Amsterdam is known for its beautiful canals, 165 to be exact, and bicycles with an estimated 847,000 of them! I have been to Holland multiple times and like most people, fell in love with the place. Here is my little list of things to do in and around Amsterdam.
Things to do
Museums– This city is full of famous museums that are definitely worth visiting.
- Rijksmuseum is a national art museum holding over 8,000 pieces, that illustrate the history of The Netherlands from the Middle Ages to the present day.
- Van Gogh Museum is a popular choice, this holds the largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s work, displaying over 200 paintings, drawing and letters.
- NEMO science museum, for the more curious people, this is the largest science museum in Amsterdam.
- Anne Franks House, a personal favourite. This incredible museum takes you through Anne’s story and the annexe where she and her family hid for two years during the Second World War.
Haarlem– This medieval city just outside Amsterdam, has been voted the Netherlands best-shopping destinations on multiple occasions. History- rich, wonderful architecture and a photographers dream, this city is definitely worth a trip. By train, it only takes around 20 minutes to get to Haarlem from Amsterdam.
Canal Cruise– With all it’s famous canals, it is only appropriate to go on a canal cruise! There are plenty to choose from so there will definitely be one that offers what you’re looking for. Whether it be an hour-long cruise, highlighting some facts of the city or a romantic sunset cruise, with prosecco and stories of love (yup, that actually is an option!)
Hire a bike– The most popular way to get around Amsterdam is by bike. There are bike rentals all over the city, it won’t be hard to find one. Amsterdam is adapted for cyclists, there are bike lanes everywhere and people are very aware of cyclists (definitely can’t be said for England!) however, it is important that you also remain aware of your surroundings. Remain in your lane and don’t get stuck in tramlines!
Botanical Gardens– Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. Originally founded in 1638 to serve as a herb garden for the city’s doctors and pharmacists. Although it is rather small, the greenhouses are beautiful and I still managed to spend a good few hours here.
Coffeeshops– I am not talking about your morning caffeine. It won’t take long to see a coffeeshop or smell one. It is common for most people to try them out, but always be sensible. They are known to be pretty hardcore, so don’t go too crazy on your first day. It is also worth noting, that there is a lot more to do in Amsterdam than smoking, so don’t waste all your time high!
Red Light District– It isn’t just canals and bicycles that Amsterdam is known for! The red neon lights, highlight around 300 windows where women are working. However, there is more than just working women down these streets, you can also visit sex shops, prostitution museum, or attend a strip club.
It is illegal to take pictures or videos of the women working the windows.
Enjoy a stroopwafel- My absolute favourite sweet treat in Amsterdam. Two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of syrup. Paired with your favourite hot drink, match made in heaven!
See some Tulips- The national flower of the Netherlands is found everywhere and a must-see. However, Keukenhof is the best place to see them! Around a 30 minute drive from Amsterdam (you can also get the bus) this place is a sight to be seen. Around 800 varieties of tulips are in the 32 hectares.
Only open between 21st March to the 10th of May.
Windmills- These used to be everywhere in the Netherlands, there was once 10,000 spread across the country, now there is only around 1,000 still standing. The Zaanse Schans town close to Amsterdam is known for its historic windmills. By bus, it takes around 40 minutes from Amsterdam and is a popular day trip.
Amsterdam’s Ice bar- Said to be the ‘coolest’ bar in the city… get it?😉 This bar is kept at -10 degrees, and everything, including the glasses, is made out of ice. Your ticket pays for entry and a thermal coat so you don’t have to bring you ski kit to Amsterdam!
Visit the Catboat– For all the kitty lovers! A houseboat has been turned into an animal shelter for cats, completely run by volunteers, this is a lovely way for animal lovers to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and chill with some kitties! It is free to enter, but you should try to donate what you can to help keep the animals warm, dry and fed!
Amsterdam has a city card that gives you entry into museums and the use of public transport. It may be worth looking into if you’re planning on doing lots of attractions.
The Netherlands is a beautiful country and Amsterdam is a city that can be enjoyed any time of year. I have wrote another blog post with 4 Christmas markets you should visit in Amsterdam, make sure you give that a read too! If there are any places that you have particularly enjoyed in Amsterdam, I would love to hear about them!
Thanks for reading!
Travels of Eden