Our most recommended things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam: Jordaan District Local Food Walking Tour

1. Amsterdam: Jordaan District Local Food Walking Tour

Embark on a guided walking tour through Amsterdam's buzzing Jordaan neighborhood on this guided tour and discover its thriving foodie scene. Dig into enough samples to comprise a substantial meal as you stop in for foodie-delighting samples at 6 tasty eateries. Meet your local guide at a family-owned cafe located beside a charming canal bridge and begin your mouth-watering adventure. First, learn about the history of the area and how Jordaan went from a working-class neighborhood to one of the most trendy areas in the city. Stop at 6 local haunts, and meet the people that are keeping Dutch food traditions alive. Taste a variety of delicious delicacies and go beyond the usual tourist attractions to get a true insight into local culture and cuisine. Stroll through the vibrant streets that are lined with boutique stores, specialty shops, and charming restaurants. Admire the picturesque network of Amsterdam's canals and the beautiful buildings that line the water. As you munch on all the delicious food, be enthralled with stories and insights into Amsterdam’s culture and history from an experienced local guide. End your tour full of good food and just a stone's throw away from the Anne Frank House. 

Amsterdam: Classic Boat Cruise with Cheese & Wine Option

2. Amsterdam: Classic Boat Cruise with Cheese & Wine Option

Relax on a canal cruise through the UNESCO Heritage listed Golden Age Canals of Amsterdam. View city highlights like the Skinny Bridge, the Red Light District, and the Old Harbor. Have the option to choose standard tour or a tour with unlimited delicious Dutch cheese, wine, and other drinks. Board the ship and let your local skipper tell you about local history as you sail past sights in the Jordaan district and the Skinny Bridge on the the Amstel River. Admire views of parts of the Red Light District, the former city locks, and Old Harbor. Capture pictures of the stately architecture of the Maritime Museum and the prestigious Gold Bend neighborhood. See pieces of history as you sail by places like the Anne Frank House. Ask your guide questions about the city and get recommendations for things to do and places to eat.

Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise

3. Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise

Enjoy the center of Amsterdam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on this canal tour in Amsterdam. Be amazed by the gorgeous 17th century canal houses, old merchant houses from the Dutch Golden Age, charming bridges, and the Dutch cyclists. Hop aboard a comfortable boat and pass by the Anne Frank House and the Westerkerk. Glide by more than just old buildings, as you admire new architectural masterpieces have been built along the Piet Heinkade on the IJ river. During your cruise, uncover everything the Dutch capital has to offer in 75 minutes. Keep your camera close by to snap some enviable shots. Book your canal tour in Amsterdam now and board one of the famous blue boats. Take in highlights of Amsterdam and experience the city the way it really is. Soak up sights like the Golden Bend, Overhoeks (the city’s newest quarter), the Music Building in the harbor, and the impressive replica of a VOC ship outside the Maritime Museum.

Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum Ticket

4. Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum Ticket

As one of Amsterdam's most popular attractions, the Van Gogh Museum draws over a million visitors each year. With this ticket, discover over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and more than 750 letters from Van Gogh at your own pace. Access a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibitions.  Home to the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam transports visitors on a fascinating journey through the life of the artist and his contemporaries. The museum introduces the complete story: the artist, the context, Van Gogh’s personal ambitions, his emotions, the myths that surround him, and his influence right up until this very day. The Van Gogh Museum’s collection includes world-famous paintings such as Sunflowers, Almond Blossom, and The Potato Eaters.  The museum also organizes 3 temporary exhibitions every year. The Van Gogh Museum is open 365 days a year. Tickets are available online only. Don’t miss out, book in advance. Visitors can discover more about Van Gogh and his contemporaries with the multimedia guide, available in 11 languages. With more time to enjoy inside the museum, you can dive straight into the fantastic collections on display.

Amsterdam: Heineken Experience Ticket

5. Amsterdam: Heineken Experience Ticket

1867 was a good year for beer. It was the year Gerard Adriaan Heineken built a new brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. In the pumping heart of the old brewery, you can dive into the world of Heineken beer.   On a 1.5-hour self-guided tour you’ll learn about the company’s heritage, the beer brewing process, Heineken’s innovations, and about what it takes to serve a world-famous beer. There will be a short presentation in English provided inside the factory.   Find out the 4 natural ingredients that make this beer, and discover the brand’s sponsorship activities with Formula 1, the UEFA Champions League and the Rugby World Cup. And sure enough, at the end of the tour you can raise your glass with new friends.

