15 Tips for travelling to Amsterdam for the first time

Take note of all these tips to travel to Amsterdam for the first time and get everything under control!

In the Amsterdam travel guide you can also find a lot of info to plan your trip, how to get from the airport, how to get around, entrances, excursions… among many other tips!

Amsterdam is a very “easy” city to travel and with a lot of tourist offer (we give good account of it in the post of 40 things to see and do in Amsterdam), you will not find it difficult to travel but with these travel recommendations even less!

Here we go with all the tips for travelling to Amsterdam for the first time!!


Travel Tip to Amsterdam #1: Tickets to Anne Frank’s House-Museum

Tickets for Anne Frank’s House-Museum can only be purchased online.

They are put on sale exactly two months in advance and are sold out very quickly.

If you get lost and run out of tickets as we did, there is a 20% of the tickets that are reserved for sale online the same day.

To get tickets for the same day we recommend you to enter at 08:40 in the morning to their website, put you in a virtual queue and you have to wait until you get the option to buy.

If your turn comes before 9:00 you have to wait until 9:01 to have the option to buy the tickets, do not close the browser, at 9:01 update the page and ready! You buy your tickets.

As a test, we recommend you to do it in the morning from home, so that you can see how it works (without buying them of course) and once in Amsterdam you will have it clear.

This is one of the most important tips for travelling to Amsterdam, many people told us that they didn’t know you could buy tickets the same day and they didn’t visit you.

Buy tickets for Anne Frank’s house-museum.

Tip for travelling to Amsterdam #2: Book your accommodation early

Especially if you travel on holidays, summer or weekends this point is quite important because it can help you save a lot of money.

As soon as you have clear dates, don’t waste any more time and book your accommodation.

The Amsterdam accommodations we know:

Hotel Leonardo Royal RoomMate Aitana Hotel Meininger City West

We talk about all of them in detail in the post about where to stay in Amsterdam, also about the best neighborhoods and some tricks to find a good price accommodation.

Hotel room Hotel Leonardo Royal

Amsterdam Travel Tip #3: Save on Public Transport

Although it’s a great city for walking or cycling, you’ll probably take public transport more than once, especially if the weather is bad!

You will probably find it worthwhile to buy the Amsterdam Travel Ticket, which includes the return transport from the airport, plus all means of transport by Amsterdam up to a maximum of three days.

If this is your case, our 3-day post in Amsterdam can also help you with planning.

You can buy the Amsterdam Travel Ticket at the airport and at many train stations.

Amsterdam Travel Tip #3: Save on Transportation

Tip for travelling to Amsterdam #4: Typical food and recommended restaurants

Food could not be missing from this list of tips for travelling to Amsterdam. If you’re a real foodie, you can’t leave town without trying their specialties!

Dutch cheeses are famous all over the world and for a reason, don’t miss the opportunity to taste them in one of the shops spread all over the city, and of course, take some home with you.

The herrings are also very famous, you will find them in many street stalls. They’re eaten raw with onions and pickles. Trying them is one of the things to do in Amsterdam yes or yes!

Testing herring in Amsterdam

Some of the culinary specialties you can try in Amsterdam are hutspot, stamppot and pea cream. We tried all of this at The Pantry Restaurant, home-cooked food and great value.

The Pantry Restaurant, Amsterdam

And of course, we didn’t forget the candy!! The stroopwafels are a delight for the most greedy, a kind of butter cookie with caramel in the middle, also can be found with all kinds of toppings above.

Try stroopwafels in Amsterdam

And the delicious poffertjes! And another tip to travel to Amsterdam not to be missed, try Van Stapele Koekmakerij’s cookies, for many of the best in the world!

The restaurants had also recommended us: Jacketz, Haesje Claes and Cafe Sonneveld.

And we had a very good breakfast in Benji’s cafeteria, specifically in Benji’s East, there are several in Amsterdam.

Travel Tip to Amsterdam #5: Watch out for overbooking!

For the first time in all our years travellers arrive at a hotel and tell us that there is overbooking, which comes to say that they have sold more rooms than they really have.

This is legal in Europe, they can sell more than they have because they count there is a percentage of cancellations, the airlines also do it.

Our astonishment came when we began to receive messages through Instagram from a lot of people who had this happened to them in Amsterdam.

Come on, hotels in Amsterdam are the kings of overbooking and it’s a very common practice.

If this happens to you, don’t panic! They have to change your hotel (with transfers included) and take you to another one of the same or better category than the one you had booked.

We benefited from the change because we were taken to the RoomMate Aitana and then to a suite with views. But it’s still a bit of a hassle to change hotels the next day.

Tip to travel to Amsterdam nº6:I Amsterdam City Card vs Amsterdam Pass

If you are going to spend a few days in Amsterdam and you want to make the most of it, you may want to consider buying one of the two most popular tourist cards.

