Things to Do in Amsterdam: Discover the Best Places to Visit

Nastya Dulhiier, Unsplash
October 22
Written by Elena Kostas

Discover the best places to visit in Amsterdam. Find out what to do in the capital of the Netherlands and experience its unique charm.

Nothing beats the experience of meandering around the alluring city streets of Amsterdam. Among the European landscapes, the united charm of history, culture and vibrant urban life in Amsterdam is second to none. If you ever think about what to see in Amsterdam, imagine beautiful canals graced by cherry blossom trees, or streets resonating with the rhythm of a lively café culture.

Planning your holiday can be daunting but our Amsterdam guide does the work for you. With vivid tulip fields that add on to its magic, Amsterdam reserves a myriad of surprises. So if you're looking for amazing things to do in Amsterdam, this city won't disappoint you!

Forget about the clichéd touristic trails and get ready to explore the less acknowledged but exclamative places to visit in Amsterdam. Pack your bags and immerse yourself in the unparalleled Dutch charm that awaits you!

1. Anne Frank House

Museums and Art Galleries
a black police box
Anne Frank House / Matt Pictures, Unsplash

The Anne Frank House, located in the heart of Amsterdam, is one of the city's most visited attractions. It is here that Anne Frank, a Jewish girl, hid with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II.

A tour of the Anne Frank House allows you to step into the daily life of Anne and her family while they were in hiding. You can see Anne's famous diary and other personal belongings that tell her story and the story of millions of people affected by the Holocaust.

Visiting the Anne Frank House is a moving and educational experience that allows you to reflect on the horrors of war and the importance of tolerance and respect for all people. Don't miss this must-visit attraction when you're in Amsterdam.

2. Van Gogh Museum

Museums and Art Galleries
a person standing in a museum looking at paintings
Van Gogh Museum / Winston Tjia, Unsplash

Discover a gem of art in Amsterdam: the Van Gogh Museum. This museum, located in the heart of the city, houses the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh's works in the world. Here you will have the opportunity to closely admire his famous self-portraits, as well as his landscapes and still lifes.

Immerse yourself in the life of one of the most important artists in history. The Van Gogh Museum will take you on a journey through the life and work of the post-impressionism genius. You will be able to learn about his influences, techniques, and impact on art history.

A visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a must for art and culture lovers. Don't miss the opportunity to explore Van Gogh's masterpieces in a modern and welcoming environment. Additionally, you can learn more about other contemporary artists and participate in various interactive activities.

3. Rijksmuseum

Museums and Art Galleries
people walking in the park near the Brown building during the day
Rijksmuseum / Frans Ruiter, Unsplash

Rijksmuseum, a gem in Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum is one of the most prominent museums in Amsterdam and a must-visit for art lovers. Housed in an impressive 19th-century building, it showcases a vast collection of paintings and antiquities that reflect the rich history and culture of the Netherlands.

A collection of masterpieces

At the Rijksmuseum, you'll have the chance to admire masterpieces by renowned Dutch artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh. Marvel at Rembrandt's famous 'Night Watch', the delicacy of Vermeer's 'Girl with a Pearl Earring', and immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of Van Gogh's sunflowers.

Immerse yourself in Dutch history

In addition to its exceptional art collection, the Rijksmuseum also offers a fascinating insight into the history of the Netherlands. Discover historical objects, antique furniture, and jewels that tell the story of this small yet influential country.

4. Canal Ring of Amsterdam

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a canal with boats and cars
Canal Ring of Amsterdam / Kateryna Melnyk, Unsplash

The Canal Ring of Amsterdam is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Europe. Known as the 'Venice of the North', this impressive network of interconnected canals is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located in the heart of the city, the Canal Ring is a must-visit for any trip to Amsterdam.

With its iconic bridges and beautiful Dutch-style buildings, the Canal Ring offers a unique panoramic view. Bike along its banks, enjoy a relaxing boat ride, or simply sit at one of the canal-side cafes to soak in the relaxed and charming atmosphere.

In addition, the Canal Ring is surrounded by tourist attractions and historic landmarks, such as the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum. Don't miss the opportunity to explore this picturesque and fascinating neighborhood during your visit to Amsterdam.

5. Dam Square

Historical Monuments and Architecture
people walking on the sidewalk near a brown concrete building during the day
Dam Square / Wynand van Poortvliet, Unsplash

Dam Square is one of the most iconic places in Amsterdam. Located in the heart of the city, this historic square is an important cultural and social center. Surrounded by impressive buildings such as the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk, and the National Monument, Dam Square offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors.

In Dam Square, you will find a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes, where you can enjoy delicious local food and do some shopping. Moreover, the square is a popular meeting point for events and demonstrations. You can't miss the opportunity to wander through its cobblestone streets and soak up the unique atmosphere it offers.

