Even after almost a year in Amsterdam, it is still one of my favourite cities out there. There are so many activities you can do when visiting the capital of the Netherlands. From canal cruises to museums to eating lovely Dutch food, here is my ultimate Amsterdam Bucket List aka 30 things to do in Amsterdam.
1. Visit the Heineken Experience
Visiting the Heineken Brewery is one of the top tourist attractions in Amsterdam, so make sure to get your tickets and time slots in advance. You will get to know more about the famous Dutch beer and its history and afterwards enjoy some Heineken yourself.
2. ARTIS Royal Zoo
Of course a zoo maybe does not sound like your go-to tourist attraction but if you have a few hours to spare maybe you do want to pay Artis a visit. The zoo is in walking distance from the city centre.
3. Attend an Ajax Soccer Game
If you happen to be a football/soccer fan and in Amsterdam, you might as well go see an Ajax game live or go on a tour around the stadium.
4. Eat some Pancakes
There are plenty of pancake places throughout the city but my personal favourite is the pancake bakery. You can choose between a bunch of different pancake options.
5. Cruise the Canals
No visit in Amsterdam is complete without a cruise around its plentiful canals. If you are around the central station area you can find multiple companies offering cruises throughout the city.
6. Visit the Rijksmuseum
If you are interested in art, then you can not miss out on visiting the Rijksmuseum, the national museum of the Netherlands. It is located at the Museums square together with the Van Gogh Museum. The Rijksmuseum is the most visited museum in the Netherlands and has attracted over 2 million visitors yearly over the past couple of years.
7. Visit the flower market
With the Netherlands being known for its tulips and flowers, of course you will find a flower market in the city as well, where you can buy your own tulips. It is located on the Singel canal and open every day of the week.
8. Go on the A’DAM Lookout and swing over Amsterdam in Amsterdam Noord
The A’DAM Lookout is located just on the other side of the Ij river just a short ferry ride away from the central station. The ferry is free and on the Lookout you can go to the observation desk as well as go on the swing located on the platform.
9. Enjoy the view from the Nemo Science Museum Platform
You can of course also enter the museum, but if you just want to get a nice view of Amsterdam that is also free then just head to the viewing platform on top of the Nemo museum. Especially, if you only have one day in Amsterdam, you should definitely include a visit to a free viewing platform. If the weather is nice, it is also a nice place to just chill out on the stairs.
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10. Free ferry ride
While not the most exciting activity, taking the ferry is free. The ferries to the Northern part of the city leave from the back side of the Central Station. There are two lines that basically just cross the water, whereas the one to NDSM Werf is a bit of a longer ride.
11. Vist a Local Brewery
My favourite Brewery in Amsterdam is Brouwerij Ij but there are other breweries based in Amsterdam where you can enjoy some local beers.
12. Take a picture with the Amsterdam letters
Originally the letters were located in front of the Rijksmuseum but since it was always super crowded and people just went there to see the letters, they have been moving around lately. At some point they had moved them to Amsterdam Noord as part of a festival in the North part of the city and then suddenly a whole lot more tourists started going over to the North side as well.
13. Rent a bike
Most locals will use bikes as transportation within Amsterdam as it is the most convenient option to get around. Therefore, if you want to travel like a local make sure to rent a bike for a day to make your way around.
14. Go to a coffee shop
Let’s be honest, that is the main reasons for a lot of people to come to Amsterdam. But even if you are not into weed I guess it can still be interesting to go inside once and see what a coffee shop looks like. So remember a coffee shop is where they sell marijuana and if you want to drink coffee instead than you should better look for a café.
15. Try some cheese
Within the city there are a bunch of cheese stores. The best thing about it that you can try most of them so sometimes I just go there to eat some cheese. While the cheese is a bit overpriced, it is still a nice souvenir to bring home to your family and friends.
