World famous as one of Europe’s most eccentric, forward-thinking and all-round wacky cities, Amsterdam is definitely worth a visit. We returned to this beautiful city as the first stop on our European adventure and already can’t wait to go back! Whether it’s a long-weekend, or a lifetime move, you will struggle to ever get bored of Amsterdam’s quirky charms and stunning sights. These are our top 15 activities in Amsterdam!
1) Picture with I Amsterdam
Possibly one of the most touristy spots you can find, this famous sign is an absolute must-see activity on your trip. If you don’t Gram a pic, did you even go?! Just make sure you grease up your elbows to squeeze in for a picture, as you won’t be alone!
2) Rooftop Swing and Drinks at the A’DAM Lookout
Catch the best view over the bustling city of Amsterdam at the top of the Amsterdam Tower. Sitting high above the busy port, the A’DAM Lookout has two bars to choose from, either inside or outside, and both with stunning views. Entry to the Lookout is a very reasonable €12.50.
If you are feeling extra brave, have a shot on the Over the Edge swingset. This knee-wobbling swing shoots you out over the edge of the 20 story building, giving you a unique view of the busy streets below. At only €5 extra, this activity is well worth it! Tickets can be bought online at here.
3) Go for a Snooze in Vondelpark
If the busy streets of Amsterdam are just too much for you, then you can always head to the beautiful Amsterdam Park. Pick up an ice cream and chill out, or even rest your eyes for the wild night ahead.
4) Drink Heineken Fresh from the Keg
One of the most popular attraction in Amsterdam is the famous Heineken brewery, and there are countless reasons why! Take a tour of the birthplace of Heineken beer, learning the history of its creators, the process of making it and finally tasting the fresh product itself.
If walking around the tour has left you thirsty, then you are in luck as two half pints are included in the price of your ticket! You can buy your tickets online here.
5) Take a Romantic Tour of the Canals
During our first visit we set sail around Amsterdam maze-like network of canals. Giving you a compeltely unique view of the city, these tours also tell you about the history of the narrow houses and many of the stories that took place here. You can book your cruise throughout the city, or at any of the multiple Tickets and Tours centres.
6) Explore with a Free Walking Tour
We always find that there is no better way to get to know a city than by chatting with a local. Well this is exactly what you can do with 360 Amsterdam’s free walking tour! Meeting every day beside the Palace in Dam Square, your free guide will give you an incredibly detailed, 2 hour walking tour of the city. Get to know the fascinating history of Amsterdam, as well as some local secrets such as where to buy the best cookie in the world!
7) Soak up the Atmosphere at Dam Square
Sitting in the centre of Amsterdam, this square is always heaving with people. Take a stroll through its bustling crowds and enjoy the beautiful buildings that surround it.
8) Get your Cheese Fix at the Cheese Museum
Tour around this unique (and smelly) attraction in the heart of Amsterdam. Browse and sample all of the Netherland’s famous goudas and even learn more the process of making the cheese.
9) Learn the Story behind Anne Frank
Without a doubt Amsterdam’s most famous attraction, the walking tour around Anne Frank’s hiding place is a must-see attraction. As you walk around the very building where the two families were hidden, an audio tape will tell you the harrowing stories of what life was like for Jewish people during the war.
10) Ride the Free Ferry to North Amsterdam
Across the busy shipping route of Amsterdam’s port, there is even more bars, restaurants and sights to discover. To get there you can simply hop on one of the free ferries that run 24/7 and every 5 minutes!
11) Cool Off in the Canals
Now I know what you might be thinking, “you want me to go swimming in THAT?!”. If you have been to Amsterdam before, you will know that the water doesn’t look very appealing for a quick dip. HOWEVER, there are parts of Amsterdam where the water is clearer and swimming is very popular! For a list of all the swimming spots, check out this useful guide by Awesome Amsterdam!
12) Drink Beer in an Old Windmill
If you are into sampling the local beers, then make sure you do it in style! The Brouwerij ‘t Ij is one of Amsterdam’s oldest and most unique breweries (aside from the famous Heineken, obviously). The brewery is located inside an old windmill on one of Amsterdam’s many canals and has a huge selection of beers to try. There is even a tasting menu to try 5 different beers for only €10!
13) Sample the World’s Best Cookie
Okay so remember that local secret I spoke about before, well I’ll let you in on it now. For the best cookie in the world, head to Van Stepele’s cookie shop, located near Spui Street. This bakery is incredibly unique, as they literally only serve one kind of cookie. It is quite pricey, at €1.95 per cookie, however this is well worth it!
14) Trip to the Seaside at the Blijburg Strand
When you think of Amsterdam, you probably imagine beautiful canals, slanty buildings and lots of red lights (must be bad traffic..). Well believe it or not, Amsterdam also has its own beaches! Catch the tram across to Ijlburg and walk along to the Blijburg Strand. Here you can swim in the sea, catch some waves with wind-surfing or simply chill in the very hip, ramshackle café. This is also where lots of festivals and events take place, so check out what is going on during your visit!
15) Chill by the Canals
There is no better way to finish off a hectic day in one of Europe’s most beautiful city than spending some time people-watching. Grab a cheap beer from the local supermarket, sit by the canal system and simply watch the world go by.
So get your next trip to Amsterdam booked soon, as there is all of this (plus much, much more) waiting for you! If you enjoyed reading this, make sure you subscribe to our blog and catch up with us on social media for more European posts. While you’re there, why not say “Hi!”!
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