If you're looking for things to do in Amsterdam, you must visit Dam Square. This historic site will immerse you in the city's rich history and culture, providing you with an unforgettable experience.

6. Jordaan Amsterdam

History and Cultural Heritage
a bicycle parked next to a house with potted plants
Jordaan Amsterdam / Peyman Shojaei, Unsplash

The beauty of Jordaan in Amsterdam

Known as one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Amsterdam, Jordaan is famous for its narrow cobblestone streets, winding canals, and historic houses. This charming neighborhood will transport you back in time, with its traditional architecture, cozy cafes, and unique bohemian atmosphere.

Exploring Jordaan

While exploring Jordaan, you'll discover beautiful old houses with period facades, many of which have been converted into art galleries, antique shops, and charming cafes. Take a stroll through the streets and uncover hidden courtyards filled with flowers and bicycles.

Cultural life and local charm

Jordaan is bursting with cultural life, with a plethora of artist studios, galleries, and unique shops. It also hosts many cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Additionally, you can enjoy the wide variety of bars, restaurants, and cafes where you can savor delicious Dutch and international cuisine.

7. Heineken Experience

Entertainment and Pop Culture$$$
green LED light near bottles
Heineken Experience / Ameer Basheer, Unsplash

The Heineken Experience is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Amsterdam.

In this interactive tour, you will learn about the process of brewing Heineken beer, from its ingredients to bottling.

You can also enjoy beer tastings and learn more about the history and beer culture of the Netherlands.

8. Royal Palace of Amsterdam

Historical Monuments and Architecture$$$
brown concrete building under blue sky during daytime
Royal Palace of Amsterdam / Marcos Pena Jr, Unsplash

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam, also known as Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam, is an impressive historical building located in Dam Square in Amsterdam. Built in the 17th century as a governmental seat, it is now one of the city's most treasured landmarks.

This tourist attraction amazes with its classical architecture and rich history. As you walk through its opulent halls, you'll be able to admire magnificent works of art and luxurious interiors that will transport you to Amsterdam's golden age.

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is one of the city's most iconic places and is a must-visit for all tourists. Don't miss the chance to explore this magnificent building and discover its incredible history and architectural beauty.

9. Stedelijk Museum

Museums and Art Galleries
man wearing black jacket
Stedelijk Museum / Mario Gogh, Unsplash

The Stedelijk Museum is one of the main tourist attractions in Amsterdam. Located in the museum district, this museum of modern and contemporary art features an extensive collection ranging from the 20th century to the present day. Immerse yourself in the world of art and admire works by famous artists such as Van Gogh, Mondrian, and Warhol.

The museum offers a wide variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions, allowing you to explore different artistic movements and styles. Additionally, it has a specialized library and a gift shop where you can find magnificent art books and unique souvenirs.

If you are a lover of contemporary art, the Stedelijk Museum is a must-visit in Amsterdam. Don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty and creativity of visual arts in this impressive museum.

10. Amsterdam Museum

Museums and Art Galleries

The Amsterdam Museum is a must-visit for history and culture enthusiasts. Located in the heart of the city, this museum offers a fascinating insight into Amsterdam's history and evolution over the centuries.

At the Amsterdam Museum, you can explore a wide range of exhibitions that cover everything from medieval times to the present day. You'll discover the story of the city, from its founding to its thriving present as one of Europe's most vibrant capitals.

In addition to permanent exhibitions, the museum features temporary displays that provide deeper insight into specific themes of Amsterdam's history and culture. You can also admire an impressive art collection that includes paintings, sculptures, and historical artifacts.

11. Oude Kerk

Historical Monuments and Architecture

The Oude Kerk, or Old Church, is one of the main tourist attractions in Amsterdam. This ancient Gothic church, located in the famous Red Light District, is a true historical treasure.

Built in the 13th century, the Oude Kerk has witnessed crucial events in the history of the city, from medieval times to the present day.

Admire its impressive Gothic architecture, beautiful stained glass windows, and serene, sacred atmosphere. Visiting the Oude Kerk is a unique experience for history and culture lovers.

12. NEMO Science Museum

Museums and Art Galleries

Experience science interactively: At NEMO Science Museum, you can experience and discover scientific principles firsthand through interactive and innovative exhibitions. From physics to biology, you will find sections dedicated to various areas of study.

Activities for all ages: Both children and adults will find interesting and educational activities to enjoy. From building bridges and buildings to space exploration, there's something for every visitor in this incredible science museum.

An unforgettable experience: NEMO Science Museum offers a unique and fun experience for science enthusiasts. With interactive displays, hands-on workshops, and live demonstrations, we guarantee you'll have an exciting and educational day.

13. Rembrandt House Museum

Museums and Art Galleries$$$

Rembrandt House Museum is a must-visit for art lovers in Amsterdam. Located in the Jodenbuurt district, this historic house-museum will transport you back to the 17th century, the golden age of Dutch art.

