellamyplein 51, 1053 AT Amsterdam, +31 6 29265037
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 11:00 am -23:30 pm, Friday-Saturday from 11:00 am -01:00 am


15:30pm: Anne-Frank-House

This museum was founded by Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, the only survivor of his family, and is a dedicated, biographical museum based on Anne Frank’s diary and her life and experiences during World War II.

Address: Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam
Hours:  Daily from 9.00- 10 pm
Admission: Adults €9, 10-17 years old €4.50, Children under 10 are free
Tip: Make sure to buy your tickets online beforehand, to avoid the long queues.


17:30pm: Head to Pannenkoekenboat

This is one of Amsterdam’s boats tours, also called Pancake boat, and it serves you Pancakes of all sorts with a various amount of toppings to choose from, and you can eat as much as you want! The scenery is beautiful, and if you are traveling with kids, they will love it. To get to the boat, you have to take a short ferry ride to Centraal Station to North Amsterdam, but it is straightforward to reach. The tour lasts 75 minutes long.

Boats leave every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 4.30 and 6 pm. They also offer 2-hours brunch tours every first Sunday of the month

Prices: Adults €18.50, Children age 3-12 €13.50

Alternatively,

Head back to the hotel, get ready for a beautiful, romantic night out and take a dinner cruise with Amsterdam Jewel Cruises: 

19:30 pm: Dinner cruise

It is a perfect way to end your Amsterdam vacation, especially for a couple or friends wanting to see the best the city has to offer. It allows you to taste delicious Dutch dishes during a 3-course meal in a beautiful setting along the river and canals and have a cocktail or two (non-alcoholic options are available). Music will be played on board as well.

It is recommended to get there 15 minutes before departure, and the cruise goes until 22.15. You will get a 5% discount if you purchase you your tickets online (the price does not include drinks) 

Address: Singel 235, 1012 WE Amsterdam, +31 20 422 1385 
Minimum age: 16 years
Prices: From €110-€130
Departure: The boat leaves from Singel 250, only a minute walk from Dam Square    


Map of Activities for the 3d Day in Amsterdam

You can get this map online at:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vgQMIke4xAJX3kuQT0ZC-aHcUz8&usp=sharing



The 10 Best Places to Go out in the Evening in Amsterdam

Here are the top 10 picks for a night out in Amsterdam.

#1 Roest, Website: www.amsterdamroest.nl

This is an industrial city beach. It also holds a day restaurant which is called Super DeBar. There are also markets, warehouse parties, and festivals. City beach in summer & a hip place to be at any other time of year, Roest has a laid-back vibe, live DJ every night & lots of special events. Situated in a red brick converted industrial building.

Address: 213-B Czaar Peterstraat.

#2 Bar Bukowski

Bar Bukowski Amsterdam is a cozy all day cafe at the corner of the Oosterpark and the Beukenweg. Bar Bukowski Amsterdam is named after the American poet and writer Charles Bukowski. An exceptionally well-decorated bar that attracts a young, hip crowd. The adjacent cocktail bar makes a few of the most exquisite cocktails in town.

Address: 10 Oosterpark

#3 Pacific Park BV

Pacific Parc is a refreshing alternative local hang out away from the hustle and bustle of the center. They serve dinner most evenings, and on weekends there are DJ’s and occasional live bands. They call themselves a rock’n’roll bar and dance bistro. However, on sunny days they also have the biggest terrace in the Westerpark.

Address: 23 Polonceau-Kade

#4 Brouwerij ‘t IJ

Brouwerij ‘t IJ (The IJ Brewery) is a small brewery in Amsterdam next to the De Gooyer Windmill. The factory allows tours and tastings and has a pub with an outdoor terrace. The IJ Brewery, certified organic beers can be sampled at the tasting room or large terrace under the De Gooyer Windmill. Daily from 15:00-20:00pm. Tram 10 (direction Azartplein): STOP Hoogte Kadijk

Address: 7 Funenkade

#5 Heineken Experience

This is a museum about the Heineken beer and brewery, which is located in the former Brewery. The museum offers a tour, exciting interactive exhibits, and two bars. Its entrance fee will get you two glasses of Heineken for free.

Address: 78 Stadhouderskade

#6 The Golden Brown Bar

Golden Brown Bar is one of the hottest spots on the west side of Amsterdam, and it is well known for its cozy atmosphere, the good Thai food and the large drink and beer menu.

Address: 146 Jan Pieter Heijestraat

#7 SkyLounge Amsterdam

This excellent bar is located at the top of the DoubleTree Hilton hotel, so you have to enter the hotel and take the lift to the top floor. The bar will provide you with stunning views of the city of Amsterdam.

