If you have decided on Amsterdam as your next destination, then we applaud you. The Dutch Capital is no less than otherworldly beautiful. Famous for its iconic canals, ancient townhomes, cobblestone streets, historic attractions, flower-adorned bridges, and old soul charm, the Dutch capital is more than capable of granting you the soul-cleansing experience you need.
Whether you try to divide your time in Amsterdam among the country’s incredible attractions and sights or decide to spend your time there wandering around the city’s quaint streets and taking in all of its stunning charms, you will, most definitely, have the time of your life in the Dutch Capital.
To help make sure of it, we have prepared you a complete Amsterdam travel guide that answers all your potential questions so you can make the best out of your time in the charming Dutch Capital.
When is the best time to go to Amsterdam?
The Dutch capital is equally beautiful and pleasant all year round. However, late spring has been known to be the best time to visit Amsterdam as the mild weather at that time is perfect for strolling down the city’s old alleys or even biking around the city and exploring all of its hidden gems. Early April is when the legendary tulips start to bloom, so make sure to be there at that time to witness it.
How to get around Amsterdam?
There are several ways to get around Amsterdam. Here are some of them:
- Trams: Amsterdam’s famous blue and white trams are still the most authentic Dutch way to move around the city. There are 14 tram lines in the Dutch capital alone convening at Amsterdam Central Station.
- Ferries: Thanks to Amsterdam’s several canals, ferries are a reliable means of transportation around the city.
- Buses: Amsterdam’s bus system is highly efficient as it has a total of 35 bus lines that go all over the city and operate at night which makes them more practical than trams and metros for night outings.
- Metros: Amsterdam metro system has 5 routes and serves 39 stations making metros the only transportation system that accesses the outlying suburbs of Amsterdam.
- Bicycles: Granted, cycling is not exactly public transportation, but in Amsterdam, it is one of the most popular and common ways to get around the city since it gives you a great chance to experience the beauty of Amsterdam up close.
Where to stay in Amsterdam?
As one of the world’s most beautiful cities and tourist destinations, Amsterdam is filled with class-A hotels to cater to the huge masses that visit it every year. Here are the most recommended 5 hotels in the Dutch Capital:
The Hoxton hotel is a great place to stay while you are in Amsterdam. Quirky rooms, cozy lobby bar, and superb location over the Herengracht canal.
Pillows Anna Van den Vondel
This charming boutique hotel is housed in a row of three grand, red-and-white-striped 19th-century mansions with rooms overlooking its gorgeous private English garden.
The place for artists and young hip minds, the Volkshotel developed in vintage Amsterdam fashion with quirky rooms that feature unique designer touches and bold colors.
Sir Albert Hotel
Housed in a 19-century diamond factory, Sir Albert Hotel has 90 uniquely designed rooms and suites with high ceilings, large windows, custom-made linens, and Illy espresso machines.
With its excellent central location, a mix of contemporary and traditional designs, friendly staff, and reasonable rates, the Ambassade Hotel is a traveler’s favorite and one of the highest-rated hotels in all of Amsterdam.
Where to eat in Amsterdam?
Just as rich as it is in history and culture, Amsterdam thrives in the culinary and entertainment scene with a collection of superb restaurants and cafes that cater to every taste and culinary need. Here are top restaurant choices in Netherlands’ capital city:
Restaurant Floreyn is a local hub that gives tourists and out-of-towners a chance to try out and enjoy the fine Dutch cuisine while surrounded by state-of-the-art interior and decor work.
Vegan Junk Food Bar
The Vegan Junk Food Bar is a hip edgy plant-based joint that serves up cruelty-free vegan fast food such as non-meat ‘beef’ burgers and vegan seafood dishes such as crispy shrimp or sashimi.
Modeled after greenhouses, De Kas is a unique and airy dining space with glass walls and ceiling. It serves farm-to-table multi-course menus in the perfect airy greenhouse-like setting which makes it the perfect spot for relaxed fresh midday lunches.
Vleminckx de Sausmeester
Vleminckx de Sausmeester is the perfect street food hub, serving fried potatoes so good that you can’t get them anywhere else since 1887. This is why there are always lines in front of it of people waiting to taste its famous totally-worth-the-wait fries.
De Silveren Spiegel
Build in an elegant and vintage 1614 red-brick townhouse, De Silveren Spiegel or Silver Mirror is a beautiful spot for fancy yet relaxed dinners that serves delicious and unique plates such as lobster stuffed with North Sea crab with vintage Gouda foam
Top things to do in Amsterdam?
The list of places, sights, and attractions in the Netherland‘s Capital could go on forever. Therefore, it could be a little difficult to decide on where to go or what to do when you have a limited time and budget as most do during vacations. So, we have compiled for you a list of must-see attractions and must-do activities that will truly help you obtain the full Amsterdam experience.
Van Gogh Museum
With a record of 2.165 million visitors in 2018, Van Gogh Museum is the most visited museum in all of the Netherlands.
The Van Gogh Museum features a collection of over 200 of Vincent Van Gogh’s stunning paintings, including The Potato Eaters, Wheatfield with Crows, Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, as well as 500 of his drawings, including Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet and more.
That is not all that the Van Gogh Museum has to offer, inside the museum, there are about 700 hand-written letters by Vincent himself that take you along Gogh’s personal journey as well as his depression.
Anne Frank House
You can’t visit and leave Amsterdam without visiting the iconic Ann Frank House, without it, your Amsterdam experience would never be complete.
Anne Frank is one of the 107,000 Jews who took shelter in the Netherlands until deported to concentration camps during World War II. However, sadly, she was not one of the 5000 who eventually survived.
Inside this 17-century canal house, you will be able to see and stand in the one and only Secret Annexe, which is where the worldly famous teenage diarist Anne Frank hid from the Nazis with her family for over two years. While being in the Secret Annex, you will get to view and read Anne Frank’s iconic diary where she told the story of her and her family and what it felt like to live in hiding for two years under the Nazi’s reign of terror.
Although the line to enter the Anne Frank House seems to go on for days on end, it is completely worth it once you get inside and get to experience one of Amsterdam’s most profound and significant experiences.
Spanning over 120 acres over the Canal Ring, Vondelpark is considered to be the Dutch version of Central Park.
The vast green spaces, the iconic Fish statue by Pablo Picasso, and the live entertainment performances at the park’s open-air theatre are some of the reasons why Amsterdam’s Vondelpark is a must-see attraction in the Dutch capital. So don’t miss out on visiting one of Amsterdam’s biggest and most beautiful parks.
Originally opened in 1655 as a town hall, the Royal Palace building was declared a palace in the 19th century. The Royal Palace is one of the prestigious buildings and attractions you can visit in Amsterdam for its spectacular interior work, especially that with marble.
At the time it was designed, the elegant structure design reflected Amsterdam’s wealth and status in a way that made the Royal Palace building one of the grandest European buildings at the time.
One of the busiest squares of Amsterdam, Leidseplein square features historic architecture as well as steakhouses, restaurants, and clubs.
Leidseplein is also a major hub for nightlife and partying as it has a lot of pubs and clubs, as well as several restaurants and pavement cafes lined at the northern end of the square and perfect for watching from the sidelines. If you want to truly experience Amsterdam’s party scene, then you must pay a visit to Leidseplein.
Now that your travel plans are in order, all you need to do is book your plane ticket and ENJOY the time of your life in one of the world’s most beautiful capitals, Amsterdam.