Amsterdam: Open Boat Canal Cruise with Onboard Bar

6. Amsterdam: Open Boat Canal Cruise with Onboard Bar

Admire Amsterdam’s picturesque waterside landmarks on a 100% electric cruise. Take in incredible views of the city’s famous landmarks from an open boat and experience a relaxing way to sightsee, free of traffic. Learn informative and entertaining insights about the sites along the route. See the 17th-century buildings lining the famous canals, as well as new stylish buildings showcasing the influential 21st-century city that Amsterdam has become. Sail by the Hermitage Museum, then glide past the Skinny Bridge, the posh Amstel Hotel, and the charming neighborhood of Grachtengordel. Enjoy an open-air boat experience on a sunny day or stay warm with a protective covering on cooler days. In the winter months, relax on an enclosed boat to keep you warm. Benefit from the flexibility of a one-use ticket that can be used on any one of the cruises departing within the hour you booked.

Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum Entrance Ticket

7. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum Entrance Ticket

Treat yourself to a wonderful day in one of Amsterdam’s grandest museums, the Rijksmuseum, located in the heart of the city. The Rijksmuseum's internationally revered collection features some of the nation’s most famous works, including historic art by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Van Gogh, and others. Visitors can admire Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’, which takes pride of place in a beautifully lit hall allowing visitors to enjoy every tiny detail. Gaze also upon 'The Jewish Bride'. This last painting reduced Vincent van Gogh to tears who, upon visiting the Rijksmuseum shortly after it opened, wrote in a letter that he would gladly give up ten years of his life to sit in front of the painting for two weeks, eating only a stale crust of bread. Visitors can expect much more than just paintings by Dutch Masters from the Golden Age. The Rijksmuseum’s expansive, evocative collection also includes Delftware, sculptures, archaeological artifacts, clothing, Asian art, prints, items from Dutch maritime history, and many other culturally significant objects, all combining to vividly retell 800 years of Dutch history within a global context. And naturally, the collection isn't frozen in time – new items such as a Mondrian-inspired dress by Yves Saint Laurent dating from 1965 can also be seen. The largest research and restoration project ever for 'The Night Watch' has started. This is happening live in the museum and you can be part of it and support the project with a donation.

Amsterdam: The Upside Down Museum Entrance Ticket

8. Amsterdam: The Upside Down Museum Entrance Ticket

Swirl into an upside down world and see The Netherlands in a new contemporary way. With 25 immersive settings, have the chance to create the most amazing social media content upside down. Grab your friends and dive into a Dutch Ice Bath, or ride the metro upside down. Dance to the rhythm of your own silent disco beat in an upside down club, fly away in a true private jet, and jump into a voice-activated LED-light ball pit with a jacuzzi. After you've created mind-blowing content, relax in the Upside Down Café, while enjoying colorful sandwiches and sweets. Sip on a famous freakshake before heading home. On Fridays and Saturdays, enjoy an amazing cocktail combo ticket with live DJs after 5 PM.

Amsterdam: GVB Public Transport Ticket

9. Amsterdam: GVB Public Transport Ticket

Experience Amsterdam stress-free with an unlimited travel card for all public transport networks operated by GVB throughout the city. Purchase a ticket valid for a day or a multi-day ticket that best suits your plans. Travel on the metro, trams, buses, and ferries and experience the city like a local. Using your ticket is easy. Simply collect your ticket from any of the four participating stations then check in when boarding a tram, bus, or metro, and then check out when you exit or disembark the vehicle. Your ticket will be validated on first use and can be used for unlimited travel until the end of its validity. If you have additional questions, or your ticket appears to be defective, you can easily go to one of the designated pick-up locations or call the number presented on your mobile voucher for assistance.

Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam & Marken Bus Tour

10. Amsterdam: Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam & Marken Bus Tour

Visit Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam, and Marken on a guided bus tour from Amsterdam. Admire the famous windmills of Zaanse Schans, attend a clog-making demonstration, and sample Edam and Gouda cheese. Depart Amsterdam by luxury bus on this exciting tour and head north of the city to see the historic windmills of Zaanse Schans on the banks of the river Zaan. Explore the traditional 17th-century houses and a collection of beautifully preserved windmills from the nation’s industrial heritage. Continue on to visit Edam, a beautiful town known worldwide for its cheese. Enjoy a cheese tasting and an exciting clog demonstration. Before the end of the day, go to Volendam and Marken, passing many authentic polders, the name given to land reclaimed from the sea. Wander down narrow streets, past colorful houses and visit the harbors full of fishing boats. You will have some free time to shop for souvenirs and sample the local fish specialties. Back in Amsterdam, you will be dropped off at the meeting point.

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Frequently asked questions about Amsterdam

What top attractions are a must-see in Amsterdam?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Amsterdam?

The best day trips and excursions from Amsterdam are:


Insider Tips: Planning a trip to Amsterdam

Matthew Kepnes runs the award winning budget travel site, NomadicMatt.com. His writings and advice have been featured in The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, Budget Travel, BBC, Time, The Wall Street Journal, and countless other publications. When not traveling the world, he lives in New York City.

What should I do on my first trip to Amsterdam?

