Top 5 Things to Do in Amsterdam
Updated: Jul 31
Amsterdam certainly qualifies as one of the most intriguing places to visit in Europe with its rich history, artistic legacy, and intricate canal system. While there are plenty of activities to experience in this historic city, I thought it might help to narrow down my sizeable list. Here are my top five things to do:
1. Take a picturesque canal ride
When choosing the perfect canal cruise, select one that offers live narration with a knowledgeable guide. (There are canal cruise companies that pipe in pre-recorded information over speakers on the boat.) The tour guide and crew will escort you through the city’s legendary canals allowing opportunities to view historic architecture, colorful neighborhoods, and delightful houseboats. If time allows, consider taking the tour twice. The first cruise during daylight hours and the second cruise after dark. The atmosphere along the canals in the evening is extraordinary.
2. Visit one of the world’s most famous gardens – Keukenhof Holland
Take a short ride out of Amsterdam to Keukenhof and walk through gardens filled with hyacinth, daffodils, allium, and tulips. The Keukenhof boasts seven million spring-flowering bulbs planted yearly! While the park is only open to the public during the spring (typically March – May), it is simply a “must do” if you happen to visit during that period of time.
A variety of activities are available within the park to help visitors enjoy the flowers in all their glory. Consider cycling around the park or board an electrically-propelled whisper boat and ride through the canals surrounded by the flower-filled fields.
3. Visit several of the art or history museums. They are simply sensational!
Don’t miss an opportunity to visit the Rijksmuseum or Stedelijk Museum. View paintings by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, or other world-renowned artists. Visit the Anne Frank House and view the secret annex where Anne hid during World War II. Often, tickets to Anne Frank House are sold out well in advance. Helpful tip: To ensure you don’t miss out, purchase tickets in advance. VIP Tip: Contact me to book a private tour. No standing in line and early access to this thought-provoking museum.
4. Grab some frites, stroopwafels, and Dutch cheese!
There is no shortage of unique and tasty food in Amsterdam. One of my favorite street food treats are frites. In the United States, we call them fries. The Dutch call them frites. The best frites are served hot and crispy with various sauces from mayo to Joppie sauce, a Dutch specialty. Stroopwafels made with a delicate dough filled with a sweet caramel sauce are placed on a hot waffle iron. Talk about delicious! And finally, don’t miss a chance to visit one of the many cheese shops. Not only will you learn nifty facts about Dutch cheeses, but you will also gain a new appreciation for the cheese-making processes. Cheese shops offer generous sample sizes to shoppers and I’m sure you will find several new favorite flavors! Leave room in the suitcase to take some home or even better – purchase gift boxes and ship them to loved ones.
5. Rent a bicycle
Want to explore the city like a local? Rent a cool bicycle and ride in style. Pedal around Vondelpark and enjoy the beautiful rose garden, ride along the waterfront to view the beautiful architecture or the red light district with its varied entertainment and restaurants. Perhaps a private bike tour is more your style? Sign up for an excursion that includes a guide, lunch, and incredible routes introducing you to the city as well as the countryside. Cycle rides in the countryside are wonderful!
RLX Travel Group would be honored to help you plan your next vacation. Would you appreciate some additional suggestions on what to see or do in Amsterdam? We can help! Simply contact us with your request.