40 Things to see and do in Amsterdam

Are you wondering what to see and do in Amsterdam during your trip? In this post we tell you 40 things so you won’t miss a thing!

We were there years ago, but at that time we still didn’t write on the blog, nor did we collect as much info when we traveled as we do now and as we have done on this trip.

We loved rediscovering the city, seeing how some things had changed and how others remained exactly the same.

Amsterdam is a very lively city, with many cafes and restaurants, despite the cold in these parts is a very lively city.

Don’t miss our list of things to see in Amsterdam and we assure you that you won’t have a minute of boredom during your trip!

To stay in Amsterdam we chose the hotel Leonardo Royal, it had a metro stop at the door and in a few minutes we stood in the center of Amsterdam, 100% recommended.

What to see and do in Amsterdam

#1. Visiting Anne Frank’s museum house, we consider it one of the must-see museums in Amsterdam, the tour becomes even more meaningful if you have read the “Diary of Anne Frank”.

Tickets can only be purchased online and can be purchased two months in advance.

They sell out quickly, but 20% of the tickets are reserved for sale the same day (also online) at 9am, you know that!

What to see in Amsterdam, Anne Frank’s house-museum

#2. Walk around the Jordaan neighborhood. You can take advantage of your visit to Anne Frank’s house and visit the “9-straatje”, nine streets full of typical shops and cafés.

Open every day, even Sundays, if you want to know more here we leave the web of 9-straatje.

#3. Seeing a mill on your visit to Amsterdam, such as the Gooyer Mill, is said to be the highest wooden mill in the country.

You can also go and see the Riekermolen mill from 1636, they say that in the surrounding area he used to draw Rembrant. This mill is a little further from the centre.

Visit Molino de Gooyer

#4. A good way to get to know the city on your first visit to Amsterdam is by taking a free tour or a tour of the red-light district.

Remember that although the word free is used, you should always tip the guide at the end of the tour. Depending on how much you liked the tour or your purchasing power you can give it more or less. We recommend (as a minimum) giving about 10€ per person.

#5. Walking along the canals and bridges of Amsterdam without haste, all canals have their charm although the most important are the Keizersgracht, the Herengracht, the Prinsengracht.

Did you know that Amsterdam has more than 75 kilometres of canals and 1000 bridges that cross them, surpassing Venice!

Walking through the canals of Amsterdam

#6. Tasting a typical Dutch dish is one of the essential things to do in Amsterdam, although we have to admit that we liked Dutch sweets better.

Many of you recommended us through Instagram to The Pantry restaurant, and that’s where we went! It fills up every day and you have to book a table on their website.

Here we try the famous pea soup along with other Dutch dishes.

We also had Cafe Sonneveld, Jacketz restaurant and Haesje Claes restaurant on the list. If you go to any of them, you’ll tell us how it is!

Restaurant The Pantry, to taste the typical food in AmsterdamCombined of hutspot, boerenkoolstamppot and zuurkoolstamppot served with a smoked sausage.

#7. You can’t leave Amsterdam without trying the famous stroopwafels and poffertjes, if the food didn’t conquer you they will do it with sweets!

We bought the ones in the photo below at Van Wonderen Stroopwafels.

The place you recommended by far the most, more than anything else to see and do in Amsterdam, were the famous Van Stapele Koekmakerij biscuits, for many of the best in the world!

They were really good! And when they run out of dough, they don’t make any more that day.

Try Stroopwafels at AmsterdamVan Stapele Koekmakerij’s biscuits

#8. Going to a coffee shop is one of the most popular activities to do in Amsterdam, although we do not smoke and sincerely flee from smoky places, but we know that it is quite an experience for those who enjoy the “freedoms of Holland” and we could not fail to include it in this list.

#9. If you have little time to eat, in Amsterdam it is popular to “eat from the wall” are a kind of fast food vending machines, the most famous are those of the FEBO chain, with hamburgers, potatoes and hot dogs, but you will also find other healthier options.

The popular local FEBO are spread all over the city

#10. The world famous Red Light District is one of the places to visit in Amsterdam yes or yes, contrary to what may seem is not an unsafe neighborhood and is frequented by all kinds of people, you will even see families with children …

There are tours that explain the history of this neighborhood, we walked by day and went to dinner at night and we did not feel insecure or that we were out of place.

Although in some alleys there are famous shop windows with prostitutes (prostitution is legal in Amsterdam) there is no need to go through them and you can go through the wider avenues.

It is forbidden, penalized and persecuted to take pictures of women, there are enough security personnel on the street.

Walking around the Red Light District, one of the things to do in Amsterdam

#11. Visit the Oude Kerk in the Red Quarter, this Calvinist church is the oldest building in Amsterdam, is more than 700 years old and the roof is the largest medieval wooden vault in Europe.

