10 Fun Things You Must Do When You're in Amsterdam - Are you planning a trip to Amsterdam? This city is known for its beautiful canals, museums, and nightlife. But there is so much more to do in this vibrant city. Here are ten fun things you must do when you're in Amsterdam.
1. Take a Canal Cruise
Taking a canal cruise is a must-do activity when
you're in Amsterdam. The city's canals are its most recognizable feature and
offer a unique perspective on the city. The canals were constructed in the 17th
century to improve transportation and water management. Today, they're a UNESCO
World Heritage Site and a symbol of Amsterdam's rich history.
There are many different canal cruise options available, from large tourist boats to smaller, more intimate boats. The large boats are perfect for those who want to see as much of the city as possible. They typically offer a guided tour and have multiple stops along the way. This is a great option if you're short on time and want to see all the major sights.
If you're looking for a more romantic or unique experience, a smaller boat might be the way to go. These boats typically hold fewer people and offer a more personal experience. Some of them even have a glass roof, so you can enjoy the view without worrying about the weather.
No matter which type of boat you choose, a canal cruise is a great way to see Amsterdam. You'll get to see the city from a different perspective and learn about its history and culture. It's also a great way to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
During the cruise, you'll see many of Amsterdam's famous sights. You'll pass by the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, and the Westerkerk. You'll also get to see the city's unique architecture, which includes narrow houses with gabled facades.
One of the best times to take a canal cruise is in the evening. The city is lit up, and the canals take on a magical quality. Many of the boats offer dinner or drinks, so you can enjoy a romantic evening on the water.
Overall, a canal cruise is a fun and unique way to experience Amsterdam. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, it's an activity that should be on your itinerary.
The canals are what make Amsterdam so unique, and the best way to see them is by boat. There are many different companies that offer canal cruises, from hop-on-hop-off to dinner cruises. This is a great way to get a different perspective on the city.
2. Visit the Van Gogh Museum
Another must-do activity when you're in Amsterdam is to visit the Van Gogh Museum. The museum is dedicated to the life and work of Vincent van Gogh, one of the most famous artists in history. It houses the largest collection of Van Gogh's artwork in the world and is a must-visit destination for art lovers.
The museum is located in the Museumplein area of Amsterdam, which is also home to other famous museums like the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum. The Van Gogh Museum is housed in a modern building and offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors.
Inside the museum, you'll find over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 750 letters from Van Gogh. The artwork on display spans his entire career, from his early sketches to his later masterpieces like "Sunflowers" and "The Starry Night." The museum also features works by other artists who were influenced by Van Gogh.
One of the highlights of the museum is the "Sunflowers" room, which displays a series of paintings of the famous flowers. This room is a popular spot for photos and is a must-see for anyone visiting the museum.
In addition to the artwork, the museum offers a wealth of information about Van Gogh's life and artistic process. You can learn about his struggles with mental health, his relationships with other artists, and his passion for nature. The museum also has an audio guide that provides additional insights and commentary on the artwork.
If you're interested in learning more about Van Gogh, the museum offers a variety of tours and workshops. You can take a guided tour of the museum, participate in a drawing workshop, or attend a lecture on Van Gogh's life and work.
Overall, a visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a must-do activity when you're in Amsterdam. It's a unique opportunity to see some of the world's most famous artwork and learn about the life and work of one of history's most influential artists.
3. Check Out the Red Light District
Another popular attraction in Amsterdam is the Red Light District, also known as "De Wallen." While it may not be everyone's cup of tea, it's a unique and interesting area to explore.
The Red Light District is known for its windows with red lights where prostitutes stand to attract clients. Prostitution is legal and regulated in the Netherlands, and the Red Light District is one of the few places in the world where it's openly displayed. However, it's important to be respectful and remember that these are people's jobs and livelihoods.
Aside from the sex industry, the Red Light District is also home to a number of bars, cafes, and shops. The narrow streets and canals give the area a unique atmosphere, and it's a popular spot for nightlife and entertainment.
One of the most interesting spots in the Red Light District is the Prostitution Information Centre, which provides information about the industry and offers guided tours. These tours are led by former sex workers and offer a unique perspective on the industry and the lives of the workers.
