Amsterdam, Amsterdam! The city is droll, young, agile, loud, diverse, modern, colourful. The vibe is unique, the vibe of freedom. Amsterdam welcomes everybody and you won’t feel like a stranger. The city has a lot to offer! I visited the Netherland for almost a week. My basic plan was to visit some museums in Amsterdam and also to explore the Hague and Rotterdam, simply because I had the time to. BUT: What I didn’t expect was the gorgeous weather (35°) the whole week long and the fact that I simply fell in love with Amsterdam, so I didn’t want to leave it! Yes, this sometimes happens to me.
The days were long. The temperatures – tropical. The city – amazing! Amsterdam is a city of 1500 bridges, 50km of canals, the beautiful gabled houses, the flower-decked watersides, and more bikes than people – Amsterdam is one of the most interesting cities I have visited in Europe! Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands but it doesn’t feel “heavy” at all, like other European capitals (Paris, Rome, Berlin) do. Amsterdam is a city to relax in. It’s all about the cosy atmosphere that you’ll find everywhere in this city!
Where to stay when in Amsterdam? A great choice is The Student Hotel Amsterdam City. The hotel offers design accommodations within 20 minutes walking distance of the city centre. A modern hotel with a co-working space!
Take your time to sit back and to enjoy Amsterdam. This is what I did!
Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh Museum is one of the most famous and most visited museums in Amsterdam. The museum opened in 1973 and has the largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh in the world. The museum is dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh, including 200 of his paintings, 500+ drawings and 750 letters. There are also pieces by contemporaries like Rodin, Monet, Signac, Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet and Gauguin.
Museum’s admission fee starts at 19 € and for everybody under 18 the visit is for free! Tickets are available online, but a limited number of tickets are available for each starting time. So make sure you book in advance on time!
You can book your tickets here:
A’DAM Lookout turned out to be one of my favourite places in Amsterdam, especially when the weather is good! The building is home to numerous modern music, advertising, and events companies alongside a number of bars, restaurants and a hotel. The building has 22 floors and the tower is 100 metres high. This probably the best view over Amsterdams’s historic centre and canals. Must Do: “Over the Edge” is Europe’s highest swing, off the edge of the building and 100 metres over the ground. You can enjoy the views of the city as you rock back and forth. Afterword’s, you can enjoy the two drinks included in the ticket price (Premium Ticket Incl. 2 drinks & goodie costs 19,50 € )
You can buy your online tickets here:
The Herengracht, also known as the Patrician’s Canal in English, is the first of the four main canals in the city centre’s Canal Belt. In the 17th century, the richest merchants and the most influential people of the city lived on this canal. Nowadays, probably the reachest do. Take your time as there’s much to see! Almost every building is a work of art.
How to fully experience Amsterdam? The city is best enjoyed by walking around with a…
Anne Frank House
The house of Anne Frank is one of the most popular attractions in Amsterdam. The house of Anne Frank was built in the 17th-century canal and is where she and her family were living. There’s a permanent exhibition on the life and times of Anne. You can also visit the secret annexe where the young diarist Anne Frank hid from Nazi persecution from 1942 until she was captured. Otto, her father, was the Frank family’s sole survivor after the Holocaust. He published his daughter’s diary in 1947 which became the most translated Dutch book of all times!
The best way to explore the city and a must-do when visiting Amsterdam is taking a canal tour! You can relax, enjoy the view, learn about the history of Amsterdam and make some great photos! There are so many boat operators to choose from and the best option is “hop on, hop off” type of experience. There are semi-open boat trips, in-depth cruises for people who want to see every centimeter of the canals. The most boats depart around Centraal and the best tours take around 75 minutes. A canal cruise in Amsterdam is a cliché, but A GREAT cliché! The water is such an intrinsic part of the city that you have to get on board!
If you love flowers, Amsterdam is your city and Bloemenmarkt your place to go! Since 1862 traders have been selling flowers and bulbs here from houseboats. Nowadays this market is the only floating flower market in the world and a visit to Amsterdam isn’t complete without a quick stop to see it!