16.Street art at NDSM Werf
NDSM Werf is located just about a 15 minute ferry ride away from the Central Station in the Northern part of the city. The ferry again is free and you can easily find it by getting on the ferry that says “NDSM Werf”. Easy right? At times, there will be festivals or events at NDSM Werf but if there are not then you can find a bunch of street art around.
17. Negen Straatjes
Negen Straatjes literally translates to “9 streets”, which is exactly what it is. Located just a short walk behind the Royal Palace on Dam square, these nine streets are full of beautiful little cafés and boutiques and should not be missed.
They also have a Foodhallen in Rotterdam. Basically an inside market with a lot of different food stalls. Aka the place to be if you are hungry but do not want to make a decision about what to eat in advance.
19. Go on a free walking tour
Like in most bigger cities, also Amsterdam offers a variety of free walking tour. While, they are “free”, you are expected to tip as much as you want or as much as you think the tour was worth. Just have a look online about the times and companies or in which languages the tours are offered.
A free walking tour is always a great way to get a main idea of the city, its history and important facts. I always recommend taking a walking tours as one of the first activities once you get to a new city.
20. De Poezenboot
This is the only cat shelter located on a boat. You can find it in Prinsengracht where you can meet some cats that are looking for a home. The visit is free but a small donation is expected.
21. See a movie at Pathé Tuschinksy
While there are probably the same movies in Pathé Tuschinsky as in the other movie theatres in the city, the interior is what makes this movie theatre so unique. Not only does it look pretty from the outside but a visit inside is a must.
22. Amsterdam Light Festival
If you are in Amsterdam during the right time, then you might get to see the Amsterdam Light Festival which takes place for a couple of weeks in the winter. At this time, there will be several light sculptures from several artists hanging above the canals throughout the city, which is really pretty to look at once it is dark. That also makes Amsterdam a great place in Europe to visit during the winter.
23. Van Gogh Museum
Located at the museums square close to the Rijksmuseum, you will find the Van Gogh museum, which includes the largest collected of art work from Vincent Van Gogh.
24. Royal Palace
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is located at Dam Square in the heart of the city centre. The palace is open to visitors.
25. Enjoy a night out at Leidseplein
Leidseplein is just one out of many squares. Here you can for example find the Apple store or a Bulldog Coffee Shop. Other than for shopping, it is also a fun night out during nighttime, as there are a bunch of clubs and bars located within the area.
26. Have dinner in the De Pijp Area
There are a lot of great restaurants in Amsterdam‘s De Pijp area such as some of my favourites: Deer Mama, the Avocado Show or the Vegan Junk Food Bar. There are also lovely cafés in the area so if you are looking for a wide variety of great dinner places, De Pijp is the place to be.
27. Visit the Tony’s Chocolonely Store
Tony’s Chocolonely is a Dutch fair-trade chocolate brand, in case you have never heard of it. While you can buy their chocolates in the normal supermarkets as well (e.g. Albert Hijn, Jumbo), if you go to the actual store you will be able to try out all the flavours as well as get personalised chocolate bars. So that is pretty cool!
28. Eye Film Museum
Another museum that you can visit in Amsterdam if you have enough time available. The Eye film Museum is located just next to the A’DAM tower on the North side of the city, just a short ferry ride away from the central station. What already makes this place unique is its interesting shape. Within, you can find a huge collection of movie and film posters.
29. National Maritime Museum
Or in Dutch: Het Scheepvaartmuseum, is the 11th most visited museum in the Netherlands and located just opposite the Nemo Science Museum or a few minute walk away from the Central station.
30. Short Trip to Zaanse Schans
And lastly on the ultimate Amsterdam bucket list we have Zaanse Schans. While technically not in Amsterdam, you should not miss out on visiting Zaanse Schans, which is just a short train ride away. Here you will find windmills and some nature and a big change to the busy streets of Amsterdam.
And here you have it: the Ultimate Amsterdam Bucket List.
Which of these activities have you done or you would like to do when visiting Amsterdam?
Let me know in the comments.
Talk to you soon x
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