Another interesting attraction is the Red Light Secrets Museum, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the world of prostitution. Visitors can see a recreated window and learn about the history and culture of the Red Light District.
While the Red Light District may not be for everyone, it's definitely a unique and interesting area to explore. Just remember to be respectful and keep an open mind.
4. Rent a Bike
Renting a bike is one of the best ways to explore Amsterdam and experience the city like a local. With over 400 kilometers of bike paths, Amsterdam is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, and biking is a popular mode of transportation for both locals and tourists.
There are a variety of bike rental shops throughout the city, and it's easy and affordable to rent a bike for a few hours or a full day. Most rental shops offer a variety of bike styles, from standard city bikes to electric bikes and even cargo bikes for families.
Once you have your bike, there are endless possibilities for exploring Amsterdam. You can ride along the canals and through the city's historic neighborhoods, stopping at cafes and shops along the way. You can also ride through the city's many parks, like Vondelpark or Oosterpark, and enjoy the natural beauty of the city.
Biking is also a great way to see some of Amsterdam's famous landmarks and attractions. You can bike to the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum, or ride to the Jordaan neighborhood and explore its charming streets and shops. Biking is also a great way to get off the beaten path and discover some of Amsterdam's hidden gems.
While biking in Amsterdam can be fun and convenient, it's important to be aware of the rules and safety precautions. Bikes have their own lanes and traffic lights, and it's important to follow the rules of the road and be aware of other bikers and pedestrians. It's also important to lock your bike securely when you're not using it, as bike theft is a common problem in Amsterdam.
Overall, renting a bike is a great way to explore Amsterdam and experience the city like a local. Whether you're an experienced cyclist or just looking for a fun way to see the city, biking in Amsterdam is a must-do activity.
5. Visit the Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam's most famous and impressive museums, and a must-visit for art lovers and history buffs alike. Located in the city's Museumplein, the Rijksmuseum houses an extensive collection of Dutch art and history, including works by famous artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer.
The museum's collection is spread across more than 80 galleries, and covers over 800 years of Dutch history and culture. Some of the most famous works in the collection include Rembrandt's "Night Watch," Vermeer's "The Milkmaid," and Frans Hals' "The Laughing Cavalier."
Aside from its impressive collection, the Rijksmuseum is also known for its stunning architecture. The building was designed in the late 1800s by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers, and features a grand entrance hall, a central atrium, and a series of galleries and rooms designed to showcase the museum's collection.
Visitors to the Rijksmuseum can take self-guided tours or join one of the museum's guided tours, which are available in a variety of languages. The museum also offers a range of special exhibits and events throughout the year, from lectures and workshops to concerts and film screenings.
For those interested in Dutch history and culture, a visit to the Rijksmuseum is a must-do activity when in Amsterdam. The museum's impressive collection, stunning architecture, and range of exhibits and events make it a true cultural gem of the city.
6. Eat Some Dutch Treats
Eating some Dutch treats is a must-do activity when in Amsterdam. The city is known for its delicious and unique cuisine, and there are a variety of traditional Dutch treats that you won't want to miss.
One of the most popular Dutch treats is stroopwafel, a thin, crispy waffle cookie filled with caramel syrup. These tasty treats are sold at markets and bakeries throughout the city, and are a perfect snack to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.
Another popular Dutch treat is poffertjes, small fluffy pancakes served with butter and powdered sugar. These sweet treats are often sold at street markets and food stalls, and are a perfect midday snack or dessert.
For those with a sweet tooth, Dutch licorice is a must-try. Known as drop, Dutch licorice comes in a variety of flavors and textures, from sweet and chewy to salty and hard. There are even licorice shops throughout the city where you can try different types and find your favorite.
Of course, no visit to Amsterdam would be complete without trying some Dutch cheese. The city is known for its delicious Gouda and Edam cheeses, which can be found at markets and cheese shops throughout the city. Be sure to try some with a glass of wine or beer for the full Dutch experience.
Overall, trying some Dutch treats is a delicious and fun way to experience the culture and cuisine of Amsterdam. From stroopwafels and poffertjes to licorice and cheese, there's something for every taste bud in this vibrant and delicious city.
