10 Great Things to Do in Amsterdam
Heading to the Dutch capital? Here’s a list of ten fantastic things to do when you’re in the magnetic, charming and utterly wonderful city of Amsterdam.
Traverse the Canal Network
Amsterdam’s famous 17th Century canals are one of the most spectacular features of a city anywhere in the world. The architecture lining the waterways is simply magnificent and many prominent attractions are located on the water’s edge – Anne Frank’s House and The Van Gogh House are just two. A guided boat trip around the canals is essential but you should also rent a bike and explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site at your pleasure.
While Amsterdam is a city packed with world-class museums, outdoor pursuits and cultural experiences aplenty – getting high is a fun, if cliched, endeavor when visiting the Dutch capital. There are plenty excellent coffee shops where you can while away the afternoon with a joint. Avoid the touristic Bulldog and other such establishments and seek out place with a more local vibe for the best experiences.
Visit a Park
Despite its small size Amsterdam is packed with excellent outdoor spaces. The largest and most centrally located is Vondel Park, situated just south of Leidseplein. Westerpark and Oosterpark are two local affairs where you’ll find locals, young and old, relaxing alongside each other enjoying life the Dutch way.
Explore Europe’s Best Museums
The Netherlands has produced some of the world’s premier artists from Rembrandt to Van Gogh. Today it displays their work in a collection of excellent museums all conveniently situated around one square close to Vondel Park.
Eat Chips & Mayo
The Netherlands isn’t known for its cuisine but they excel when it comes to chips. Known as Vlaamse Frites, the Dutch devour this high-carb treat covered in lashings of mayonnaise. They’re available 24 hours a day and you’ll never be more than five minutes away from somewhere selling them. However, the potential heart attack doesn’t stop there. Add a dollop of peanut sauce for a taste sensation like no other – particularly if you’ve indulged in tip number two!
Ride a Bike
It is estimated that there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam so you don’t want to disrupt the human to ‘fiets’ ratio. Rent yourself a bike on arrival for the cheapest and exciting way to explore this fine city. It’s best to avoid the red Mac bikes available at central station if you don’t want to stand out.
Go to the Sex Museum
While we’ve already talked about museums, we feel that Amsterdam’s Sex Museum deserves a special mention. It hosts a range of attractions from sculptures to archive photography, all boasting one common theme.
Drink Beer in a Cafe
Pints are rarely served in The Netherlands, instead, you’ll sample many small glasses called Biertje. The size is actually ingenious – the beer is always fresh, cold and fizzy. There are countless bars to enjoy in Amsterdam. If you’re looking for a gay bar then check out this list. Alternatively, stroll along the water’s edge and find yourself a spot in the sunshine – one of the best things to do in Amsterdam.
Shop at the Markets
Amsterdam has a plethora of markets to suit every budget. If you’re looking for vintage trinkets then head to Waterlooplien and for excellent farmer’s market produce the Jordaan weekend market is fantastic. Head to the Dapper Market, a little east of the famous windmill brewery and soak up the area’s multicultural atmosphere in a Moroccan cafe.
Experience King’s Day
King’s Day celebrates not only the reigning monarch but also the country more widely. This national holiday is celebrated every year on the 27th April when the entire country turns into a giant party for 48 hours.