What an amazing city. Years ago I spent three months hopping around for my internship, and the city has never left my heart (corny much). Amsterdam has everything you want. You need some help getting around and what to do? Huppa, have fun with my Amsterdam travel guide.
The combination of the canals and their houses, the 17th-century architecture, the many tourists and the coffee shops, the down-to-earth Dutch people and the desire for peace in their city, the Red Light District, the Museum Quarter: Amsterdam is very unique. And everyone is welcome. Right?
Do you want to know what to do for a weekend, where to eat and drink and where the best stores are? Huppa, my Amsterdam travel guide incomingggg!
Amsterdam travel guide: to do
An impressive museum, thanks to the many works by 17th-century Dutch masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. But the entire Museum Quarter is fun. Close to each other: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, but also the Concertgebouw, the Vondelpark and many shopping opportunities such as the P.C. Hooftstraat and the Cornelis Schuytstraat.
The only floating flower market in the world, which has been around since 1862. Crazy! The Dutch take their flowers seriously, so this is a definite must-visit.
Red Light District
Winkwink. Call it what you want, in Amsterdam this is an iconic part of the city. Walking through is an attraction in itself, but be respectful.
Okay, I do not think they really call it a cruise, but you’re on a boat so that’s that. In any case, it is a great way to see Amsterdam from a different point of view.
One of the most beautiful parks ever, especially when the weather is nice. Pass by the Albert Heijn, take a bottle and some snacks and bam, impromptu picnic. Always fun.
Never been before, mainly because there is always such a long line. That does not mean that it isn’t a must-do if you are interested in the Second World War. This house was the hiding place of Anne Frank, where she also wrote her diary.
This double-fronted townhouse was built in 1687 on the Herengracht, one of the city’s fanciest canals. You had to be very rich to live here, which was definitely the case for Abraham Willet and his wife Sandrina Holthuysen, who lived there from 1861 to 1895. Now, their house is a museum. Very impressive to see how the wealthy people live(d).
Not so old, though already iconic in Amsterdam. This thanks to the cinema, the film museum and the cafe and restaurant that it houses.
Always something fun to do there, with all those creative people that are hanging around. Old gas factory, now a place with bars and restaurants and where you can watch movies.
Amsterdam travel guide: to shop
Kalverstraat & Rokin
Kalverstraat and Rokin are what Oxford Street is for London, Champs-Elysées for Paris and the Meir for Antwerp. All the major brands are there: Urban Outfitters, H&M, Zara, Stradivarius, MAC, Pull & Bear, Monki, …
De 9 Straatjes
Yay. Nine super cozy streets. They connect the Prinsengracht, the Keizersgracht, the Herengracht and the Singel with each other. Great for walking and discovering the many boutiques and concept stores.
Super cozy neighborhood with not that many tourists but great shops.
Looking for vintage? No stress, Amsterdam has a lot to offer. The best stores: Episode, Marbles Vintage & Design, Rumors, We Are Vintage and Zipper.
Concerto is a GIGANTIC store (1000m²!), which means that they have a lot of records. Maybe on the more expensive side, but it’s nice to find everything you are looking for. Go to Waxwell if you are more into hip-hop. Back Beat for jazz and Eardrum Buzz for new wave!
Amsterdam travel guide: to eat
On Wednesdays (and every other day), we wear pink.
If you’re looking for some pieces of art made from avocados. Only when you have a lot of time, waiting time is long.
Going crazy on vegan food: yes please!
Perfect lunch stop during shopping.
For that kind of people that like food but also like Instagram.
Because who doesn’t like a piece cheesecake during a shopping spree?
For when you want to go hard on the tastiest and largest pie pieces EVER. And yes, you can ask for a doggy bag.
Amsterdam travel guide: to drink
Perfect in sthe ummertime.
A bar that looks amaaazing.
Cool bar with some entertaining live music.
Shot bar. Great for 30 minutes or so, but still, it’s impressive to see how they set fire to your shots.
Amsterdam travel guide: to sleep
Do you prefer to be more central? Hotel Vondel is a boutique hotel and is really cool and close – you’ve guessed it – to the Vondelpark and Leidseplein.
Good to know
Best time to visit? Doesn’t really matter. Summer, winter, autumn, spring: Amsterdam’s always beautiful. In the winter it is always slightly colder (with all that water), the summer is busier. From March to May is the tulip season, so yay!
Transport? The tram runs as good as anywhere in the center. Every time you have to buy a ticket, so a day pass is useful. Are you visiting Amsterdam more often? Then pick up a public transport chip card, which you can recharge every time. That way, you do not pay per journey but per stop. When the weather is nice: rent a bike! Amsterdam is super bike-friendly, so nothing to fear.
Top days? On April 27 it is King’s Day, a national holiday celebrating King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. The whole country is turned upside down, it is one big party. Finding hotels that date is a bit of a challenge, but it is highly recommended to be in Amsterdam that day. So much fun. Speaking about fun: in the weekend of 3 – 5 August it’s Gay Pride, and since the Netherlands is progressive in the LGBTQ-field, that weekend is also known to be one big party, with boat parades and parties everywhere.
Did you like this Amsterdam travel guide? Hooray. Have fun in the city!