If you’re pondering of visiting Amsterdam, then relaxation assured that the Dutch capital provides loads of nice perks which can be positive to make your journey one to recollect! From the preferred vacationer sights to the hidden gems you’ll discover off the crushed path, I personally suppose a visit to Amsterdam is worthy of inclusion on anybody’s bucket list.
Don’t fear, I gained’t go away you hanging as to why. Join me for a trek by a few of my favourite causes to go to the town.
Part Amsterdam travel guide, half private suggestions, I’ll fill you in on why Amsterdam is like no different metropolis on the planet. Along the best way, I’ll level you within the course of a few of my favourite organized excursions, fashionable sights, and hidden gems.
My Favorite Reasons to Visit Amsterdam
1. Historic Architecture
Having grown up within the United States, I’ve at all times had a fascination with historic structure. Sure, the U.S. is residence to the occasional colonial constructing. But nothing within the States fairly compares to the sensation of strolling right into a medieval constructing.
In Amsterdam, Oude Kerk traces its roots again to 1213. It’s value testing one of many many nice historical walking tours you’ll discover all through the town. The excursions assist to get an actual sense of the tales behind probably the most well-known websites.
You’ll discover loads of incredible historic sites in Amsterdam, from the Royal Palace to neighborhoods like De Negen Straatjes. If there’s one website you don’t wish to miss, it’s the Anne Frank House.
The well-known website was the place the courageous younger woman and her household hid from the Nazis. Just remember that tickets are solely out there by the official website of the Anne Frank House and infrequently promote out months upfront.
It’s additionally value testing highly effective websites just like the Dutch WWII Resistance Museum to be taught extra about Jewish historical past and tradition within the metropolis. Make positive you additionally go to the completely gorgeous Portuguese Synagogue, which was the biggest synagogue on the planet when it was first in-built 1675.
And now for the query I do know you’re dying to ask (as a result of everybody does) – what concerning the much less scrupulous elements of the town’s historical past? That’s proper, I’m speaking about Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
You’ll truly discover loads of completely legit tours that can stroll you thru the Red Light District and reply each query you’re afraid to ask alongside the best way. While the district is fairly tame throughout the day, after dusk it turns into precisely what you count on. I’d advocate venturing over as a part of a guided group reasonably than alone.
See Related: Famous Buildings in Amsterdam to Visit
2. The Canals
If there’s one a part of your journey to Amsterdam you’ll always remember, it’s strolling alongside the picturesque canals. Amsterdam’s canal ring isn’t solely attractive however grew to become a UNESCO World Heritage website in its personal proper in 2011.
Make positive you put aside just a few hours to go all the way down to Amsterdam’s metropolis middle to make the most of one among its many epic canal cruises. If you’re on the lookout for a strong family-friendly canal cruise, then I’d advocate setting out with Captain Jack, who will preserve you entertained with enjoyable commentary on all the primary sights you’ll see alongside the tour.
If you’re on the lookout for extra of a booze cruise, you’ll discover loads of different choices like this personal boat cruise with unlimited drinks. Or you might set out together with your fellow vacationers on this cruise which incorporates complimentary tickets to the Heineken Experience.
The great point is that it doesn’t matter what kind of canal cruise you’re on the lookout for, it nearly undoubtedly exists. There are cruises that come full with the whole lot from wine and cheese to onboard smoking lounges.
3. World-Class Museums
If you’re into museums, then Amsterdam is your new favourite metropolis. The metropolis is residence to so many museums that your greatest problem will in all probability be making an attempt to determine which to hit up first.
One of probably the most well-known is Rijksmuseum, the place you’ll discover the works of well-known Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer. You may even contemplate signing up for an exclusive guided tour or rounding out your day with a visit to the Rembrandt House Museum to take a look at the place the well-known artist as soon as lived and labored.
Make positive you additionally take a look at the Van Gogh Museum, the place you’ll discover the biggest assortment of Van Gogh’s works on the planet. If you’re as fascinated by the work of one among historical past’s most well-known artists as I’m, then a guided tour of the Van Gogh Museum is properly definitely worth the splurge.
But that is simply the tip of the iceberg in terms of the plethora of museums you’ll uncover when visiting Amsterdam. If you wish to discover the best museums in Amsterdam and lower your expenses when you do it, then take a look at the I Amsterdam City Card.
The I Amsterdam City Card scores you free entrance into over 70 prime Amsterdam museums and different sights like Hortus Botanicus, one of many world’s oldest botanical gardens. It additionally comes with free public transportation, free bike leases, a free canal cruise, and reductions that may show you how to get the most effective offers on native meals and drinks.
