Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is one of the most famous cities in all of Europe and is known for its endless canals, narrow houses, cycling, coffee shops and the red light district. It’s the perfect city to explore over a long weekend. Below I list 22 things not to be missed on your Amsterdam itinerary.
What To See and Do in Amsterdam
- Explore the picturesque Jordann Neighbourhood.
- Eat until your full at the Food Hallen.
- Take the free ferry to the Noord district and cycle ‘route 9.’
- Get a selfie at the IAmsterdam sign.
- See the Royal Palace in Dam Square.
- Admire art at the Van Gogh Museum.
- Have a picnic in Vondelpark and enjoy a drink at the beer gardens at Vondelpark3.
- Explore the Red Light District at night.
- Take a beautiful photo of Zuiderkerk and the canal.
- Visit the Sex Museum.
- See Amsterdam from above at Westerkerk church (not open on Sundays).
- Wander Albert Cuypmarket in the Pjip Neighbourhood.
- Eat Dutch tapas at Tolhuistuin.
- Visit the hidden inner courts of the historic Begijnhof.
- Book tickets months in advance for the Anne Frank Museum (waiting time can be hours).
- Enjoy a beer from the famous Brouweijt Brewery whilst overlooking the De Gooyer windmill.
- Try caramel stroopwafels (and buy extra to take home).
- Visit a famous coffee shop (I hear Bulldogs, Amnesia and The Other Side are good).
- Explore all of the canals and bridges – Magere Bridge, Herengracht, Thorbeckeplein and Reguliersgracht to name a few.
- Eat the famous Dutch fries at Vleminckx – try them with mayonnaise and satay Sauce. Life changing!
- See the tulips at Kirkenhoff.
- Spend a few hours in neighbouring town, Haarlem.
The train from the airport takes about forty minutes and costs €5.20 each way. A three-day city transport pass for trams, buses and metro costs €15 and as we were camping thirty minutes out of the centre this came in great handy. Amsterdam is a very walkable city with all the sights close to each other ( though we somehow still walked 45km in three days – my feet are now covered in blisters). Amsterdam is known for their bikes though so if you want to be like the locals, hire a bike for the day – the bike roads are super organised and safe.
Where To Stay
When I went searching for accommodation a few weeks before our trip prices were extortionately high due to it being Kings Day weekend (a fact I didn’t know before booking flights months beforehand). I refused to pay hundreds of euros a night (the price being asked even for hostel dorms) and came close to cancelling our trip altogether, until I found Zeeburg campsite. I highly recommend a stay at Zeeburg. The bathrooms were always clean, the campsite had fantastic amenities including a little grocer filled with amazing stock at very fair prices. It only took thirty minutes by tram to reach the city centre and cost €55 for both of us for three nights – bargain. Also, what a view to wake up to!
Amsterdam is an incredibly beautiful city with lots to see and do. I was expecting it to be much sleazier than it was and was pleasantly surprised to see so much culture, history and beauty around every corner. I almost chose to live in Amsterdam over London and now that I have visited I am kicking myself a little as it’s a very livable, cool city.