#8 Gollem’s Proeflokaal

This is an excellent place to go if you are looking for great beers – local or Belgium ones. It also has some tables outside, suitable if you are lucky enough to fall into a sunny day in Amsterdam.

Address: 160II Overtoom

#9 Café Maxwell

This place can suit many different needs of yours such as sitting on the terrace or enjoying it inside; having a brunch, lunch, snacks, and dinner, or just enjoy great local beers and top-notch cocktails. Its service is more than friendly.

Address: 27 Beukenplein

#10 Vesper Bar

This is a cute tiny little cocktail bar, where you could spend a lovely Friday evening. Here you can enjoy some inventive cocktails in a relaxed atmosphere.

Address: 57 Vinkenstraat


The 10 Best Places to Go for Shopping in Amsterdam

Here are the top 10 picks for a shopping spree in Amsterdam.

#1 Albert Cuypmarkt

This is a 100 years old, famous market in De Pijp area, where you will find a laid-back atmosphere, and you will enjoy the typical sense of humor of the people in Amsterdam. This market has 260 stands that stretch over a long street that offer fresh fish, cheese, syrup waffles (stroopwafels), clothes, exotic food, etc. The area is full of art shops, bars, restaurants and street food.

#2 Noordermarkt

This is a great place to visit on Saturday when the famous farmers market takes place. Here you can try amazing fresh and warm apple pie in the Winkel cafeteria – you could wait in the line for it but is worth it. You will find beautiful antiques, rings, jewels, sunglasses, oriental rugs, and clothes. Every Monday from 10:00 until 13:30 a vintage market takes place here.

#3 Kalverstraat

This is one of the major shopping streets of Amsterdam, and it offers the essential firms, such as Zara, H&M, Only, River Island, Diesel, Tommy, Nike, Topshop, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and other brands.

`#4 Dappermarkt

According to the National Geographic, this is one of the ten busiest shopping streets of the world.

#5 Hutspot Amsterdam

Hutspot is the name for a traditional Dutch dish. So, this area is named after it, and it is a hotspot for clothes, jewelry, design, fashion, and people-watching.

#6 Albert Cuypstraat

Here you can mix with people from all over the world and buy stuff ranging from flowers to food and drinks.

#7 Nieuwmarkt

Square in Amsterdam’s Chinatown, which is located next to the Red Light District with a daily organic market, big square restaurants, cafe’s & bars. On the Nieuwmarkt you can not go past the striking building is known as De Waag. Initially, it was built in 1488 as part of the medieval city walls that protected the city. During the peace period, the towers were used as a prison. In the middle of the Red Light District, there is a real monastery. This Bethaniënklooster in Barndesteeg was built in 1462. Now it is is an excellent venue for chamber music. Like many large cities, Amsterdam has a Chinatown, and in Amsterdam, it is dominated by the street signs in traditional Chinese language and the most prominent Buddhist temple in Europe. The temple is called Fo Guang Shan He Hua, and you can get a guided tour of the temple every Saturday afternoon.

#8 de Bijenkorf

This is Amsterdam’s most significant and most extensive premium department store. Here you will find six floors of luxury brands, with clothes, shoes, toys, beauty products, etc., from brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.

#9 Things I like Things I love (106 Jan Evertsenstraat)

A great vintage clothing store, mainly for women.

#10 Winkelcentrum Brazilie

This is a Shopping mall.


Best Restaurants in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is an extremely liberal and diverse city where foodies can find what they are looking for: surprising Dutch dishes that can quickly destroy any diet, as well as an adventurous, multi-cultural cuisine.

This means that a food-loving traveler’s culinary experience in Amsterdam can be full of traditional dishes, but it can also contain tasty food from across the globe. If you want to have such a fantastic experience that can entirely make your tasting buds go wild, begin with exploring the restaurants listed below because they have been carefully chosen from an extensive list of fantastic eateries located in the Dutch paradise. 


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A Perfect Omelet in a Countryside Atmosphere

Many people prefer beginning their day with a glass of water and a high dose of caffeine. However, there is also a significant number of people who cannot correctly wake up unless they have a delicious breakfast, very early in the morning.

If you recognized yourself as being a morning eater, and if you love having eggs for breakfast, you will fall in love with Omelegg, a charming restaurant where creative omelets are served in a countryside atmosphere. 

Moreover, if you prefer beginning your day just with a cup of coffee, skip breakfast and have a tasty brunch instead, Omelegg is also an excellent choice. This is one of those places where you begin feeling like home instantly, not only because you have free Wi-Fi, but the staff is friendly, the overall vibe is very relaxed, the food is excellent and the design extremely cozy.

