Amsterdam For first-time visitors

Our most recommended Amsterdam For first-time visitors

Amsterdam: Guided Bike Tour of Central Amsterdam

1. Amsterdam: Guided Bike Tour of Central Amsterdam

Discover the sights of central Amsterdam 2ith an expert guide riding by your side. You’ll learn about the city’s culture, see important historical sites, and famous hotspots as well as lesser-known local favorites.  Start your journey near the central station, pass the impressive A’DAM Tower, and ride over to the Western Islands, which are filled with charming drawbridges, old warehouses, and chic artists studios.  Continue along the Brouwersgracht Canal and visit the trendy Jordaan and 9 Street districts flanked by indie boutiques, cozy cafes, and hip eateries. As you ride deeper into the city center, you will enter the Grachtengordel neighborhood and zoom past the Westerkerk (Western Church) and the historic Anne Frank House.  Feel the buzz of music and street performers around Leidseplein Square, a busy theater district with a buzzing nightlife.  After so much excitement, enjoy a pleasant break in the Vondelpark, the largest park in Amsterdam and the most famous park in the Netherlands. Feeling recharged, circle the Museum Quarter and ride through the narrow streets of the Bohemian-influenced De Pijp neighborhood.  Cross the iconic Magere Brug (skinny bridge), a wooden drawbridge over the River Amstel, and arrive at the famed Artis Zoo leading into the Maritime Quarter.  Admire the impressive replica of a 17th-century Dutch East Indian Company ship at the Salt Harbour, before returning to back where your bike journey began.

Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum Ticket

2. 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: City Canal Cruise

3. Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise

Discover the best of Amsterdam on a canal cruise. Admire old and new buildings, bridges, and much more in a city that’s rooted in history but continues to change. Hear about the city from your audio guide. Take in views of the 17th-century buildings lining the canals, as well as the cosmopolitan 21st-century city that Amsterdam has become. See the many sides of the city from the Golden Bend to Overhoeks, the city’s newest quarter, and from the Music Building in the harbor to the VOC ship. Add an optional snack box to your cruise for something to munch on as you see the sights. Listen to your personal audio guide while on board, with commentary in 20 languages and complimentary headphones. The little ones will love the special "freshwater pirate" kids audio commentary and their own goody bag to enjoy on the boat.

Amsterdam: Heineken Experience Ticket

4. 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: Classic Boat Cruise with Cheese & Wine Option

5. 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: Madame Tussauds Ticket

6. Amsterdam: Madame Tussauds Ticket

Sparkle amid the stars with this ticket to Madame Tussauds in the heart of Amsterdam. Drink a cup of coffee with George Clooney, get your picture taken with members of the Dutch Royal family and pick up your paintbrush alongside world-famous artists such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt. If you are you dreaming about a career as a real TV-host, come and discover your presentation skills at the new TV studio by reading the autocue. Or is music more your thing? How about recording a duet with Adele in the recording studio, or joining DJs Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Hardwell or Martin Garrix in the DJ booth. Immerse yourself into this amazing interactive world. You’ll never see as many stars in Amsterdam as at Madame Tussauds Amsterdam.

Amsterdam: ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo Entry Ticket

7. Amsterdam: ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo Entry Ticket

At the ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo, nature, culture, and heritage come together. Every tree, creature, building, microbe, and planet has its own story. ARTIS has been telling these stories since 1838, and each day they are born anew. Experience it all for yourself with your entry ticket. Stroll through the historical city park with its centuries-old trees and wealth of plants. Delight your taste buds at de Plantage, a café-restaurant. Relax in a chair near the fountain on Artisplein. Experience nature and discover its significance for civilization, because a better understanding of nature fosters a greater respect for all the life around you.

