See Amsterdam the way locals see it – by bike. Familiarise yourself with Amsterdam and its diverse neighbourhoods and architecture, cycle along the waterfront, and enjoy a local beer across from an iconic windmill. Thanks to the many bike paths in the city, pedal power is all you need to discover the city’s gems on your own, or as part of a guided bike tour.
At Canal Motorboats you can hire a specialised boat for an hour or more. Make your way around the city taking tons of photos and making fantastic memories with friends and family. The company’s marina is just 10 minutes from Central Station and five minutes from the beginning of the Prinsengracht. Each boat can carry up to seven people and naturally larger parties can hire multiple boats.
Besides providing a stunning backdrop to the city's historical centre, floating down Amsterdam's canals is one of the most memorable ways to discover the city. Whether you're a first-time or frequent visitor, everything in Amsterdam seems a bit more magical when viewed from a boat.
With distinctive buses and friendly staff, the choice in selected cities between multi-lingual commentary or live guide sightseeing has never been so much fun. Hop on and hop off as much as you like at any of the bus stops on the route and see all the best sights and attractions that Amsterdam has to offer.
With so many places of interest close together, Amsterdam is a great city where to take a long walk. Nowhere else will you find so many points of interest within a single square kilometre. Join one of the various 'Mee in Mokum' walking tours, or discover the areas beyond Amsterdam’s city centre on your own by using the walking tour maps available at the official tourist information centres.
Windmills spin in the breeze at Zaanse Schans, church bells ring out and cows wander around Old Holland’s farmhouses. The Waterland region and small town harbours such as Marken and Volendam are packed with industrial heritage, showcasing traditional skills like shipbuilding, fishing and cheese making.
Come tip-toe through the tulips, admire the amaryllis and cruise past the crocuses at the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, the world’s largest flower gardens. Each year, the Keukenhof Gardens burst into a kaleidoscope of colours as the rolling grounds are carpeted with blooming flowers from the end of March to May.
Enjoy a perfect trip to Haarlem, an authentic city of remarkable history and culture right at Amsterdam’s doorstep. Its beauty provided inspiration for many of the Golden Age painters. Fill your day with excellent shopping, spectacular museums and sunny terraces amongst monumental buildings.
The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area owes everything to innovation and it is still evolving. New Land locations such as Lelystad and Almere offer fascinating examples of interesting architecture and creative developments. Located to the east of Amsterdam, Almere is a so-called new town which was planned and built entirely from scratch; come and enjoy both its architecture and the natural landscape surrounding the urban areas.
The Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace) on Amsterdam’s Dam Square is one of three palaces still in use by the Dutch royal family. When not used for state visits, award ceremonies or other official functions, visitors can explore the magnificent interior and discover the rich history of the building.
One of the oldest zoos in all of Europe, Artis Royal Zoo contains multiple species of land and marine animals, as well as an aquarium and a planetarium. The zoo grounds invite for a pleasant stroll among the trees and give the visitors the opportunity to admire a myriad of animals ranging from chimps to elephants.
The famous Amsterdam Exchange index (AEX) throws open its doors to the public with this new attraction taking visitors on an exciting interactive journey from the beginnings of the Dutch East India Company right through to today's modern electronic trading floor.
Allard Pierson Museum narrates stories of ancient civilisations via informative displays which include artefacts from the Great Roman Empire, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, Etruria, and Near East. This archaeological museum is sponsored by the University of Amsterdam.
Located in the city centre, the Amsterdam Diamond Museum grants visitors an insight into the development of diamond production (from billions of years ago to modern times), and showcases some rare exhibits such as the incredible Rembrandt Diamond, the Katana and the Ape Skull.
The New Church (or Nieuwe Kerk) isn't just a simple church. It played an important role throughout history, and hosted the inaugurations of multiple Dutch kings and queens; today's royalty - the Dutch king and queen - exchanged vows here, too. Today, the church frequently hosts various exhibitions.
Built in 1888, the Concertgebouw is a world-famous concert hall located in the city centre. Take a guided tour and discover some of the hidden areas of this magnificent building, such as the backstage and the attic above the Main Hall, while listening to some interesting anecdotes.
When visiting the Jewish Quarter, make sure to make time for its several attractions - the Jewish Historical Museum, Children's Museum, the Great Synagogue and the Dutch Theatre (Hollandsche Schouwburg). All of these are located within a short walking distance from one another.
The Rijksmuseum is the largest and most important museum of the Netherlands with a collection of nearly 1 million objects, including many masterpieces and artefacts from all over the world. Following years of extensive renovations, the Rijksmuseum has reopened its doors with an entirely refreshed layout.