The museum is situated in the very house where Rembrandt lived for almost 20 years. You can explore the rooms where he painted his masterpieces, as well as his studio and the workshop where he taught his students.

In the museum's galleries, you will find an impressive collection of paintings, drawings, and etchings by Rembrandt and other artists of the time. Don't miss the artist's self-portraits, where you can see his evolution throughout the years.

14. Begijnhof

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Begijnhof is a magical and peaceful place that transports you to another time. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, this former convent is home to red-brick houses dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. A walk through its cobblestone streets makes you feel like you're in a fairy tale.

In addition to its charming surroundings, Begijnhof hides an architectural gem: the St. John's Church. Even if you're not religious, you can't help but marvel at its beautiful facade and impressive interior.

If you're looking for a quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, Begijnhof is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of Amsterdam. Take a stroll through its gardens, discover its hidden corners, and soak in the serenity this beautiful corner of the city offers.

15. Albert Cuyp Market

Food and Markets$$$

Albert Cuyp Market is one of the must-see things to do in Amsterdam. This open-air market is famous for its incredible variety of fresh food, from cheeses and sausages to freshly baked bread and fish. You will also find a wide selection of clothing, accessories, and souvenirs to take home a memento of your visit to the city.

In addition to enjoying delicious food and finding unique products, strolling through Albert Cuyp Market is a cultural experience in itself. Immerse yourself in the lively Dutch atmosphere as you interact with local vendors and discover the authentic life of the city.

If you're looking for an authentic experience in Amsterdam, don't miss Albert Cuyp Market. Come and explore and be amazed by its incredible atmosphere and offerings!

16. Amsterdam Dungeon

Entertainment and Pop Culture

The Amsterdam Dungeon, located in the heart of the city, is one of the most popular places for lovers of terror and history. In this thrilling tour, visitors will witness theatrical performances, special effects, and live actors that will transport them to the city's dark past. A unique and chilling experience you can't miss.

The tour of the Amsterdam Dungeon is divided into different performances, each focused on a specific historical period. From the Middle Ages to the golden age of trade, you will discover the city's best-kept secrets. Get ready to come face to face with historical characters such as witches, pirates, and serial killers. A chilling journey through the history of Amsterdam.

If you enjoy thrills and want to discover the darker side of Amsterdam, you must visit the Amsterdam Dungeon. A place where the past comes to life and where you'll discover a new perspective on the city's history.

17. ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo

Entertainment and Pop Culture$$$

Things to do in Amsterdam

Experience a unique adventure at ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo. This famous zoo features a wide variety of animals from all corners of the world. Marvel at elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, monkeys, penguins, and more.

In addition to the wildlife, ARTIS also offers the opportunity to explore its stunning botanical gardens. Enjoy a relaxing walk surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers while learning about nature conservation.

Don't miss the chance to visit ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo. It's a perfect plan for the whole family!

18. Vondelpark

Natural Spaces and Parks

Vondelpark in Amsterdam offers you the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful and extensive park in the midst of the bustling city. It is the perfect place to escape the daily hustle and bustle and relax surrounded by nature.

The park features winding paths that will lead you through forests and open areas, where you can enjoy pleasant bike rides or walks. You will also find several lakes and ponds where you can see ducks and swans swimming. It is a peaceful and relaxing experience.

The gardens of Vondelpark are known for their impressive landscaping and beautiful flowers. You can spend hours exploring the different gardens and discovering hidden corners. During spring, the park comes alive with the blooming of tulips and other species. Don't forget your camera!

19. Museum of Bags and Purses Amsterdam

Museums and Art Galleries

The Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam is a unique place that combines fashion, history, and art in one experience. Located in a charming 17th-century building in the heart of the city, this museum invites you to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of bags and purses throughout the centuries.

The museum's collection features over 5,000 bags and purses, from historical pieces to contemporary creations by famous designers. You'll be able to admire iconic designs, discover the craftsmanship techniques used in their production, and learn about the evolution of fashion through these essential accessories.

Alongside the permanent exhibitions, the museum also presents temporary displays that explore different aspects of fashion and design. It also offers interactive workshops and educational activities for both children and adults, providing a comprehensive and enriching experience for all visitors.

20. De Wallen

History and Cultural Heritage

De Wallen is one of the most visited places in Amsterdam. Known as the red-light district, it is famous for its illuminated windows where prostitutes offer their services. However, De Wallen goes beyond its reputation and is a place full of history, art, and entertainment.

Walking through its narrow alleys, you can admire its traditional architecture and the famous canals. Additionally, you will find numerous bars, restaurants, and cafés, where you can enjoy the lively nightlife that this neighborhood offers.

You cannot miss a visit to De Wallen if you are in Amsterdam. It is a unique experience that combines the city's historical atmosphere with modernity and fun.