10 Best Things to Do in Amsterdam-Fun and Free Attractions for You To Enjoy
Updated On: March 06, 2023
Amsterdam is known for its impressive canal system and artistic heritage. The best things to do in Amsterdam are just waiting to be discovered by you.
From a huge variety of museums to be visited and elaborate buildings to be viewed, you are sure to busy on your trip to Amsterdam.
10 Best Things to Do in Amsterdam
1. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum holds the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings, including Two Cut Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters, The Bedroom and Almond Blossoms. Learn all about the life of Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, from his early childhood to his tragic death. You don’t have to be an art enthusiast to enjoy the Van Gogh Museum. There is a lot to see and do at the Van Gogh Museum for families too. There are family events held daily at the museum where children can draw in the galleries, take part in workshops or get involved in a treasure hunt.
Location: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam
Opening Hours: Daily 9:00am-6:00pm
Cost: €19 per person, free admission under 18 years old. From Monday to Friday, students who have a valid student card can enter the museum for €10. Tickets can only be purchased online.
2. Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is a must when you are in Amsterdam. Experience Anne Franks story through quotes, photos, videos and original objects belonging to the Frank family. The atmosphere in the museum is authentic and emotional. Go inside to the main house, the annex and Anne Franks childhood bedroom. Get to see Anne Frank’s original red-checked diary and her other two notebooks, ‘Favourite Quotes Book’, in which she copied quotes she liked, and her ‘Tales Book’ with original short stories. You will also get to see the revolving bookcase that was used as a door to the secret annex. The Anne Frank House is a moving, unforgettable experience and won’t be like anything you have seen before.
Location: Westermarkt 20, 1016 GV Amsterdam
Opening Hours: Daily 9:00am-10:00pm
Cost: Adult tickets are €14.00. Tickets for 10-17 year olds are €7.00 and tickets for 0-9 years are €1.00. Every first Tuesday of the month, all tickets for the following month become available. Tickets can only be purchased online.
The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands dedicated to Dutch arts and history. It is well worth the visit because of its vast collection of incredible works including Rembrandt van Rijn’s “The Night Watch”, Johannes Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid” and Jan Asselijn’s “The Threatened Swan”. The museum has unique collections inside for example, three 17th-century antique dolls’ houses and doesn’t just hold artwork. The Cuypers Library in the museum is a booklovers dream come through and the museum’s own restaurant, RIJKS, has a Michelin-star. Outside the Rijksmuseum a beautiful garden filled with sculptures is the perfect place to walk around.
Location: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam
When: Daily 9:00am-5:00pm
Cost: Adult tickets are €20 and Free entry up to 18 years old.
4. Ice Bar Amsterdam
The Ice-bar is another unique experience that has to be added to your list of things to do in Amsterdam. Your ticket for the Ice-bar gives you three tickets, one gold and two silver. The gold coin will give you a free drink in the ‘heated’ front bar. The two silver tickets give you two more drinks inside the actually ice-bar itself. As you enter the ice-bar you will be given a warm coat and gloves to keep you warm in the freezing temperatures. Drink from glasses made of ice and sit in the bar sipping on your drink surrounded by ice, from the walls to the ice sculptures.
Location: Amstel 194-196, 1017 AG Amsterdam.
When: Open Sunday-Thursday from 2:40pm-10:00pm and Friday and Saturday from 1:45pm-11:00pm.
Cost: Tickets are €26.50
5. Canal Cruise
Discover Amsterdam’s attractions while floating down the canals. You can choose to cruise the canals as your mode of transport and use it as a hop-on-hop-off service to go visits sites or you can choose a historical cruise that will give you information while on board. If you want to really experience what canal cruises have to offer why not opt for a cheese tasting and drinks canal cruise. There are so many different options that it can be hard to choose the right one. Here are TripAdvisor’s list of canal cruises to help you decide.
