Amsterdam is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and photogenic attractions. From its famous canals to its striking red-brick architecture, this city has a character of its own. Here, you will get the best attractions in Amsterdam.
You’ll find no shortage of sights here – from galleries and museums to outdoor markets and cafes.
Many visitors make it their first port of call when visiting the Netherlands, but there are so many exciting places to visit in Amsterdam that you may not have heard about yet.
This blog details lesser-known places to add to your itinerary if you want a more authentic and memorable experience while visiting this beautiful city.
Escaping the Crowds
One of the best ways to get off the beaten track while visiting Amsterdam is to visit one of the city’s many parks. Park Museums Heineken and Vondel are two parks within walking distance of the city center that are worth a visit.
Both have beautiful landscaping and ponds and are great for a stroll. The Vondelpark also has a famous beer cafe, a tulip garden, and two museums.
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Paradijs Gardens is another scenic park worth visiting. It’s home to the Amsterdam Tulip Museum and is best seen in the spring when the park’s flowers bloom.
The Noordermarkt is one of the city’s most vibrant markets. It’s open every Saturday and hosts an eclectic array of crafts and food, including some of the best pancakes you’ll ever try.
Free Museums & Heritage Sites
Many of Amsterdam’s best museums have a cost associated with them, but a handful is still entirely free. The Tropenmuseum is the city’s leading museum of cultural anthropology.
It hosts an extensive collection of artifacts from Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean and several temporary exhibitions.
The Verzetsmuseum, or “Resistance Museum,” commemorates the Dutch fight against the Nazi occupation during World War II.
The museum hosts a wide range of interactive exhibits and is perfect for history buffs. The Begijnhof is one of the city’s most scenic attractions. It’s home to the Begijnhofkapel, a small wooden chapel dating back to the 14th century, and a tranquil courtyard and walkways.
The Amsterdam municipal museum is home to an extensive collection of art and artifacts from the city’s past, including items relating to the Dutch Golden Age.
Watch the Boats Go By
The Magere Brug, or “Skinny Bridge,” is one of the most iconic bridges in the Netherlands.
It was built to accommodate the rising water levels in the rivers that run through the city and is known for the striking way it sways in the wind – so much so that the Dutch have named the movement of the bridge “the rhythm of the Rhine.”
The bridge’s slender design is unsuitable for pedestrians, but it’s still possible to enjoy the views from the river.
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The river cruises on offer depart from the nearby pier and will give you a different view of this famous landmark every time.
You can also take a short walk to the nearby Willems Bridge or Magere Brug and get an excellent view from the river banks. You can also enjoy the view from the coast of IJburg, where you can see the bridge from a new perspective.
Check the tide times before you head out, though, as you won’t get the best view at high tide.
Visit a Cheese Factory
The Netherlands is a world-leading exporter of cheese, and on a visit to Amsterdam, you have the chance to see how this tasty product is made.
Edam, Gouda, and Leyden are all famous Dutch cheeses and can all be sampled at a number of factories near Amsterdam. Goudse Kaas, one of the world’s oldest cheese factories, offers free tours and samples of their Gouda Curly Wurly cheese.
Edam is one of the most famous cheese-making cities in the Netherlands, and the Boerderij Kaaswinkel and Kaaswinkel Edam are two factories that are worth visiting. You can also visit Kaaswinkel’s cafe and sample a wide range of cheeses on your visit.
Try Haring and Proeverij
Haring is a traditional Dutch snack that is best enjoyed during the harvests of herring during the spring and autumn months. Traditionally, haring is served with raw onions, but many restaurants now serve it with a variety of different condiments.
Proeverij De Swaen is one of the best places to try haring in Amsterdam. This tasting tour gives you an opportunity to try the different varieties of herring while being guided through the history and origins of this traditional dish. Proeverij De Swaen also offers a tour of the city’s canals, stopping off at key landmarks and attractions along the way.
This unique tour includes samples of gin and beer, so it is great for a group of friends or family visiting the city together.
Stroll Along a Different Canal
The world’s most famous canals are undoubtedly worth a visit, but they can get very busy during large parts of the year.
This can make them less enjoyable to visit, so it’s worth exploring some of the less popular canals while you’re in the city.
The Spiegelgracht is one of Amsterdam’s lesser-known canals and is an excellent place to visit for a different perspective on the city’s architecture.
The Spiegelgracht is also home to the Museum Het Spiegelkwartier, a modern art museum that’s well worth a visit. The Museum Het Spiegelkwartier is also part of the Holland Pass, making it one of the best places to visit in Amsterdam with a pass.
Go Inside a Guarded Museum
Amsterdam has several museums that charge an entrance fee, but if you visit the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum in the early hours, you’ll be able to get inside for free.
The Rijksmuseum is home to the world’s largest collection of Dutch art, and the Van Gogh Museum houses the world’s largest collection of paintings and drawings by Vincent van Gogh.
Both museums offer free entry from 5 a.m., and although you’ll have to contend with the guards checking your bags, it’s well worth the early morning visit if you want a quieter experience.
The Amsterdam Museum also offers free entry between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. daily, giving you the chance to explore the history of this fascinating city without breaking the bank.
Other Interesting Places to Visit in Amsterdam
The city’s famous football stadium is open to the public during the day and is a great place to visit if you’re interested in the sport.
Begijnhof – This small courtyard is home to the city’s oldest wooden house, as well as an art gallery and a small cafe.
Anne Frank House – This poignant house is one of Amsterdam’s most famous attractions. It’s open every day of the year except for Fridays, when it’s closed between October and March.
Amsterdam Museum – This quirky museum is home to a collection of bizarre artifacts from Amsterdam’s past.
Bloemenmarkt – The city’s famous flower market is open every Sunday from 7 a.m. onwards and is a great place to visit with a loved one.