The first thing to do when you visit Amsterdam is take a walking tour. It's the best way tos ee the sights and get an introduction to the city. There are all kinds of free and paid options available, so it's perfect for every budget. After that, my favorite thing to do is wander the Van Gogh Museum. He's one of my favorite artists and the museum has tons of his works on display.

What are some hidden gems to see in Amsterdam?

I think the small Tulip Museum is something a lot of people miss. Additionally, exploring Jordaan (a nearby neighborhood) is one of my favorite things to do in the city as there's few tourists here.

How much time should I spend in Amsterdam?

At a minimum, you'll want 3-5 days to see the highlights. If you have 5-7 days, you can fit in some day trips, such as a visit to nearby Haarlem or a bike ride out of the city to see the windmills.

What food is Amsterdam known for?

If you have a sweet tooth, stroopwafel (a waffle cookie with a syrup filling) is the go-to choice for locals.

What is the best way to get around Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is easy to get around by public transportation. The buses, trams, and the metro and fast, clean, safe, and easy to use. Cycling is also super popular and bike rentals are affordable (10-15 EUR per day). It's one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world (there are more bikes than people here).

What are the best months to visit Amsterdam?

The city is most lively from June-August, but it's also super crowded these days thanks to the surge of travel post-COVID. To beat the crowds, try to visit in September/October or May/early June. The weather is still nice and you'll find far fewer crowds. Prices will be a little lower too.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Amsterdam?

Jordaan (for charm), De Pijp (for local vibes), De Wallen (for affordable accommodation), and Centrum (for the best location) are a few of my favorite areas to stay in the city. Whenever I visit, these are the places I spend the most time. If it's your first time visiting, stay somewhere central so you can easily walk everywhere. You'll save a lot of time and money that way.

What's are 4 best tips for a person traveling to Amsterdam?

1) Get the Amsterdam Pass - This pass offers free entrance to most of the major museums and attractions as well as free public transportation. If you’re going to be bouncing between museums a lot, get this card.

2) Take a free walking tour – If you want an overview of the city, take one of the free walking tours. The biggest one is offered by New Europe Tours and will give you a solid introduction and overview. Just be sure to tip!

3) Eat on the cheap – Febo, Walk to Wok, and Maoz are all cheap places to get food. Moreover, cafes in the city offer prix-fixe lunch specials for between 10-15 EUR. If you’re going to eat out, lunch is the best time to do it in Amsterdam!

4) Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use.

What should people avoid doing in Amsterdam?

If you're visiting the Red Light district, don't take photos of the people you see in the windows. There are signs everywhere warning you about this, so keep your camera off or you'll risk a bouncer grabbing it from you.

What are your top 5 favourite GetYourGuide experiences in Amsterdam?

1) Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum Ticket

2) Amsterdam: Classic Boat Cruise with Cheese & Wine Option

3) Amsterdam: Life of Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour

4) Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum Entrance Ticket

5) Amsterdam: Royal Palace Entry Ticket and Audio Guide

What is one thing that surprised you about Amsterdam?

I've been to Amsterdam more times than I can count (I even lived there for a while). The biggest recent surprise was when I visited post-COVID becasue the city was packed. I mean, it was wall to wall tourists. Since that's not a pleasant surprise, I really suggest travelers visit the city beyond the popular months of June-August. Do that, and you'll beat the crowds, save money, and have a much more enjoyable time.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Amsterdam?

If you're traveling with family, a canal cruise is a must. It's a fun way to explroe the city and learn about how vital the canls were to Amsterdams development. They're usually just an hour or so , which means kids won't get too bored! For something outside the city, head out and see the windmalls. You can reach them in just 20 minutes from Centraal and they make for a fun half-day excursion.

What is the best thing to do in Amsterdam for solo travelers?

If you're a solo traveler, sign up for a walking tour. It's the best way to meet other solo travelers and connect with an expert local guide that can answer all of your questions and give you insider tips on what to see, where to eat, and much more. There are tons of walking torus around the city, both free and paid, so no matter what you're interested in you'll be able to find a tour that's both entertaining and informative.

Other Sightseeing Options in Amsterdam

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What people are saying about Amsterdam

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 174,636 reviews

Ester was a really good guide, lots of knowledge for the tour (also added her personal touch to the tour from facts of her own life as she was raised in a windmill herself which was really interesting) and she made the whole experience the highlight of our visit to Amsterdam. Highly recommended tour and Ester as a guide.

Really well done museum. Staff was very knowledgeable and kept all the information interesting while you could walk through at your own pace. They also had a lot of interactive things that made the experience super fun and the samples were great!

Erik was a super guide, knows his stuff. He does take your needs in consideration during the walk. Consider yourself lucky if you get Erik as your guide.

Amazing experience. We were looking forward to have fun and we did. We took lots of pictures and had so much fun.

Great experience! Very cold. Staff definitely made the experience