6. Rent Bikes
Don’t fancy walking or taking a boat along the canal to see what Amsterdam has to offer? Why not rent a bike and cycle your way around the Netherlands’ capital. This is a fast and enjoyable way to reach your desired destinations. Experience the city like a local and see more in the day than you ever could by walking. Amsterdam is a very bicycle-friendly city with many designated bicycle paths to cycle on. There are many different rental companies to choose from in Amsterdam. We have picked out of a four bike rental companies that you could use below;
- Rent-A-Bike Location: Damstraat 20-22
- King Bikes Location 1: Kerkstraat 143 & Location 2: Spuistraat 1C
- Holland-Rent a bike Location: Damrak 247
- A-Bike Location 1 Vondelpark : Tesselschadestraat 1-E,1054 ET, Location 2 Leidseplein: Kerkstraat 27-A, 1017 GB & Location 3 Rijksmuseum: Stadhouderskade 520, 1071 ZD
7. Heineken Experience
Any Heineken lovers will like this next attraction. Get a 2 hour behind the scenes tour of Heineken’s first built brewery in the centre of Amsterdam. The interactive tour will take you through the beer giant’s history and as a finish you will get to go into the tasting bar where you will get two free beers. If a fun and interactive museum that gives you the history on one of the most famous beers in the world, then the Heineken Experience is just the place for you.
Location: Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands
When: Daily 10:30am-9:00pm
Cost: For over 18’s tickets cost €21.00
8. Amsterdam Royal Palace
The Amsterdam Royal Palace is located in the heart of Amsterdam and its is largest and most prestigious building in the city. Explore the rich history and interior of this historical building in the heart of Amsterdam. A tour of the palace will allow you to see many paintings, sculpture and elaborate objects for example, the statue of Atlas and a sculpture of the Fall of Icarus. The magnificent collection of furniture, clocks such as the Oath of the Horatii clock and chandeliers are worth the visit alone. You should not miss the opportunity to add this historic monument to your list of things to do in Amsterdam.
Location: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147, 1012 RJ Amsterdam
When: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm
Cost: Adult tickets cost €12.50, student tickets cost €9 and Under 18’s have free entry.
9. A’DAM Lookout
A’DAM LOOKOUT is a unique experience that everyone will enjoy when in Amsterdam. With many activities to enjoy you won’t get bored at A’DAM LOOKOUT. Looking for a thrill, Europe’s highest swing Over The Edge is just for you, where you get to swing from 100 metres above the city. Experience the fun Amsterdam VR Rollercoaster Ride and the elevator ride to the top is sure to impress with its elaborate light and sound effects before you even see the view at the top. You can also choose to enjoy food and drinks and the Sky Bar while soaking in the spectacular 360-degree view of Amsterdam.
Location: Overhoeksplein 5, 1031 KS Amsterdam
When: Daily 10:00am-10:00pm
Cost: Entrance ticket for A’DAM LOOKOUT- €14.50, LOOKOUT + Drinks-€20.50, LOOKOUT + Thrill-€24.50
Leidseplein is a buzzing nightlife and transport hub centered around Leidseplein Square. It is easily accessible with a number of tram lines stopping at Leidseplein. You are guaranteed entertainment when you arrive at Leidseplein as street performers can be seen dancing on the square there are a variety of shops for you to choose from. There are also many bars and restaurants surrounding the square. Local theaters, such as Stadsschouwburg, show classical music, musicals and more, while famous music venues Paradiso and Melkweg are also located in the square. Visiting Leidseplein and soaking in the energetic atmosphere of the square is a must-do when in Amsterdam.
Location: Centrum, Amsterdam Centrum, Amsterdam
Fun Things to Do in Amsterdam
Looking for fun and unique things to do in Amsterdam? We have you covered with a list of attractions that will be unforgettable.
Escape from reality in Amaze Amsterdam, an immersive audio-visual experience. This is a must-do for music lovers with a labyrinth of stages that will blow your mind. Experience different worlds all at once that heighten your senses and feel all your emotions. Be prepared to be AMAZED!
Location: Elementenstraat 25, 1014 AR Amsterdam
When: Wednesday 3:00pm-9:00pm, Thursday 3:00pm-10:00pm, Friday 3:00pm-11:00pm, Saturday 12:00pm-12:00am & Sunday 12:00pm-7:00pm
Cost: Adult ticket €26.95, Duo ticket €24.95p.p, Youth (up to 17) €13.50 and Student ticket €20.95.
