Category: What to See and Do
Things to Do and See in Amsterdam
- Visit some of Amsterdam’s 144+ museums
- The number one tourist attraction: a canal cruise — during the day, by candlelight, with or without food (anything from beer & pizza, to fine dining, or classic wine and cheese)
- Also very popular: a walk along the canals of Amsterdam
- Enjoy the free ferries across the river IJ
- See millions of tulips and other flowers at Keukenhof (End of March through the first week of May)
- Visit ARTIS, one of the world’s oldest zoos
- The Red Light District remains, for now, a major tourist attraction
- Just outside Amsterdam you can visit working windmills, centuries-old fishing villages, a UNESCO-listed landscape, and more
- In the summer there are lots of places where you can swim
- King’s Day (formerly Queen’s Day) is the world’s biggest street party
Unable to visit Amsterdam right now? No problem:
Do and see more in Amsterdam for less with the I amsterdam city card:
Explore Amsterdam with the I amsterdam City Card
This card give you access to all major Amsterdam highlights:
More than 70 museums
City-wide public transport
Free bicycle rental
Free canal cruise
Discounts at restaurants, attractions, concerts
Amsterdam is a city best explored with a good helping of serendipity, aided by some pre-trip planning. There is so much to do and see, both on and off the beaten path.
The museums are a big draw, of course. So are the canals. A walk along the Prinsengracht or Brouwersgracht, for instance, will create lifelong memories (not to mention countless Instagram-worthy photos). And a canal cruise indeed remains one of the best ways to discover the city. It remains not just the most popular tourist attraction in Amsterdam, but in the entire country of the Netherlands.
Then there is the nightlife — anything from pubs and restaurants, to theaters and discotheques.
Ask people who have been there what to see and do in Amsterdam. You’ll get more tips and suggestions than you’ll have time for. But realize there’s something new to discover around every corner. A unique shop, a special neighborhood bar, a restaurant favored by the locals, and so on.
Start browsing these articles if you need some inspiration on what to do and see in Amsterdam:
Built on 13,659 wooden piles, Amsterdam’s Royal Palace on Dam Square — which started life as the city’s Town Hall — was once described as the world’s Eight Wonder.
Though the palace is at the disposal of the Royal House, most of days of the year it is open to visitors.
Founded sometime in the 14th century for the Beguines, members of a lay Catholic sisterhood, the Begijnhof is one of Amsterdam’s oldest inner courtyards — and one of the city’s best known landmarks.
Even taking into account the effects of mass tourism, the Begijnhof remains for the most part a haven of peace and tranquility in the busy center of medieval Amsterdam.
Painter Rembrandt van Rijn bought what is now the ‘Rembrandt house’ museum in 1639 — just prior to being commissioned to paint The Night Watch.
A visit to the restored 17th-century house is like stepping into one of Rembrandt’s paintings.
Bonus: we give you some insider tips on where to eat (and where not to) before or after your visit.
The Netherlands Maritime Museum in Amsterdam carries the largest collection of ships in the world.
The Dutch Resistance Museum — chosen as the best historical museum of the Netherlands — tells the story of the Dutch people who resisted the Nazi occupiers during World War II.
Amsterdam has an abundance of outdoor art, including this sculpture…
Dutch distiller Bols is opening a museum dedicated to Jenever — the juniper-flavored and strongly alcoholic traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Flanders, from which gin evolved.