- 10 Things To Do in Amsterdam in 2021
- Best things to do in Amsterdam
- 1. Revel in the beauty of the Rijksmuseum
- 2. See Van Gogh’s painting up close in the Van Gogh Museum
- 3. Remember the past in the Anne Frank House
- 4. Shop till you drop in De Negen Straatjes
- 5. Take a canal cruise around Amsterdam
- 6. Stroll around Vondelpark
- 7. Have a great sightseeing in Amsterdam by wandering around Dam Square
- 8. Be amazed with nature inside the Hortus Botanicus
- 9. Find the Oude Kerk in the city center surrounded by a red light district
- 10. Tap off the night with a drink of beer
- FAQ’s about things to do in Amsterdam
- Keep Exploring!
10 Things To Do in Amsterdam in 2021
Trust me, an adventurous vacation doesn’t always have to consist of hopping from casinos to clubs. Ditch the crowded areas and visit a more dreamy and eclectic province which is also the capital of Netherlands – Amsterdam. The province has a myriad of museums and is just filled with 17th century culture. So, today let us see 10 things to do in Amsterdam in 2021.
Also dubbed as the Venice of the North, it has so much to offer with its famous places and unique food. It captures the essence of European lifestyle but at the same time, the province has its own personality.
On mornings, you might want to take a look at historic places such as the house of Anne Frank or the Royal Palace. But the nightlife isn’t anything less fun. The red light districts, albeit having a notorious reputation, are also home to many relics of the past, being one of the city’s oldest places.
Here are 10 tourist attractions in Amsterdam you should not miss!
Best things to do in Amsterdam
1. Revel in the beauty of the Rijksmuseum
This art repository was founded in the 19th century and contains thousands of paintings, crafts, and artifacts dating as far back as the 1200’s. This national museum is a sight to behold and is one of the most popular places to visit in the Netherlands.
It was originally called the Royal Museum. There are only about 8000 objects on display but the museum actually houses a million and these include paintings from Remrandt and Johannes Vermeer.
If you find movies such as ‘Night at the Museum’ fun, then you better make sure to visit Rijks museum.
2. See Van Gogh’s painting up close in the Van Gogh Museum
Vincent Van Gogh is one of the Amsterdam highlights being the most beloved and celebrated Dutch painters in the world. In fact, an entire episode of Doctor Who was even dedicated to him.
Located fairly close to the Rijksmuseum is the Van Gogh Museum which houses the largest collection of his paintings including The Starry Night and Cafe Terrace at Night. Aside from this, it also exhibits different artworks from other artists by Van Gogh’s contemporaries. You will see, among others, sculptures by Jules Dalou and paintings by Emile Bernard.
The Van Gogh museum chronicles the greatness of his paintings, as well as his life. Visiting this place is definitely one of the activities that you must do in Amsterdam. You can never say you’ve been to Amsterdam if you haven’t been here.
3. Remember the past in the Anne Frank House
Without a doubt, World War II is one of the most devastating events in history. And as the saying goes, it is important to study history to avoid repeating tragic happenings.
The Anne Frank house leads visitors into an intimate look into the life of a young Jewish girl during World War II, a time when their heritage was persecuted. Even the famous movable bookshelf which was used to cover the annex where the secret room was hidden will be found there although it was already reconstructed.
While there are virtual tours that you can find online, nothing beats when you actually see her home in person. Even if you might not have read her eponymous book, there is so much to learn about the war from this place alone.
4. Shop till you drop in De Negen Straatjes
Do you want to give yourself a treat while in Amsterdam? Might as well shop till you drop at De Negen Straatjes! In English, the name translates to Nine Little Streets and is a well known place since it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The aesthetic nine streets are: Berenstraat, Gasthuismolensteeg, Hartenstraat, Huidenstraat, Oude Spiegelstraat, Reestraat, Runstraat, and Wijde Heisteeg.
This is a great place to know what the current trend is in Amsterdam. Fashion boutiques dominate this micro-neighborhood including high-end designer brands such as Chanel. Of course, there are also quirky stores and thrift shops if you are on a budget or if you want to find more vintage items.
The fashion hub itself is photogenic and so are the people. So, make sure that you wear your best clothes so that you can take good pictures in this quaint area.
5. Take a canal cruise around Amsterdam
One of the most important things to do in Amsterdam is taking a canal cruise. It is not called the Venice of the North for no reason. Amsterdam boasts more than 160 canals which you can traverse around through boats just like how gondolas are in Italy.
Canal cruises are available year-round and are one of the best Amsterdam activities. Attractions in Amsterdam include passing bridges and seeing canal houses. A popular way to tour around is by an open boat. While colors pop out while the sun is out, seeing the city at night is also equally wonderful.
