Coming to Amsterdam, you’re thinking coffee shops, canals, and picturesque bridges. Amsterdam is so much more than that. Home to centuries of Dutch art, tulips, and fine dining, Amsterdam has something for everybody. So here are some of the best things to do in Amsterdam. Let’s go!
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Popular itinerary in Netherlands:
Amsterdam Art Museums
Culture is a major thing in the historical capital of The Netherlands. From the Dutch Masters to the Flower Market, to the more kinky museums, here are some suggestions:
De Rijks Museum – The Dutch National Museum that focuses mostly around art and the golden age of Dutch artists. This magnificent historical building opened in 2015 after a ten year renovation and is a must for all art and history enthusiasts. Don’t miss Rembrandt’s “Night Watch.” Want more art? Try the Western European branch of the famous Hermitage – the Hermitage on the Amstel, situated in a renovated historical building.Also consider going to Rembrandt’s House to see where the famous painter spend his nights, between one masterpiece to another.
Local Tip: if you plan multiple museums, buy yourself a museum card. It grants access to all museums and you get to skip most of the queues as well. Also, consider buying tickets online for some of the Amsterdam art museums.
Amsterdam with Kids – (or you like building and breaking stuff?)
Go visit Nemo, the interactive science museum, that is designed like a drowning ship in the harbor of Amsterdam. You can also visit Artis Royal Zoo for more fun with the young ones! The Zoo has an impressive aquarium, open areas where animals roam around, and even a huge section dedicated to insects! There is no shortage of things to do in Amsterdam with kids.
Amsterdam Food and Drink:
Tired of art? Then what better the way to continue your cultural experience with The most famous cocktail experience in The Netherlands. Take a swig of Dutch beer at the legendary Heineken brewery turned interactive museum.
Generally speaking, it’s always a good idea to hang about De Leisdseplein, one of the main going out areas in the city. While most people will tell you this is an uber touristic area, you can find a few gems worth visiting in the area with classic Amsterdam food and drink.
Cafe de Klos – A known Dutch institute in Amsterdam which has been serving the same wondrous smoked ribs without change since the 1970`s. If you want to get in without waiting for two hours, try coming after 21:00 and in small groups. Alternatively, you can get drunk at the pub across the street on some fine local Amsterdam beers, and they’ll call you when your table is ready.
Tired after a long day of walking? Need to put your legs up and have a shot or 1400 of Whisky? Then head over to Cafe L&B which has, at the last count, 1,401 types of whisky. The place opens up at 20:00 and fills up quickly, so get there on time. Favorite local game: try to tackle the bartender to find the most obscure bottle on the menu (hint: you’ll lose, every time).
For some local atmosphere head over to Cafe Stevens , at the Nieuemarkt square, where after having a nice dinner with the locals, you can walk over to the Red Light District or to Chinatown, both in walking distance.
Smoked Meats & Craft Beer are the slogan of Brau Bar, and this small special pub does only that. Special beers (many of them by local microbreweries) and homemade smoked meats. Great atmosphere and cool staff.
An evening with live jazz and a fabulous host? We got you covered with De Pompstation, an old water pumping station converted to an outstanding restaurant with live music every night, tons of good food and a great experience overall.
For a bit fancier dinner, try the brasserie at the Conservatorium Hotel .
Out for a night of cocktails? Try the Sky Lounge of the Hilton next to the Amsterdam central station. The mesmerizing view and the snazzy cocktails, would sure to keep you occupied.
One last local institution – Cafe Lange Leo, where you will be served by the legendary owner and barman tall Leo (hence the name of the place, “Long Leo”). This is a typical Dutch “Brown Bar” (made all from brown wood) that serves quality beers and whisky, and the locals have their own whisky locker where they can store they favorite bottles.
What to do in Amsterdam at night?
Amsterdam has a lively music scene. If it is the big names you’re looking for, make sure to check the brand new Ziggo Dome, the Heineken Music Hall or for the really big concerts – Ajax Arena. For more fringe and special music be sure to check De Melkweg and Paradiso. If it is Jazz you like, you can catch a show every night at the cozy Bimhuis and if it is classic music you’re looking for, check the magnificent Concertgebouw
Don’t forget to use our great and simple Amsterdam trip planner to organize your perfect European vacation!