Discover Amsterdam’s world-class museums, fantastic shopping and legendary nightlife.
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From globally-renowned cultural attractions to renowned nightlife – the range of things to do in Amsterdam includes something for everyone. Explore this beautiful city by bike, tram or canal boat and discover the huge amount it has to offer.
Take in the capital’s idyllic canals and wonderful 17th century buildings on Amsterdam holidays. Art lovers are spoiled with world-class galleries, while famous attractions – including the wonderful Rijksmuseum – will delight culture seekers. Vondelpark offers a wonderful retreat - with six children’s playgrounds and an outdoor theatre it is ideal for families. Enjoy a shopping spree then rest your legs at an atmospheric pub. And by night, experience the city’s thriving club scene or legendary Red Light District.
Shopaholics will be in their element at the six storey-high flagship Bijenkorf department store, on Dam Square. From there, make your way along the 1km-long Kalverstraat, a retail paradise lined with big-brand stores. Head to the exclusive P.C. Hooftstraat for luxury labels, or the trendy 9 Streets for unique boutiques. Experience the energy of Albert Cuypmarkt street market or visit Singel canal’s colourful Bloemenmarkt flower market.
Marvel at over 200 treasured works of art by the celebrated Dutch artist and his contemporaries at the Van Gogh Museum – children will enjoy the treasure hunt, Vincent’s Travelling Case and interactive workshops. Admire even more masterpieces at the Rijksmuseum or visit the Anne Frank House and see her famous diary. Beer lovers will be in their element at the Heineken Experience, which is located in the trendy De Pijp area.
Dine at a historic restaurant in Spuikwartier, or stop at one of the many broodjeswinkels (sandwich shops) to be found around Amsterdam’s bustling squares. Treat your taste buds to the syrupy sweetness of a crispy stroopwafel, and soak up the ambience over frothy beer at a traditional brown bar. Rembrandtplein square is the place to go for outdoor dining, while IZAKAYA at Sir Albert offers exquisite Japanese food.
A stroll through Amsterdam’s ever-changing Red Light District reveals a beautiful canal-side setting with excellent bars and eateries that you might not expect to find in this notorious neighbourhood. Make your way to Leidseplein for cool clubs offering every kind of sound. Cafe Casablanca, which can be found just outside the Red Light District, has been a fixture of Amsterdam’s jazz scene since 1945 and enjoys a nostalgic feel. Alternatively, head into the cool Jordaan area for hip bars and cafés.
Families will love Amsterdam’s beautiful 116-acre park, Vondelpark. A haven for little ones, it features an outdoor theatre with free children’s shows in summer. Amsterdam beaches are also a popular day trip – follow the sun-seekers to Bloemendaal aan Zee and Zandvoort aan Zee to bask on the beautiful golden sands. Or head to the Efteling World of Wonders for a spectacular theme park experience – with rollercoasters, rides and more, this is a perfect place for kids.
Visit the stunning tulip fields and lush gardens of Keukenhof.Find out more
Hop-on and off a canal tour on your way to the Rijksmuseum.Find out more
Glide your way to the ‘coolest’ bar in town on a canal cruise.Find out more
Eat Edam cheese in Edam and see windmills galore.Find out more
See the famous sights of the Dutch capital as you cruise its canals.Find out more
See Vincent van Gogh’s masterpieces in this advantageous skip-the-line tour.Find out more
Explore the city the Dutch way on this leisurely cycling tour.Find out more
Ride rollercoasters and more at the Efteling Theme Park – a fantasyland for kids.Find out more
Choose to traverse the city one of two ways – by land or water.Find out more
Take a trip to see charming windmills and the Dutch government seat.Find out more
Find out more about Amsterdam’s native tipple on the Heineken Experience.Find out more
Explore the superb rollercoasters and wild rides of Efteling: World of Wonders.Find out more
Locals know their city best. We caught up with Joey, an Amsterdam local with a love for the city’s charismatic canals and waterside dining scene, to gather his tips for travellers who want to see the real Amsterdam. You can experience the city with Joey and his boat via the Ventoura app.Discover more about Ventoura locals
Escape the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam’s streets and head to Vondelpark, a massive urban oasis in the heart of Amsterdam. Stretching over 120 acres, Vondelpark acts as a cultural hub during the summer months when the open-air theatre hosts a packed programme of music, dance and theatre. Entry is free for all visitors, so splurge on picnic supplies, lay out a blanket and enjoy music under the summer sun.
Skip the queues at major galleries and head for one of Amsterdam’s many boutique museums instead. Be welcomed aboard one of the world’s few floating museums at the Houseboat Museum, moored in the Prinsengracht canal, that explores life on the water. Those with an eye for accessorising should look no further than the Museum of Bags and Purses, the largest of its type in the world. These niche museums are the perfect way to explore the unique quirks of Amsterdam.
For those with a sweet tooth stopping by De Laatste Kruimel is an absolute must. This tiny bakery and café (not of the more notorious variety) overlooks Amsterdam’s famed canals, giving you the perfect spot to take in city life. The name translates to ‘the last crumb’, but given how delicious these home-baked goodies are it’s unlikely there will be any crumbs left behind. Indulge in one of their mouth-watering treats, or simply grab a coffee on the terrace and watch the world go by.
See the Netherlands like a local by cycling through the pristine countryside of the Waterland region, just north of the heart of Amsterdam. Start your journey in Broek and head north towards the coastal town of Edam, and you’ll be spoiled with views of the lush green countryside dotted with the Netherlands’ iconic windmills. Follow the famous Dutch Defence Line, and finish off your trip by riding across to Marken and get a taste of rural Dutch life in this picturesque shipping village.
The most awe-inspiring way to see the city is from the canals. From docking up straight onto the terraces of some of my favourite waterside bars and grabbing a couple of locally crafted beers, to limboing under the lowest bridge in Amsterdam, discover this city with me from a unique perspective. Find me on the Ventoura app for iPhone and Android, I can customise your experience to match your tastes and interests, and point you in the right direction for the rest of your stay. Who knows, maybe I'll even bring my sailors hat.