Omelegg has two restaurants, one at the Pijp area and one at the city center, which is conveniently located 400 meters from the central station. The Omelegg at the city center, it is a small, cozy place and it has usually a long waiting line in the morning, so expect to spend some time standing outside on the street, waiting to be seated – maybe twenty minutes. If its cold outside, this can be inconvenient. Try the omelet with smoked salmon (9 euros) or create your own omelet. A fresh juice costs 3.75euros, the same with a double espresso. 

Omelegg– De Pijp

Address: Ferdinand Bolstraat 143, 1072 LH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Monday through Friday: 7 AM–4 PM; Saturday & Sunday: 8 AM–4 PM Phone: +31 20 370 1134

CT Coffee and Coconuts

CT Coffee and Coconuts is a breakfast hotspot. It is an old cinema turned into a spacious all day bar, frequented by hipsters and young crowd. Get the toast with scrambled eggs, feta cheese and olive oils. The menu is available at http://coffeeandcoconuts.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/dagkaart-CT-ENG-DEF-aug-2017_web.pdf. We strongly recommend you visit CT coffee and Coconuts at least once, to experience the great interior design and the relaxed atmosphere.

Indulge in a Hearty Breakfast at Café DS

Café DS can quickly become one of your favorite places in Amsterdam, not only because it serves a magnificent breakfast, but also because it makes a perfect spot for a tasty brunch and a glass of Prosecco with your best friend. 

If you love beginning your adventure in Amsterdam with a great sandwich and a cup of strong coffee, just go at Café DS as soon as you wake up. Visitors who love indulging in something sweet at the beginning of the day will also leave Café DS satisfied.

Café DS

Address: Doctor Jan van Breemenstraat 1, 1056 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Monday: 8:30AM–6PM; Tuesday to Thursday: 8:30AM–10PM, Friday: 8:30AM–11PM; Saturday:  10AM–11PM; Sunday: 10AM–6PM
Phone: +31 20 737 3197

A Cozy Place that Serves Breakfast All Day- The Breakfast Club

Breakfast lovers are so into places where they serve breakfast all day, every day;  the Breakfast Club is one of the best. Whether you prefer having a hearty sandwich, some fluffy pancakes or an extremely rich morning meal, The Breakfast Club is the place for you.

Also, you can add to your tasty breakfast, freshly squeezed juice and a correctly made coffee that will wake you up instantly. The Breakfast Club has more than one location in Amsterdam, so pick one and indulge in a mouthwatering breakfast!

The Breakfast Club  

Lunch Restaurant
Address: Bellamystraat 2, 1053 BL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Monday to Thursday: 8 AM–4 PM; Friday: 8 AM–4 PM, Saturday & Sunday: 8 AM–5 PM
Phone: +31 20 223 4933

Have a Mouthwatering Sandwich for Lunch at Singel 404

When exploring a new city, you do not always have time to luxuriate on an extended lunch break. However, don’t worry about that because there is a place in Amsterdam where you can eat the best sandwiches in Amsterdam and don’t waste much precious time waiting for your food.

Singel 404 is famous among locals so, prepare to fight for your table, especially if you go on a sunny day when everybody wants to sit outside and eat the delicious broodje made from perfectly baked bread, melted brie, avocado, smoked chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. This is the locals’ favorite combination, but you have other incredible options to choose from.

Eetcafe Singel 404
Address: Singel 404, 1016 AK Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: 10:30 AM–7 PM
Phone: +31 20 428 0154

Lunch in a National Monument: ’t Blauwe Theehuis

Travelers who want to stop for lunch in an interesting place should choose ’t Blauwe Theehuis. Not only does this charming café offer hungry visitors a beautiful terrace (one of the largest in Europe), serves delicious light snacks and mouthwatering summer BBQs, but it also has an immense historical significance being recognized as a national monument by the Dutch government.

Built during the height of Dutch Modernist architecture in the 1930s, the charming place welcomes locals and travelers serving great food in a friendly atmosphere. So, if you want to relax and eat tasty food in s National Monument, go to ’t Blauwe Theehuis.

’t Blauwe Theehuis
Address: Vondelpark 5, 1071 AA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Open:  Monday – Thursday: 9 AM–6 PM; Friday- Sunday: 9 AM–8 PM
Phone: +31 20 662 0254

Have Lunch on a Beautiful Sunny Terrace at Hannekes Boom

If you love to relax and enjoy your afternoon in a friendly place while indulging in delicious food, Hannekes Boom is the best place for you. The best part of this place is that using only fresh ingredients, the chef cooks exceptionally creative dishes. Also, the menu changes weekly and sometimes even friendly so, you can always have a surprise at this lovely restaurant.

