The European capital of Amsterdam, with its exquisite network of canals, a vibrant cultural background combined with rich history, is truly a unique place to visit.
The city offers an array of never ending things to do, no matter what time of the year you wish to travel there. Irrespective of the length of your stay, whether over the weekend or much longer, you are bound to be rewarded with some extraordinary experiences. Some of the topmost attractions and unmissable places to visit have been painstakingly prepared and listed here just for you.
There is no better place to begin your tour than the city centre. An I Amsterdam City Card can secure free, or substantially discounted, entry for you at the various museums and other important attractions, as well as unlimited access to the public transport system for the entire duration of the trip.
Rent a bike
There are more bicycles than people in Amsterdam, simply because cycling there is a way of life. Pedalling is all the more enjoyable because of the fine network of cycle routes and the flat landscape provided all over the city. This makes your travel economic, safe and invigorating and adds to the overall experience.
Get lost in the labyrinths of Jordaan
Step back into a bygone era as you enter the charming neighbourhood of Jordaan to admire the antique shops and art galleries. Set amid narrow lanes and housed in quaint buildings lying east of the Prinsengracht canal, shopping in Jordaan can make for an exhilarating day out.
Get immersed in the Museumplein culture
Museumplein is the vibrant heartbeat of the culture of Amsterdam. With such famous landmarks as Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art within its boundaries, the place is the ultimate utopia for lovers of art. The open areas between these famous buildings is a beehive of activity all day long with markets and open air art being exhibited everywhere.
Cruise the city canals
The famous Amsterdam canal system was created way back in the 17th century, to protect the city from the sea. Now a UNESCO protected heritage site, the canals project a rosy picture by day and night. Floating down these quaint waterways, seeing the bridges lit up with fairy lights by night is really a sight to behold. A canal cruise forms part of almost all Amsterdam tour packages so it is surely a must-do. With hop on hop off options to romantic candle night cruises the choices are many. Then again you can choose to travel for free with your City Card if the situation demands.
Shop with the locals
The mega market chain of Kalverstraat no doubt has its hordes of admirers, but some of the city’s best local shopping outlets are situated on the De Negen Straates or The Nine Streets. These cobbled and picturesque streets are situated between the two main canals of Leidsegracht and Raadhuisstraat. From designer dresses to vintage stores, over 200 hundred quaint shops are housed here. You can skip the tourist traps and get your authentic Dutch souvenirs here to take back home.
Visit Anne Frank house
Visit early in the morning or book online if you want to avoid the long queues at the diarist Anne Frank house. The place gives an insight as to what life was like for the family during the Nazi occupation.
Amsterdam may be better known for drugs and red lights, but beneath all this is a thriving and vibrant cultural city, which has much more to offer. This beautiful city is well worth a visit just for the rich history and the magnitude of things to do for people of all ages.