The Amsterdam Dungeon brings 500 years of dark history to life with 12 shows, 7 actors and 1 terrifying experience. Can you survive the horrific plague during the 80 minute tour? Make sure you don’t get tortured by the executioner Peter Titelmann from the Spanish Inquisition or get lost in the mirror labyrinth. There is also a roller coaster for the really brave visitors.
The Van Gogh Museum goes well beyond the traditional permanent collection: the exhibition Van Gogh at Work is the culmination of seven years of fastidious research into his oeuvre and development as an artist. More than 200 paintings, works on paper, sketchbooks and letters by Van Gogh and his peers offer manifold insights into the fascinating creative processes behind his paintings and drawings.
Haarlem’s Frans Hals Museum is home to the largest collection of paintings by Frans Hals in the world. Hals, the most famous Haarlem painter of the Golden Age, specialised in portraits. In addition to paintings by Hals, the museum has works by his predecessors and his contemporaries, as well as furniture, ceramics, glass and silver.
The Amsterdam Museum tells the compelling story of the growth and heyday of the Dutch capital. Discover seven centuries of the city's history – once a small settlement on the banks of the Amstel, and now a bustling, diverse metropolis. The rich collection of works of art, objects and archaeological finds brings to life the fortunes of the Amsterdamers of days gone by.
The Anne Frank House is the hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her famous diary during World War II. Now a museum, it recreates the war and holocaust years. Quotations from the diary, photographs, films and original objects belonging to the people in hiding and those who helped them all serve to illustrate the events which occurred at this location. Anne's original diary is on display in the museum as well.
A visit to Het Grachtenhuis (the Canal House) is the perfect way to learn more about the history of Amsterdam’s canal ring. The museum looks at the 17th-century city expansion projects that led to Amsterdam’s ring of canals which received UNESCO world heritage status in 2010. After seeing the interactive displays, you’ll look at Amsterdam in a whole new light when wandering through the city’s streets or taking a canal cruise.
If you love films and cinematography, be sure to visit the EYE Film Institute Netherlands. Located in a new ultramodern building along the IJ waterway, this museum is home to an internationally-renowned collection of films covering the whole history of cinema. The museum’s extensive programme includes exhibitions and events examining the history of film and contemporary cinematographic developments. It screens classic and art-house movies on a daily basis.
NEMO is the largest science centre in the Netherlands. With five floors full of exciting things to do and discover, this is the perfect place for anyone with an inquisitive mind. Exhibitions, theatre performances, films, workshops and demonstrations: you will smell, hear, feel and see how the world works.
The National Maritime Museum invites its visitors to discover how the Dutch culture has been shaped by the sea. The building has been completely restored and modernised, the courtyard now being covered by a glass roof. The museum includes a restaurant, a waterside terrace and even a replica of the Dutch East India Company ship "Amsterdam" moored outside.
The former Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam offers some 3000 square metres of special exhibition space. Learn more about Heineken's rich history, the tradition and craft of brewing, and the people behind this multinational company at this monumental building located at the Stadhouderskade. Good to know: two drinks are included in the admission price.
The Singel Flower Market is one of Amsterdam’s most colourful attractions. The small shops are located inside a row of floating barges – a holdover from the days when flowers arrived in Amsterdam every day from the countryside by boat. At the flower market you’ll find tulips of every colour – either in bouquets or as bulbs to plant at home. If you plan to buy bulbs to take out of the country, be sure they have a "customs cleared" stamp on the packet so you won’t have trouble at the border.
Kitchen & Bar Van Rijn is located on the Rembrandtplein in Amsterdam and is inspired by the beauty and the masterpieces of Rembrandt van Rijn. In a cosmopolitan atmosphere with open kitchen, you can enjoy authentic Dutch cuisine for lunch and dinner. At weekends there is even live music and a DJ.
Michelin-starred Restaurant Sazanka at Hotel Okura invites to a dinner and a show - the skilled chefs prepare finest Japanese dishes right before guests' eyes. The extensive menu features meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes. Book in advance to ensure being seated.
The impressive food court housed inside De Hallen contains 21 international restaurants, with offerings ranging from dim sum to steaks to tacos. Some reputable local restaurants have branches here. The common dining area is always buzzing, and live DJ sets are hosted Friday and Saturday nights.
Chefs Onno Kokmeijer and Arjan Speelman and their team will serve you daring original dishes inspired by French cuisine while you take in the panoramic view of Amsterdam. A selection of classic and innovative wines completes this unparalleled culinary experience. The restaurant is the proud holder of two Michelin stars.
