Amsterdam is among the best cities in Europe. The Dutch capital is famous for its lush parks, colorful markets, gabled houses, and cycling. Other features that make Amsterdam outstanding include museums, diverse menus, great nightlife, and quirky shopping places. First time visitors may be overwhelmed because there is so much to do and see in the city. We have outlined the best things to do in Amsterdam to help you make the best out of your trip.
Fun Things to Do in Amsterdam
Take a trip to De Pijp
De Pijp is a fun neighborhood colored with street art. You will find underground bars and great cafes in the town. Do not leave De Pijp before visiting Albert Cuypmarkt, which is open on all days except Sunday. The food market has great street foods, quirky clothing, and cool shops. You can also buy fresh fruits and vegetables. If you spend a night at De Pijp, taste the best local brews at Gollem bar.
Go to the museums
Amsterdam is the best place to visit if you love museums. The capital has more than 50 museums. Top on the list of museums is Rijksmuseum, which features the best works done by Dutch masters. Another important museum is the Anne Frank House, which features Amsterdam’s lifestyle when Nazi occupied the city in the Second World War.
Visit Hannekes Boom
The café and bar was built in 1662. Hannekes Boom is located along the water, which makes it more fun to pull up in a boat. Visitors who arrive in a boat have a special dock at the bar. Hannekes Boom has great music, food, and an outdoor setting for visitors. You can enjoy cheap beer and great company at the legendary bar.
Take a boat ride to Noord
Among the fun things to do in Amsterdam is a boat ride to Noord. When you arrive at Amsterdam, head to the ferry port at the back of Centraal Station. Take a free boat ride to Noord or NDSM, which takes about 20 minutes. The northern side of Noord has festival grounds, beachside restaurants and bars, artist spaces, and art projects. You can enjoy good food at Café Nordelicht or visit IJ-Hallen, which is the largest flea market in Holland.
Visit Spuistraat Street
Spuistraat Street is located in central Amsterdam. The street is decorated with graffiti and great street art. Make sure you carry your camera because you will need to take many photos. Visit the yellow “snake house” along Spuistraat 199 where is featured with regular workshops and events.
Have fun at the Red Light District
Prepare for a hot mess and a surprising experience at the Red Light District. You may have heard that it is easy to find sex in Amsterdam but nothing prepares you for the experience here. Check for flyers in your hotel from companies that offer tours to the District. One of the places to visit is the popular sex museum.
Enjoy a bike ride
Hire a bike and cycle around the city. The city has more than 800,000 bicycles. The flat landscape and well-planned cycle routes’ network make cycling easy. Cycling is the best way to explore the attraction sites in the city.
Explore the Jordaan
Jordaan is the most charming neighborhood in Amsterdam. Visiting the place makes you feel like you are stepping back in time. The former working class neighborhood has quaint buildings and narrow lanes. People visit the arty Jordaan for its antique shops, great bars and restaurants, courtyard gardens, and, most importantly, art galleries. Visit Prinsengracht canal or the 9 street for the best shopping experience.
Explore Amsterdam’s canal belt
One of the fun things to do in Amsterdam is to take a canal cruise. Amsterdam canal belt is amazing both day and night especially when fairy lights lit up its bridges. Take a guided boat tour along the canal belt and discover fascinating things about the city such as the tilting homes or the dancing houses.
Try raw herring
Herring from a herring cart sounds scary before you try it. Herring carts serve the Dutch specialty in all parts of the city. Sample a broodje haring, which is a small sandwich of fish with onions and pickles. Herring is at its sweetest between May and July.
Taste beer at Amsterdam’s windmills
Amsterdam has eight windmills but the best to visit for beer tasting is De Gooyer. This windmill is located at Oostelijke Eilanden or the Eastern Islands. While at the windmill, you can view the Brouwerij Tij landmark. The landmark is an artisan microbrewery that has an extended drinking terrace outside. Enjoy a 30-minute guided tasting tour at the microbrewery.
Visit Amsterdam’s parks
Picnics in the parks are among the fun things to do in Amsterdam. Parks are part of Amsterdam's culture. You have more than 30 parks to choose from in the city but the largest is the Vondelpark. The park hosts three bars and restaurants and an outdoor theatre, which is a popular venue for live concerts in summer. Other parks that you can visit include Rembrandtpark, Sarphatipark, and Westerpark.
Visit De Hallen
De Hallen is a new centre for food, fashion, arts, and crafts. The centre is located in an industrial building that was built in 1902 and refurbished recently. De Hallen has independent stores, a cinema, boutique hotel, and the popular Food Hallen. Visitors can enjoy up-market street foods from vendors at Food Hallen.
Relax at the Begijnhof courtyard
If you want to escape the commotion in the city, visit the Begijnhof, which is among the oldest inner courtyards in Amsterdam. The former Beguines home has enclosed courthouses that surround a central green. The houses include the oldest wooden house in the city.
Visit the EYE film institute
The EYE is among the most iconic landmarks in Amsterdam. The white building has a permanent exhibition space that features contemporary and retrospective exhibits. Other features on the EYE include a cinema, film library, and an atmospheric restaurant bar. The iconic building is a must for film lovers.