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Visit a Rooftop
Well, I love enjoying a good beer in a rooftop bar, especially during the sunset! Amsterdam has some amazing rooftop bars to offer and we were lucky to have one of the best in front of our hotel! I can totally recommend visiting the Canvas Rooftop Bar if you are in Transvaalbuurt neighbourhood. Some Other good options for rooftop bar in Amsterdam are SkyLounge Amsterdam, Floor 17, W Lounge, and Mr Porter.
Red Light District
The Red Light District, also known as De Wallen, is a remarkable place in Amsterdam but difficult to describe. To be honest I felt a bit strange in the first couple of minutes. The Red Light District is a product of the Dutch tradition of tolerance and if you leave your expectations and suspension outside De Wallen, you will have a better time while exploring the streets.
Another favourite place especially if you are a foodie – the Foodhallen! Here you can dive into Amsterdam’s thriving food (and hipster) scene. Here you will find more than thirty food stalls and bars with delicious food from all over the World.
The choice of delicious food is huge! It means that even the pickiest eaters will find something to their taste – dim sum, tacos & tapas, Greek meze, temaki rolls, American barbecue, Vietnamese summer rolls, falafel, gourmet hot dogs or doughnuts, wood-fired pizzas, etc. It is the best place for all food-bloggers and Instagrammers too!
Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum
The Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum is a small but pretty interesting museum you can visit during your stay in Amsterdam. The city is known for legalizing all kinds of Hash and Marihuana and this kind of culture and lifestyle is really a thing in Amsterdam!
The Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum houses a unique collection of cannabis medicine bottles from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Admission is € 9.00 per person and the entrance fee for children under 13 years is free when accompanied by adults.
Heineken Experience is one of the most exciting and most visited attractions in Amsterdam and Heineken is my all time favourite beer, so it was a must visit for me!Heineken Experience is a tour in the brewery Heineken that was established in 1864. Nowadays Heineken is one of the three largest beer producers in the world! My second favourite beer “Tiger” is also a product from Heineken 😛
During the tour, you will see the historic setting of the brewery and you will learn how the actual beer is made. The 4D Heineken ride is also something cool and entertaining. You’re also given two full beers at the end in addition to the sample in the tasting room.
I can really recommend visiting the brewery, especially if you are a Heineken fan. Purchase your tickets online if you don’t want to wait in a queue. Adult tickets cost 18 €
The brewery is open daily from Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. During the summer months, Heineken Experience is open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“I amsterdam” Sign
Sorry for telling you that, but the most iconic sign in Amsterdam “I amsterdam” has been removed by the council of Amsterdam on 3th of December 2018. The sign was removed after being considered as a promotion of mass tourism. By removing the sign, the local government hopes to reduce tourist numbers in the square.
I love Amsterdam Sign
Dam Square is located in the centre of Amsterdam. Here is the point where the Amstel River was dammed in the 13th century. The Square was the scene of Amsterdam’s central market in Medieval times.
Dam Square often hosts many national events like the annual Remembrance Day (May 4), or the Kings Day (27 April). There are other events, such as concerts, sports events or a used-books market.
The Magere Brug also known as the “Skinny Bridge” is the most famous and photographed bridge in Amsterdam. Back in the 17th-century, the bridge was so tiny that two pedestrians would struggle to pass each other on the crossing! The original bridge was demolished in the 19th century, was replaced by the current Bridge in 1934.
During the day the Skinny Bridge is opened about every 20 minutes in order to let through river traffic. The sightseeing boats are low enough to pass underneath the bridge when closed.
Go to a Concert
Amsterdam is one of the best cultural cities where you can choose among hundreds of events every single day! This is probably the main reason why I would live here for a while, cause I’m missing this Lifestyle in Innsbruck (where I live). Amsterdam has a huge variety of theatres, clubs, stages and live music performances to suit every taste. Just go online and search for “Events in Amsterdam” and find something for your taste!
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to a SOJA concert – one of my all-time favourite bands! It was definitely my VERY favourite experience in Amsterdam and I’m so thankful for this “coincidence”!
