In case you’re considering of visiting Amsterdam, then relaxation assured that the Dutch capital affords loads of nice perks which are positive to make your journey one to recollect! From the preferred vacationer sights to the hidden gems you’ll discover off the crushed path, I personally assume a visit to Amsterdam is worthy of inclusion on anybody’s bucket list.
Don’t fear, I gained’t depart you hanging as to why. Be part of me for a trek by a few of my favourite causes to go to the town.
Half Amsterdam travel guide, half private suggestions, I’ll fill you in on why Amsterdam is like no different metropolis on the earth. Alongside the best way, I’ll level you within the course of a few of my favourite organized excursions, common sights, and hidden gems.
My Favourite Causes to Go to Amsterdam
1. Historic Structure
Having grown up in the USA, I’ve all the time had a fascination with historic structure. Certain, the U.S. is residence to the occasional colonial constructing. However nothing within the States fairly compares to the sensation of strolling right into a medieval constructing.
In Amsterdam, Oude Kerk traces its roots again to 1213. It’s value trying out one of many many nice historical walking tours you’ll discover all through the town. The excursions assist to get an actual sense of the tales behind probably the most well-known websites.
You’ll discover loads of incredible historic sites in Amsterdam, from the Royal Palace to neighborhoods like De Negen Straatjes. If there’s one web site you don’t need to miss, it’s the Anne Frank Home.
The well-known web site was the place the courageous younger lady and her household hid from the Nazis. Simply bear in mind that tickets are solely out there by the official website of the Anne Frank Home and infrequently promote out months prematurely.
It’s additionally value trying out highly effective websites just like the Dutch WWII Resistance Museum to study extra about Jewish historical past and tradition within the metropolis. Ensure you additionally go to the completely gorgeous Portuguese Synagogue, which was the most important synagogue on the earth when it was first in-built 1675.
And now for the query I do know you’re dying to ask (as a result of everybody does) – what in regards to the much less scrupulous components of the town’s historical past? That’s proper, I’m speaking about Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
You’ll truly discover loads of completely legit tours that can stroll you thru the Pink Mild District and reply each query you’re afraid to ask alongside the best way. Whereas the district is fairly tame in the course of the day, after dusk it turns into precisely what you anticipate. I’d advocate venturing over as a part of a guided group somewhat than alone.
See Associated: Famous Buildings in Amsterdam to Visit
2. The Canals
If there’s one a part of your journey to Amsterdam you’ll always remember, it’s strolling alongside the picturesque canals. Amsterdam’s canal ring is just not solely beautiful however turned a UNESCO World Heritage web site in its personal proper in 2011.
Ensure you put aside just a few hours to move all the way down to Amsterdam’s metropolis middle to reap the benefits of certainly one of its many epic canal cruises. In case you’re in search of a stable family-friendly canal cruise, then I’d advocate setting out with Captain Jack, who will hold you entertained with enjoyable commentary on all the principle sights you’ll see alongside the tour.
In case you’re in search of extra of a booze cruise, you’ll discover loads of different choices like this personal boat cruise with unlimited drinks. Or you might set out together with your fellow vacationers on this cruise which incorporates complimentary tickets to the Heineken Expertise.
The nice factor is that it doesn’t matter what kind of canal cruise you’re in search of, it nearly positively exists. There are cruises that come full with the whole lot from wine and cheese to onboard smoking lounges.
3. World-Class Museums
In case you’re into museums, then Amsterdam is your new favourite metropolis. Town is residence to so many museums that your greatest subject will most likely be making an attempt to determine which to hit up first.
One of the vital well-known is Rijksmuseum, the place you’ll discover the works of well-known Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer. You may even take into account signing up for an exclusive guided tour or rounding out your day with a visit to the Rembrandt Home Museum to take a look at the place the well-known artist as soon as lived and labored.
Ensure you additionally try the Van Gogh Museum, the place you’ll discover the most important assortment of Van Gogh’s works on the earth. In case you’re as fascinated by the work of certainly one of historical past’s most well-known artists as I’m, then a guided tour of the Van Gogh Museum is nicely definitely worth the splurge.
However that is simply the tip of the iceberg in relation to the plethora of museums you’ll uncover when visiting Amsterdam. If you wish to discover the best museums in Amsterdam and lower your expenses whilst you do it, then try the I Amsterdam City Card.
The I Amsterdam Metropolis Card scores you free entrance into over 70 high Amsterdam museums and different sights like Hortus Botanicus, one of many world’s oldest botanical gardens. It additionally comes with free public transportation, free bike leases, a free canal cruise, and reductions that may enable you to get the perfect offers on native meals and drinks.
The one factor to concentrate on is that it doesn’t embody entrance to some notable websites just like the Nemo Science Museum, Anne Frank House, or Van Gogh Museum. However total, it may be an excellent way to save money and enable you to discover the town in case you select the digital choice which works with Google Maps.
