7x must do in Amsterdam
Congratulations and welcome to Amsterdam! You’ve set foot in our tiny, little country, and you’ve made our illustrious capital city your first stop. So, what’s next? Let yourself be guided by the following must do in Amsterdam list and we guarantee you’ll have a blast.
#1. Must do in Amsterdam: Rent a bike
Here in Amsterdam we like to bike, and so should you. It is by far the cheapest and most efficient means to get around other than walking. Traffic might freak you out at first, but it won’t be long before you’ll fall in love with the characteristic Dutch two-wheelers. Our hostels are a good starting place for your first authentic Dutch bike rental. Read more about riding a bike in our Cityguide blog.
2. Tour the canals
You don’t leave Amsterdam without having experienced a canal tour. Especially, given the fact there are more canals here than in Venice! It is breathtaking to discover the city with a canal cruise and wave at all the people who have to walk. This is what to do in Amsterdam if you want to enjoy the city from a unique perspective. There is a wide variety of options on boat tours, but you can buy canal cruise tickets at a reduced price in our hostels. Also, we will give you the utmost respect if you manage to correctly pronounce ‘grachten’ (canals in Dutch).
“It is beautiful to discover the city on this way, especially the night tours are amazing!” Cassie, 24, American, when asked what to do in Amsterdam
3. Museums, museums, museums
Alright, this part could well be a never-ending story, as Amsterdam has so much to offer in this respect. Internationally renowned museums, such as the Van Gogh museum, the classic Rijksmuseum, or its contemporary counterpart the Stedelijk Museum, are must-sees if you have a love for art. Then there is the gripping Anne Frank House, which lets you peek inside the life of a Jewish teenager in hiding during WWII. Visit the Tropical Museum to brush up on Dutch colonial history, or the Heineken Experience for a tour on one of the world’s most famous beer brands. For a full list of our favorite museums, please check our Cityguide blogs about Amsterdam museums!
4. Walk a park
Though a major city, Amsterdam has put a lot of effort into staying green. There are several parks to relax, stroll, and picnic in. The Vondelpark has always been a city favorite, joined by the Rembrandtpark and the lovely Sarphatipark, Throughout the year, several festivals are hosted in these parks as well, making our green spaces very multi-faceted.
5. Stroll the markets
Markets are a good starting point to get a sense of Amsterdam as a multicultural city. It is the perfect opportunity to taste, smell, and see everything that makes us Dutch. From warm stroopwafels (waffles with caramel syrup!) to Vietnamese egg rolls, salted herring to Surinam delicacies, and Gouda cheese to Turkish kebab. Go to the Albert Cuyp Market to stack up on souvenirs, the Dappermarkt for multicultural cuisine, the Waterlooplein Flea Market for bargains, and the Flower market for your tulips. Check out our full list of markets in Amsterdam in our Cityguide!
6. Shop ‘till you drop
If you want to treat yourself with a stylish set of clothes, or some fashionable accessories, you’ve come to the rightplace. Shopping in Amsterdam can be quite an experience. Right at the doorstep of our hostel Shelter Jordan you can find the so-called area of ‘Nine Streets’. It is a neighbourhood that breathes vintage and trendiness from every store. For more casual shopping you can go to the Kalverstraat, while the rich and famous spend their money on the P.C. Hooftstraat.
7. Visit a church
Whether it’s Sunday or not, whether you’re religious or not, churches are a place of wonder in every city. Even so in Amsterdam. The impressive Nieuwe Kerk on Dam Square has traditionally been the host of royal weddings and inaugurations. Admire the architecture of the Oude Kerk, or climb the characteristic tower of the Westerkerk. Don’t skip the Our Lord in the Attic church; a hidden gem near the Red Light District reminding the Protestant city of its Catholic past. Check out the full list of churches to visit in Amsterdam in our Cityguide!