Amsterdam, a city famous for its bikes, canals, and tulips! It really has a little bit of everything for everyone. Small enough to walk around yet filled with plenty of places to visit and things to do, Amsterdam makes for a perfect weekend getaway. We’ve put together a list of all the best things to do and places to see that will make you fall in love with this incredibly exciting city.
Grab some goodies at the Flea Markets
Early mornings are the perfect time to visit the flea markets so that you can avoid the afternoon rush and grab the early morning treats.
This is the largest and busiest market in Amsterdam filled with an array of Dutch delights and many food specialities including exotic herbs and spices. Beyond the exquisite foods you can shop for almost anything from clothing and cosmetics to bedding and ornaments. This market is all-consuming so beware not to lose track of time.
Bloemenmarkt – Flower Market
Amsterdam is home to the one and only floating flower market in the world. This spectacular flower market floats along the canal making for a great sightseeing spot and is a must for any visitor. You can also buy some of the nation’s famous tulip bulbs to take back home with you. If you are still more interested in discovering facts about the national flower then head on down to the Tulip Museum and prepare to be amazed.
Indulge aboard the Pancake Ship
Dutch pancakes are to die for! This pancake ship experience is unlike any other where you can discover the city from an entirely different angle whilst pigging out on an unlimited number of pancakes. Whether you like sweet or savoury pancakes, traditional ones or new designs with random toppings, you’ll find a pancake to suit your taste on this ship; so don’t miss out.
Meander your way through the canals
Amsterdam is known as the Venice of the North. Canals meander around almost each and every corner throughout the city. You can enjoy a peaceful boat ride and admire the incredible architecture and landscapes that Amsterdam proudly boasts. Or you can take a stroll around the city discovering the hidden gems of Amsterdam along the way.
Explore the city by bike
Transport in the crazy streets of Dam is a fun, scary and exhilarating experience all in one. By day, you can attempt to blend in with the locals who will literally zoom past you in a flash from every direction. It’s a fast, easy (if you’re daring) and exciting way of getting around the city, and whether you’re part of a tour or cycling individually this is a must do activity in this city.
Go back in time and share the diary of Anne Frank
Go back in time to the Second World War and understand the tragic story of the young diarist Anne Frank. This canal front house portrays the Franks’ lives during this detrimental period and tells their story through the exhibits, architecture and unfurnished rooms. If you’ve read the book, watched the plays and seen the films, then this visit will be the cherry on top, bringing all the other experiences to life.
Lay back, relax and soak up the sun on the buzzing beaches
When you think Amsterdam, you’d think a city destination, shopping and sightseeing as opposed to sun, sand and sea. This is a surprising little city which has literally a bit of everything, which means you can head down to the beach without leaving the city. The Dam boasts three main beaches: the Strand West, Strand Zuid and Strand Ijburg. If you’re a student and young you’ll enjoy Strand Zuid, if you’re looking for a little luxury Strand West is more your scene and if you’re style is more alternative or you’re a young family then Strand Ijburg is right up your street, these beaches are perfect for a summery afternoon.
Escape the city and enter the secret gardens
Beyond beaches, a city life and canal mazes, Amsterdam has yet another hidden secret. The Begijnhof Courtyard is Amsterdam’s secret gardens and a place of tranquillity right in the middle of the city. It’s a real hidden gem which boasts a 15th Century Church and picturesque gardens. You’ll forget you were in the city once you enter this little bubble of peace.
Get Inspired by art
Get swept away by inspiring art work at Van Gogh’s Museum where you can appreciate the masterpieces and get to know the fascinating history of Van Gogh that inspired his work. Stedelijk, the modern art museum is hard to miss; this bath tub shaped museum displays impressive modern and contemporary art.
Experiment with foods
There are lots of Dutch delights which have to be tried. For those of you with a sweet tooth try the Poffertjes – fluffy small pancakes and stroopwafels – which can be taken home with you if you really like them. For those of you with a passion for new foods, try a raw herring – it’s like marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it.
You can also download our offline travel guide Amsterdam for Less with street and interactive metro map, access to major points on interests. Discounts to top attractions in Amsterdam.