See Associated: Our House Amsterdam: The World’s First EDM Museum
4. The Meals Variety Is Off the Charts
Typical Dutch meals isn’t all the time simple to pin down, which is why meals excursions may be an effective way to discover the best places to eat in Amsterdam. Certainly one of my private favorites was this food tour of Jordaan, a classy neighborhood in central Amsterdam proper beside the canal district.
As you discover eight high eateries, you’ll take pleasure in tasting Dutch delights like poffertjes (bite-sized pancakes eaten with butter and powdered sugar), bitterballen (Dutch meatballs), and extra! Then, after all, there are the thrill of Dutch cheese.
Relating to cheese, the Dutch don’t play. You’ll discover complete cheese-tasting tours that can introduce you to hotspots like Kaaswinkel Henri Wellig, the place you’ll discover delectable free samples.
5. Celebrating Native Festivals
In case you’re undecided when to go to Amsterdam, you then may attempt to time your journey round one of the many annual festivals the town is understood for. The preferred by far is Koningsdag or “King’s Day,” a city-wide celebration held annually on the ruling monarch’s birthday.
Whereas the date of the celebration adjustments every time the Dutch Royal household appoints a brand new monarch, it’s at the moment celebrated on April twenty seventh, the birthdate of King Willem-Alexander. Up till he took the throne in 2013, it was often known as Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day) and celebrated Queen Beatrix’s birthday on April thirtieth.
Throughout the festivals, the quaint streets erupt into one massive get together with loads of stay music, festivals, and dancing! In case you’re into music, you may take into account visiting Amsterdam throughout Grachtenfestival or the “Canal Competition,” when a whole bunch of musicians descend in town to carry out in historic venues, parks, and even in boats on the canals!
6. Epic Metropolis Vitality
The Dutch capital has a sure vitality that’s laborious to elucidate however addictive nonetheless. From fashionable espresso outlets and cafes to bustling hotspots like Dam Sq., Amsterdam is a superb place for people-watching.
Ensure you try Albert Cuyp Market, a large public market the place you’ll discover the whole lot from contemporary produce to Dutch street food. Or head all the way down to the Singel Canal the place you’ll discover Bloemenmarkt, the world’s solely floating flower market.
Whether or not you spend the day exploring the distinctive outlets you’ll discover within the metropolis middle or marveling at lovely structure, Amsterdam is a type of cities the place you’ll by no means get bored. In case you want a break from the town, you may even take into account trying out Blijburg aan Zee, the town’s hottest city seashore.
See Associated: Where to Stay in Amsterdam: Best Areas & Places
7. Day Journeys from Amsterdam
The wonderful thing about the Netherlands is that it’s not that massive of a rustic. To place it into perspective, your entire nation is someplace between the sizes of the US states of Maryland and West Virginia.
Apart from being a stupendous metropolis, Amsterdam can be an excellent gateway to loads of surrounding day journey locations. In case you’re focused on setting out by yourself, you’ll be able to all the time rent a car (simply ensure you put money into travel insurance first!) or catch a trip on a prepare from Amsterdam Central Station.
You too can discover nice offers on local tours that can take you on hassle-free day journeys by the Dutch countryside. Excursions like these will take you to cozy surrounding villages like Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam, and Marken the place you’ll see loads of windmills, fishing homes, and even cheese-making outlets.
The Dutch countryside can be residence to a number of distinctive historic websites like Castle Muiderslot, one of many Netherlands’ oldest and best-preserved castles! First constructed in 1285, the fortress now serves as a museum that’s full of 700 years value of fascinating historical past.
8. Proximity to Different European Locations
When you’ll discover loads of nice cultural experiences in Amsterdam, in case you’re feeling feisty, it’s additionally attainable to department out to different international locations throughout your journey. Because of the metropolis’s top-notch location, it’s attainable to work in a day journey to locations like Brussels, Belgium, or Cologne, Germany, every of which you’ll be able to attain in beneath three hours by prepare.
In case you’re planning an extended journey, you may even take into account hopping a prepare to Paris for the weekend or taking a brief flight or Eurostar trip to London. Signing up for reasonable flight alerts from providers like Going.com isn’t a foul thought both, simply to see if something pops up in the course of the dates you intend to journey.
See Associated: Best Cities in Europe to Visit
9. Biking Tradition
Personally, I’m a sucker for an excellent bike-friendly city and Amsterdam definitely matches the invoice. Given how small most of the metropolis streets are, tons of individuals frequently go for the town’s many bike lanes as an alternative.
You’ll don’t have any issues discovering a spot to rent a “fiet” (bike) within the metropolis, however simply just remember to truly use the bike lock that can nearly positively be included. Attributable to the truth that biking is so common within the metropolis, bike theft is quite common.
For a similar cause, don’t be taken in if some dodgy-looking stranger affords you an excellent deal on a motorbike as you’re strolling down the road! One other nice choice is to take a look at a guided bike tour like this one, which is able to introduce you to the highest Amsterdam highlights.