We definitely suggest trying out at least one cruise for the day and another at night. You can even hop on and off the boat if you want to try restaurants that you come across. Taking a cruise through the canals is definitely a great experience.
6. Stroll around Vondelpark
Comprising over 47 hectares and welcoming 10 million visitors each year is Vondelpark. It is Amsterdam’s largest city park. Here you can find an open-air theatre where you can watch shows for free, eat in one of the many food service stalls, or buy some trinkets in the free market.
It is one of Amsterdam’s most family friendly places. You can stroll and watch the shows in the theatre, entertainment by street performers, or you can lay a blanket and have a fun little picnic. You can see lots of people here just laying on the ground while reading a book or even sleeping.
Vondelpark is a great place to spend your time if you want to just relax. It is also one of the top sites in Amsterdam where you can enjoy it without spending much. So, if you have spare hours in your itinerary, might as well make your to the park and see the beauty of nature.
7. Have a great sightseeing in Amsterdam by wandering around Dam Square
Located at the heart of the city is Dam Square. Here you can find many important buildings and this is also where major events are generally held. Most notable are the Royal Palace, Madame Tussauds wax museum, and the National Memorial Statue.
As mentioned, the Royal Palace is an extremely important part of Amsterdam’s history. It holds many memorials to the Dutch Golden Age. On the flip side, the square was also the location of the infamous shooting during the world war.
Without a doubt, visiting this city center is one of the best things to do in Amsterdam. It is nice to appreciate the history and culture of the place that you are spending your vacation.
8. Be amazed with nature inside the Hortus Botanicus
Surprisingly, while Amsterdam may seem like a place surrounded only with canals and brick homes, it also has its ecological places. One of which is the famous Hortus Botanicus. It is the main botanical garden in Amsterdam and is actually one of the oldest ones in the world.
It is home to 6000 different plants and has been one of the top attractions in Amsterdam. During the 19th century, the garden almost closed down. However, with the support of individuals and now the government, the place remains at the top of the best places to visit in Amsterdam with millions of visitors every year.
9. Find the Oude Kerk in the city center surrounded by a red light district
Without a doubt, Amsterdam has a lot of old buildings. If you want to visit the oldest of them all, then you can find it in Oude Kerk, a church that dates back to the 1200’s. If you will take a tour here, you might want to prepare your feet as it is built as wide as 3000 square meters.
The church is located in the heart of the red light district. Because of the numerous additions introduced, it also serves as a museum for different artworks and a monument of what the old city feels like.
Here you can find a collection of four pipe organs that was built centuries ago and is considered one of the finest baroque pieces in all of Europe. The fine stained glass windows are also a sight to see. You will definitely feel like you are inside the Vatican.
For more than two years, the church has been holding concerts. However, you can only visit until 6pm. Considering that it is located inside a red light district, it is better to visit during the day.
10. Tap off the night with a drink of beer
Of course, you cannot just roam around Amsterdam without having your fill. Out of the many bars and restaurants in Amsterdam, we would highly recommend getting your tummy filled with cuisines from Ron Gastrobar.
This is a Michelin starred restaurant and offers delicious meals for the day and beers and cocktails during the night. Their food isn’t so complicated and intimidating. You can definitely have a meal that will suit your palate.
Eating local cuisines and drinking English beer is a great way to cap your must do things in Amsterdam.
FAQ’s about things to do in Amsterdam
1. What are the low cost flights to Amsterdam?
If you are flying from New York:
If you are flying from Los Angeles:
If you are flying from Singapore
LOT Polish Airlines
United Arab Emirates
2. What are the cheapest hotels to stay at in Amsterdam?
Student Hotel Amsterdam City
Amsterdam Wiechmann Hotel
3. Where are the best places to eat in Amsterdam?
The Happy Bull
4. What are common prices when visiting places in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is not such a budget friendly place. Remember to keep note of these expenses to make your experience financially within your budget.
75-minute canal cruise tour – €30 for adults and €8.50 for children
Museum entrance fee – €10 to €15
Parking spaces – €1 to €8
Amsterdam’s walking tour guide – €10 per hour
Bike rentals – €8 to €10
More interesting things to know in Amsterdam
Do and don’ts in Amsterdam
It is so easy to feel lost and confused in Amsterdam’s culture, especially if you are not from Europe. Here are basic tips of what and what not to do when you are in Amsterdam:
Do prepare your OV-Chip Card
Paper tickets are old news in Amsterdam. The Dutch government has made it mandatory for every person, including tourists, to get an OV-chip card in order to use public transport for your tours.
