Amsterdam is the Netherlands' capital, known for the narrow houses, cyclists and Golden Age canals. Amsterdam is a lively town packed with large museums, vintage and design boutiques and vibrant dining scene. Famous Amsterdam residents include the diarist Anne Frank, artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh, and philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

This is an updated version of my original travel guide written couple years ago.

Things to do and see

1. Museumplein
From museum about handbags, modern art to classics, Amsterdam have many museums to offer you the broad taste of modernity and history. The major museums are located in a location called Museumplein, here you can find for example Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Moco museum or Stedeljik museum. Alternatively, other museums are scattered around the city as well. Check prior online to book tickets and time slots, as these popular museums get quickly sold out on a day or you can skip the queue. In addition, if you are looking for more convenient option, check bundle deals.

2. Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to the Westerkerk. Anne Frank did not survive the war, bu in her wartime diary was published in 1947. The exhibition space will showcase her life, her hidi place and other historical perks. The Anne Frank House is 3rd most visited musuem in the Netherlands, after the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh musuem.

3. Dam Square
Dam Square is the largest and popular public square in the city center, occupied with a Royal palace and other notable buildings around where many events are happening on this square.

4. Heineken experience
Heineken is a pale lager bee with 5% alcohol and is produced by Dutch brewing company. If you are fan of beers and would like to go behind the scenes of brewing, visit Heineken experience.

5. Jordaan
Jordaan is a beautiful district not far from Dam square. It is trendy and full of independent boutiques and hip eateries. Explore this quarter with narrow canals and streets for jewellery, clothes, design, antiques and organic food. The 9 streets or Anne Frank House is not far away from this district.

6. Royal Palace Amsterdam
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Amsterdam is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which are at the disposal of the monarch by Act of Parliament. It is situated on the west side of Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam, opposite the War Memorial and next to the Nieuwe Kerk.
7. Nemo science museum
Interested in scienece? Then visit NEMO Science museum centre, located in the Oosterdokseiland neighbourhood. The museum was designed by Renzo Piano since 1997. You won't miss this spectacular building!

8.  Bloemenmarkt
Bloemenmarkt is a floating marketing sited in Amsterdam canals since 1862. Take a stroll here to buy some souvenirs, gifts, fresh flowers or bulbs for gardening. 

9. Canal cruise
Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, has more than one hundred kilometers of grachten (canals), about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. The three main canals (Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht), dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city, known as the Grachtengordel. Alongside the main canals are 1550 monumental buildings. The 17th-century canal ring area, including the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan, were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, contributing to Amsterdam's fame as the "Venice of the North. Find a canal cruise to take you around and get a chance to view the city from canals.

10. Eye film museum
A contemporary museum located on the other side from the Central Station, the Eye film museum has not only great views of the city from different angle, but also it holds many exhibitions about film.

11. A'DAM Lookout observatory
Looking for a place to admire the view of a city? Then get a ride on the other side from Central Station and visit A'DAM lookout observatory. Here you will find not only a bar, restaurant with a view but you can swing for the view. Got courage to take the highest swing over a city?

12. Damrak
Damrak is a main road from Central station down to Dam Square. This is a place for great canal pictures against old building, a place to catch a canal cruise and a place where all tourists will arrive.

13. Red light district
A district surrounded by the neon-lit red light, cannabis coffee shops and old-school bars. A district which you might have heard about already, and probably everything you have heard about might be true. 

14. Albert Cuyp Market
The Albert Cuyp Market is a street markt in the Oud-Zuid district. The street was named after Albert Cuyp, a painter from the 17th century. The market is the largest daytime market in Netherlands and you will find here everything from fresh vegetables, fruits, textile to leather or jewelleries. It is open everyday and closed on Sundays.

15. The nine street
Nine canal belt streets packed with vintage and designer boutiques and many cozy cafes. This picturesque canal district is great for weekend brunching or shopping.

16. Westergasfabriek market and Westerpark
This cultural venue is located in Westerpark. Apart from a casual scroll in a green space, you may find many pop-ups, events or restaurants and bars around here. A great place to get away from tourists and the central rush.

Food & drink

As like any big cities, Amsterdam offers diverse cuisine dining. From Pan-Asian, Mediterranean to tradition Dutch. Around the city you will be also to find endless number of coffee shops, cheese shops, bars, chips and pancake places. While in Netherlands, always try some of their local food. Such as dutch style pancakes, stroopwaffles, kroket, chips or variety of cheeses. Here is 10 recommended places by me, picked mixture of restaurants, coffee shops to a quick takeaway places. 
1. De Plantage
2. Dignita Hoftuin
3. Polaberry
4. Toki coffee shop
5. De Carrousel
6. Hummus bistro D&A
7. Manneken Pis
8. MaMa Kelly Amsterdam
9. Local goods market
10. Coffee sometime
11. Pancakes Amsterdam
12. Restaurant Moeders

Where to stay?

Amsterdam may be pricey in finding a suitable accommodation. However, whether you are staying close to the city center or a bit further, Amsterdam is well connected by public transport and is also easily walkable everywhere if in the city center. From museum quarter in the south of the city to the main Central Station can take you around half an hour by walk only. I assume that as the city is fairly small and the population is fairly high, there is big demand of tourists and hospitality. 

Hence, make sure to book in advance and search for alternatives. Such as Airbnb or hotel. During our latest weekend stay in Amsterdam, we have opt in for Courtyard by Marriott which was about 20 min by train from Central Station. The location was perfect, as we had a concert hall or shopping mall nearby. Make sure to use my links in here to get some ££ off your first booking!        

How to get around

Public transport in Amsterdam is not the cheapest. Hence if you are staying close to the city center, it will safe you money from public transport costs as well as you will be able to see more on the foot.
However, Amsterdam is well linked by trains, metros and trams. Alternatively, cycling is very popular way of getting around for locals. 

One way ticket for metros, trams and buses is about €3.20, where as buying a full day, or multiple days will cost you less if you are planning to use public transport frequently. You can get from 1 to 7 day ticket at the price of €8 to €36.50. 

Places around Amsterdam

If you are looking for more scenery of Netherlands, get a train from Central Station or a bus from bus central stations and explore the surroundings. Seek for more traditional landscape of Netherlands, like how you would imagine it. From traditional buildings, tulip fields, villages to windmills. Below is some suggestions of nearby places where you can travel to for a day. I have already visited Zaandam and Utrecht and these places totally felt different from Amsterdam!
1. Weesp (16 min away by train)
2. Volendam (26 min away by bus)
3. Muiden (36 min away by bus)
4. Haarlem (16 min away by train)
5. Leiden (37 min away by bus)
6. Zaanse Schans (35 min away by bus)
7. Utrecht (23 min away by train)
8. The Hague (40 min away by bus)
9. Giethoorn (2h away by bus)
10. Rotterdam (36min away by bus)


As seen on Instagram

Amsterdam Travel Vlog


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