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Things to do in Amsterdam

Things to do in  Amsterdam

Welcome to Amsterdam

The Netherlands brims with beauty and adventure, from its picturesque windmills and wondrous fields of tulips to its hip, art-centric capital city of Amsterdam. The most populated region of the Netherlands, historic Amsterdam is renowned for its quaint streets and scenic canals. Take in Amsterdam’s rich tradition of art by touring iconic museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum; tours offer skip-the-line access to these popular sights. The Anne Frank House is another must-see, attracting visitors from around the globe. A walking tour—or if you want to be like the Dutch, a bike tour—is a great way to get into the culture. For a little romance, enjoy a candlelit cruise at night with Dutch wine and cheese, and watch the city sparkle. Make time to tour the happening Red Light District’s bars and coffeeshops, and sample bitterballen (fried meatballs) and classic pickled herring, along with some of the country’s famed beers. Take a day trip or two to the Dutch countryside to admire Zaanse Schans, with its iconic windmills and clogs; or traditional villages such as Volendam and Marken. Keukenhof Gardens offers the pièce de résistance: a burst of colors from its vast array of flowers and millions of tulips. All in all, Amsterdam’s uniqueness makes it an unparalleled destination in Europe.

Top 10 attractions in Amsterdam

#1
Amsterdam Red Light District (De Wallen)

Amsterdam Red Light District (De Wallen)

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Most famous for its streetside brothels, Amsterdam's Red Light District (De Wallen) also houses scenic canals, bustling restaurants, bars, and plenty of shopping. While this controversial neighborhood may not be for everyone, its winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleys evoke Amsterdam’s rich history and laid-back culture.More
#2
Anne Frank House (Anne Frank Huis)

Anne Frank House (Anne Frank Huis)

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The bestselling book “Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl” brought to life one of the greatest horrors of the 20th century in a compelling, personal way. In the true story, a young Jewish girl, her family, and some friends are forced into hiding in Amsterdam to escape the Nazis during World War II. The house that served as the Frank family’s hiding place for two years survived the war and is now a moving museum, with the primary site being the achterhuis (rear house), also known as the secret annex. Here the Franks sat in silence during the day and ate food that was secretly brought to them before being mysteriously betrayed and sent to Nazi concentration camps. Otto Frank, the only Frank who survived the war, published Anne’s now-famous diary in 1947.More
#3
Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum

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Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is the largest and most visited art museum in the Netherlands. Its collection, which ranks among the world’s finest, includes nearly 8,000 pieces spread over 80 galleries. Some of the Rijksmuseum’s most revered works are 15th- to 19th-century paintings by Flemish and Dutch masters, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals. In addition to the astounding eight centuries of Dutch art and history, the museum has extensive outdoor gardens and a Michelin-starred restaurant.More
#4
Amstel River

Amstel River

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The Amstel is the great river that runs through Amsterdam and whose water was diverted into the city’s famous canals. The city was first built around the river, giving it the name Amstel Dam, and today the waterway is flows past modern buildings and charming houseboats before winding its way into the Dutch countryside.More
#5
Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

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Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of works by the legendary Dutch artist, is a must-see for art and art history lovers. The museum boasts a collection of Vincent van Gogh’s personal effects, plus 200 paintings and 500 drawings by the master and his contemporaries—including Gauguin, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Bernard—plus Van Gogh’s famous works “The Potato Eaters” and “Wheatfield with Crows.”More
#6
Jordaan

Jordaan

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Once a working-class neighborhood, Jordaan in central Amsterdam has become an upscale enclave favored by artists and designers. Grand 17th-century houses, art galleries, speciality shops, music venues, cafes, and restaurants line the leafy canals in this quintessential Amsterdam neighborhood, which attracts tourists and locals alike.More
#7
Micropia

Micropia

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Micropia is a unique museum in Amsterdam dedicated to microbes and microorganisms. These microscopic organisms make up two thirds of all living matter. As soon as you enter the museum, you'll start to learn about the invisible organisms living all around us. An animation in the first elevator tells you about the mites that live on your eyelashes and the bacteria and viruses that live on those mites. Other exhibits include a body scanner that tells you what type of microbes live on your body and a Kiss-o-meter that counts the number of microbes transferred during a kiss. There are Petri dishes with bacteria in them that show you what lives on everyday household objects.Another exhibit shows a collection of animal feces and a preserved human digestive system. There are also films showing different animals decomposing. In a real-life working laboratory, visitors can view technicians preparing the exhibits through a window. Other displays teach visitors about bacteria, viruses, fungi, and algae. This museum will also teach you how microbes are essential for life, from supplements to food and more.More
#8
Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug)

Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug)

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Amsterdam’s Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug) crosses the River Amstel in the city center. The wooden drawbridge features low arches and nighttime illumination. The bridge’s history reaches as far back as 1691, when the original structure was completed in a classic Dutch style that also influenced later renovations.More
#9
Venustempel Sex Museum

Venustempel Sex Museum

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Located on the outskirts of Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District, the Venustempel Sex Museum is the world’s oldest sex museum, dating back to 1985. Housed in a striking 17th-century building, it chronicles the evolution of human sexuality throughout the ages through an extensive collection of items relating to sex and eroticism.More
#10
Dam Square

Dam Square

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Dam Square is the main city square in Amsterdam and is one of the most well-known locations in all of the Netherlands. Located in the historical center of the city and just 750 meters south of Amsterdam Centraal Station, Dam Square is home to an array of notable buildings and frequently hosts events of national importance.The square sits over the original location of the dam in the Amstel River and has been surrounded by land on all sides since the mouth of the river was filled in the 19th century. On the west end of the square you will see the Royal Palace, which was the city hall from 1655 until its conversion to a royal residence in 1808. Next to the palace are the Gothic Nieuwe Kirk (New Church) and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. On the east end of the square is the National Monument, a stone pillar erected in 1956 to memorialize the Dutch victims of World War II.Dam Square is also home to the Amsterdam Diamond center, the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky and thupscale department store De Bijenkorf, which has stood on the square since 1914. Behind the De Bijenkorf building is the Beurs van Berlage, the old Stock Exchange building that is now used as a concert hall and exhibition space.More

Trip ideas

5 Must-See Amsterdam Museums

5 Must-See Amsterdam Museums

How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Amsterdam

How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Amsterdam

How to Spend 3 Days in Amsterdam

How to Spend 3 Days in Amsterdam

Top Parks and Gardens in Amsterdam

Top Parks and Gardens in Amsterdam

Top activities in Amsterdam

Recent reviews from experiences in Amsterdam

star-5
Great day
Jack_Lewis, Sep 2020
Volendam, Marken and Windmills Day Trip from Amsterdam
Great day out recommend to anyone who goes to Amsterdam the city is great of course but its definitely nice to see the surrounding country and learn about it all the locations they took us were great and the 2 tour guides and the driver were really n
star-5
Magical
ALFIE_F, Aug 2020
2-Hour Semi Private All-Inclusive Cruise on our Boutique Style boats
Best experience of a lifetime, Beautiful boat, super friendly captain, Quiet and peaceful way to to see the beauty of Amsterdam canals
star-5
Greatest tour ever
Zachary_S, Aug 2020
Amsterdam Small-Group Canal Cruise Plus Snacks and Drinks
Highly recommend for a couple or group with older kids who want to see another side of amsterdam from the canals!
star-5
Great tour!
Ginette_L, Jul 2020
Absolutely Amsterdam: Tip-Based Walking Tour With Super Local Guide (2,5 Hours)
Sebastian knows his city along with it’s history and attractions.
star-5
Recommend
W_D, Jul 2020
Blue Boat Company Amsterdam City Canal Cruise
Nice cruise trip, definitely worth to see Amsterdam this way.
star-5
Highly recommended!!
Alex, Jul 2020
Half day private tour: Amsterdam introduction in one day
We were only in Amsterdam in one day and wanted to see as much as possible.
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Great start to our trip
Jo_F, Mar 2020
Amsterdam Canal Cruise in Classic River Boat With Drinks & Dutch Cheese
Fantastic way to see Amsterdam, really informative, fun and relaxed.
star-5
Great trip
Kathy, Mar 2020
Volendam, Edam and Windmills Guided Day Tour
This is an excellent trip to see outside Amsterdam and the pretty villages.
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Highly recommend this tour
Katie_F, Mar 2020
Amsterdam's Jewish Quarter Small-Group Walking Tour
We got to see different parts of Amsterdam that we would not of found on our on about the tour.
star-5
Amazing ride
Juliana_M, Mar 2020
Amsterdam: Bike Rental
I’m really afraid of cycling (bad fall when I was young), but renting with MacBike actually helped me with that fear, although Amsterdam is a crazy cycling city.
star-5
The best tour
Syafiq, Mar 2020
Day trip to Giethoorn from Amsterdam
Easy to communicate and highly recommended for whoever want to visit Giethoor and Amsterdam
star-5
Great boat trip
James_B, Mar 2020
Open boat tour - All drinks included - 60 Minutes - Live guide
A great way to see Amsterdam and have some drinks.
star-5
A must do!
Paul_D, Feb 2020
Day Trip to Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam and Marken from Amsterdam
Fabulous trip with well informed and friendly guide, from the Windmills, cheese and clog making to the fishing island of Marken this trip is a must do on your bucket list of places to visit when in Amsterdam, you get a hell of a lot packed it on the
star-5
Great experience
Jellevanpetten, Feb 2020
Brew Bus Amsterdam, Number 1 Craft Beer Tour
When you are in Amsterdam the brew bus is one of the things to do certainly.
star-4
Volendam
davidkuans, Jan 2020
Day Trip to Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam and Marken from Amsterdam
End of tour, the bus dropped us in north Amsterdam which I think it was good so you get to see the other side of Amsterdam also and it's free free trip.
star-5
Enjoyable tour
matt s, Nov 2019
Zaanse Schans Small-Group Half-Day Tour from Amsterdam
We loved going inside the windmill to see how it worked.
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Great trip if you are pressed for time
kbbrsb, Nov 2019
Zaanse Schans Small-Group Half-Day Tour from Amsterdam
Our guide was on time, kind, and spoke English.
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Amsterdam city bike tour
Tina C, Oct 2019
Mini City Bike Tour, Highlights of Amsterdam (2 hours)
This was a great way to see Amsterdam despite the cold and rain - we were equipped with heavy duty rainwear which was very beneficial.
star-5
Beautiful different way to see Amsterdam
JamesD276, Oct 2019
Blue Boat Amsterdam Evening Canal Cruise
It is a very interesting way to see and learn about Amsterdam.
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Private tour from Amsterdam
kathyheitman, Oct 2019
Amsterdam customizable private tour with Hotel or Airport Pick-Up
Knowledgeable, fun and took us to visit all of the best spots in Amsterdam.

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