In this article, you'll read about the 35 best things to do in Amsterdam, the Netherlands! Wondering what to do in Amsterdam during your city trip?
After reading this article, you'll know for sure what you want to do! There are so many amazing activities in Amsterdam. And since I'm based in Amsterdam, I know which activities are the best!
Table of Contents
1. Cuddle cute goats at the Goat Farm
At the Goat Farm (or Geitenboerderij) in the Amsterdam Forest, you can cuddle with cute goats. Besides cuddling those cuties, you can also give them milk!
Also, there are many other farm animals, such as pigs, sheep, and horses. Furthermore, there is no entrance fee, so you can see these goats for free! This is why a visit to the Goat Farm is one of the best free things to do in Amsterdam.
2. Visit the Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum is a great museum in Amsterdam and it is the largest art museum in the Netherlands. You can learn here a lot about the history of the country. Furthermore, there are many famous artists whose work is on display.
For example, there are many paintings by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Johannes Vermeer. Also, you find the Rijksmuseum at Museum Square, where there are also many other great museums.
If you would go to Amsterdam for one day only and you want to see a museum, then go here!
3. Eat stroopwafels
Stroopwafels are one of the tastiest traditional treats in the Netherlands. They consist of two waffles with syrup in-between and are very delicious.
You can get them in the supermarket, but I recommend you to go to the Albert Cuyp Market to get a fresh warm one! This is also a very fun place to be while you are at it. It is a very large outdoor market where you can buy lots of products.
4. Sail through the canals with your own boat
It doesn't matter if it is a hot summer day, or a rainy winter day, renting a boat in Amsterdam is always a great experience! The canals in Amsterdam make it possible to sail through the whole city center.
From the water, you can admire the beautiful famous canals of Amsterdam! Also, this is a very convenient way to go to all these fun things to do in Amsterdam. You can rent a boat at several places in the city.
5. Go to the Eye Film Museum
The Eye Film Museum is a museum that focuses on all things related to films. You can learn here about all types of genres through plenty of objects on display at the museum.
Besides the collection of objects, there are also cinemas in the building. Furthermore, the museum has many temporary exhibitions that focus on developments in film.
6. Swing at a height of 100 meters
Very close to the Eye Film Museum is the highest swing of Europe, called 'Over the Edge'. Take the free ferry from Amsterdam Central train station to get there.
Go to the top of the A'DAM Lookout for the swing. You can swing at a height of 100 meters, and the view is magnificent.
7. See the Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum focuses on the works of Vincent van Gogh There are so many paintings made by him here. In fact, it has the largest collection of paintings and drawings of Van Gogh in the whole world.
Furthermore, the museum is one of the most visited museums in the Netherlands!
8. Do a canal cruise
Another one of the best things to do in Amsterdam is taking a canal cruise. Go onboard and learn a lot about the city while you are sailing through the canals. Furthermore, the city looks lovely from the water.
There are several places in the city where you can board a cruise. You find many of these around the central train station.
You can also do a canal cruise at night, which is awesome! It is a whole different experience when it is dark outside. And this is one of the best activities at night in Amsterdam.
9. See art at the Hermitage Amsterdam
The Hermitage Amsterdam is one of the best art museums in the Netherlands. The museum focuses on the relation between the Netherlands and Russia. This is because it is a branch of the larger Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
There is an amazing permanent collection. Furthermore, there are temporary exhibitions that give you something new every time!
10. Visit Amsterdam Dungeon
The Amsterdam Dungeon will take you back to the darkest parts in the history of Amsterdam. It does this through live interactive shows that are amazing to be a part of. It is a very fun (and scary) experience, but it is also a great way to learn more about the past of Amsterdam.
11. Visit the tulip fields near Amsterdam
Even though the tulip fields aren't in Amsterdam, you should visit them when you go in the right season. Most of them are in Lisse, a city near Amsterdam.
You can see them during the months of April and May, but the exact dates vary every year. Most of the time, the best period to visit the tulip fields is in mid-April.
12. Discover the Amsterdam Forest
The Amsterdam Forest (or Amsterdamse Bos) is a large planted forest in the south of Amsterdam. This is a great place for running, kayaking, or relaxing.
Furthermore, it is a large forest, with it being about 3 times as large as Central Park in New York City.
13. Go to the Stedelijk Museum
If you like modern art more, you should visit Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The museum has art from the 20th century and the 21st century, which is lovely to see.
Furthermore, the museum is on Museum Square, so you can go to other museums from here.
14. Visit Madame Tussauds Amsterdam
Madame Tussauds is a fun experience in the middle of Amsterdam. There are lots of wax figures of famous people. You can take a photo with them or look at them.
15. Have a drink in a Dutch windmill
Brouwerij 't IJ is a place where you can taste local beers. What's amazing about this place is that it is inside of a traditional Dutch windmill. This is one of the best experiences in Amsterdam!
16. Try out some Dutch poffertjes
Another one of the best things to do in Amsterdam is to try some Dutch poffertjes. Poffertjes are little pancakes that you can sprinkle with sugar or something else.
They are very delicious, and I recommend them! Moreover, these poffertjes alone are a reason to go to Amsterdam!
17. Walk along the canals
The canals are one of the most well-known things in Amsterdam. When you are in Amsterdam you have to walk along the canals to experience the beautify of this place.
What's great is that you do this anyway. When you go to any of the other fun things to do in Amsterdam you pass by them, as Amsterdam is that small!
Also, the canals are where you find several of the best photo spots in Amsterdam!
