With so many amazing things to do in Amsterdam I simply HAD to create the next installment in my Top 10 series around one of my favorite European cities. Read on to discover my 10 picks for things to see and do in Amsterdam, or join me as I explore Amsterdam tours, sights and activities in my Top 10 Things To Do In Amsterdam video!
WATCH THE VIDEO ▶︎ Top 10 Things To Do In Amsterdam
1- VISIT AMSTERDAM’S CENTRAL STATION
Central station provides a good first taste of Amsterdam’s gorgeous gothic architecture, and you can easily take a train here from the airport to to begin your Amsterdam adventure right in the center of town.
2- RENT A BICYCLE
I’m not a huge bike person, especially while filming so I did not rent one, however it was fun to see how much of an important role bikes played for both tourists and locals here in Amsterdam.
They even go as far as designating bike lanes as serious as traffic lanes, and parking garages specifically for bicycle parking.
3- TAKE A CANAL CRUISE
One of the best ways to see Amsterdam is via its lovely and lengthy canals. You can find a wide selection of Amsterdam Canal tours near Central Station, including open boat tours, romantic sunset dinner cruises, and basic one-hour informative tours, which is what I chose.
While the information was nice, the scenic ride itself was even better and made for a relaxing way to see a LOT of Amsterdam in very little time.
Also worth noting, is this Hop On Hop Off canal boat which mixes the tour element with a great way to get around.
4- VISIT AN AMSTERDAM COFFEE SHOP
While the coffee shop in my video is more on the underground side, you can think of Amsterdam coffee shops much like bars in that they offer all different styles and vibes.
For the most part, you choose your marijuana from a menu of selections along with a beverage and the proper equipment rental. Then simply hang out to shoot some pool, perhaps get some work done online, or socialize with friends.
This place, The Bull Dog is popular historic chain that apparently has an alcohol serving bar attached to it- while by law most coffee shops only serve coffee, soda, tea, and weed.
Overall Amsterdam has a progressive cannabis friendly culture and similar to California and many other US states, the smell of marijuana in the air is both common and accepted.
5- STAY AT A HIP HOTEL
In a cool and interesting city like Amsterdam, you simply must stay at an equally hip hotel. The Volkshotel was a great choice for me being visually interesting and offering up some fun amenities such as this retro sauna on the roof top.
Check prices to book your stay at the Volkshotel in Amsterdam!
6- CHECK OUT VONDELPARK
Vondelpark is much like New York’s Central Park, Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green, or even San Diego’s Balboa Park- just a large green park in the center of the city providing waking, biking and running trails as well as flowers, trees, fountains and even some wild life.
It’s a can’t miss AND a must see as you adventure through Amsterdam!
7- VISIT AMSTERDAM’S MUSEUM DISTRICT
In the museum district, photo opportunities lie everywhere both in the signage and in the gorgeous museum landscapes. Be sure to snap a picture with one of the many ‘iamstersam’ signs.
This here is the Rijksmuseum, which provides the main gateway into the district and is most famous for its collection of Rembrant and Vermeer. The whimsical surrounding gardens are reason enough for a visit, even if you don’t have the time to go inside.
This popular district is also home of the Museum of Contemporary Art which was recently displaying Banksy, AND the Van Gogh Museum, a well put together display of Van Gogh’s works as well as the complete story of this remarkable and challenging life as an artist.
8- CLIMB THE AMSTERDAM SIGN
You can find this giant sign both at the Amsterdam airport upon arrival, OR here in the museum district.
And of course, it MUST be climbed.
Here’s a snapshot of the experience, but you truly need to watch the Top 10 Things To Do In Amsterdam video to understand the full effect 😃
9- HAVE A HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE
Heineken is not only Amsterdam’s top beer, but the world’s most international premium beer being sold in over 170 countries! The Heineken Experience gives you a deeper look at this stellar brew by walking you through the history and production of Heineken, and presenting it all with an exciting and interactive spin.
A definite ‘must do’ while visiting Amsterdam!
This separate video I produced outlines the entire experience from the tour to the tasting of Heineken in the making.
The experience costs sixteen euro and the best way to get tickets is to buy them online– especially to avoid the lines at entrance.
Of course this includes a taste the fresh brew and a full pint at the end, making it well worth the price.
10- VISIT THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT
You’ve all heard about it, and a stroll through the area is a chance to see Amsterdam’s sex for sale industry in action. The Red light district is generally just a cluster of strip clubs, brothels and sex shops, not to mention an educational museum or two.
Being both world famous AND near the center of town it’s visited by curious tourists alongside lonely drunken males and generally anyone looking for a wild party experience.
Even if you’re not there to party, the red lights and beautiful canal overlooks offer an Instagram worth photo opportunity.
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