Amsterdam is one of the world’s most liberal and progressive cities, offering a variety of fascinating experiences for every kind of traveler.
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Lovers of history can appreciate the world-class museums and historic buildings, while art enthusiasts will have the world’s largest van Gogh collection at their fingertips, and those looking for a party will have some of the best nightlife on the planet at their doorstep. The city is also home to phenomenal scenery, thrilling festivals, and an eclectic food and drink scene. There are several unforgettable things to do while in Amsterdam. Keep reading to find out what they are!
10 Party On Kingsday
It’s always a good time to be in Amsterdam, but if you really want to experience the best of the Dutch capital, then make sure you’re in town on Kingsday. Perhaps the most celebrated day on the local calendar, Kingsday takes place on April 27, which is the birthday of the Dutch King.
Kingsday is essentially one huge party. There will be festivities all over the city, with music, drinks, foods, and markets where you can buy just about everything you want. And as Hello Amsterdam points out, you’ll notice that everyone is dressed in orange to celebrate.
9 Check Out The World’s Only Floating Flower Market
The tulip being a classic part of Dutch culture, so many people travel to the Netherlands purely to see the sea of flowers on offer. There are many places throughout the country to witness the beauty of tulips and other flowers, but in Amsterdam, you want to go to the Bloemenmarkt. This is the world’s only floating flower market.
Here you’ll be able to buy your own tulips and bulbs, though you might not be able to take them home through customs. Even if you don’t buy anything, strolling through the market just to browse is an unforgettable experience.
8 Visit A Famous Brown Café
While you’re in the Amsterdam, be sure to check out a Brown Café, or bruin café. These Dutch pubs are very traditional and are often found tucked away in side streets and in buildings dating back two or three hundred years.
It’s hard not to notice the smoke stains on the walls of these pubs, which The Culture Trip explains is how they earned their name. Many patrons find the interior to be cozy and intimate, perfect for spending the afternoon chatting with friends. They’re also ideal for sampling some authentic Dutch fare.
7 Ride A Bike Through The Idyllic City Streets
You can’t go to Amsterdam and not hop on a bicycle at least once. Famous around the world for its cycling culture, the city is home to no less than 800,000 bicycles, according to I Am Amsterdam. You’ll see designated bike lanes in red bricks throughout the city, and if you value your life, you will not step into these as a pedestrian.
Amsterdam is a pretty city no matter how you choose to explore it, but there’s something especially idyllic about roaming around the picturesque streets on a rented bicycle. Make like the Dutch and ride your way through one of Europe’s most stunning cities.
6 Indulge In Authentic Dutch Comfort Food
In a progressive city like Amsterdam, you can get just about any kind of food you want. Whether you’re in the mood for Asian cuisines, Italian food, or international fast-food chains, you’ll be able to satisfy your cravings while in Amsterdam. But we recommend indulging in traditional Dutch food during your visit—you won’t regret it.
Dutch food is typically comforting, rich, and irresistible. Sample favorites like split pea soup and mashed potatoes, in addition to herring purchased from street vendors and delicious local cheeses. You’ll also find that pancakes and waffles are consumed in abundance in Amsterdam.
5 Enjoy The Famed Nightlife
In addition to its historic buildings and its phenomenal scenery, Amsterdam is famous around the world for its nightlife. The top five DJs in the world hail from the Netherlands, according to Hello Amsterdam, so it should come as no surprise that the nightlife is absolutely exceptional.
It doesn’t matter where you prefer to lose yourself on a pulsing dancefloor or sip a drink at a chilled-out bar—the city is home to every kind of establishment that you could want. Plan for some late morning starts on your trip because you’ll probably be up to all hours at least once!
4 Be Mesmerized At The Van Gogh Museum
The first thing that art enthusiasts should do while visiting Amsterdam is head straight to the van Gogh Museum. Containing more than 200 paintings from every period of the famous artist’s successful career, the museum is a must for anyone who appreciates art or anyone who simply wants to be wowed.
The museum houses the largest collection of works by van Gogh in the world, but they also organize exhibitions throughout the air. Check ahead on the website to find out what you can expect to see during your visit.
3 Pay A Visit To The Anne Frank House
Whether you’re a certified history buff or not, you should book in a visit to the Anne Frank House during your trip to Amsterdam. The museum offers the perfect chance for reflection on the horrendous acts committed during the Second World War.
Behind the museum, you’ll find the original and preserved annex where the world’s most famous diarist hid from the Nazis with her family for just over two years in the 1940s. Secure your tickets online to avoid lengthy queues, and prepare for a truly meaningful experience.
2 Have A Picnic In Vondelpark
Just in case Amsterdam wasn’t beautiful enough with its historic architecture and heavenly canals, it is also home to the serene Vondelpark in the city center. The grassland boasts trails you can walk around peaceful ponds, a rose garden, and even a Picasso sculpture. Inside the park, you’ll also come across buskers and other entertainers, as well as a variety of cafes and bars.
Enjoy the tranquility by packing a picnic and spending the afternoon lazing on the lawn. There’s also an open-air theatre that puts on comedy, cabaret, and jazz shows during the warmer weather.
1 Cruise Along The Canals
If there’s one thing you must do while in Amsterdam, it’s taking a cruise along the canals. When you take a guided boat tour, you’ll not only get to take in the beautiful sights around you, but you’ll also learn endless facts about the history of the city.
There are hop on and off canal tours available, allowing you to stop where you like and proceed with the tour when it’s convenient for you. There’s also the romantic candlelit cruises after nightfall if you’re visiting the city with a special someone.