What to see in Amsterdam: 10 Things to do and itineraries from 1 3 5 days

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Amsterdam, a city of bright colors and canals that bring us back to our Venice, a city that would not be what it is without its close connection with water. Always one of the most chosen destinations by tourists from all over the world who find here art, architecture and entertainment, as well as beautiful alleys and squares to discover, perhaps with a pleasant bike ride.
A trip to the capital of the Netherlands is a unique experience in which the charm of history and the curiosity of modernity. Between alleys and canals, coffee shops and museums, that's it 10 things you absolutely must see in Amsterdam.


  1. Tour through the canals
  2. Museo Van Gogh
  3. Royal Palace
  4. Dam Square
  5. Stedelijk Museum
  6. Rijksmuseum
  7. Anne Frank House and Joordan neighborhood
  8. Red light district
  9. The Old Church
  10. Heineken Experience
  11. 5 things to do in Amsterdam
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Tour through the canals

You can't get to know Amsterdam except by touring the canals, which they cross the entire historic center thanks to the canal belt, a large ring of water that in 2010 was included by Unesco among the World Heritage Sites.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the best way to visit these areas is via a scenic canal cruise. To see the illuminated city, the evening cruise is also available.

If, on the other hand, you are taking a low-cost trip with a low budget, a still fascinating alternative is to explore the canals on foot or perhaps by bicycle, particularly used in the Dutch city.

  • the embarkation for the cruises is found in the main piers of the city. The suggested tour departs from the Blue Boat Company pier (Get directions), others from Molo della Stromma (Get directions)
  • always open
  • starting from € 11,00 on average for a simple boat ride

Getting around by bike: If you intend to participate in a bike tour or rent a vehicle to move independently, follow these rules: stay on the cycle paths and never go on the sidewalks, keep on the right side of the road, use your arms to signal which direction you are turning and especially follow the traffic lights (Amsterdam has special traffic lights for cyclists). If you see an inverted triangle, give way to pedestrians.

2 - Van Gogh Museum

Important and famous museum in Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum collects the largest collection of works by the Dutch painter. In addition to his works (which are over 500), the museum also houses works by his younger brother Theo and other well-known French artists. Evocative are the letters from Van Gogh to his brother as well as some personal objects of the famous painter. You just can't miss a visit to this building on a Dutch trip.

The Van Gogh Museum is a must, one of the most visited attractions in the whole city. For this reason it is advisable to purchase the priority entrance ticket in advance, for avoid getting stuck in the queue for a long time.

  • Esplanade of the Museums. Tram 2, 5, 12; bus 170, 172 - Get directions
  • every day from 10 am to 00 pm and on Fridays until 18 pm
  • adults pay € 10,00, children from 13 to 17 years € 2,50, and children up to 12 years enter for free
  • Skip the Line: Skip-the-Line Entrance to the Van Gogh Museum

Take the document with you: If you do not want to risk a fine, remember to always carry your identification document with you (Identity Card in the case of EU citizens, alternatively Passport). You will be asked to show your ID at the entrance to various clubs and sometimes museums (of course you will need to do this to access a coffeeshop)

3 - Royal Palace

Still used by the royal family today, this palace was built approx 350 years ago like town hall and is an example of Dutch baroque architecture. Its function as a palace dates back to 1808 thanks to Napoleon Bonaparte. Inside the palace, the museum that tells the history of the city and the country is definitely worth a visit.

Also in this case it is preferable to buy the ticket with priority entrance, which also includes the audio guide for the independent visit of the Palace.

  • Dam square. Tram towards the center, Dam square stop - Get directions
  • every day 10: 00-17: 00
  • € 10,00

4 - Dam Square

Simply called the Dam, this square is one of the most loved by Amsterdamers and tourists. Here the history and the modern image of the city are perfectly combined. It is particular that the traffic of trams and cars divides the square into two parts. To visit the Royal Palace and Nationaal Monument, the 22-meter stone obelisk built in 1956 dedicated to the fallen of the Second World War.

  • Dam square. Tram direction city center, stop Dam square - Get directions
  • always open
  • free

5 - Stedelijk Museum

The Stedelijk is the museum of modern art and design, one of the most important in the country. It houses famous works of modern art, by artists of the calibrodi Picasso and Chagall. It boasts one of the most significant collections in the world, consisting of 90.000 objects made from 1870 to today.

The museum offers several interesting activities and workshops for families, also has a beautiful panoramic restaurant (accessible without regardless of the purchase of the ticket of the muzzle).

As with other city museums, it is also worth buying a skip-the-line ticket online for the Stedelijk Museum before your departure, in order to avoid queues at the entrance.

  • Museumplein, 10. From Central Station Tram 2 and 5, Bus 170 and 172. Stop Hobbemastraat or Museumplein - Get directions
  • every day 10: 00-18: 00, on Friday evening it closes at 22:00.
  • € 15,00. Free for children and teenagers up to 18 years

6 - Rijksmuseum

The Rijkmuseum is one of the most famous museums in Amsterdam and the most important of Dutch art. It holds works by Rembrandt and Vermeer, but not only. From painting to sculpture, from arts applied to prints, in this building there are over 5 thousand paintings, 30 thousand sculptures, 1 million prints and drawings, works that are absolutely worth a visit if we are in Amsterdam.

If you are planning a short stay in the city of Amsterdam, you will certainly need to optimize your time. Therefore, consider purchasing a priority entrance ticket.