Moeders is characterized by an informal atmosphere and friendly service and is known for several Dutch specialities (beef stew, Flemish stew and stamppot), but there are plenty of other things to choose from the extensive international menu. The walls here are filled with hundreds of framed and unframed pictures along with antique pans, plates and biscuit tins, which will complete your culinary experience.
The IJ-Kantine is more than just a canteen on the IJ. This striking and transparent brasserie with its fabulous terrace on the NDSM harbour has just about everything: in the morning you can go there for coffee, during the day you can have a royal lunch, in the evening enjoy a cocktail next to the fireplace in the lounge and at dinner time, eat dishes such as wild sea bass, potato cannelloni and half lobster.
A cosy pancake house (former warehouse) located in a 17th-century Dutch East India Company canal house at the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. The famous 'international' pancakes are based on various dishes from all over the world. Both sweet and savoury varieties are available.
Immerse yourself in the wondrous culinary world of Bazar. This Middle Eastern and North African restaurant hides behind the doors of an old church in the heart of De Pijp neighbourhood of Amsterdam. The buzz of the Albert Cuyp market outside carries over into the restaurant – a visit to Bazar is like stepping into an eastern fairy tale.
Enjoy the French cuisine at Brasserie FLO Amsterdam. The restaurant is famous for its seafood buffet and classic French menu. Oysters, lobster and langoustines but also escargots, steak tartare and crème brûlée are always on the menu. Needless to say that all dishes are accompanied by great wines.
Creative, dynamic, diverse, and above all, good food - in other words, everything you need for a fun night out. For every moment of the day this trendy bar-restaurant becomes a relaxed hot spot, where Chef Michiel van der Eerde and his team will be pleased to serve you local and international dishes.
Cafe and brasserie Ovidius is located in the very heart of Amsterdam, close to the Royal Palace, inside the luxurious shopping mall Magna Plaza. The building dates from 1895 and is Amsterdam’s former main post office. It is listed among the top 100 most important public buildings from a cultural and historical perspective, and is an excellent place for a break during your shopping spree.
Across from the Westerkerk (Western Church) and the Anne Frank House, on the edge of the Jordaan, this cafe is surrounded by history. Although the Prins has retained its typical 'brown cafe' character, its kitchen has become one of its most important features in recent years.
This unusual construction in the centre of the 19th century Vondelpark and its large surrounding terrace (700 places) attract hoards of creative Amsterdam residents at the first ray of sunshine. You can even enjoy yourself here in the winter thanks to the outdoor electric heaters. On Sundays, deejays spin laid-back music.
Located in the Park Hotel and not far from the Leidseplein, the ultra cosmopolitan Momo has been decorated in such a way that Amsterdam’s in-crowd and visiting international beauties don’t look out of place. This cafe-restaurant boasts some of the best chefs and barmen from all over the world. Come here and try their great cocktails and pan-Asian dishes.
Located on the 7th floor of the former office building of the Volkskrant newspaper, this club/cafe/restaurant is characterised by an easy-going vibe. Canvas is renowned for its affordable yet lush cocktails and a stunning view of Amsterdam which, in the summer, can be taken in fully from the spacious roof terrace.
This American comedy troupe is renowned for their English-language comedy, theatrical shows, improvisation, stand-up and burlesque. Improvisation comedy, good food and tasty cocktails have long been Boom Chicago’s recipe for success. This venue. which also features a bar and a restaurant, is regularly transformed into a nightclub with local electro and house DJs filling the dance floor until the small hours.
The name says it all: everything in the XtraCold IceBar is made of ice. The walls, the bar, the couch, the fireplace and even the glasses. When entering the bar, you are given special clothing to cope with the icy cold temperature. The beautiful ice sculptures by world-famous artists provide the ultimate ice experience.
Bourbon Street Blues Club is hard to miss when strolling down Leidsekruisstraat - the Blues Brothers are dancing on the roof. The program here ranges from rock to soul and even reggae, with live music every night of the week. Over the years, this amazing venue has hosted many local and international artists, including some big names such as Toto and B.B. King.
The Sugarfactory has brought a new concept into the Amsterdam nightlife: an integration of art, music, culture, theatre and club. Multidisciplinary programming brings you innovative parties, young talent, live shows, new disco, progressive clubs, poetry, dance floor jazz, art, big bands and a creatively motivated public.