The solely factor to concentrate on is that it doesn’t embody entrance to some notable websites just like the Nemo Science Museum, Anne Frank House, or Van Gogh Museum. But total, it may be a terrific way to save money and show you how to discover the town if you happen to select the digital choice which works with Google Maps.
See Related: Our House Amsterdam: The World’s First EDM Museum
4. The Food Diversity Is Off the Charts
Typical Dutch meals isn’t at all times straightforward to pin down, which is why meals excursions could be a good way to discover the best places to eat in Amsterdam. One of my private favorites was this food tour of Jordaan, a stylish neighborhood in central Amsterdam proper beside the canal district.
As you discover eight prime eateries, you’ll take pleasure in tasting Dutch delights like poffertjes (bite-sized pancakes eaten with butter and powdered sugar), bitterballen (Dutch meatballs), and extra! Then, after all, there are the thrill of Dutch cheese.
When it involves cheese, the Dutch don’t play. You’ll discover total cheese-tasting tours that can introduce you to hotspots like Kaaswinkel Henri Wellig, the place you’ll discover delectable free samples.
5. Celebrating Local Festivals
If you’re undecided when to go to Amsterdam, then you definitely may attempt to time your journey round one of the many annual festivals the town is thought for. The hottest by far is Koningsdag or “King’s Day,” a city-wide celebration held annually on the ruling monarch’s birthday.
While the date of the celebration modifications every time the Dutch Royal household appoints a brand new monarch, it’s presently celebrated on April twenty seventh, the birthdate of King Willem-Alexander. Up till he took the throne in 2013, it was referred to as Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day) and celebrated Queen Beatrix’s birthday on April thirtieth.
During the festivals, the quaint streets erupt into one large party with loads of reside music, festivals, and dancing! If you’re into music, you may contemplate visiting Amsterdam throughout Grachtenfestival or the “Canal Festival,” when tons of of musicians descend in town to carry out in historic venues, parks, and even in boats on the canals!
6. Epic City Energy
The Dutch capital has a sure vitality that’s laborious to clarify however addictive nonetheless. From fashionable coffee retailers and cafes to bustling hotspots like Dam Square, Amsterdam is a superb place for people-watching.
Make positive you take a look at Albert Cuyp Market, an enormous public market the place you’ll discover the whole lot from contemporary produce to Dutch street food. Or head all the way down to the Singel Canal the place you’ll discover Bloemenmarkt, the world’s solely floating flower market.
Whether you spend the day exploring the distinctive retailers you’ll discover within the metropolis middle or marveling at lovely structure, Amsterdam is a type of cities the place you’ll by no means get bored. If you want a break from the town, you may even contemplate testing Blijburg aan Zee, the town’s hottest city seashore.
See Related: Where to Stay in Amsterdam: Best Areas & Places
7. Day Trips from Amsterdam
Aside from being a lovely metropolis, Amsterdam can be a terrific gateway to loads of surrounding day journey locations. If you’re excited by setting out by yourself, you possibly can at all times rent a car (simply be sure you spend money on travel insurance first!) or catch a trip on a practice from Amsterdam Central Station.
You can even discover nice offers on local tours that can take you on hassle-free day journeys by the Dutch countryside. Tours like these will take you to cozy surrounding villages like Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam, and Marken the place you’ll see loads of windmills, fishing homes, and even cheese-making retailers.
The Dutch countryside can be residence to a number of distinctive historic websites like Castle Muiderslot, one of many Netherlands’ oldest and best-preserved castles! First constructed in 1285, the fort now serves as a museum that’s full of 700 years value of fascinating historical past.
8. Proximity to Other European Destinations
While you’ll discover loads of nice cultural experiences in Amsterdam, if you happen to’re feeling feisty, it’s additionally attainable to department out to different international locations throughout your journey. Due to the town’s top-notch location, it’s attainable to work in a day journey to locations like Brussels, Belgium, or Cologne, Germany, every of which you’ll be able to attain in below three hours by practice.
If you’re planning an extended journey, you may even contemplate hopping a practice to Paris for the weekend or taking a brief flight or Eurostar trip to London. Signing up for reasonable flight alerts from companies like Going.com isn’t a foul concept both, simply to see if something pops up throughout the dates you propose to journey.
See Related: Best Cities in Europe to Visit
9. Cycling Culture
Personally, I’m a sucker for a terrific bike-friendly city and Amsterdam actually suits the invoice. Given how small most of the metropolis streets are, tons of individuals repeatedly go for the town’s many bike lanes as a substitute.
You’ll haven’t any issues discovering a spot to rent a “fiet” (bike) within the metropolis, however simply just remember to truly use the bike lock that can nearly undoubtedly be included. Due to the truth that biking is so fashionable within the metropolis, bike theft is quite common.
