What to see and do in Amsterdam

Since moving to Amsterdam about 10 months ago, we’ve had just about as many visitors. For a multitude of reasons, Amsterdam is incredibly popular with tourists. Every weekend the population of this small city swells ridiculously. In 2010 alone, 5.3 million tourists visited Amsterdam. That’s a lot of people in a very small area!

Anyway, for all our future guests and anyone else visiting Amsterdam, here is my list of attractions. They’re not in any particular order and I know I’m missing a bunch, but it’s a start!

Museums

There are a lot of museums in Amsterdam, most of which seem to be art related.

Amsterdam - Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum – Image sourced from Wikipedia – Amsterdam Rijksmuseum

Churches

There are several old churches dotted around Amsterdam. It may seem a bit strange but Oude Kerk is right in the middle of the red light district!

Amsterdam - Westerkerk

Westerkerk – Image sourced from Flickr – Steve Cadman – Amsterdam Westerkerk

Activities

You can spend days just wondering the streets of Amsterdam. The buildings are so beautiful and well maintained. The tree-lined canals and little bridges just can’t get any more picturesque on a sunny afternoon. But then again, there are heaps of other things to do as well, such as…

Amsterdam - Heineken Experience

Heineken Experience – Image sourced from Info Barrel – Heineken Experience

Sights

For such a small city, Amsterdam has several particularly well known areas. Some are pretty obvious (like the red light district) whilst others are much more hidden away (like the Begijnhof). Whatever your style, there’s something for everyone.

Amsterdam - Red Light District

Red Light District (De Wallen) – Image sourced from Wikipedia – De Wallen

Markets

Like every proper European city, Amsterdam has its fair share of markets. Some only operate on the weekend and most have a particular theme.

Amsterdam - Flower Market

Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt) – Image sourced from Wikipedia – Bloemenmarkt

Shopping

Shopping in Amsterdam is not like it is in the USA or Australia where you have everything you could possibly need in one large shopping mall. Malls like that don’t really exist in Europe where shopping is more ‘boutiquey’. There are shops dotted around the city and a few streets, like Kalverstraat, are lined with them.

Amsterdam - Shopping Street Kalverstraat

Shopping (Kalverstraat) – Image sourced from Flickr – Kevin Oliver – Kalverstraat Shopping, Amsterdam

Food

Dutch cuisine is not particularly varied but there are definitely some dishes you must try while visiting Amsterdam or Holland in general.

Amsterdam - Fondue

Fondue – Image sourced from Life In Amsterdam

Day Trips

Holland is a tiny country. It really is. Nowhere in Holland is more than an hour or two away from Amsterdam so there are lots of options for day trips. Public transport (both train and bus) is very convenient, comfortable and affordable.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans – Image sourced from Eropuit.nl

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