Hannekes Boom
Address: Dijksgracht 4, 1019 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: 11 AM–1 AM
Phone: +31 20 419 9820

An Unforgettable Dinner Experience in the Heart of Amsterdam: Lt. Cornelis

When visiting Amsterdam, you must try to experience as many traditional Dutch dishes as possible. A great place to have a memorable encounter with some of the best classic Dutch dishes but created with a modern twist is Lt. Cornelis, a hidden gem, located in the heart of the city.

Not only does this top-notch restaurant offer perfectly created dishes, but your dinner is served in a fabulous atmosphere, created by the friendly staff and by the interesting décor. While waiting for your food, you can admire the beautiful paintings signed by Dutch masters that decorate the restaurant’s walls.

Restaurant Lt. Cornelis
Address: Voetboogstraat 13, 1012 XK Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: 5–10:30 PM
Phone: +31 20 261 4863

Amaze Your Taste Buds with Old-Fashioned Dutch Food at Haesje Claes

While some people are into discovering traditional food created with a modern twist, others are more eager to get in touch with the authentic Dutch taste of food. When going to Haesje Claes, expect to be served traditional dishes consisting of chicken liver, pea soup, meatballs with pepper sauce, as well as other exciting dishes on the menu.

At this moment, Haesje Claes is one of Amsterdam’s specialists in Dutch dining. Therefore, if you want to taste your way around the traditional Amsterdam, you must eat at this lovely restaurant, at least once.

Haesje Claes Restaurant
Address: Spuistraat 275, 1012 VR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 624 9998

Have an East African Adventure at Azmarino

Even though you are in Amsterdam, you should forget about Dutch foot for one evening and eat at Azmarino, a place where you will be served authentic East African food, in a cozy and cheerful atmosphere. 

Expect the waiter to bring enormous sharing platters filled with hot, sweet, spicy and sour food. Your tasting buds will go wild from feeling all these flavors at the same time, but this is what you want, isn’t it? Azmarino is a place one cannot quickly forget.

Azmarino
Address: Tweede Sweelinckstraat 6, 1073 EH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 5:30–10 PM; Monday: Closed
Phone: +31 20 671 7587

Here is Something for Your Sweet Tooth

When you wander around Amsterdam, and you arrive at the Dam square, make sure you stop for a while to have a coffee and satisfy your sweet tooth at Café Het Paleis.

If you want a recommendation, don’t even think about leaving without trying appelgebak, the delicious apple tart everybody in Amsterdam loves and Paleis’s, buttery pastry, with cinnamon-flecked apple and whipped cream you will immediately fall in love with.

Café Het Paleis
Address: Paleisstraat 16, 1012 RB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Monday to Wednesday and Sunday: 9:30 AM–1 AM, Friday, and Saturday: 9:30 AM–3 AM
Phone: +31 20 626 0600

These are some of the best places in Amsterdam where every foodie’s soul can be satisfied, at least for a while. However, as mentioned in the beginning the city hides many more amazing places where mouthwatering is served, but these are an excellent choice to taste your way around Amsterdam for the first time.


Where to Have a Coffee Break in Amsterdam

We have three recommendations for you, if you want to have a coffee break in the city center. Bocca, Cafe de Paris and the “ de Koffieschenkerij”.

Bocca (Kerkstraat 96HS, 1017 GP Amsterdam, Netherlands, https://www.bocca.nl/ ) is a relaxed café with a great interior design, which serves coffee from Aithiopia, Colombia, Brazil, several different types of tea and carrot cakes, apple pies and other cakes.

Café de Paris (Rokin 81 – 83, 1012 KL Amsterdam, Netherlands, http://www.cafe-de-paris.nl ) is very close to the Dam Square and it is a cosy place, where you can sit by the big glass windows and do people watching, while drinking your coffee or tea.

De Koffieschenkerij (Oudekerksplein 27, 1012GX Amsterdam, Netherlands, https://www.facebook.com/koffieschenkerij ) lies in the red lights district and it is a small (8 tables in the interior) cafe, inside a church, which serves apple pie, teas and coffees. If the weather is warm you can also sit outside at the yard, which has a nice view to the canals and watch people passing by. Expect to pay 4 euros for an apple-pie and 3.5 euros for a coffee. They prefer payment with a credit card.


Best Day Trips from Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a fascinating city visited by a fantastic number of people every year. The city offers its visitors a multitude of exciting activities as well as great things to see, but since Netherlands is so beautiful if given a chance, getting out of the city and exploring the rest of the country is always advisable.

Therefore, depending on how many days you plan to spend in Amsterdam, you should also think about taking one or even more day trips to explore the surroundings of the city. Whether you prefer renting a car, or you want to join an organized group, there are many charming places you can visit and here is a list of the best day trips from Amsterdam.

