Though Amsterdam is a relatively small city, it has many distinctive neighborhoods, each with their own look, character, and pace.
Most tourists remain in the center of town, though many also visit a section of the Old South neighborhood, where the Vondelpark and the Museum Quarter are located.
Savvy tourists also explore the other parts of Amsterdam.
The Anne Frank House museum is one of Amsterdam’s most popular tourist attractions.
A new ticket & entry system introduced last May has now significantly reduced the legendary ‘eternal’ queues . However, with some 1.3 million visitors in 2016, visiting the museum takes some planning.
We explain the ticket & entry system, alert you to the busiest times, and have a serious warning about where not to get tickets.
Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum contains the largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh in the world.
It is one of Amsterdam’s most popular museums, attracting 2.1 million visitors in 2016 — a historical record. Note: that’s just 100.000 fewer guests than the nearby Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands’ most popular museum.
Learn how to avoid the busiests days and times, where to buy Skip-the-line tickets, and how to get there.
Also: details about the collection, along with information about the upcoming temporary exhibition: ‘Van Gogh, Rousseau, Corot: In the Forest.’
Amsterdam Central Station is the hub of city. It faces the center of town, and all the top attractions are within easy reach by public transport — bus, tram, and metro. Some sights are actually within walking distance
The taxi rank is at the back of the station. Upstairs — on the same level as the train tracks — is a bus terminal that provides fantastic panoramic views of the river IJ. The blue and white ferries you see there will ferry you across the river for free.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District is home to a bronze statue in honor of prostitutes around the world.
Situated in front of the Old Church, the oldest building in the city, it is the first and only such monument anywhere.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is the premier art museum in the Netherlands.
It is devoted to several national collections — and consists of Dutch art from the earliest moments to the 19th century.
Opening May 14, 2016, A’DAM Lookout is Amsterdam’s only publicly accessible observation deck.
You’ll have fantastic, 360° panoramic views of Amsterdam and surroundings.
Plug: are you brave enough to take a ride in Europe highest swingset?
Updated! Europe’s highest set of swings — right atop the A’DAM Lookout’s skydeck — will open on August 26.
The Westerkerk is Amsterdam’s — and indeed Holland’s — most famous church. At its completion, in 1631, it was the largest Protestant church in the world.
Crooners have written countless songs about the Westerkerk and its tower. Anne Frank and her family described hearing its bells from their hiding place. The painter Rembrandt van Rijn is buried in the church.
One of the city’s most photographed monuments.
Located in a former church, Paradiso is known as Amsterdam’s Pop Temple — one of Holland’s foremost live music venues.
It offers an eclectic mix of music: jazz, fusion, garage, ska, latin, funk, soul… The hall has been filled with Maroccan dance music, an Elvis Presley Church Service, and even some contemporary classical music.
The Nieuwmarkt is one of Amsterdam’s most popular squares, dominated by a castle-like former city gate.
The square is lined by two dozen cafés, restaurants and coffeeshops, and has a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere.
Damrak is the main street that leads from Amsterdam Central Station, where most tourists arrive, to Dam square in the center of the medieval town.
This lively street, lined with centuries-old monuments, so-so bars, and gaudy souvenir shops, Damrak — which is in the middle of a makeover — offer a preview of what Amsterdam has to offer.