Amsterdam: Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour

8. Amsterdam: Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour

Find out more about Anne Frank on a walking tour of Amsterdam, led by an expert guide. Discover the city’s centuries-old Jewish Quarter in a small group setting while your guide weaves in anecdotes about Anne Frank's life and World War II. As you meander through Amsterdam's Jewish Quarter, hear about Anne Frank's life and family dynamics. Learn about her family's move from Germany, their time in hiding, and about her father's life after the war. Listen as your guide shares stories of Anne Frank’s love for writing and the conditions she lived through during the 1930s and 1940s in Amsterdam. Discover how her diary became internationally famous. On your tour, also hear about the Dutch Resistance during the Second World War and see where secret hiding places were located. Pass by important landmarks such as the Jewish Historical Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue, the Auschwitz Monument, and the façade of Anne Frank House.

Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum Entrance Ticket

9. 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 Vermeer, 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.

From Amsterdam: Keukenhof Skip-the-Line Ticket and Transfer

10. From Amsterdam: Keukenhof Skip-the-Line Ticket and Transfer

Enjoy hassle-free and efficient transportation from central Amsterdam to Keukenhof Gardens, and journey by comfortable bus at a time to suit you. Arrive at the world's largest spring garden in just 55 minutes, benefit from fast track entry on arrival, and stay for as long as you please. Buses to Keukenhof Gardens depart daily from the 'This is Holland' experience, opposite Central Station. Simply take the free ferry from Amsterdam Central Station to the opposite side of the IJ, where 'This is Holland' is a mere 3-minute walk away.   Board the bus, and then admire the Dutch landscape en route to Keukenhof Gardens. Watch a video presentation about Dutch history, the colorful landscape and interesting information on why Holland is so famous for its flowers. Upon arrival at Keukenhof Gardens, skip the long lines and explore the floral displays of the spring garden at your own pace. Marvel at up to 7 million bulbs in bloom, and see vibrant flower beds and fragrant floral displays. Enjoy the Keukenhof Gardens at your leisure, and benefit from frequent departures with guaranteed seating on a luxury coach back to Amsterdam between 1 PM and 6:30 PM. Get a free copy of the Amsterdam city map to help you find your way around the city as a bonus.

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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:

Bruges

Other Sightseeing Options in Amsterdam

Want to discover all there is to do in Amsterdam? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Amsterdam

I found the Van Gogh Museum surprisingly interesting. I didn't know much about the artist other than he was a painter who had cut his own ear off so I decided to purchase a ticket & learn a few facts while killing some time in the area. Well I was definitely in for a surprise. I actually loved the museum & went away feeling somewhat saddened for Van Gogh yet happy that I had taken the time to indulge in this activity. The museum, which is huge, was fairly easy to locate, very clean, had a café & souvenir shop. I purchased my tix online, well in advance of my trip, but it seems that others were buying them upon entrance. I thought it was really great that there are FREE lockers to store your belongings & an area to hang your coat during your visit. I also thought it was nice that visitors are allowed to take photos of the artwork & plenty of space for selfies! I recommend this wonderful place to explore, NOT just for educational purposes, but to gain insight on this troubled soul.

This Wine & Cheese Canal Cruise was worth every bit of money! The crew, Franc, Els, & Diedrich, were very friendly & informative. Our main guide, Franc, was funny & quite knowledgeable, especially for the length of time he's been in Amsterdam (approx 8 months). Our trip was the perfect amount of time for the tour. It was long enough to feel like you received a good amount of information about the area as well as saw some beautiful scenery, but short enough that you didn't feel like you were trapped on a boat, doing circles for hours on end. The weather was perfect for this 10:00a.m. canal cruise! The wine & cheese selection was nice. If I had one suggestion, it would be to add at least one sweet wine to the wine list. Some type of Moscato or Riesling would be the perfect "add" to the choices. Other than that, I'd give this excursion a 10/10... HIGHLY recommend!!

Quick and easy to use. The museum was sold out of tickets but we were able to purchase them here.

Wonderful museum, very well organized and with the right amount of people

Very well-organized exhibition of Van Gogh's paintings!