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Wander Around the Fairy Tale Dutch City: Haarlem

If you plan to stay just a few days in Amsterdam and you can only enjoy one day trip, you must visit Haarlem. You will get there in 15 minutes by train, and you will probably want to stay forever, caught in the Haarlem fairy tale.

Wander around the Grote Markt central square and, if you visit the town on a Saturday, don’t be shy and explore the lively weekly market. Then, continue your visit with walking until you get hungry. Indulge in the delicious fries served at De Friethoes and then check out Jopenkerk, the cool brewery that used to be a church.

Friethoes  
Address: Kruisweg 43, 2011 LA Haarlem, Netherlands
Hours: 12 PM–8 PM
Phone: +31 23 205 2088

Jopenkerk Haarlem
Address: Gedempte Voldersgracht 2, 2011 WD Haarlem, Netherlands
Hours: 10AM–1AM
Phone: +31 23 533 4114

Admire the Tulip Fields of Lisse from Mid-March to May

Everybody knows that visiting the tulip fields around Lisse is a must since the flower is one of the symbols of this beautiful country. There are only 32 kilometers from Amsterdam to Lisse, and you can quickly travel by car or by train to arrive at the destination in less than an hour.

Then, you can rent a bike and explore the beautiful fields of tulips like a typical Dutch. Everybody knows that Dutch people cycle everywhere, and they enjoy this activity. Moreover, if you want to do this correctly, download a bulb field cycling map and make sure you pre-book your bike because everybody wants one during the tulip season.

Relax on the Unspoilt Shores of Zandvoort, Bloemendaal, and Ijmuiden

If you visit Amsterdam during the summer months, you should find time to explore the beaches in the towns of Zandvoort, Bloemendaal, and Ijmuiden. You can quickly get there by train, from the Amsterdam Central Station, in less than 40 minutes.

Not only will you get to relax and admire one of the most unspoiled coastlines in Northern Europe, but you can also enjoy a surfing day, have a tasty beer in one of the lively bars and even party in the busy beach clubs or the bohemian bars filled with happy Dutch people and travelers.

Explore Old Holland

Visiting busy Amsterdam is going to be an unforgettable experience, but, in order to have a complete holiday, you should find some time to explore the old Dutch towns of Volendam and Zaandam, admire the charming churches, old farmhouses, and windmills and completely decompress while stepping back in time for a short period.

Zaandam is located only a short train ride from Amsterdam so, in about 15 minutes you step from a futuristic place, back in a Golden Age Painting. Volendam is located 40 minutes far from Amsterdam so, depending on the length of your holiday you can visit one, or both these old beauties.

Check Out the Cheese Market in the Charming Alkmaar

Located only 30 minutes ride by train, Alkmaar is a must see if you plan to stay more than a couple of days in Amsterdam. Not only is Alkmaar a beautiful little old town, but it is very famous for its centuries-old traditional cheese market.

You can explore Netherlands’ cheese world and visit the traditional marketplace on Friday mornings, weekly, between April and September.

Alkmaar Cheese Market
Address: Waagplein 2, 1811 JP Alkmaar, Netherlands
Phone: +31 72 234 0150

Let the Picturesque City of Leiden Amaze Your Eyes

Whether you are traveling with your loved ones, your friends or by yourself, you must visit the beautiful city of Leiden and admire its imposing 16th century Church of St. Peter, scenic, tree-lined canals, the romantic parks, the charming old windmills, and wooden bridges.

You can romantically explore the canals in a boat, learn about natural history and science in the interesting museums, as well as visit the oldest academic observatory in the world. It would be great if you could spend one night in this delightful city, located only 30 minutes far from Amsterdam, to have more time to explore its beauty. However, if you just have a day, it is definitely enough to catch a glimpse of its main attractions.

An Unforgettable Escape in Bruges, Belgium’s Medieval Treasure

Surrounded by canals and old city walls, Bruges is considered by many ones of the most beautiful city in Europe. If you want to have a memorable experience while traveling through Europe, you should spend at least one day in this lovely well-preserved medieval town.

Located in the northern region of Belgium, Bruges is only 3 hours by train far from Amsterdam. This means that, to have a great experience, you must leave as early in the morning as possible.

As soon as you arrive in Bruges, you fall in love with its beauty. Wandering around its cobblestone alleys makes you feel like in a fairytale, but the best part appears when the night comes because that is the moment when you realize Bruges is one of the most beautifully lit cities you have seen. Moreover, when you see the chocolatiers, taste the chocolate and eat street side waffles you understand that this medieval town has touched your soul.

Visit the Hague, the Judicial Capital of the World

The Hague is known as the “judicial capital of the world,” not only because there is an impressive number of international courts and headquarters in the city but also because here is located the seat of the Dutch government.

