11 Best things to do in Amsterdam | Complete Guide


The city of Amsterdam offers some of the best nightlife in the world. The city is filled with picturesque canals, bicycles, smoke filled cafes, and the basslines of an array of clubs and bars. The famous Red light district adds to the vibe of the place. This is one of the best places for the young(or the young hearted). Here are our picks on the best things to do in Amsterdam.


1. Explore the city on a bicycle

  • This is the absolute best way to get around this city. Amsterdam is very small, you can go from one end to the other in less than 45 min on a bicycle. It’s one of the best places to ride, especially over the small bridges over the canal.
  • A bike for the entire day will cost you around 15 €. If not for a day, i would recommend riding atleast for a couple of hours. It’s super worth it.
  • If you feel like exploring places in or just outside the city, you can hop on your bike and head to places like Vondelpark(most popular park), Sloterplas(beautiful park with a lake for dip), Ouderkerk aan de Amstel(beautiful village with a windmill).

2. Art Lovers paradise at Van Gogh Museum

For art lovers, the Van Gogh Museum is unmissable. Needless to say, this place offers the maximum number of paintings under one roof made by this renowned artist. The collection contains masterpieces including his self-portraits, Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters, and The Bedroom. The museum also offers works by other painters who were his friends of Van Gogh. Since the timings keep changing, visit the official website to know the opening hours on your travel dates, book tickets and other details. Tip:
  • Best time to visit is in the morning as it is less crowded at that time.
  • Click here to get the I Amsterdam City Card to get discounted entry at most places. It turns out much cheaper.

3. Get lost in time at Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam’s grandest and most popular museums. Its vast collection showcases iconic art and a wide variety of artefacts. The collection includes paintings by the likes of Rembrandt, Van Gogh and countless more Dutch greats. For additional information and ticket booking, visit the official website.

4. Get ‘High’ on life at Cafes in Amsterdam

  • Marijuana is legal in Amsterdam. Not only legal, it is readily available with an elaborative menu, which is one of the best things the world likes about this city.
  • The best way to enjoy Cannabis in the city is to smoke it in a dedicated cannabis cafe. You can find such a cafe literally everywhere and every corner of the street.  Every verified coffeeshop has a green-white labelling. My personal favourites are Bull dog and Glasshouse.
  • Keep in mind that the most of these coffee shops doesn’t serve coffee, or any such beverage. They are just meant for Marijuana. Some of them may serve some juice or snacks but that is it. If you want to have coffee and food, then go to a coffee ‘house’.
Also you should keep in mind:
    • Alcohol and tobacco is not allowed in these cafes
    • A marijuana brownie gives a way better high than smoking.
    • Don’t buy too much because you won’t be able to take it out of this city.

5. Take a boat tour through the canals at Sunset

  • Cruising around the beautiful canals of Amsterdam is one of best ways to explore the city. Thees cruises run the whole day, but sunset time provide the best views. Or you can cruise at night time and soak in the magnificent views of the whole city lit up.
  • You can choose from a lot of variety of canal rides. I recommend a cruise that includes drinks. Price is generally around 15 euros including drinks for one hour.

6. Visit the famous Red Light District

Yes, paying for sex is totally legal here. The Red Light District is very famous here(obviously!), especially because of the men and women standing in the glass windows. There are lights on each window Red – means straight, blue mean transgender so you can pick as per your preference. Most of these bars are open till 4 AM. Do not act all touristy and click pictures, photography is not allowed and you can have your phone/camera thrown into the canal for it.

7. Dam Square and nearby places

Dam Square is Amsterdam’s most important and busiest square. Even if you are in the city just a day, you will pass through Dam Square at least once. On a sunny day the cafe terraces fill up with coffee and beer drinkers. Post sunset, you can get the vibe of the city when local performers set up around the square. Tis square offers some of the best things to do in the city. Here are the things to explore at Dam Square:

Royal Palace

The palace boasts beautiful Gothic architecture which is very eye pleasing. For additional information, please visit the official website.

The New Church

Also known as Nieuwe Kerk, this is beautiful church dating back to 15th century. For additional information, please visit the official website.

Madame Tussauds

The world famous Madame Tussauds contains wax statues of some of the most famous celebrities, entrepreneurs etc. There are many of these in famous cities around the world, thus had to be in Amsterdam. For additional information, please visit the official website.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not

Again this is world famous and located in many popular cities around the world. This is filled with mind boggling and unusual mazes, structures, events, videos and much more which will arise the question in your head, how was that done? It also contains adrenaline pumping and fun things like 7D moving theater, laser race and many more. For additional information and ticket booking, please visit the official website.

8. A’Dam Lookout

  • A’dam Lookout is a viewpoint situated on one end of Amsterdam, Thus it offers a 360 degree view of the entire city while you sip your drink! How exciting is that?
  • Not just that, you get on a swing that will give you a glimpse of the entire city while your feet dangle in the air. Isn’t that just amazing? Daredevils and thrill seekers will absolutely love it! Try to take the sunset slot for the best view! Click here to book your tickets to A’Dam Lookout.

9. Learn the dark history at the Anne Frank House

  • Learning dark history may not give a vacation vibe, but if you are a history buff, this will surely fascinate you.
  • Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who lived in this city at the time of the Second World War. She hid from the Nazis with her family in her house located in central Amsterdam. Sadly, she couldn’t survive the war but she left behind a diary which mentions the dark stories the war and the cruelty of the Nazis. Her house is now a museum which exhibits the stories along with the relics from her home.
  • Make sure you buy tickets ahead of time to avoid the very long line. Click here to book tickets and for any additional information. Entry fee: Adults € 10,50| 10-17 yrs € 5,50 | Free for children below 9


10. Chill at one of the city’s park

  • The two most popular parks in the city are Sloterplas and Voldelpark
  • Sloterpas is a beautiful lush green park with a big lake in the center.. This lake offers a beach and along with fabulous waters for a dip. The locals and tourists flock here for taking a dip and chilling away from bustle.
  • Voldelpark is also a very beautiful park which offers a great place to relax. The park also contains an open air theater, rose gardens, cafes etc.

11. Attend a Concert at a world-famous venues

  • Amsterdam’s location as one of Europe’s major travel hubs means that touring artists from the USA and Britain often play dates here as they pass through on their way to the rest of mainland Europe. Of course, the city’s relaxed attitude and reputation as a hotbed of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll helps too.
  • Housed in a converted church, Paradiso showcases a superb roster of international talent. Concertgebouw has more of a classic vibe with a grand orchestra set up. Bimhuis, is for the jazz lovers. These are just a few of the uncountable venus.
  • Do check the events happening during your travel dates in advance.
These are our top picks on the best things to do in Amsterdam let us know if you have any additions in the comments. We would love to hear from you!
Was this article helpful?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *