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Amsterdam City Guide | Things To Do In Amsterdam | Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Welcome to Amsterdam, the charming Dutch capital famous for its stunning canals, rich culture, and relaxed atmosphere. Whether you're visiting for the first time or returning for another adventure, there's always something new to discover in this vibrant city. From its picturesque streets lined with historic architecture to its trendy neighborhoods full of boutique shops and cafes, Amsterdam is a place where old and new coexist in perfect harmony. In this guide, we'll take you on a journey through the city's top attractions, hidden gems, and local favorites, giving you insider tips for experiencing Amsterdam like a true local. So grab a bike, hop on a tram, or just take a leisurely stroll through the city's winding streets – let's explore Amsterdam together!


Things To Do in Amsterdam


⭐⭐⭐ 3 Stars: The Most Popular Attractions


The Rijksmuseum

This world-renowned museum is home to some of the greatest works of art in the world, including paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh. The building itself is a work of art, with a stunning atrium and impressive collection of Asian artifacts.


Van Gogh Museum

One of the most popular attractions in Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings in the world, including iconic works like "Sunflowers" and "The Bedroom." The museum also features works by Van Gogh's contemporaries and showcases the artist's life and legacy.


Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is a moving tribute to the young Jewish girl who hid from the Nazis during World War II and wrote a diary that would become a symbol of hope and resilience. Visitors can tour the secret annex where the Frank family lived and learn about their harrowing story.


The Canal Belt

The canals of Amsterdam are world-famous for their beauty and charm. A boat tour is a great way to see the city from a different perspective, but you can also explore the canal belt on foot, taking in the picturesque bridges, houseboats, and architecture along the way.


Dam Square

The bustling heart of Amsterdam, Dam Square is home to the iconic Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk, and the National Monument. It's a great place to people-watch, grab a bite to eat, or just soak up the lively atmosphere.


 

⭐⭐ 2 Stars: Not-so-popular but Worth a Visit


De Pijp

This trendy neighborhood is a favorite among locals, with its vibrant street markets, cozy cafes, and eclectic shops. It's also home to the famous Heineken Experience, where you can learn about the history of the iconic beer brand and enjoy a tasting.


Vondelpark

This beautiful park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some green space. It's a popular spot for picnics, bike rides, and outdoor concerts.


Museum Het Schip

This unique museum is dedicated to the Amsterdam School architecture movement, which flourished in the early 20th century. The museum is housed in a former post office building that exemplifies the style, with its intricate brickwork and striking design.


 

⭐ 1 Star: Optional Attractions


Red Light District

The Red Light District is one of Amsterdam's most infamous neighborhoods, known for its legal prostitution and cannabis cafes. It's not for everyone, but it can be an interesting and eye-opening experience.


NEMO Science Museum

This interactive museum is geared towards kids, but adults will enjoy it too. It's full of hands-on exhibits and experiments that explore science and technology in a fun and engaging way.


Where to Stay in Amsterdam

🛏️ Budget Accommodation

Stayokay Amsterdam Stadsdoelen

Located in the heart of Amsterdam's city center, the Stayokay Amsterdam Stadsdoelen is a great option for budget-conscious travelers. The hostel offers dorm-style rooms with shared bathrooms, as well as private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. It also has a cozy lounge area and bar, as well as a shared kitchen for guests to use. Plus, its central location makes it easy to explore the city's top attractions on foot or by bike.


🛏️ Best Value for Money

Hotel Not Hotel

For travelers looking for something a bit more unique, Hotel Not Hotel is a great option. This quirky hotel features rooms that are designed to look like different spaces, from a vintage tram car to a library. Each room is individually decorated and features unique touches like murals, antiques, and even secret doors. Despite its playful design, Hotel Not Hotel is also serious about comfort, with high-quality mattresses and linens in every room. The hotel also has a lively bar and restaurant, serving up delicious Dutch and international cuisine.


🛏️ Luxury Stays

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

For those looking for a luxurious stay in Amsterdam, the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is the perfect choice. Located on the prestigious Herengracht canal, this five-star hotel is housed in six historic buildings that have been meticulously restored and refurbished. The hotel features elegant rooms and suites with high ceilings, plush furnishings, and modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and Nespresso machines. Guests can also indulge in the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant, the Guerlain Spa, or take a private boat tour of the city's canals.


Where to Eat in Amsterdam


🍴 Casual Dining

Cannibale Royale

Cannibale Royale is a popular Amsterdam restaurant that serves up delicious, hearty meals at affordable prices. The restaurant is known for its high-quality meats, which are slow-cooked and served up in generous portions. Menu highlights include the beef brisket, pork belly, and ribs, as well as vegetarian options like the falafel burger. Cannibale Royale also has a great selection of craft beers and cocktails, making it a perfect spot for a casual night out with friends.


🍴 Mid-Range

Breda

Breda is a charming restaurant located in the heart of Amsterdam's Jordaan neighborhood. The restaurant's menu is inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean, with dishes that are simple, elegant, and always delicious. Menu highlights include the grilled octopus, beef tartare, and roasted lamb, as well as a selection of homemade pastas and desserts. The restaurant also has a great wine list, with a focus on small, artisanal producers.


🍴 Fine Dining

Restaurant Vinkeles

For a truly special dining experience, head to Restaurant Vinkeles. This Michelin-starred restaurant is located in the beautiful Dylan Hotel, and features an intimate dining room with just 50 seats. The restaurant's menu changes seasonally, and features dishes that are both creative and impeccably executed. Menu highlights include the duck liver parfait, turbot with truffle risotto, and chocolate tart with mandarin sorbet. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, with a sommelier on hand to help you find the perfect pairing.


Don't Forget Before You Leave


Keukenhof Gardens and Tulip Fields Tour

Amsterdam is famous for its stunning tulip fields, and the Keukenhof Gardens are the best place to see them in bloom. This tour takes you on a scenic drive through the Dutch countryside, with stops at the gardens and a tulip farm.

Have a look at my Keukenkof Gardens Flower Parade blog post for more info.

Amsterdam Canal Cruise at Night

See the city in a whole new light with an Amsterdam canal cruise at night. You'll sail past the city's illuminated landmarks, with a guide on hand to share stories and history about each one.


Dutch Cheese and Wine Tasting

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without trying some of the country's famous cheeses. This cheese and wine tasting tour takes you to some of the city's best cheese shops, where you can sample a variety of delicious cheeses paired with local wines.


Day Trip to Zaanse Schans and Volendam

Get a taste of traditional Dutch life with a day trip to the charming villages of Zaanse Schans and Volendam. You'll see working windmills, visit a cheese factory, and explore the picturesque streets and harbors of these quaint towns.

Have a look at my Zaanse Schans blog post for more info.

Amsterdam Bike Tour

The best way to see Amsterdam is by bike, and this guided bike tour takes you on a leisurely ride through the city's top attractions and hidden gems. You'll learn about the city's history and culture, and get a workout at the same time!

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