For the identical motive, don’t be taken in if some dodgy-looking stranger provides you a terrific deal on a motorbike as you’re strolling down the road! Another nice choice is to take a look at a guided bike tour like this one, which can introduce you to the highest Amsterdam highlights.
There are additionally some cool electric bike tours out there – although I’ve by no means truly taken one myself, it’s on my to-do checklist as a result of they appear tremendous enjoyable. Whether you select to set out by yourself or in a gaggle, you’ll shortly uncover why biking in Amsterdam is the best way to go!
See Related: Tips for Riding a Bike in Amsterdam
10. Unbeatable Shopping Opportunities
Personally, I don’t contemplate it in any respect unreasonable to carry alongside an empty carry-on when visiting Amsterdam. You’ll be glad you probably did when it’s time to pack all of the treasures you picked up within the many nice retailers you’ll uncover all through the town!
There are a number of distinct neighborhoods in Amsterdam, every of which has its personal distinctive vibe – even in terms of purchasing. For occasion, De Negen Straatjes is a historic canal-lined neighborhood that’s residence to numerous hip boutiques and classic retailers.
If artwork and vintage retailers are your factor, look no additional than Spiegelkwartier, the place you’ll discover over 80 of them! When it involves luxurious, you’ll discover prime designer manufacturers from world wide on P.C. Hooftstraat, a road that’s type of just like the Amsterdam model of Rodeo Drive.
Amsterdam is filled with great shopping venues, it doesn’t matter what forms of retailers you’re excited by visiting! Even if you happen to aren’t on the hunt for something particularly, be ready to be pulled into the numerous fascinating retailers you’ll come throughout as you discover the town.
See Related: Best Markets in Amsterdam to Visit
11. The Amsterdam Nightlife Scene
While loads of adventurous vacationers do select to discover Amsterdam’s infamous purple mild district at evening, it’s truly not my suggestion if you wish to actually expertise the most effective of Amsterdam’s killer nightlife. If you’re seeking to escape the vacationer crowds, head all the way down to the Leidseplein space as a substitute.
Right round Leidseplein Square, you’ll discover loads of nice bars, golf equipment, and eating places that welcome a pleasant mix of vacationers and locals. Melweg and Paradiso are fashionable music ventures which can be surrounded by conventional Brown Cafes that are mainly native bars.
If you propose to go out on a nightly foundation, it’s not a foul concept to ebook an area resort just like the Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American. Not solely is it positioned proper within the middle of Leidseplein’s greatest golf equipment, but additionally close to fashionable daytime sights just like the Heineken Experience, Rijksmuseum, and several other different fashionable museums.
Rembrandtplein can be a well-liked nightlife destination and residential to fashionable golf equipment like Escape and Club Rain. No matter the place you find yourself, be sure you take the prospect to attempt some genuine Dutch jenever, the predecessor of gin and unofficial booze of the Netherlands.
Looking for a spot to remain within the space? Check out my private favourite resort in all of Amsterdam, a lovely little boutique resort referred to as The Noblemen.
12. The Tulips
Last however actually not least, there are the tulips of Keukenhof Gardens, maybe one of the crucial well-known sights in the entire Netherlands. Even if you happen to’ve by no means been to the Netherlands, you’ve possible seen images of the well-known tulip fields which are literally positioned in Lisse, about 40 km exterior of Amsterdam.
Every spring from March to May, the Keukenhof Gardens come alive with 7 million flowers in a variety of sensible colours. The second you step onto the grounds, you’ll have a tough time arguing with Keukenhof’s claims of boasting “probably the most lovely spring backyard on the planet.”
Even if you happen to don’t select to hire a automotive, you’ll haven’t any downside finding a bus to move you from the town and again. While the gardens are solely open throughout the spring if you happen to do end up in Amsterdam after they’re open, you undoubtedly gained’t remorse planning a visit!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some distinctive experiences in Amsterdam?
Aside from the same old tourist spots in Amsterdam, you’ll discover loads of distinctive retailers resembling Chocolátl, a next-level chocolate store, or The Otherist, a “cupboard of curiosities”. You may additionally contemplate reserving a room on the Hilton Amsterdam, the place John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their well-known “Bed-In for Peace” within the Sixties!
What are fashionable vacationer spots in Amsterdam?
Some of the preferred vacationer spots in Amsterdam embody the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Anne Frank House. Dam Square, can be residence to loads of nice attracts just like the Royal Palace, Madame Tussauds, and loads of native road markets.
What is the most effective time of 12 months to go to Amsterdam?
If you wish to see Amsterdam at its best, then contemplate visiting within the springtime when the flowers are in full bloom. That stated, the climate within the metropolis stays lovely all the best way into early fall so the one actual low season tends to be between November and March.
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