Do see the city while using a bike
While private vehicles are great for tours, bikes are a better way to get the whole Amsterdam experience. Try renting a bike for a day and cycle around to make your way to the famous places and eat the popular food in the Netherlands. Not to mention, you can always do this to stay on track of your fitness.
Do be observant when you are walking
No matter what day it is, bikes are everywhere in Amsterdam, even in the city center. As such, they have dedicated cycle paths and visitors usually get in trouble here. Make sure to stay on top of your head when walking around. The last thing you would want is leaving the Netherlands with an injury.
So, always listen to bike signals especially in popular areas.
Do take a picture with the I AMSTERDAM sign
The I AMSTERDAM sign is usually found in the Rijksmuseum. It is a popular attraction where tourists cap off their Amsterdam experience. Join in on the fun and snap a photo here to post to your social media accounts!
Do enjoy your time
With so many popular places in the city, you might be tempted to speed your way through them. However, the neighborhood of Amsterdam is best experienced if you take your time. Be one of those visitors that will actually see the museums for hours and appreciate the art. Nothing beats immersing yourself in a foreign country’s culture while on vacation.
Don’t buy drugs on the streets
One of the things that affects the popular reputation of the province is Amsterdam’s drug industry. While some kinds are perfectly legal in this Dutch place, it is best to avoid it all together. You might be sold a low quality one or its effects may get you in trouble.
Don’t expect bars and restaurants are cheap
Alcohol is pretty expensive anywhere in the world. But more so in Amsterdam’s bars especially those located in the city. So, before going out for a drink, a pre-drink might be a good idea!
Don’t drink more than what you can tolerate
Things can get pretty rowdy in Amsterdam especially during the weekend. Dutch are pretty wild drinkers so you can easily get into messy situations. It is okay to get yourself a drink and have the best time in Amsterdam but make sure to keep your soberness in check and get home safely.
What should we do in Amsterdam?
A lot of people don’t have much time and budget to spend a week in Amsterdam. So, what to do in Amsterdam in just a single day? A company that offers tour packages might cost a hefty amount.
If you have no idea how to plan your itinerary, here is a basic timeline that will show you the best way to spend a day in Amsterdam.
Explore the Rijksmuseum and pass by Van Gogh’s museum
Visit the Dam Square with the Royal Palace
Stroll through the Nine Little Streets
End the the day with one canal cruise
A single day is already enough to spend in Amsterdam. Make sure to visit places that are close together such as the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum. If you don’t have much time, canal cruises should be spent at night since popular places such as museums are only open during the daytime.
What can you do in Amsterdam in 3 days?
If one day is enough to get a feel of Amsterdam, three days would surely give you the whole experience. You can even spend some free hours for yourself exploring the neighborhood where you are staying.
Wondering where to go in Amsterdam for 3 days? Ideally, this is how a three day tour would look:
Day 1: Visit the historical sites (Museums, Anne Frank’s house, Royal Palace, and Canal Cruises)
Day 2: Shopping time. (Nine Little Streets and Vondelpark’s free market)
Day 3: When in the Netherlands, do as the Dutch does. (Ron Gastrobar and red light districts)
Surely, this itinerary will suffice to see all the popular places. It is planned in a way that would make you see art in museums without time limits. As such, you can just stay in sites that you like for hours without any pressure.
What is Amsterdam known for?
As a liberal city, Amsterdam is pretty known for many things. Among others, its main attractions consist of its canals, museums, red light districts, and the wild nightlife. It was also popular during the 17th century, with that era even being dubbed as its Golden Age.
Despite this, there are other things that attract visitors to this Dutch province. Every house and home here are either quirky or architectural. You could almost say that residents of Amsterdam naturally have art running through their veins. Everywhere you is almost a picturesque scene.
In the same vein, churches are also popular for tours. The large and baroque style resembles that of the Vatican and many tourists, especially religious women like to visit and stay there for hours.
BookOnBoard’s Guide on Top Things to Do in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has only about 800,000 residents. Yet, it receives more than 18 million tourists every year. This just goes to show how fun and beautiful the province is and is great for tourists.
There is a reason why Amsterdam is popular. Most of its residents speak english so the language barrier isn’t so much of a problem. In addition, the Dutch are pretty easy going people. It is rich with history and art which makes it a popular place in Amsterdam for travellers around the world doing their soul searching.
Families can also enjoy cruises and museums. It is a great platform for children to appreciate art and learn the history of wars.
If you are not European, the culture might be intimidating and the ways of living confusing. However, since you already have an idea of what to look forward to, going around to see the popular places is less dreadful.
We hope our list of top ten things to do in Amsterdam has helped you plan your activities in this wonderful place. Our goal is to let our readers enjoy their tours and spend a memorable time during their vacation. Until then, hallo!