Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, known for its artistic heritage, complex and vast canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, indicative of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. It has a Museum District that has the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk as well as a traveling display of Banksy art. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths as well as bicycles parked and lined up everywhere all over the city in parks, houses and chained to the fencing in public everywhere. Taking a boat out on the canal is one of the key ways to see the city through the narrow passages. There are large open public parks where the city comes alive in the summer with picnics and laying out all over.
How to get there
Amsterdam Schipol Airport to City Center
There are 3 modes of transportation available from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) to the city centre of Amsterdam: taxi, train and bus. A taxi to city center is the fastest option Amsterdam airport taxi. Taxis cost 39€, and will be 15-20 minutes into the city. The train is the fastest public transportation option. Train tickets cost 5.40€ and arrives in around 20 minutes to the downtown. The cheapest public transit option is the bus. Tickets for the bus cost 5€ and the bus trip takes 35 minutes.
Things to do
Ride bikes through the city
Amsterdam is the city of bicycles with 881,000 bikes and a city of 58% cycling everyday as their main mode of transportation. Riding bicycles in the city is a lovely way to see the city and the canals as well as get around to the different areas. Renting a bicycle is a cheap and great way to get around as well as culturally experience the bicycle life of Amsterdam. There are several renting spots near the Central Station, the Leidseplein and Dam Square. Bike shops will rent bikes for a couple of hours, but the most common rental is for the day. Average prices are around €8-10 for the day.
Take a Canal Cruise
Central Amsterdam is surrounded by four 17th century canals an area now recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Site. These waterways were built to increase the city’s water traffic and build commerce. Hundreds of typical Dutch houses line the canals, dating back to the Renaissance period. Boat cruises on the canal are one of the best ways to see the city. One of the best boat tours of the canal is at the Rijksmuseum. The 75-minute tour costs €33.50 for adults and €8.50 for children (4-18).
This is the central square in downtown Amsterdam outside of the canals that was built in the 13th century. The Dam contains the royal palace, the national monument, and de Nieuwe kirk. This central square is where you can rent bikes, drink “Dam Good Coffee”, in honor of the nickname of Amsterdam, “the Dam.” There are many shops surrounding this area as well as the famous cheese store and markets.
Smell tulips at Bloemenmarkt
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Jeden z nejkrásnějších obchodů v Amsteru 🌸 Bloemenmarkt! #amsterdam #netherlands #holland #trip #bloemenmarkt #flowermarket #flowers #holkynatripu #dnescestujem #dnesfotim #cestolidi #cestujemeczsk #nikon #travellovers #wanderlust #igers #igerscz #tulips #travelgirl #czechgirl #iwannatraveltheworld #travelphotography
The Bloemenmarkt is a flowers outdoors market that goes back from 1862. The market displays blooms from tulips to geraniums on floating barges as well as display buckets and stalls filled with flowers. This market is gorgeous to walk through and peruse the blooms and color and smells even if you won’t be buying any flowers.
Hours: 9am-5:30pm daily, Sunday 11am-5:30pm
Have a picnic at Vondelpark
Vondel Park is a huge, 19th-century urban park with a playground, ponds & an open-air theater. This is the most famous park in Amsterdam, and is spread out over land that divides the city’s Oud-West and Oud-Zuid neighbourhoods. Several cafés, playgrounds and an open-air theatre are found within the park’s vast, green meadows and ponds. There is an amazing dutch house that is round and is the cutest cafe in the park. In the summer times the green meadows are packed with blankets and people laying out all over full to the brim. You have to come early in the evening to grab a spot.
Hours: open to the public 24 hours
Price: Free admission
Experience an Independent Movie Theater
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Tuschinski Theater main foyer The architect Hijman Louis de Jong could not finish the building, Tuschinski fired him before the end of the construction. Two other architects, Pieter den Besten and Jaap Gidding, completed the interiors. #tuschinskitheater #tuschinski #abrahamicektuschinski #hijmanlouisdejong #pathetuschinski #cinema #artdeco #artnouveau #jugendstil #amsterdamschool #amsterdamseschool #reguliersbreestraat #thenetherlands #cinemafoyer #movietheater #moviethreatre
Pathé Tuschinski is known as one of the most beautiful movie theaters in the world. The theatre is filled with Art Deco and Art Nouveau, bringing these two styles together in an unmatched architectural imitation. Filmtheater Kriterion is an international art-house movie theater founded by anti-Nazi students in 1945, with a bright cafe inside. Eye-Film Institute is a museum that is in a modern crazy structure that shows dutch and foreign movies in a waterside cultural center. All the movie theaters in the Netherlands mostly are a bar as well where you are allowed to bring alcoholic drinks into the theater. The movie culture is large here.