Therefore, if you expected to find a relaxed, fun atmosphere, just like in any other seaside town, you were wrong. However, if you have enough time, visiting The Hague is mandatory because of its beauty, but also because it has an immense cultural importance for Netherlands and Europe.

A Paradise for Cheese Lovers- Gouda

Located only 55 minutes far from Amsterdam, Gouda is a charming town you should visit if traveling to the Netherlands in the spring and summer months. The town got its name from the daily cheese market held in front of the imposing 15th century City Hall. Whether you want to buy pure cheese, you feel the need to relax in a small town, or you have a high desire explore old spots, Gouda is a great destination if you plan to make a day trip from Amsterdam.

These are some of the best day trips you can make when visiting Amsterdam and planning to stay more than a few days in Netherlands’ charming city.  However, the country is so beautiful that every corner of it deserves to be seen and admired so, if you have the chance, make sure you return to beautiful Netherlands and explore as many of its hidden wonders as possible.


14 Unusual Things to Do in Amsterdam

If you are planning to visit Amsterdam and you want to have a different vacation, filled with unique activities and things to see, you can because, besides the multitude of regular things to do every traveler knows already, this fabulous city offers its visitors an exceptional number of unique activities.

Everybody knows that in Amsterdam travelers can have a less usual experience in the already famous red-light district, then get in touch with art at the fantastic museum dedicated to Van Gogh, and later on travel back in time and explore Anne Frank’s tumultuous childhood by visiting the house the Frank family used as a hiding place during the Second World War. These are fantastic things to do, unique activities if comparing Amsterdam with other cities. However, fortunately, there are plenty weirder places and ways of entertainment while you visit the famous Dutch town and here is a list that gathers the best of them.

Coffee in a Café with Furniture from Garbage: Café de Ceuvel

People from all over the world know that Dutchies love 100% sustainable so, this is the main reason why they are so into spending time at the intriguing Café de Ceuvel. The second reason is the delicious coffee and the organic food and drinks.

Located in what used to a garbage dump for house-boats, not only does this charming coffee shop grow its veggies, but it also cleans up the soil. Check out this charming café and let the fact that it is self-sufficient amaze you while indulging in a delicious dose of caffeine.

Café de Ceuvel
Address: Korte Papaverweg 4, 1032 KB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: 11 AM–12 AM (except Monday: Closed)
Phone: +31 20 229 6210

Visit a Museum for Adults: The Sex Museum Venus temple

Amsterdam is famous for hosting more than 50 museums so, millions of museum lovers have this location on their must-visit list. It is indeed an excellent place for travelers interested in history and art, who are eager to explore essential works signed by famous artists like Rembrandt or Van Gogh and to see the museums dedicated to them, as well as to dig deep into the dark past of the city during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam.

However, there are also travelers very interested in alternative museums like The Sex Museum. Located in one of the busiest areas in Amsterdam, the is is the world’s first and oldest sex museum, and it has its doors open for all people who are interested in exploring erotic art, in learning about the history of erotica and sexual aids.

The Sex MuseumVenustemple
Address: Damrak 18, 1012 LH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: 9:30 AM–11:30 PM
Phone: +31 20 622 8376

A Different Type of Shop: The Condomerie

After learning about the sensitive area of human sexuality at The Sex Museum, you can check out the Condomerie, one of the funniest shops in Amsterdam.

The business was launched back in the 80s by a group of activists inspired by the AIDS epidemic. They wanted to do something to promote safe sex, so they open a shop selling condoms and giving protection, contraception, and STDs advice. This is very funny and interesting especially if you are traveling with a teenager.

The Condomerie
Address: Warmoesstraat 141, 1012 JB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: 11 AM–9 PM (except Sunday: 1–6 PM)
Phone: +31 20 627 4174

Visit a Museum for Cat Lovers

Whether you love cats or you just like art in general, visiting Katten Kabinet offers you an interesting experience. What to expect from this intriguing place? Well, you will see cats in its every corner, and after visiting it, you will realize how many artists were inspired by this cute, fluffy animal.

Also, you will meet a surprise guest represented by the beautiful, friendly cats that wander around the museum. Moreover, yes, you are allowed to pet them if you want.

Katten Kabinet
Address: Herengracht 497, 1017 BT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Monday through Friday: 10 AM–5 PM; Saturday & Sunday: 12–5 PM
Phone: +31 20 626 9040 

Get Even Closer to Art Electric Ladyland

As mentioned above, Amsterdam is filled with amazing museums, giving you the chance to spend hours admiring art created by some of the best artists in the world. Furthermore, this beautiful city bustles with vibrant alternatives to the regular art museums and galleries.

One of the best, unusual art galleries is Electric Ladyland, a fascinating, interactive museum of fluorescent art, located in the city center. Prepare yourself for a psychedelic encounter with art you will remember for a long time. You cannot easily forget such an intriguing collection of fluorescent artworks!