7. Go to a Coffee Shop
Going to a coffee shop in Amsterdam is a unique and popular activity that shouldn't be missed. However, it's important to note that coffee shops in Amsterdam are not the same as traditional coffee shops that serve coffee and pastries.
In Amsterdam, coffee shops are establishments that legally sell cannabis products for personal use. These establishments are regulated by the government and are only allowed to sell cannabis products to those over the age of 18.
While visiting a coffee shop can be a fun and interesting experience, it's important to understand the laws and regulations around cannabis use in Amsterdam. It's also important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects associated with cannabis use.
If you do choose to visit a coffee shop in Amsterdam, it's important to do so responsibly. Stick to a low dosage, and never operate a vehicle or heavy machinery while under the influence of cannabis. It's also important to be respectful of the laws and regulations around cannabis use in Amsterdam.
Overall, visiting a coffee shop in Amsterdam can be a unique and interesting experience, but it's important to understand the laws and regulations around cannabis use and to consume cannabis responsibly.
8. Visit Anne Frank House
Visiting the Anne Frank House is a powerful and moving experience that should not be missed when in Amsterdam. The house is the former home of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who wrote a diary during World War II while she and her family were hiding from the Nazis.
The Anne Frank House has been turned into a museum, and visitors can tour the hiding place where Anne and her family lived for over two years. The museum includes exhibits about Anne's life, her family, and the events of World War II.
Visitors to the Anne Frank House can see the original diary of Anne Frank, as well as other personal artifacts, photos, and documents. The experience of standing in the same space where Anne and her family lived and wrote their diary is a powerful reminder of the atrocities of war and the resilience of the human spirit.
Due to the popularity of the Anne Frank House, it's recommended to book tickets in advance. Visitors can also download the Anne Frank House app to enhance their museum experience and learn more about Anne Frank's life and legacy.
Overall, visiting the Anne Frank House is a powerful and moving experience that provides insight into one of the most tragic periods in human history. The museum serves as a reminder of the importance of tolerance, compassion, and the fight against discrimination and persecution
9. Take a Day Trip to the Countryside
Taking a day trip to the Dutch countryside from Amsterdam is a great way to escape the city and explore the natural beauty of the Netherlands. The countryside is known for its picturesque landscapes, historic windmills, and quaint villages.
One popular destination for a day trip from Amsterdam is the town of Zaanse Schans. This open-air museum offers visitors a glimpse into the traditional Dutch way of life, with historic windmills, traditional wooden houses, and working craftsmen.
Another popular day trip destination is the Keukenhof Gardens, which is only open for a few months each year. These stunning gardens feature over seven million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, and are a must-see for any flower lover.
For those interested in history, a visit to the city of Haarlem is a great option. This charming city has a rich history and boasts a variety of museums, including the Frans Hals Museum and the Teylers Museum.
No matter where you choose to go, a day trip to the Dutch countryside from Amsterdam is a great way to experience the beauty and charm of the Netherlands outside of the city. Be sure to bring a camera, comfortable shoes, and a sense of adventure.
10. Check Out Vondelpark
Vondelpark is one of Amsterdam's most beloved and popular parks, attracting both locals and tourists alike. With over 47 hectares of green space, it's a great place to relax and unwind in the heart of the city.
The park is named after the Dutch poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel and features beautiful paths, gardens, and ponds. There are also several cafes and restaurants located throughout the park, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
Vondelpark is also known for its cultural events, including live music performances, open-air theater productions, and festivals. During the summer months, visitors can enjoy outdoor movies and concerts in the park's beautiful surroundings.
One of the park's most popular attractions is the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre. This historic venue has been hosting live music, theater, and dance performances since 1974 and has become a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Amsterdam.
Visitors to Vondelpark can also rent bicycles, rollerblades, and other outdoor equipment to explore the park's many trails and paths. It's a great way to experience the park's beauty and tranquility while getting some exercise at the same time.
Overall, Vondelpark is a beautiful and peaceful oasis in the heart of Amsterdam, offering visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some fresh air and green space. Whether you're looking to relax, explore, or enjoy some culture, Vondelpark is a must-visit destination when in Amsterdam.
In conclusion, Amsterdam has so much to offer visitors. From its beautiful canals to its famous museums and unique culture, there's something for everyone. Make sure to check out these ten fun things when you're in Amsterdam.