18. Go to the Anne Frank House
This is one of the most famous things in Amsterdam. The Anne Frank House is the house where Anne Frank and her family hid during the Second World War.
You can see exactly in what part the family lived. Also, you can see the bookshelf that functioned as the entrance to the hidden part of the house. Furthermore, there are many objects and stories related to Anne Frank. These are very interesting to see.
19. Attend a concert at the Concertgebouw
The Concertgebouw is a beautiful place where you can attend all kinds of concerts. The sound here is amazing, and this place is one of the best buildings for sound quality in the world.
In fact, there are other concert buildings that used the Concertgebouw as an example. Also, there are free lunchtime concerts every Wednesday!
20. Do a day trip to a medieval castle
Amsterdam itself is fun to visit, but if you have time I recommend going for a day trip to Muiden Castle. This is a medieval castle very close to the city (about 15 kilometers). You can learn more about medieval life and see exactly how a castle from that time looked like.
21. Take a free ferry to NDSM Wharf
From the central train station of Amsterdam, there are free ferries that go to the other side of the water. This is the same place where you would take a ferry to the 'Over the Edge' swing.
One ferry goes to NDSM Wharf, which is a former shipyard where there are now all kinds of bars and restaurants. Also, plenty of festivals and other cultural events take place here!
22. Have fun at the zoo
ARTIS is the zoo in Amsterdam and you should go here if you want to see animals. There is a large variety of animals at the zoo that are lovely to see. Furthermore, this is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, and it is one of the oldest zoos in the world!
23. Do a daytrip to the Zaanse Schans
Another great day trip from Amsterdam is when you go to the Zaanse Schans. This is very close to Amsterdam (only about 20 minutes by train). You can see and experience how an 18th/19th-century town looked like in the Netherlands.
There are lots of traditional houses, old costumes, old windmills, and old shops. For example, there is a place where you can see the making of Dutch clogs.
24. Visit an old canal house
When you are in Amsterdam you can see the canals everywhere, but you can all but wonder how one looks from the inside. At the Museum Van Loon, you can see such a house from the inside.
But, this is not a regular canal house. This is one that is very expensive and one that was home to a very wealthy family.
25. See the old Olympic Stadium
The Olympic Stadium of Amsterdam functioned as the home of the 1928 Summer Olympics. Since then other sports took place here, and nowadays you can still see all kinds of athletic games here.
Also, there is a museum dedicated to sports inside of the stadium! So whether you want to see sports or learn more about them, this is a great place to go!
26. Go to the Rembrandt House
Another one of the best museums in Amsterdam is the Rembrandt House. This is a house where the famous painter Rembrandt lived and worked for more than 15 years. It is a very interesting building to visit.
Next to the house, in a more modern house, you find drawings made by Rembrandt. Also, there are various paintings of other painters of his time.
27. Shop at the Nine Streets
One of the best places for shopping is the Nine Streets. These are very small streets with small shops in the center of Amsterdam.
Instead of larger international shops, you find everywhere, you find boutique shops here. So if you are looking for something unique, then go here!
28. Learn about the history of Amsterdam at the Amsterdam Museum
The Amsterdam Museum is the best place to learn a lot about the history of Amsterdam. You find it next to the main shopping street of Amsterdam, the Kalverstraat, in an old orphanage.
There are various objects on display that take you from the very start of the city till the present day. Objects you see here include paintings, photos, and even a replica of a famous pub in Amsterdam!
29. Discover the hidden Begijnhof
Also, close to the main shopping street of Amsterdam is the Begijnhof. This is a small enclosed space with some historical buildings surrounding it. To enter you go through a wooden door.
The Begijnhof dates to the 14th century, which is why the Begijnhof is 1 meter below the rest of Amsterdam. Another interesting fact about the Begijnhof is that there are only female residents!
30. Eat Dutch pancakes
When you go to Amsterdam you have to try some Dutch pancakes. These are flat, thin, and large pancakes that you can top with various ingredients. You can choose both sweet and savory options and they are very delicious. I recommend you eat one in one of the pancake restaurants in Amsterdam!
31. Relax at Vondelpark
The Vondelpark is a large urban park in the center of Amsterdam, near Leidseplein. This is a very popular spot with the locals.
When it is hot outside you see lots of people sitting here with their own blankets. Also, there are many restaurants nearby where you can get food for takeaway, which you can then enjoy in the park.
32. Rent a bike and feel like a local
There are so many bicycles in Amsterdam and almost everyone who lives in Amsterdam has one! It is a very convenient way to move around the city, as the city is quite small and you can ride your bike everywhere. Also, it is a great way to experience what it is like to be a local.
But, keep in mind that there are trams in the city and that you could get stuck in the tracks of the tram, so be careful!
33. See the Royal Palace at Dam Square
The Royal Palace at Dam Square is an impressive building. It is one of the three official palaces of the King of the Netherlands. You cannot miss it when you are walking through the city center.
Also, you can see the inside of the building, which is a great experience! The building has a rich history and served as the official town hall for the city of Amsterdam. Moreover, in the 17th it showed the wealth and power of the city!
34. Ice skate on the canals
When it gets cold in Amsterdam in winter, there is a rare chance that the canals freeze, and you are able to ice skate on them. This is a unique experience, so if you have the chance to do this, you should do so!
35. Stroll through the Hortus Botanicus
The Hortus Botanicus is a beautiful botanic garden with lots of different plants. Also, it is one of the oldest of its kind in the world!
In the 17th century, it provided herbs for doctors in Amsterdam. Furthermore, the initial plants came here by the Dutch East India Company.
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