#12. Beer lovers cannot miss the Heineken Experience tour, you can book your ticket here.

We are not very beer lovers and we haven’t been to Amsterdam twice, visiting the Guineess brewery in Dublin was enough 🙂

#13. Cruising the canals by boat is a different way to see Amsterdam and we recommend it 100%!

We can do it in a tour with audio-guide in Spanish of one hour (it was the one that we made) or to take a boat “Hop on Hop off” in which during 24 hours we can go up and down as many times as we want.

#14. One essential thing to do in Amsterdam is rent a bike.

We rent it near the Central Station for a whole day, specifically in Mac Bike, a normal bike 9,75€ and the electric one 25€.

It really isn’t worth renting an electric bike because Amsterdam is a very flat city, but we had never rented an electric one and wanted to try.

What to do in Amsterdam, rent a bicycle

#15. The OBA public library is located near the central station and is a great place to eat or relax on its covered terrace overlooking the city.

They say it’s the largest library in the Netherlands.

Views from the OBA public library, Amsterdam

#16. The monument to Rembrandt, the representation of his most famous painting is in the square Rembrandtplein.

The area is very lively and is full of cafes, restaurants, you can be sure to pass by without looking for it.

You can also visit the house-museum of Rembrant, open every day from 10 to 18:00 and costs 14€, if you have the I Amsterdam City Card you have the entrance included.

Rembrandt Monument The I AMSTERDAM City Card gives you access to virtually every museum in Amsterdam except the Anne Frank House-Museum and discounts on some activities.

Museums to see in Amsterdam essential:

#17. Visit the Rijksmuseum, the National Museum of Holland, where you can find some of Rembrandt’s most famous works such as “Ronda de Noche” the entrance fee is 19€.

Visit in Amsterdam the Rijksmuseum, the National Museum of Holland

#18. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam houses the world’s largest collection of Holland’s most international artist.

Works like “The Sunflowers” or “The potato eaters” are here, and although you can not take pictures inside, well worth a visit.

Admission is 19€ and is open every day from 9:00 to 18:00, except on Fridays when it closes at 21:00.

Tip: We recommend you to book with time to ensure the entrance and also to save the queue, you can book it on the official website or a joint ticket that includes the entrance without queues + canal cruise.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

#19. Other museums to visit in Amsterdam:

Moco museum of modern and contemporary art.
Museum Stedelijk museum of modern art.
Diamant Museum, they say it is the only diamond museum in Europe and explain curiosities about this precious stone.
House of Bols, the Cocktail & Genever Experience, an experience for lovers of gin and cocktails.
Amsterdam Museum, about the history of the city.
House-museum of Rembrandt, where the Dutch artist lived.
EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam Film Institute.

The vast majority of the museums are located in Museumplein the so-called “museum square”, where years ago was also the poster of I AMSTERDAM, now you can only see it at Schiphol airport.

All of them have access included with the I Amsterdam Card.

Exterior of the Moco Museum, Amsterdam

#20. One point you will pass through on your visit to Amsterdam is the Central Station, it’s very big and you wouldn’t be the first to miss out!

Trains, trams, buses and even ferries arrive at this station, everything is well signposted and tidy.

The original building dates from 1882, by the same architect as the most important museum in Holland, the Rijksmuseum.

Amsterdam Central Station

#21. The private garden of Begijnhof, said to be one of the most beautiful and oldest in the city, is free and can be visited from 9:00 to 17:00.

Begijnhof private garden, Amsterdam

#If you go in spring or summer to enjoy the Vondelpark (in winter you don’t enjoy as much), the lung of Amsterdam, you can have a picnic or cycle around it.

It is next to the museum square, in the map below you can see the exact location of all the places.

#23. The unmistakable Dam Square is one of the most important places to see in Amsterdam, it houses the national monument to the Second World War, the Royal Palace of 1808 and the New Church, which is not used for worship, but for concerts and exhibitions.

Dam Square, one of the must-see places in Amsterdam

#Shopping or simply strolling through Bijenkorf’s department store, the building more than 140 years old reminds us of London’s Harrod´s department store or Paris’ Lafayette galleries.

It is located in the center of Amsterdam, in the map below you have all the exact addresses.

Bijenkorf department store in Amsterdam

#25. The Flower Market has the peculiarity of being the largest floating flower market in the world.

A good place to buy tulip bulbs and bring souvenirs to Spain.

The gates are installed above the canal and although it has become very touristy we think it should appear on your list of things to do in Amsterdam.

The flower market, an essential place to see in Amsterdam

#26. Go up to the lookout A´Dam and see Amsterdam at your feet. There are really few viewpoints in the city and we believe this is a must.