Hours: 11am-midnight depending on theater & showings. Check the movie theater websites.
Price: Tickets are €9, with matinees priced at €7,50. A Cineville pass can be purchased for €19 per month which allows unlimited movies at Kriterion and 12 other theaters in Amsterdam.
Tour the Royal Palace of Amsterdam
This is a Baroque-style royal palace with 3 museums & a vast library. There is a guided tour included in admission fee. This is a beautiful palace on the water.
Hours: 10am-4pm daily
Price: 160.00 SEK for one adult ticket , details and booking here.
This is an arched lane connecting Nieuwendijk with Damrak, is a mosaic wonder. This is just one of many architectural beauties in Amsterdam. This is right next to Amsterdam Cheese Company down the dark hall to the left of the shop.
Amsterdam Cheese Company
There is quality delicious cheese in Amsterdam and this chain of cheese shops around the city provide free tasting and a fun spot for an afternoon local snack.
Hours: 10am-9pm daily
This is a small coffee shop and cafe that sells home baked goodies as well as fresh made delicious sandwiches. They sell homemade ginger beer and rose lemonade and all kinds of other delicious organic products. This is the cutest little cafe on the corner across from the canals with huge windows and flowers in the window overlooking the medieval cottages on the canal. We had a picnic lunch on the canal and this place was one of our favorites.
Hours: 8am-10pm daily, Sunday 9am-9pm
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
This is a beautiful botanical garden in the very center of Amsterdam’s canals. They were originally planted in 1682, and have formal outdoor & greenhouse sections. This garden though it is compact is a jungle delight that is a city escape into nature. This is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, and houses over 6,000 tropical plants. During the 17th century, the garden was the main source of medicinal herbs in Amsterdam, and used by the city’s doctors and chemists.
Hours: 10am-5pm daily
Price: An adult ticket is € 9.75 per person. Booking here.
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It’s #WorldBookDay! Of course, we would like to share a photo of the Rijksmuseum Research Library. Did you know there are little poems written on the wall? Here’s one: “You have two eyes but only one mouth. That here you should read avidly and remain silent.” Photo: @dromelot #Rijksmuseum #librariesofinstagram #amsterdam
This is the area of the city that is full of museums and historical art galleries to see in one area including, the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk. Amsterdam’s Museumplein also has the famous I am Amsterdam letters which is a classic spot for a picture in the city. The Rijksmuseum, is probably the most important museum in the Netherlands and houses over one million artworks. Cuypersbibliotheek is the gorgeous library in Rijksmuseum area that is definitely worth a stop in. The library has floor to ceiling windows and spiral staircases climbing shelves and walls of books.
Hours: 10am-6pm daily
Price: €14,50- €20 per museum. If you plan to visit more than 3 museums than one of the entry cards may help save you money.
- I Amsterdam City Card (valid for 24/ 48/ 72/ 96 hours, €60/ €80 /€95 /€105))
- Holland Pass (€45 /€60 /€72,50)
- Museumkaart (unlimited access to 400+ Dutch museums, valid for one year, €64,90)
Magere Brug, the skinny bridge
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This is a historic site, this narrow bridge for pedestrians & cyclists is illuminated at night and a popular bridge with picturesque views to see and visit. This bridge is free and open to the public 24/7 to cross. The bridge at night illuminated in the canal is beautiful.
De Oude Kerk
This is a church that is the oldest building in Amsterdam in the center of the canals. This place is a beautiful historical site filled with art. The church was originally founded Catholic and was confiscated by Calvinists in the reformation and converted into a Protestant church. It is now also a community center hosting concerts and events for the city.
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
(ticket sale ends at 5:45 pm) Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm
(ticket sale ends at 5:15 pm)
Price: € 12 per ticket to visit
An urban art area installation with murals, a warehouse turned into a trendy hotel, cafes and expressive free spirit artists area of the city. Pllek Restaurant is built inside several shipping containers and Feralda Crane Hotel Where guests sleep in a red crane. There is a small ferry that goes between the docklands and Central Station. This is a fun way to see Amsterdam’s harbour views and get to NDSM wharf.