Electric Ladyland
Address: Tweede Leliedwarsstraat 5, 1015 TB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 2 PM–6 PM; Sunday to Tuesday: Closed
Phone: +31 20 420 3776

Have an Unforgettable Adventure in the Highest Swing in Europe

Launched in 2016, A’dam Lookout is one of the most unusual attractions Amsterdam offers its locals and visitors. Unless you are afraid of heights, you will love swinging at 100 meters altitude, while enjoying a beautiful view of the city.

Since it is such a popular thins to do, you might have to wait in line for a while, but it is worth the wait. 

A’dam Lookout
Address: Overhoeksplein, 5, 1031 KS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: 10:30 AM–9 PM
Phone: +31 20 242 0100

Learn about the History of Cannabis at the Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum

Even if you are a traveler and you have been in many European capitals, you have probably never seen a museum dedicated to cannabis. There aren’t too many places where smoking it is legal, are there?

At the Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum you will learn all about this plant and its influences on world culture. It is a very interesting place, and you should add it to your must-see list especially if you do not plan to have a closer experience with marijuana while in Amsterdam.

Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum
Address: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148, 1012 DV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: 10 AM–10 PM
Phone: +31 20 624 8926

Explore Amsterdam’s Morbid Collection at the Museum Vrolik

Museum Vrolik is not a place everybody likes since it displays more than a thousand human anatomical specimens donated by medical professionals. The truth is that there aren’t too many people interested in staring at skeletons and organs, but it can be an interesting experience, especially if you are a doctor or a nurse.

Everything is held in big, transparent jars and can create a scary image so, if you are traveling with children, you can skip this weird attraction. Otherwise, be courageous and give it a try. 

Museum Vrolik
Address: J0-130, Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam-Zuidoost, Netherlands
Hours: Monday through Friday: 10 AM–5 PM; Saturday and Sunday: Closed
Phone: +31 20 566 4927

An Awkward Expedition at a Lake that Used to Be a Kindergarten

Whether you plan to wander around and just catch a glimpse of the beautiful landscape, you want to swim or even dive, Vinkeveense Plassen lakes should be on your must-visit list. The reason why this spot is on the list of unusual things is that certain parts of the Vinkeveense Plassen lakes are inundated areas.

This means that travelers who adventure themselves into diving can end up exploring children’s play areas, a bus or other creepy things. Not many dare to explore the darkness of the lakes, but those who do it, leave Amsterdam with greater stories to tell.

Vinkeveense Plassen Lakes
Address: 3645 Vinkeveen, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 297 212 285

Indulge in the Delicious Food at the Garlic Queen

If you are a garlic lover, you should not miss eating at the famous Garlic Queen, an intriguing place where everything is with, for and about garlic. 

This means that everything from the aperitifs to the weird desert is made with big amounts of garlic. So, are you ready to taste garlic ice cream for the first time? If you are worried about the garlicky smell, don’t worry because you get a pin that apologizes for your garlic breath.

Garlic Queen
Address: Reguliersdwarsstraat 27, 1017 BJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 12:30–2:30 PM, 5–11 PM; Monday & Tuesday: Closed.
Phone: +31 20 422 6426

Have the Ultimate Dining Experience in the Dark

Even though dining in the dark is not something that exists only in Amsterdam, it is an experience you should not miss while you visit this charming city, especially if you are a foodie and you want to see how food feels when you cannot see it. Yes, using your knife and fork can be scary when you cannot see, but, until now, nobody got injured while having this experience.

There are a few restaurants in Amsterdam that offer you this experience, but the CTASTE is the most popular one. This means that if you decide you want to eat without seeing anything, you must book your table.

Ctaste
Address: Amsteldijk 55, 1074 HX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday: 4:30–11:30 PM; Sunday: 11 AM–11:30 PM; Monday and Tuesday: Closed
Phone: +31 20 675 2831

Experience the Unique Panorama Rail Restaurant

Foodies who want to have a unique culinary experience while in Amsterdam but don’t like garlic and are afraid of the dark can opt for a fine-dining experience in the Panorama Rail Restaurant.

Firstly, you must make a reservation because it is a top-rated attraction for travelers, as well as locals. Then, you have to go to the Amsterdam’s Centraal Station where you will find the train. You will be served a delicious dinner in the dining carts that date back to the 1960s while being taken on a tour of the Netherlands’ rail network system.

Panorama Rail Restaurant
Hours: Saturday: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Address: Amsterdam Centraal, Stationsplein, 1012 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 85 401 7173

Have a Cocktail in the Ice Bar

Whether you plan to visit Amsterdam in winter or during the summer months, having a cocktail at the Ice Bar is always a great idea. You do not even need a jacket since the venue provides everything you need. All you have to do is make a reservation and have a tasty cocktail in a place where it is always -10°c, and everything is very…icy.