  • Museumstraat, 1. Tram 2 and 5, Hobbemastraat stop - Get directions
  • every day 9: 00-17: 00
  • € 17,50, children up to 18 years free

Buy Souvenirs:
If you want to buy a souvenir of your trip, do not go to the tourist areas. Instead, you'll find unique and interesting souvenirs at 9 Straatjes, a lovely area full of cute boutiques.

7 - Anne Frank House and Joordan district

In the Joordan neighborhood, the Anne Frank House is the original apartment where the little -year-old lived through the worst days of her life, which forced her to hide from Nazi persecution. Right inside this very suggestive place, the girl wrote the famous diary translated into 65 languages, it has become one of the most important testimonies of the Holocaust.

Through the visit to the house / museum it is possible to know how refugees lived here, discover the history of Anne Frank's diary and visit some temporary exhibitions on fascism and persecutions.

Il Joordan district is the artists' district par excellence, built in the th century as a residential area of ​​the working class. It is called the Latin Quarter due to the strong Spanish, French and Jewish presence. Today it is also there student favorite area thanks to lower housing prices. Beyond the bohemian charm, the neighborhood is worth a visit for the presence of some interesting attractions, such as the aforementioned Anne Frank House, or the Theo Thijssen Museum, Rembrandt's last house and above all the Café Nol, a local quaint which offers live music in a typically Dutch atmosphere.

  • Prinsengrach canal 263-267. From the central station the Casa Museo can be reached on foot in 20 minutes. Tram lines 13, 14 and 17 and city buses n. 170, 172 and 174 - Get directions
  • every day 9: 00-22: 00
  • the Anne Frank House € 9,00 for adults, € 4,50 from 10 to 17 years, free for children. Tickets can be purchased exclusively on the website; it is advisable to buy them in advance to book your visit

8 - Red light district

In addition to the known Coffee Shop, where it is possible to smoke and legally consume marijuana and hashish products, there is a place in the city that has helped to establish Amsterdam as one of the most progressive realities in Europe and in the world. We are obviously talking about the Red Light District, or the red light district.

The rossebuurt, as it is called in the city, takes its name from the neon of the shop windows where women have posed, precisely since the 1400s, waiting for customers. According to estimates, today there are over 25 thousand and they come from every country in the world. In the heart of downtown Amsterdam, here it is the free and nonconformist soul of the city.

The district is also called De Wallen and extends for over 6 thousand square meters, including three different areas: the Walletjes, which is the oldest area, Singel which goes from the station to the Raadhuistraat, finally Pijp, which develops near the Rijkmuseum. Of course the neighborhood has a special charm as well it deserves to be visited regardless of why it is generally frequented. It is no coincidence that there are several guided walking tours that allow you to know its history and numerous curiosities.

  • De Wallen district. It is located near the station, so it is possible to reach it by any means. Better by bike or on foot. Bus # 22, 359, 361 and 363 at Cs / Nicolaaskerk stop - Get directions
  • always open

9 - The Old Church

The Oude Kerk (old church) is one of the most famous buildings in Amsterdam, probably his symbol. Its construction dates back to 1200 as a Catholic church, today it has become a building of the Protestant faith. Located practically in the heart of De Wallen, which is the oldest part of the red light district, the church has been over the years restored many times. Today you can admire its unique architecture, its flagship is the wooden ceiling.

The church is located in the cobbled Oudekerksplein, but one of the most beautiful spots from which to admire it is the adjacent Oudezijds Voorburgwal canal, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking perspective.

  • Oudekerksplein. Walk to Central Station in less than 10 minutes - Get directions
  • from Monday to Saturday 10: 00-18: 00; Sunday 13: 00-17: 30
  • € 8,50

10 - Heineken Experience

In 1867 Gerard Adriaan Heineken built a brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. Today Heineken is among the most famous beers in the world, and the Heineken Experience allows you to visit the old brewery and discover the secrets of beer production but also of the marketing that led it to be so famous.
The ticket for the Heineken Experience includes a tour of the brewery and a final tasting. It is one of the most visited attractions in the city, as it is a fundamental part of the history of Amsterdam.

  • Stadhouderskade, trams 1, 7, 19 and 24 and metro 52 - Get directions
  • Mon-Thu 10: 30-21: 30 (last admission 19pm). Fri-Sun 15: 10-30: 21 (last admission 30pm). 19 and 15 December 24: 31-12: 30 (last admission 16:00). In July and August the weekend times are valid
  • from € 18,00 - book online

5 things to do in Amsterdam

  1. Stroll along the Damrak: it is the canal adjacent to Dam square where the iconic houses with colored facades overlook
  2. Climb on A'Dam Lockout: particular observation platform where there is a swing suspended in the void
  3. Admire the colors of the Tulips: if you travel in spring you can reach the Keukenhof Gardens (not far from Amsterdam), alternatively go to the Bloemenmarkt flower market
  4. Go to a Coffeeshop at least once: there are over 200 in the city, for more info visit this article
  5. Take a selfie in front of the "I Amsterdam" sign: the original sign that was in the museum area has been removed, but you can take your selfie at Schiphol airport or Sloterplas or in the Nieuw-West and Zuidoost area.

Coffee Shop or Coffeeshop:
Attention, you probably don't know, but there is a difference between Coffee Shop and Coffeeshop. The former are simple cafes, the latter are stores in which to consume marijuana.

Plan your stay in Amsterdam

To stay in Amsterdam the best neighborhood is the historic center where you will be closest to the most interesting attractions. There are many hotels, if not too cheap, but you can walk around the city, so you will save on transport costs. If you want to save money, you can stay in a hotel in the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal area, which is cheaper but also noisier.

  • Low cost flights : starting from € 70,98 -
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 68,45 per room -

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