House of Bols, the Cocktail & Genever Experience
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The House of Bols in Amsterdam: we visited to do the tour and interactive Cocktail and Genever experience at the Bols Headquarters in the Museum District… Although not strictly gin, it was a great way to spend an hour learning about this world-famous drink, with a delicious cocktail at the end! This room was full of jars to sample the aromas of the ingredients used to make the Bols brands! (Almost) gin heaven!! • #houseofbols #tv_colors #houseofbolsamsterdam #bols #genever #bolsamsterdam #amsterdam #iamsterdam #netherlands #igersamsterdam #igersnetherlands #fiftyshades_of_history #spring2019 #springinamsterdam #easterinamsterdam #ali_mark_amsterdam2019 #loves_amsterdam #captureamsterdam #capturethemoment #amsterdamview #visitamsterdam #visitnetherlands #loves_united_europe #amsterdamlife #amsterdamcity @bols_genever
This is a museum to tour Dutch gin with a tasting room and cocktails available at the chic bar inside. The museum is a self guided tour that is colorful, modern and a trendy experience in downtown.
Hours: 1pm-6:30pm daily
Price: €16 per adult ticket
Heineken Brewery Tour
Heineken has an interactive tour through the history in a former brewery, with a tasting room finale. The original brewery in the city center is now an interactive tour called the Heineken experience. Booking online saves your ticket 3 euro. It is a self guided tour for 1.5 hours and you get a free city map as well.
Hours: 10:30am-7:30pm, open until 9pm Sat-Sun
Price: 18 euro per adult ticket with 2 beers
This is one of the best outdoor markets of Amsterdam selling fresh produce, clothes, street food and other local goods. They have homemade stroopwafel vendors here to try a delicious staple of Amsterdam. There are shops behind the produce stands that are unique boutiques. The balance of quality and price here is solid at this market. It is not a big touristy market.
Hours: 9am-5pm daily
This cultural tower for city views or to ride the tallest suspended swing in Europe. The tower includes a revolving restaurant like the space needle in Seattle, WA as well as a nightclub. This is now an iconic building in Amsterdam’s Skyline since it is new since 2016. The tower people mostly go to go up high like the space needle and get views of the city and pictures.
Hours: Depending on what business inside, every day from 10:00 – 22:00 hrs.
Last admission at 21:00 hrs for activities. The club is obviously open later.
Price: € 13,50 for the tower observation deck and the giant swing. Different prices for different activities.
Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder
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A tourist visiting our museum 2/3 • Earlier this month, @chaoticanna visited our museum, where she took this beautiful photo. 😍 Thanks for stopping by, Anna! We hope you enjoyed your visit. 😊 • #museumopsolder #onslieveheeropsolder #ourlordintheattic #museum #musea #museo #kerk #church #amsterdam #visitamsterdam #visite #visitor #citytrip #theprettycities #beautifuldestinations #tourist #reizen #travelawesome #traveldeeper #welltravelled #welovetoexplore #geschiedenis #historie #history #religie #religion #tolerantie #tolerance #roze #pink
A secret hidden 17th century Catholic chapel during the protestant reformation that is inside a dutch house in the Red light district on the canal that has been preserved.
Hours: 10am-6pm daily, Sunday 1-6pm
Price: Adults tickets cost € 12.50 , book here
Brouwerij ‘t IJ, windmill brewery
This bar is located underneath a mammoth, typically Dutch machine called the Gooier. While the brewery doesn’t actually own this towering structure, the stamps on the labels of its notoriously potent beers – which are all available from its onsite taproom – all feature the Gooier.
Hours: 2pm-8pm daily
Check out the Craft Coffee Culture & Roasteries
Droog is an art design gallery as well as coffee house that is a very creative environment. White Label Coffee is in Amsterdam’s coffee roasting scene and is a white and modern minimalist environment. Lot Sixty One roast their coffee in an old school building with rustic woods & subway tiles. Screaming Beans is a roastery is a spacious white and clean modern minimalist shop. Rum Baba CoffeeRoasters & Bakery is one of the most popular bakeries in town. There are two locations on the same street with one as a chilled out coffeehouse and the other the main bakery. Scandinavian Embassy is a popular fika spot with its home baked pastries and known for their flat white espresso. Toki is a light filled photogenic coffee shop that serves coffee from Berlin. Black Gold Amsterdam is the most hip little coffee shop with hip hop quietly playing on vinyl. They serve a good flat white and avoid refined sugar here. Venkel is a cool coffee shop and cafe with smoothie bowls and other goods in a plant filled trendy spot.