The WONDR Experience is an artistic playground with 15 picturesque rooms. Release your inner child and take endless Instagram worthy pictures and videos at the WONDR experience. It is a world full of color, where you can play and explore. It is the only place where you can have a bath in marshmallows or swim in an big blue ball pit. What’s not to like? WONDR is the perfect place to let go regardless of your age.
Location: Meeuwenlaan 88-B, 1021 JK Amsterdam
When: Monday-Sunday 10:00am-7:00pm
The WONDR Museum also hold two other fun attractions;
WONDR host a pop-up 80’s style roller-skating rink. The bright coloured walls, disco balls and neon lights add a fun and retro style to the skiting rink. Step back in time and release your inner Madonna in her “Sorry” music video at RollerDreams. This is a different and enjoyable experience for anyone to enjoy when in Amsterdam.
Location: Meeuwenlaan 88-B, 1021 JK Amsterdam
When: Monday- Wednesday 2:00pm-8:00pm, Thursday & Friday 2:00pm-10:00pm, Saturday 1:00pm-10:00pm & Sunday 1:00pm-8:00pm
WONDR’s pop-up beach, Pink Beach allows you to go to the beach without getting your hair wet or sand between your toes. The name speaks for itself, Pink Beach is PINK! Eat, drink and get quirky photos at the beach with its blue ball pool and pastel umbrellas. This is a fun way to spend some time with your friends and will be remembered for its originality and amazing atmosphere.
Location: Meeuwenlaan 88-B, 1021 JK Amsterdam
When: Monday-Sunday 12:00pm-8:00pm
You are spoiled for choice at The Upside Down in Amsterdam with a range of different photogenic and creative rooms for you to explore. From a Royal Room to a Magnum Gold Billionaire room you are guaranteed to have fun with your friends. Get a photo in a Private Pink Jet or swim in a giant ball pool. Whatever you choose to do when in The Upside Down will be remembered forever with crazy photos.
Location: Europaboulevard 5, 1079 PC Amsterdam
When: Sunday- Thursday 10:00AM-7:00PM, Friday & Saturday 10:00am-8:00pm
Free Things to Do in Amsterdam
Looking for free things to do in Amsterdam? We have you covered with a list of attractions for you to enjoy without the expense.
Stadsarchief- Amsterdam’s City Archives
You can access the Amsterdam archives and discover more about the history of the gorgeous city and its people for free. Get to see the City Archives collection of maps, paintings, photos and films that tell the story of Amsterdam’s past. Amsterdam’s City Archives hosts special exhibitions which you have to pay a fee to enter, however, admission to The Amsterdam Treasure Room and other exhibitions is free. If you are looking for something free and fascinating to do in Amsterdam this is just the thing for you.
Location: Vijzelstraat 32, 1017 HL Amsterdam
This cultural hotspot is the perfect place to spend some time when in Amsterdam. There is a ferry service that runs daily and brings you over to the former shipyard social space free of charge. With a vibrant community and a huge variety of bars and restaurants, NDSM has something for everyone. It often holds festivals, exhibitions, performances and a range of other events. Once a month the IJ-hallen Flea-market opens up and if you go be prepared to spend hours looking at the treasures.
Location: NDSM-Plein 28, 1033 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Bloemenmarkt is the world’s only floating flower market. Be enchanted by the gorgeous colours of the Bloemenmarket and smell the fresh flowers. The range of flowers isn’t the only reason you should visit the Bloemenmarket, the fabulous views and enchanting atmosphere add to the flower market. You can’t go to Amsterdam and not admire the tulips. There are also many souvenir and gift shops were you can buy a token to bring home to remember your time in Amsterdam. This attraction has to be added to your itinerary of things to do in Amsterdam.
Location: Singel, 1012 DH Amsterdam
There are many scenic places that you can walk or cycle around in Amsterdam. Vondelpark is largest city park in Amsterdam. Watch out for the free concerts that given at the open-air theatre or at the park’s bandstand during the Summer. There is also a lovely playground that the children can enjoy while you soak in the views of the beautiful park. With many cafés to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat, the park is the perfect oasis for you to enjoy. Spending a few hours walking, cycling or relaxing at Vondelpark should definitely be on your list of things to do in Amsterdam
Read our other articles on Amsterdam: Complete Amsterdam Travel Guide I Top 13 Must-See Museums in Amsterdam