The ticket costs 13,50€, if you buy it online you will save the queue of buying it right there. If you’re going on a weekend like us there are enough people and it’s very interesting to wear.

Mirador de la Torre A’Dam, great to see the sunset in the city

#27. Enjoy the free terrace overlooking the NEMO museum, has an energy exhibition with various outdoor activities.

Also if you like science or go with children the NEMO museum inside the building is a great activity to do in Amsterdam with children.

Admission is €17.5, open every day, but some Mondays are closed.

Terrace overlooking the NEMO museum in Amsterdam

#28. Crossing the Magere Brug, it is a drawbridge that by day is not very special but at nightfall they light more than 1000 light bulbs that make it one of the most beautiful to see in Amsterdam.

By the way, this bridge over the Amstel River came out years ago in James Bond’s film, Diamonds for Eternity.

#To visit the neighboring towns of Zaanse Schans, Volendam, Marken and Edam can be done for free and for it the web of Omio can come to us genial, or in excursion in Spanish, it is concretely has very good opinions.

We wanted to do it on this trip, but time did not accompany us very much…

#30. Stroll through one of Amsterdam’s busiest streets, the Damstraat. Where you can also eat very cheap in any of the restaurants (many Asian) or buy souvenirs, you will find many souvenir shops on this street.

One of Amsterdam’s busiest streets, Damstraat

#If you have enough time, an excursion to the village of Haarlem can also be interesting, to enjoy the charm of the city and its mill. We can go with the Intercity train that leaves from the central station every 20 minutes.

On the Omio website you will also have more info.

#32. The Madame Tussauds Museum in the center of the city is another of the visits to do in Amsterdam, you can see in wax great celebrities from Holland and the world.

On the top floor there is a large circular window with amazing views of Dam Square.

#33. Johan Cruyff Arena tour, if you are football fans you can take advantage of your visit to Amsterdam and go to the Ajax stadium, is located south of the city and for now there are only guided tours in English and German.

You have more info on the stadium website.

#Don’t forget to make all the “turistadas” that are made in Amsterdam, that no matter how turistadas they are we make them all…hehehe!

How to take a picture of yourself on the I AMSTERDAM poster at Schiphol Airport or a picture of the famous giant clog in Dam Square.

I AMSTERDAM sign at Schiphol Airport

#35. Buy something or just gossip a little at the Albert Cuyp Market, one of the largest open-air markets in Europe.

In his web you have more info and below it appears the exact location.

#36. Walk through the botanical garden, if you are passionate about flowers this botanical garden is one of the oldest in the world.

Although we don’t consider it a must to do in Amsterdam. The entrance fee is 9€ if you have the I Amsterdam Card, it is included.

#If you go in spring you will be able to enjoy the most flowery Amsterdam with the tulips in their maximum splendour.

It is advisable to make an excursion to Keukenhof to see the botanical garden and the mill.

#38. We’re almost finishing up this list of what to see and do in Amsterdam but don’t think we’d forgotten one of the most important Dutch exports, cheeses!

Dutch cheeses are known all over the world and your visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without trying them.

You won’t have any problem in finding many shops specialized in Dutch cheeses, where you can try them, buy and take home everything you want.

Tasting Dutch cheeses, one of the things to do in Amsterdam

#39. Muiderslot Castle is one of the most famous castles in the Netherlands, although it is a little far away, it can be interesting to go on an excursion and discover its 700 years of history.

More info on their website.

#40. In summer there are two big mass parties, on April 30th there is the Koningsdag to celebrate the birthday of the queen and the first week of August the Gay Pride of Amsterdam, one of the biggest parades in the world for the LGTB Pride, all the channels are filled with boats, music and lots of atmosphere!

#40+1. Doing a day trip to Bruges, you can do it for free by train, on the Omio website you can compare prices, or do a tour in Spanish, we went on our previous trip to Amsterdam and we also combined it with Ghent.

Excursion to Ghent from Amsterdam

Map of all things to see in Amsterdam:

Accommodation in Amsterdam:

To stay in Amsterdam we chose the hotel Leonardo Royal, is a new hotel and although it was far from the center as to go walking, we had a metro stop at the door that brought us closer immediately.

After much searching and seeing the exorbitant prices of some accommodations in Amsterdam we decided to stay in this hotel, although we can not say it is cheap, the value for money seemed great!

The first night there was overbooking and they took us to a much better hotel, the Room Mate Aitana, very sweet!

Hotel Leonardo Royal in Amsterdam

So much for our list of things to see in Amsterdam!

We hope that you are even more interested in visiting Amsterdam and that it will help you to plan your trip.

By the way! I forgot to add it in the post (but it’s added on the map), we had a great breakfast in Benji’s cafeteria, specifically in Benji’s East, they have several around the city. You won’t regret it!

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Other links of interest for your trip to Amsterdam: