With its beautiful architecture, captivating scenery and fascinating history, it’s no wonder Amsterdam is a long standing favourite city break. If you’ve never been before, or you want to learn more about this amazing city, then read on for our top 10 tips for visiting Amsterdam.
1 ) Museums and Galleries
Amsterdam is drenched in history so it’s no surprise that you’ll find some of the best museums and galleries in Europe here, including the famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum in Museum Square. Containing over 200 paintings, 500 drawings and letters from Van Gogh, it’s the largest collection of the artist’s work in the world – and well worth a visit. On Fridays it stays open late, and you can often find musicians, DJs and performers there.
Meanwhile, Anne Frank’s House is a moving museum where you can see Anne’s hiding place as well as the diary itself.
2 ) Art Hotels
Amsterdam is where Van Gogh studied so it’s no surprise that the city celebrates all things artistic.
There are many art hotels in Amsterdam, providing you with a place to sleep as well as view some amazing art displays; the Dutch Design Hotel Artemis is one such example. The hotel is located on the outskirts of the city, just a short tram ride from Museum Square, and boasts regular art exhibitions which change over every few months.
3 ) Festivals
There’s no lack of festivals in Amsterdam. No matter what time of year you visit there’s always something going on whether you’re into dance music, food or art.
Kings Day is held on 27 April and is dedicated to the king’s birthday: expect colourful street parties, markets and parties galore. Other festivals include the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre shows, Amsterdam Gay Pride and Amsterdam Kookt food festival.
4 ) The Food
Amsterdam takes its food seriously, with 12 Michelin starred restaurants at its disposal, so if you’re a foodie you won’t be disappointed. The Hotel Okura boasts five restaurants, four of which are Michelin starred, so it’s well worth a visit if you fancy the finer things in life.
5 ) Nightlife
Amsterdam nightlife will not disappoint, wherever you fancy a few cosmopolitans, a quiet beer or a wild club night.
Big clubs include Escape, Studio 80 and Westerunie, all of which offer famous DJs, big tunes and lasers. If you’re more into the cocktail scene, bars such as Twenty Third and Tales and Spirits are perfect. Or, if you want to keep it casual, you can relax in one of the city’s many cafes.
6 ) The Canal
The canal isn’t just there for pretty pictures, there’s also a lot of buzz and activity around it. A canal cruise is one of the best ways to see the city and there are many you can try. You can take on your standard canal cruise in a traditional canal boat, or opt for a more active option of a canal bike or hire your own mini boat for the day. We have a few cruises on our site which you can book before which are the Beer and Burgers Cruise or a more subtle and romantic Candlelight Cruise.
7 ) Markets
You’ll find lots of local markets sprinkled around the city, where you can buy food, souvenirs, flowers, and art. The most popular markets are the Rembrandt Art Market, the Mercatormarkt – where you can buy local produce – and the Zuidermrkt, where you can buy local produce. At Christmas there’s also a great range of Christmas markets which are both atmospheric and fun.
8 ) Cycling
Bikes are a big deal in Amsterdam. If you want to explore the city like a local there really is no other way than to hire a bike. There are many bike hire companies you can use, which are easy to find and affordable. If you fancy a little structure to your bike exploration then you can also take on a bike tour of the city.
9 ) Flowers
With tulips being the Netherlands’ national flower, you can expect to see them all over the city. Head to Keukenhof, only 30 mins away from the city, a famous flower show which runs between March-May. For something a little closer, Tulip Island in Vondelpark is an annual tulip display from July-September. Finally, a trip to the floating flower market really is a must: the Bloemenmarkt is present all year round on the canal.
10 ) The people
Finally, we couldn’t leave the people of Amsterdam off our list. The locals are extremely friendly and welcoming, and you’ll easily get sucked into their relaxed way of life.