Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Top Things to Do in Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Nestled in the Netherland’s northwestern corner, Amsterdam is a fascinating city that’s quickly becoming a year-round destination for travelers. The city boasts an impressive mix of history, culture, art, dining, and nightlife, making it the perfect city break no matter your interests. Whether you’re traveling solo, with a date, or with family, Amsterdam has something for everyone. 

Here’s a rundown of the top things to do in Amsterdam that visitors of all ages, interests, and budgets will enjoy.

Explore the Canal Belt

A must on any visit to Amsterdam is to explore the Canal Belt. Once a defensive wall, the canals were remodeled during the Dutch Golden Age to improve the city’s economy. These days, they make a gorgeous postcard-perfect setting you won’t want to miss. Many visitors opt for a canal cruise tour, a great way to get acquainted with the city in one go – it’s a wonderful way to sneak a peek at both the historic and modern parts of Amsterdam.

Visit Museums

Amsterdam is home to some incredible museums, ranging from world-class art to traditional history and culture. The top spots to visit for art lovers include the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum. Take a tour of the Heineken Experience for an unusual look at beer-making. For a unique experience, visit the medieval catacombs at Amsterdam’s Museum Nacht. Those hoping to learn more about the city’s history should consider a visit to the Amsterdam Museum or the city’s monarchical history located inside the Katten Kabinet.

Be Entertained by Vaudeville

Part of the fun of exploring Amsterdam is its vaudevillian entertainment scene. Once a month, you can catch Echt Alt Komedie, a 1950s-style vaudeville show complete with comedians, dancers, and well-known Dutch performers. It’s a great way to experience Amsterdam’s vibrant culture without spending a small fortune at a tourist attraction.

Experience Amsterdam’s Nightlife

Delicious cuisine, craft beer, and unique cocktails are just a few of the reasons to check out Amsterdam’s nightlife. For a delightful evening, try a barge restaurant that floats along the city’s canals. Or for a more casual atmosphere, grab a drink and listen to live music at one of the city’s many pubs. After dark, the city comes alive with DJs spinning house music, high-energy clubs, and plenty of alternative options.

Shop at Markets

In addition to its museums and nightlife, Amsterdam has some great alternative shopping options. Head to one of the city’s flea markets – the Jordaan district has a good selection – to pick up antiques, second-hand clothing, local handiwork, and fresh produce. You can also visit the Albert Cuyp Markt, the largest street market in the Netherlands, or pick up flowers or souvenirs at Bloemenmarkt.

Visit the Jordaan District

Once a haven for workers and immigrants, Amsterdam’s Jordaan district has been transformed into an attractive, trendy neighborhood. Here, you’ll find some of the city’s most charming architecture, quaint cafes, and trendy shops. It’s also home to some of the city’s most popular attractions, including Anne Frank’s house, Rembrandt House, Westerkerk, and the lovely Begijnhof courtyard. For a true taste of local life, head to Zeedijk Street, also known as “Little Chinatown”.

Take a Bike Tour

Amsterdam was made for biking, and it’s a favorite way for travelers to explore the city’s many attractions. Rent a bike and take a leisurely ride around the city’s canals, past quaint houses, and through the city’s vibrant squares and neighborhoods. To really get your fill of Amsterdam, join a full-day or half-day bike tour – an easy and fun way to cover more ground while soaking up the history and culture of Amsterdam.

Eat the Dutch Way

The Netherlands is renowned for its delicious cuisine, and Amsterdam is no exception. Start your day off with one of Amsterdam’s famed waffles for breakfast, which you’ll find pretty much everywhere in the city. For lunch, enjoy a traditional Dutch lunch of bitterballen, a deep fried ball of “meat-gravy-paste” served with mustard, or kroketten, croquettes made with a variety of fillings. For dinner, try stamppot, a traditional Dutch mashed potato dish served with stroopwafels, pancakes or poffertjes.

See the Flower Market

Open since 1862, Amsterdam’s Flower Market is a romantic place to explore and an ideal spot for flower enthusiasts. Here, you’ll find cut flowers, tulip bulbs, fresh fruit, and flowers in all colors, shapes, and sizes. It’s also a great place to pick up souvenirs like vases, wooden clogs, and even Dutch cheese!

Relax in Vondelpark

After sightseeing and exploring Amsterdam’s attractions, head to Vondelpark for some rest and relaxation. Spread across 120 acres, Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s largest green space and is perfect for an afternoon stroll, a picnic dinner, or a lazy day of reading in the park. It’s also located next to several museums, making it the perfect spot to spend some quality time with family or friends.

Experience the Historic Center

Amsterdam’s Historic Center is a great place to explore the city’s rich history and culture. Take a guided tour to explore the cobblestoned streets, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or take a canal cruise to really take in all of the sights and sounds of the city. If you’re visiting in the summer, take a walking tour through the city’s famous red light district.

With its many attractions, Amsterdam is a city that’s sure to captivate and entertain travelers of all ages and interests. From its stunning canals, impressive architecture, and vibrant nightlife, to its delicious cuisine, historic old town and unique shopping experiences, there’s something for everyone in Amsterdam. Start planning your trip today and be sure to include these top things to do in Amsterdam to your itinerary for an unforgettable stay in this beautiful city.

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