Both are inclusive of Amsterdam public transport and round-trip transport from the airport.

In the post of the tourist cards of Amsterdam we talk in detail about both and help you to find out if they are not worthwhile in your case.

Amsterdam Travel Tip #7: Language is not a problem

Don’t worry about the language, although Dutch is a bit complicated, most of the people we came across on our trip (if not all) spoke English.

It is also one of the European cities where we have found more people who spoke Spanish.

We always tell you, that language is not an impediment to travel! You’ll always end up understanding each other.

Amsterdam Travel Tip #8: Take a free tour

There’s no better way to get to know the city than to start the journey with a free tour by a person who knows Amsterdam.

In addition to telling us a lot of curiosities and history, it will help us to have a first contact and then tour the city the rest of the days at our own pace.

It’s also great to ask the guide any questions we may have about transportation or other issues, no one better than someone who lives there to answer our questions and also in Spanish.

We recommend the free tour of Amsterdam by Civitatis.

Amsterdam Travel Tip #9: Save the queues, there’s no time to lose!

There is nothing we like less than wasting hours in the queues of tourist sites, so we always try to keep booked from home as many tickets as we can.

When you’re on a trip, there’s no time to waste! Least of all something you could do at home in five minutes.

Some entrances that we recommend you to take booked from home:

Rijksmuseum. Reserve entry. Heineken Experience. Reserve entry. Van Gogh Museum. Book a ticket or a joint ticket with a tour of the canals. Mirador A’Dam. Reserve entry. Madame Tussauds. Reserve entry.

Views from Mirador A’Dam

Amsterdam Travel Tip #10: Beware of bikes!

I couldn’t miss this post with tips for traveling to Amsterdam! Whether you rent one or walk around, you have to go with a thousand eyes! They appear everywhere at the speed of light.

Be very careful to walk without noticing the bike lane and also when crossing the street.

Also use extreme caution if you rent a bike and you don’t have much practice going by bike in the city, like me… bikes fly everywhere!

Amsterdam Travel Tip: Beware of bikes!

Travel Tip to Amsterdam #11:Keep in mind the holidays

It is a perfect occasion to enjoy the festive atmosphere of Amsterdam, the canals full of boats, and the atmosphere that is breathed through the streets.

Peero can also make the budget of the trip more expensive, the accommodations increase the prices and you may not enjoy the same places because they are overcrowded with tourists.

Depending on what you’re looking for, you may or may not find it interesting, take note of these dates!

Important festivities in Amsterdam:

27 April – King’s Day, one of Amsterdam’s major festivals
First week of August – Amsterdam Gay Pride Crowd

You also have to take into account the religious holidays of Easter, Pentecost, Christmas or New Year’s Eve… which often coincide with a large part of European countries and many people have holidays.

Amsterdam Travel Tip #12: Plan your trip in advance

It is a city in which we have to be open to possible changes of planning, more than anything if we travel in winter, incessant rains, cold, snow or wind, are some of the things that can make us change our initial plan.

Anyway, the better planned we have the days, the more things will give us time to see and we will not go from one end of the city to the other wasting time.

This is something we increasingly look at in travel, like planning the days with all the things we want to see to make the most of the hours at the destination.

We hope that some of our articles on Amsterdam will help you in this task:


Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

13:Look at Amsterdam from a different perspective

Wandering through the streets and gawking at the typical Amsterdam houses is great, but don’t forget you can also look at Amsterdam from another perspective!

For example:

Travel Tip Amsterdam #14: Travel Insurance and Health Card

We already told you about this in our Amsterdam travel guide, but it is a point that always arouses doubts.

We always carry travel insurance, so we have covered any health mishaps and many other setbacks that may arise during the trip.

Remember that you have a 5% discount on your travel insurance.

If you do not have travel insurance, we recommend that you apply for the European Health Card, with which you will be attended in any health centre like any other citizen there. It’s ordered online and shipped to your home.

Amsterdam Travel Tip #15: Commission Free Card

You know that we take our N26 cards with us on all trips. In the case of Amsterdam, where there is no change of currency, they are very good for withdrawing cash from the ATM without commission, unlike the cards of our traditional bank.

We don’t like to take a lot of cash on trips, so we are taking out small amounts, in the case of N26 you have 5 free cash withdrawals in the euro zone.

You can apply here for the N26 card, you will also have it for other trips in which there is currency exchange and you can pay with it without commissions.

And here’s our advice for travelling to Amsterdam for the first time!

We hope they will help you plan your trip to Amsterdam on your own, and if you have any questions just leave us a comment below.

We hope you enjoy the so-called “Venice of the North”, would you add any advice to travel to Amsterdam?

Other articles from our trip to Amsterdam:


Click here to see all AMSTERDAM posts

Other links of interest for your trip to Amsterdam: