Best Attractions in Amsterdam – The Ultimate Guide

Experience the beauty of Amsterdam with our comprehensive guide to the city's top attractions, must-see landmarks, and exciting activities.

Travel Letter

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 more authentic and memorable destinations while planning Amsterdam tourism.

 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. Vondelpark also has a famous beer cafe, a tulip garden, and two museums. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the park museums through the ecstatic cafes.

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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. Amsterdam tourism enthusiasts visit the museum to learn more about the culture & history of the city.

 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. Watch the boats go by while sipping the coffee in elegant cafes.

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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. This will add a unique touch to your Amsterdam tourism experience.

 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. It 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. It is a modern art museum that’s well worth a visit. The Museum Het Spiegelkwartier is also part of the Holland Pass. Adding to its beauty, it is 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., 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. It ensures gives you the chance to explore the history of this fascinating city without breaking the bank.

Amsterdam Arena

Amsterdam Arena, a prominent landmark in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, is a must-visit destination for tourists exploring the rich cultural tapestry of this captivating city. Renowned as a hub for sports and entertainment, Amsterdam Arena seamlessly merges its significance in both athletics and tourism. This state-of-the-art stadium, located in the heart of Amsterdam, offers an unforgettable experience for sports enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.

For Amsterdam tourism, a visit to Amsterdam Arena offers an immersive journey into the local sports culture, allowing visitors to witness the passion and fervor of Dutch football firsthand. The stadium is home to AFC Ajax, one of Europe’s most successful football clubs, providing an opportunity to witness top-tier matches and experience the electric atmosphere that envelops the stands.

Begijnhof 

Begijnhof, a serene and enchanting courtyard nestled in the heart of Amsterdam, is a hidden gem that beckons tourists seeking a tranquil escape amidst the bustling city. Steeped in history and charm, Begijnhof offers a captivating glimpse into Amsterdam’s rich cultural heritage, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring the city’s tourism offerings.

Amsterdam tourism enthusiasts are drawn to Begijnhof for its picturesque setting and architectural splendor. The courtyard is lined with traditional Dutch townhouses, many of which boast picturesque gables, charming facades, and beautifully manicured gardens. The peacefulness of the surroundings, combined with the timeless beauty of the buildings, creates an idyllic atmosphere that captures the imagination of visitors. 

Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House, located in the heart of Amsterdam, is a poignant and historically significant destination that holds a prominent place within Amsterdam tourism. It offers visitors a window into the life of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl whose diary has evolved into a symbol of hope and resiliency, and serves as a potent reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust.

Given its significance in Amsterdam tourism, the Anne Frank House draws visitors from around the world. It is essential to plan ahead and book tickets in advance due to its popularity. The museum also offers guided tours and educational programs, ensuring a comprehensive and immersive experience for visitors of all ages.

Amsterdam Museum 

The Amsterdam Museum is a captivating cultural institution that holds a special place within the realm of Amsterdam tourism. Situated in the heart of the city, this museum offers a comprehensive exploration of Amsterdam’s rich history, art, and culture, making it an essential destination for tourists seeking a deeper understanding of the city’s vibrant past.

Located in a beautifully restored 17th-century building, the Amsterdam Museum itself is a testament to the city’s architectural heritage. Inside, visitors are treated to a diverse array of exhibits and displays that showcase Amsterdam’s evolution from its humble beginnings as a small fishing village to its status as a global metropolis.

Bloemenmarkt 

Bloemenmarkt, a colorful and fragrant floating flower market, is a delightful attraction that holds a special place within Amsterdam tourism. Located along the Singel canal, this unique market offers visitors a vibrant and immersive experience amidst a stunning backdrop of blooming flowers and bustling stalls.

As the world’s only floating flower market, Bloemenmarkt is a must-visit destination for those seeking a taste of Amsterdam’s horticultural heritage. Established over 150 years ago, the market has been a hub for florists, gardeners, and flower enthusiasts ever since. Its picturesque location, with vendors housed on floating barges, creates a whimsical and Instagram-worthy scene that delights visitors from around the world.

Amsterdam’s West Church

The Westerkerk, or West Church, is a prominent and historic landmark in Amsterdam that holds great significance within Amsterdam tourism. Located in the heart of the city, this stunning Protestant church has a rich history and architectural beauty that draws visitors from around the world.

As one of the largest churches in the Netherlands, the Westerkerk is an impressive sight to behold. Its distinctive bell tower, towering at 85 meters, dominates the city skyline and offers panoramic views of Amsterdam. With its striking Renaissance-style architecture and intricate details, the Westerkerk stands as a testament to the city’s rich cultural and religious heritage.

Royal Palace of Amsterdam

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam, an iconic attraction in the heart of the city, holds immense cultural and historical significance within Amsterdam tourism. As one of the Netherlands’ most significant buildings, it showcases the grandeur and heritage of the Dutch monarchy.

Exploring the Royal Palace allows visitors to delve into the rich history and heritage of the Dutch monarchy. Guided tours provide insights into the building’s architectural features, regal traditions, and the role of the Dutch royal family. The palace also houses a collection of historical artifacts and artwork that further enhance the visitor experience.

Dam Square

Dam Square, a bustling and historic square located in the heart of Amsterdam, is a vibrant hub of activity and a significant landmark within Amsterdam tourism. Surrounded by notable attractions, shops, and restaurants, it serves as a focal point for locals and tourists alike, offering a taste of the city’s rich history and vibrant atmosphere.

The square is also home to the National Monument, a towering obelisk that commemorates those who lost their lives during World War II. The monument serves as a reminder of Amsterdam’s resilience and pays tribute to the city’s history and its enduring spirit.

Final Thoughts

Amsterdam is a city that truly captivates and delights visitors from around the world. Its rich history, cultural heritage, and diverse attractions make it a top destination for Amsterdam tourism. The city blends history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for travelers. Whether you’re exploring its iconic attractions, savoring its culinary delights, or immersing yourself in its vibrant atmosphere, Amsterdam promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit. Book your trip with FirstChoice today and embark on a remarkable Amsterdam journey that will exceed your expectations.

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