Hours: 8am-6pm, depending on coffee shop
Where to stay
Inntel Hotels Amsterdam
This is a stylish Dutch designed hotel in a modern building with a 17th-century annex. The hotel is 3 km from the Rijksmuseum and a 7-minute walk from Amsterdam Central railway station. There’s a suite with 17th-century beamed-ceilings, and a whirlpool tub. There is an industrial-chic bar with a fireplace in the hotel. Bike rentals are available to explore the city.
Price: $200USD/night, book here
Generator Hostel Amsterdam
This is one of the newest best boutique hostels in the city. This is flashpacking at its best. Hostels that are modern are now nicer than most hotels you can find for a third of the price. The building, was a university department that has historical charm. The Nescio Café is an artistic in house cafe with mural wall art and local dishes. There are dorm and single rooms as well as a top suite with views of the Oosterpark called the Sky Suite on the top floor of the hostel.
Price: Shared rooms start at €15 per night, book here
Wow is not just a hostel but a community of local artists in Amsterdam. The building is filled with locals art in the hostel, that houses art exhibitions and leads to the complex’s urban farm. The hostel dorms, are a bold primary-colour scheme. There are dorm rooms, as well as two double rooms, with a view of the courtyard.
Price: start at about €35 a night for a single bed. Book here.
This is the most artistic and creative, colorful hostel and is a 5-minute walk from a metro stop, a 6-minute walk from Rembrandthuis art museum and a 10-minute walk from Hortus Botanicus garden. There are more budget shed-style rooms with shared bathrooms and no windows, to private rooms with en suite bathrooms with modern trendy decor. All have free Wi-Fi. There arefemale dorms are available. There is a shared kitchen and a cozy cafe, plus a lounge with swings, and a tent for movie screenings. Breakfast is extra. Tours and bike rentals are available.
Price: $68USD/night, book here
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Clink Noord hostel, Living stairs, Amsterdam, 2014 The main intervention in the former laboratory building consists of several platforms suspended at different heights, that connect the souterrain, ground floor and atrium -visually as well as logistically. This “Living Stairs” is a generator for social interaction and multifunctional use. Photo by @woutervandersar #spaceencountersamsterdam #officeforarchitecture #clinknoord #hostel #amsterdam #overhoeks #hotellobby #transformation #industrialheritage #commonarea #livingroom #yellowstairs #verticallandscape #interior #interiordesign #interiorarchitect #interiorinspo #dutchdesign #sculptural #catwalk #columns #architecturalphotography #contemporaryarchitecture #modernarchitecture #polyurea #stairporn #tribune #escher #destijl #spaceencounters
This is a trendy modern boutique hostel that is in a building from the 1920s that used to be a laboratory so the space has lots of historical design charm as well as bold bright colors and modern decor. The rooms may be smaller but the communal areas and lounge space are massive. The hostel has installed art features. There is a huge stained glass window near the staircase with some industrial feeling decor as well with exposed pipes. This is another artistic hub masterpiece in the city. The hostels here are top quality.
Price: Private rooms start at €70 a night, while a single bed can cost just €17, book here
This is a cozy supposed to feel like your mom’s house hostel with modern art design and decor. There are private rooms as well as dorms. This hostel is a vintage charm feel mixed with the modern.
Price: Private doubles from €95 euros a night, dorms from €34. Book here.
This is a classy historical hotel that is a more upscale place to stay in the city. This is a boutique hotel rather than a hostel. Some rooms have exposed wooden beams mixed with modern art, where others are the hotel’s art deco roots. More than 40 artists designed the interior of the hotel, who left the building’s history and combined it with modern designs.
Price: Budget twin rooms (pictured) from around €86 per night. Book here.
Hotel Not Hotel
This hotel every room is different made by a group of designers from the Eindhoven Design Academy. Spend a night in a tram cart in the middle of the busy communal space or hide behind a secret bookcase. There is a communal Kevin Bacon Bar.
Price: Doubles sleeping spaces from €75 per night. Book here.
The Student Hotel
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Fasten your seatbelts art lover! 🎨 💛This is your chance to win 2 free tickets to the museum night on Friday 12 April 2019 + One free night at TSH Maastricht!🎉 You are a few steps away from an amazing Art Night Out! All you gotta do is Tag your culture buddy under our FB post and share with us why you want to be there!👉 http://bit.ly/museumnight19
The design of this hostel is to be like a communal dorm space like at a University. There is a gym, a common kitchen and a huge lounge living room area to hang out. There are some students who live here longterm and is a spot for travelers to pass through as well.
Price: Private double rooms start at €100, but prices are cheaper for shared space. Book here.