XtraCold Icebar Amsterdam
Address: Amstel 194-196, 1017 AG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Sunday to Friday: 12:30 PM–1 AM; Saturday: 12:30 PM–2:30 AM
Phone: +31 20 320 5700

Join a Wild Pub Crawl

If you like parties, but you travel by yourself, you do not have to worry because you can explore the nightlife of this fascinating city without feeling lonely. All you have to do is find a pub crawl, join it and have fun with other travelers as interested in partying as you are.

A pub crawl includes a guide that will take you to some of the best venues in town, some free entrances, shots or maybe special prices at cocktails, but these depend on the pub crawl you choose. Check out the pub crawls on www.getyourguide.com and see if there is something suitable for you listed there. If you find the ultimate tour for you, book your place and get ready to have some fun.

These are the most unusual things you can do when traveling to Amsterdam. However, depending on how many days you plan to stay, you can add more interesting activities, not only in the city but also outside beautiful Amsterdam.


Frequently Asked Questions about Amsterdam

  1. Is Amsterdam Safe for Kids?

If safety is about security in traffic or outside on the streets, then most living areas are very safe. There is an obvious difference between streets intended for traffic, which are very broad and have trams and taxis lanes and wide pedestrian strips, and all other, tiny roads, which are easy and safe to maneuver for pedestrians and cyclists, though sometimes nearly impossible to travel by car.

  • What are some Typical Costs in Amsterdam for things to buy and eat?

Below you can find a list of the typical costs that you will have to pay in Amsterdam for buying different popular products or services:


  • What are some things that you would be surprised to learn about Amsterdam?
  • School finishes at midday on Wednesdays. This is so parents can spend more time with their kids, and many employers allow parents to go home at noon on Wednesdays.
  • Amsterdam really could not be less about prostitution and marijuana. There are small parts of the city that some tourists (and few locals) enjoy, but there’s so much more to Amsterdam than that!
  • Riding a bike is the primary means of transport for most people in cities, regardless of the “event” – going to a wedding (bride included!), dressed up, dressed down, wearing a suit, going to the beach, taking the kids to school, moving house, going to work, shopping, with pets, having breakfast, talking on the phone, putting on makeup at the lights. Women regularly wear heels. Everyone talks on their phone, SMS’s, or uses Google Maps for navigation. Any time a person in, say, LA might consider using a car, Dutchies will ride a bike. No one wears helmets.

A family on the way to somewhere. Credit: Amsterdam Bicycles

Mom on the way to somewhere. Credit: Amsterdam Bicycles

  • The Dutch do not have a word for two people being on a bike (in Australia, this is called “dinking”, in Scotland, “cogging” (“can you give me a dink?”, “Giv‘ us a cog, mate?”). In Holland, it is more like, “hop on the back” – there’s no particular word. Which is weird, because any time a person in a car would give someone a ride, in Holland, the same thing happens on bikes. Quite often you see the boyfriend riding, and girl perched gracefully on the back (usually SMS’ing), but just as often, girls and girls, boys and boys, of all ages.

The girl is doing the hard work. Credit: Amsterdam Bicycles

  • On warm summer evenings, many people will eat on the street (or on their front steps), because most homes do not have air-con, and the streets are lovely.
  • Parties often happen on open boats that motor around the canals (as opposed to, at someone’s home). They stop near public toilets every so often (and at bottle shops, to stock up).
  • Many people leave their curtains open, so people walking down the street can see right into their home. It is not uncommon to see people going about their lives, including moments that others might consider private when looking through windows. It is considered impolite to look through windows at these times, however.
  • What is the weather like in Amsterdam?

The locals say that Amsterdam has four different seasons in a day. So, the weather is usually quite moody. You can check it out at http://www.dutchamsterdam.nl/28-amsterdam-weather

  • What are the best running routes in Amsterdam?

If you love to run then, you should go to the Amsterdamse Bos  (Amsterdam Forest). Especially the southern part around the Amstelveense Poel (the Amstelveen lake) is charming.  There you will find many routes for running, and you will see the forest, water, animals and other crazy Amsterdam people.

  • What is the best coffee shop in Amsterdam?

The locals love Katsu: http://www.katsu.nl/

  • What is the current legal status for tourists on smoking Cannabis in Amsterdam?

The new law regarding coffee shops (where cannabis can be legally purchased) in Holland simply gave localities the power to ban foreigners; it did not require them to.  Amsterdam has chosen NOT to ban anyone over 18 from coffee shops, as clearly stated on the following official web page from the city.

Published by Guidora Team

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