The Rijksmuseum is one of the most popular museums in Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum has an extraordinary showcase for Dutch art, applied art and historical artefacts and more than 8,000 pieces are on show at any one time! Rijksmuseum is home to the best collection of Dutch Golden Age paintings.
You will definitely need several hours in order to fully explore the museum. My recommendation – get there before 11 am, the earlier the better! Like the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum is almost always busy, so pre-booking will let you skip the line:
Visit the Cheese Museum
That my favourite cheese-yummy place in Amsterdam! This small museum is dedicated exclusively to Dutch cheese and the entrance is for free. The Cheese Museum is an interesting place to see all the different Dutch cheese varieties together! Here you will get a lot of Free-Sample to taste and compare the different sorts.
Hire a Bike
There are more bikes than people in Amsterdam and the city is probably the most cycle-friendly city in the world! There are many bike rental companies in Amsterdam to choose from and some of them even have bikes that don’t look like the typical tourist bikes. The price usually starts at 9 € per day and goes down the longer you rent.
Important to know: Stay on the bike paths. All the bike lanes have a white frame and have a bicycle image on it. Stick to the traffic rules. Do give a sign by putting your hand to the left on the right when you turn from direction.
Join a Free Walking Tour
A very good idea is to join a free walking tour in Amsterdam at the very beginning of your visit, especially if you want to know more about the real Amsterdam! The Dutch guides have some of the best stories that Amsterdam has to offer. The guides are Dutch Students who live in Amsterdam so you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Dutch culture, the typical Dutch food and of course – to see Amsterdam as an Amsterdammer!
There are four different tours you can choose from – Alternative Tour, Classic Tour, Food Tour, and Red Light District Tour. Make sure you book in advance as the tours are very popular among tourist. You can book one of the Free Walking Tours HERE.
What to Eat In Amsterdam
Bitterballen: Bitterballen are “THE MUST” when in Amsterdam! These are delicious, deep fried crispy meatballs traditionally served with mustard for dipping. Bitterballen are the ideal bar snack and the perfect add-ons when ordered some “after work” or “after-sightseeing” beer 😉
Stroopwafel: If you want to have something delicious and sweet, you need to try stroopwafels. Those are two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of sweet syrup.
Thick Dutch Fries: You cannot go home without trying the traditional Dutch fries! I’m a potato-junkie so these simple fries were almost every day on my menu. Often the fries are served in a paper cone slathered with tasty toppings.
Herring: Another very famous (but not my favourite) Dutch food is Raw herring which you can buy as a Street Food in Amsterdam‘ and is knows as “broodje haring”.
Oliebollen: Yes, this means “oil boils” and I guess it doesn’t sound that delicious, BUT they are! The Oliebollen are deep fried sweet dumplings with powdered sugar on the top.
Cheese: I LOVE CHEESE! And Amsterdam is the CHEESE HEAVEN! There are so many ‘kaas’ shops in Amsterdam where you can taste some Gouda, Geitenkaas or Maasdammer FOR FREE! The free samples of cheese are extremely generous, so if you visit several cheese shops you won’t need lunch afterwards but rather a beer 😉
Stamppot: Stamppot is a traditional Dutch “mash pot” with potatoes mashed with other vegetables.
Poffertjes: These are delicious mini Dutch pancakes come covered in sweet sugar syrup. Yummy!
Ready to visit Amsterdam? Start looking at your Amsterdam accommodation now while it’s fresh in your mind.
Want stylish accommodation you can afford? Find the cheapest prices for the best accommodations possible:
- Click here to search for hotels in Amsterdam (Booking.com)
- Click here to search apartments in Amsterdam (Airbnb + up to 40 € off)
- Click here to search hostels in Amsterdam (Agoda)
If you are flying to Amsterdam it is beneficial to use a flight compare site to find the cheapest flights. I recommend and use Kiwi.com.
Enjoy the day!
*This post contains Affiliate Links. I only recommend high-quality items and services I am confident about. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.