Top 10 things to do in Amsterdam

Planning a trip to Amsterdam? There are many things to do during your vacation in the Netherlands and we understand it’s not easy to pick which attractions are the best, especially if you have limited time. To help you get the most out of your visit to Amsterdam, we’ve created a top 10 things to do in Amsterdam with some of the best activities in town.

10: Explore the Old City Center. Amsterdam has one of the largest historical centers in Europe. A great way to orientate yourself at the start of your stay is to take a walking tour. Amsterdam is very easy to get around with every corner and every building telling a story waiting to be brought to life by a knowledgeable insider.

9: Visit Amsterdam’s Red Light District. This world famous part of Amsterdam is probably on every tourist’s top 10 list. A word of warning- don’t take pictures of the girls at the windows or one of them may grab your camera and throw it in the canal! Check our special video on the worlds’ first Red Light District and learn more about this unique place. Or do one of the many tours where you can feel safe and even get the chance to talk to a real working girl.

8: One of the greatest Amsterdam attractions is the Begijnhof. Leave the Red Light District behind for a slower pace of life. The Begijnhof may not be as well-known but this beautiful religious courtyard and church is a hidden gem and a must-see. Still fully occupied today it’s a little lonely village that contains Amsterdam’s oldest house making it an oasis of calm right in the heart of the city!

7: Amsterdam’s tourism is booming and one of the reasons is the renowned Van Gogh museum. This is not only Amsterdam’s most popular art museum but one of the most popular art museums in the world! Van Goghs’ style is unique, and we highly recommend a visit to this museum. However, if you don’t want to spend most of your visit standing in line, make sure to pre-book your ticket in advance, or purchase one of the Amsterdam city passes: the I Amsterdam card or the Holland pass – check our offer page for more information.

What are the 10 top things to do in Amsterdam?

6: Visiting Amsterdam’s coffee shops is a must! Sit back and relax while you indulge in Amsterdam’s legal high. It can only say ‘Coffeeshop’ on the door if it has a licence to sell cannabis. But the Dutch are changing the laws and this may lead to tourists being banned. So when you are in town, check with the locals to keep up with the latest situation.

5: Another Amsterdam attraction that stands out is Science Center Nemo, an interactive museum that is especially loved by the kids. Nemo has a stunning building designed by superstar architect Renzo Piano to resemble the bow of a ship. There’s an interactive Science Center that will keep children entertained for hours. They will smell, touch, hear and see how the world works while the parents can relax on a large rooftop sun terrace.

4: One of the most memorable things to do in Amsterdam is visiting the latest iconic building in Amsterdam, the EYE Film Institute. This eye catching structure is on the north bank of the Ij waterway, just behind Central Station. Take one of the ferries across and catch a movie or exhibition. Or just have a coffee and enjoy looking out at some of the very best views of Amsterdam!

3: A typical Amsterdam guide will recommend you to take part in the Amsterdam Heineken Experience– the home of Heineken beer. This heritage site is now an interactive experience where they show you how the world famous beer came to be. An afternoon immersed in the world of Heineken will leave you thirsty for one of the beers that are offered on the tour. Want something a bit less touristy? Consider visiting a micro-brewery instead!

2: Visiting Amsterdam means exploring the Anne Frank House. See where the Jewish girl Anne Frank hid from the Nazi’s during the second World War . Here she wrote much of her world famous diary. Her statue is also just around the corner. The queues to this museum are always long, so think ahead and buy a ticket online or use the I Amsterdam card.

1: First place goes to the famous canals. These beautiful water ways are the reason Amsterdam is often called the ‘Venice of the North’. The city center includes more than 90 islands and 400 bridges, and the best way to explore them is by cruising the canals. There are many different tours of Amsterdam’s canals; from a sightseeing tour to a candlelight dinner cruise that shows the wonderful city in the way it was originally designed. Your vacation will be simply unforgettable!

Of course there’s a lot more to the city than the top 10 things to do in Amsterdam that we mentioned here. Check the rest of our Amsterdam video travel guides for info about museums, nightlife, shopping, kids activities and more.

Amsterdam Super Saver: Zaanse Schans Windmills, Delft and The Hague Day Trip

Immerse yourself in the charm of the Netherlands with this combination of two best-selling tours at a discounted price. Take a morning tour from Amsterdam to see the famous Zaanse Schans windmills and the quaint fishing villages of Marken and Volendam. Then, continue your day trip from Amsterdam with visits to two don't-miss Dutch cities: Delft and The Hague. If time is tight and you'd like to travel beyond Amsterdam, this action-packed, full-day tour shows you the best of the Netherlands. Even better, you'll enjoy about a 10% discount when you buy these tours in this way.

USD 92.65$

Zaanse Schans Windmills, Marken and Volendam Half-Day Trip from Amsterdam

Leave Amsterdam behind for a few hours and discover the surrounding Dutch countryside and its wonderful windmills! Drive through idyllic landscapes criss-crossed with canals, see authentic wooden houses and old-fashioned cheese-making in Volendam. Watch a shoemaker make clogs in Marken, and capture photos of the windmills the Netherlands is famous for in the picturesque village of Zaanse Schans. Throughout this half-day trip, listen to commentary about the history, culture and sights of the Netherlands.

USD 46.33$

Bruges Day Trip from Amsterdam

Discover Bruges – one of the most captivating cities in Belgium – on this day trip from Amsterdam. After traveling to Bruges by coach, you will receive a brief overview of city sights from your knowledgeable guide. Then, enjoy 5 full hours exploring the churches, canals and lace shops of Bruges on your own. See the Begijnhof, the city gates and the eye-catching windmills. And indulge in some delicious Belgian chocolates on your ride back to Amsterdam!

USD 81.07$

I amsterdam Card - City Pass for Amsterdam

Simplify your trip to Amsterdam with the I Amsterdam City Card, a pass that gives you free admission to museums and public transport throughout the city. Gain free entry to 38 museums including the Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandthuis Museum and Hermitage Amsterdam. Enjoy unlimited free public transport, a free canal cruise and discounts on attractions and restaurants. This pass is the perfect way for independent travelers to make the most of their time in Amsterdam and save money too!

USD 56.75$

Keukenhof Gardens and Tulip Fields Tour from Amsterdam

Experience the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens on this hassle-free tour from Amsterdam. Travel by comfortable coach through the Netherlands’ countryside filled with blooming flower fields, and then enjoy three hours walking through the Keukenhof Gardens at your leisure. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy among the vibrant display of millions of spring tulips!

USD 57.91$