Coming to Amsterdam for only a few days and want to know what the highlights and the must-do activities are? The beautiful, unique parks, the outstanding museums and the charming canal belt are all for you to explore. The capital of the Netherlands is a unique city in many ways – from its distinctive architecture to the liberal laws on drugs and prostitution. With under a million inhabitants, Amsterdam is a relatively small city, compared to other European capitals. We’ll provide you with the best tips to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
Visit the top museums of the city
In Amsterdam, you’ll find enough museums to spend an entire week wandering through, but in case you only have a few days in the city, we selected the top three museums that you really can’t miss out on. Even if you’re usually not a museum enthusiast, Amsterdam has so many options that you will most likely find at least one that interests you. You can reach most of the most popular museums within a few minutes from our hotel.
The Rijksmuseum could not be left off such a list. It is home to some of the world’s most famous artworks, including The Night Watch by Rembrandt. Art lovers can spend hours wandering through countless artefacts and exhibitions. The castle-like building is home to works from world notable Dutch painters such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen and many more. Just next to Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh museum is dedicated to the life of Vincent van Gogh, one of the most prominent painters The Netherlands has ever seen. Praise the world’s biggest collection of artworks by this eccentric artist. Learn about his life, his inspirations, and how he became one of the symbols of Amsterdam he is today. And our tip? When you are done with the museums, make sure you grab a snack on the Museum square. Of course, the Anne Frank House, the actual building where Anne Frank wrote her world-famous diary while hiding from the Nazis, is also a must-visit. The diary of Anne Frank tells the story of the horrors of WWII through the eyes of a young Jewish girl – a compelling but very tragic story worth getting to know.
For the beer or cocktail lovers
If you want to get to know the Amsterdam alcohol scene besides just drinking in the pub, here are some interesting suggestions to learn about the history and not only experience the taste.
Visit Heineken Experience, the former brewery where it all started for this distinguished brand. At this museum dedicated to Heineken, you’ll find out how it grew from a small brewery distributing with a horse and carriage into a world-famous beer brand sold in almost 200 countries. It’s not your ordinary museum, as beer-tasting is just one of the interactive elements included in the tour. The House of Bols is a unique museum experience in Amsterdam that educates you on the history of liqueurs and spirits and also lets you be a part of the experience. This award-winning cocktail & genever participation is the perfect combination of heritage and history in a modern and tastefully designed environment.
Things to do in Amsterdam with kids
Travelling with kids? There’s more than enough fun activities to do! A canal cruise, for example, is a great adventure for the whole family. Catch your boat from Waterlooplein (500 meters away from our hotel) and watch the city, the beautiful bridges and canals while hearing the story of Amsterdam from the water.
Make sure not to miss out on the Nemo Science Centre. It’s the most interactive and educational museum, where your kids can enjoy the experience of a museum where they do get to touch everything. Another highlight is the Artis Amsterdam Zoo. Habitats include African savanna and tropical rainforest, where visitors can see reptiles, lions, jaguars, elephants, giraffes and lots of primates too. There’s also an aquarium complex with coral reefs, shark tanks and an Amsterdam canal displayed from a fish’s point of view, plus a planetarium and kids petting zoo.
Food & Shopping
During your stay in Amsterdam, surely you would like to enjoy some good food. On Rembrandt Square, you will find numerous options for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here you can take a look at our selection of restaurants and cafes in Amsterdam, where we suggest the best places to visit without going too far from the hotel. During the summer period the majority of places open terraces, where you can view the city while enjoying your meal or drink. You will find the best places with authentic vibes and dishes that are as local as can be. Check out our must-try Dutch street food here.
In need of some retail therapy? If you want to blend in with the locals, then head to the Albert Cuyp Market – there’s no better place to explore the Dutch culture. Take a stroll along the many stalls and try some of the most popular Dutch snacks such as the “stroopwafel” or the “bitterballen”.
For the authentic Amsterdam shopping experience, make your way to The Nine Streets. They are located around the Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht in Amsterdam’s Central Canal Ring. You will find a variety of cozy little cafes like Pluk or Ree7, vintage shops like Zipper, small designer boutiques and speciality shops. Or if you are looking for mainstream fashion shops and an ultimate tourist shopping experience, then head to Kalverstaat. Shops like Zara, H&M, HEMA and a good bunch of souvenir shops are located there. For the full shopping experience tips, check out our link on Amsterdam shopping here.