There are additionally some cool electric bike tours out there – although I’ve by no means truly taken one myself, it’s on my to-do listing as a result of they give the impression of being tremendous enjoyable. Whether or not you select to set out by yourself or in a gaggle, you’ll rapidly uncover why biking in Amsterdam is the best way to go!
See Associated: Tips for Riding a Bike in Amsterdam
10. Unbeatable Buying Alternatives
Personally, I don’t take into account it in any respect unreasonable to deliver alongside an empty carry-on when visiting Amsterdam. You’ll be glad you probably did when it’s time to pack all of the treasures you picked up within the many nice outlets you’ll uncover all through the town!
There are a number of distinct neighborhoods in Amsterdam, every of which has its personal distinctive vibe – even in relation to procuring. As an example, De Negen Straatjes is a historic canal-lined neighborhood that’s residence to a number of hip boutiques and classic outlets.
If artwork and vintage outlets are your factor, look no additional than Spiegelkwartier, the place you’ll discover over 80 of them! Relating to luxurious, you’ll discover high designer manufacturers from around the globe on P.C. Hooftstraat, a road that’s type of just like the Amsterdam model of Rodeo Drive.
Amsterdam is stuffed with great shopping venues, it doesn’t matter what varieties of outlets you’re focused on visiting! Even in case you aren’t on the hunt for something specifically, be ready to be pulled into the various fascinating outlets you’ll come throughout as you discover the town.
See Associated: Best Markets in Amsterdam to Visit
11. The Amsterdam Nightlife Scene
Whereas loads of adventurous vacationers do select to discover Amsterdam’s infamous pink gentle district at evening, it’s truly not my advice if you wish to actually expertise the perfect of Amsterdam’s killer nightlife. In case you’re trying to escape the vacationer crowds, head all the way down to the Leidseplein space as an alternative.
Proper round Leidseplein Sq., you’ll discover loads of nice bars, golf equipment, and eating places that welcome a pleasant mix of vacationers and locals. Melweg and Paradiso are common music ventures which are surrounded by conventional Brown Cafes that are mainly native bars.
In case you plan to move out on a nightly foundation, it’s not a foul thought to e book an area resort just like the Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American. Not solely is it situated proper within the middle of Leidseplein’s greatest golf equipment, but in addition close to common daytime sights just like the Heineken Expertise, Rijksmuseum, and several other different common museums.
Rembrandtplein can be a well-liked nightlife destination and residential to common golf equipment like Escape and Membership Rain. Regardless of the place you find yourself, ensure you take the possibility to strive some genuine Dutch jenever, the predecessor of gin and unofficial booze of the Netherlands.
Searching for a spot to remain within the space? Take a look at my private favourite resort in all of Amsterdam, a stupendous little boutique resort known as The Noblemen.
12. The Tulips
Final however definitely not least, there are the tulips of Keukenhof Gardens, maybe one of the vital well-known sights in the entire Netherlands. Even in case you’ve by no means been to the Netherlands, you’ve doubtless seen images of the well-known tulip fields which are literally situated in Lisse, about 40 km outdoors of Amsterdam.
Each spring from March to Could, the Keukenhof Gardens come alive with 7 million flowers in a variety of sensible colours. The second you step onto the grounds, you’ll have a tough time arguing with Keukenhof’s claims of boasting “probably the most lovely spring backyard on the earth.”
Even in case you don’t select to lease a automotive, you’ll don’t have any downside finding a bus to move you from the town and again. Whereas the gardens are solely open in the course of the spring in case you do end up in Amsterdam after they’re open, you positively gained’t remorse planning a visit!
Regularly Requested Questions
What are some distinctive experiences in Amsterdam?
Apart from the same old tourist spots in Amsterdam, you’ll discover loads of distinctive outlets akin to Chocolátl, a next-level chocolate store, or The Otherist, a “cupboard of curiosities”. You may also take into account reserving a room on the Hilton Amsterdam, the place John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their well-known “Mattress-In for Peace” within the Sixties!
What are common vacationer spots in Amsterdam?
A number of the hottest vacationer spots in Amsterdam embody the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Anne Frank Home. Dam Sq., can be residence to loads of nice attracts just like the Royal Palace, Madame Tussauds, and loads of native road markets.
What’s the greatest time of 12 months to go to Amsterdam?
If you wish to see Amsterdam at its best, then take into account visiting within the springtime when the flowers are in full bloom. That stated, the climate within the metropolis stays lovely all the best way into early fall so the one actual low season tends to be between November and March.
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Kyle Kroeger is a seasoned traveler and globetrotter keen about journeying and capturing moments. Yeah, he may be the man with 4 cameras dangling off him whereas exploring. Together with his intensive journey expertise and keenness, he made a life-altering choice to not solely do that full-time but in addition depart his hometown of Minneapolis and transfer to Amsterdam. Alongside together with his household, Kyle now travels all through Europe full-time, making each second rely whereas exploring the sweetness and variety this continent has to supply.