One of Amsterdam’s biggest and most popular night clubs, situated on the lively Rembrandtplein, Escape is always teaming with pretty young things. Musically speaking, expect all popular styles of dance music - house, electro, techno and pop by both Amsterdam’s finest and world-famous DJ like Tiësto, Kevin Saunderson and Todd Terry.
Paradiso has been a centre for pop culture since the 1960s. Today, after thousands and thousands of concerts, the pop venue has reached worldwide recognition. Though national and international pop music is the primary focus, programming has now been expanded to include other disciplines such as classical, world music, festivals and spoken word.
In the historical heart of Amsterdam, rough diamonds are transformed into dazzling jewels every day. Delve into the exciting world of diamond cutting and see every step of the process first-hand at Gassan Diamonds, where four centuries of craftsmanship and tradition are brought to life.
A good location to start your shopping are the main shopping streets Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat. Here you will find all the shops you would expect to find in a large European city like H&M and Zara, along with a few local stores and excellent boutiques.
De Bijenkorf is an inspiring, trend-setting and dynamic department store at Dam square. The city’s largest department store offers international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Apple and Chanel. The surprising and breathtaking decorations in de Bijenkorf’s unique shop windows make them one of Amsterdam’s real attractions. Live theatre, dance and music performances can be seen there on a regular basis.
The Negen Straatjes (nine little streets) intersect the main canals between the Leidsestraat and the Jordaan district, and are dotted with great restaurants, cafes, art galleries, jewellers, boutiques and vintage stores. With an exceptional array of styles, trends and prices, this area is truly a shopper’s paradise.
The Fashion & Museum District is one of the most beautiful areas in Amsterdam, and many historical buildings, such as Amsterdam's famous museums and the Royal Concertgebouw, define its impressive character. In the Fashion & Museum District you can also spend hours in the stylish boutiques of P.C. Hooftstraat and Van Baerlestraat; exclusive brands have their flagship stores in these beautiful shopping streets.
Situated in the heart of the 19th century latin quarter De Pijp, the Albert Cuyp street market fascinates visitors since 1905 with its laid back atmosphere. Everything can be found here, from exotic shops to local craft businesses, cafes and restaurants; whether you are a bargain hunter or a foodie, here you will surely get what you are searching for.
The Haarlemmerdijk is a long, trendy shopping street, stretching from east to west towards Central Station. It is a lively strip where you will find everything from shoes, independent labels and second-hand clothes to speciality food products, interior design items and Dutch collectables.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a modern, efficient and traveller-friendly airport. 90 airlines depart from Schiphol to over 250 destinations worldwide. The easiest and cheapest way to travel from the airport to Amsterdam is by train. This takes about 20 minutes to the Central Station and trains leave at least every 15 minutes during the daytime (less frequently at night). The train station at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is located directly below the airport. Tickets are for sale at the NS service desk or ticket machines. Taxis to the city centre cost significantly more and can take a while, depending on traffic conditions.
The Netherlands can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are not sure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend you to contact the embassy or consulate in your country. In order to enter the Schengen zone, international (non-Schengen) travellers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip. Citizens from Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but they must bring with them a valid ID during their stay.
If you want to avoid high tourist traffic, then spring is the ideal time to visit Amsterdam: mild temperatures and blooming flowers will make your experience unforgettable, but bear in mind that the months of April and May are considered part of peak tourist season. Summer is high tourist season in Amsterdam, so be prepared to wait in long lines when visiting popular attractions. The summer months are also the most expensive when it comes to accommodation. Hotel prices and tourism drop in autumn and winter months, and so do the temperatures. This is the best time to visit Amsterdam's many indoor attractions, such as museums and cafes. The city covered with a white blanket of snow is a marvellous sight.
Public transport is the perfect way to visit all attractions and to explore the city. Visitors arriving by car are advised to park the car at the P+R sites at the city limits and to use public transport. In Amsterdam, 15 tram lines, 41 bus lines, 7 ferry connections and 4 metro lines take you to a wide range of destinations throughout the city. The most convenient transport ticket is the GVB day or multi-day ticket. These tickets entitle holders to transport on all GVB lines, including the night buses, and are available at GVB Tickets & Info and tourist offices. Drivers and conductors also sell 1-hour and 24-hours disposable OV chip cards on trams and buses.
Taxis can be handy when travelling to and from the airport, late at night when the trams have stopped running or when you're running late. Depending on the traffic during peak times however, public transport may get you there even quicker. Just hail a taxi, or catch one at the designated cab-stands near tourist hotspots such as Dam square, Leidseplein and the Rembrandtplein.
Pharmacies (in Dutch: apotheek) are usually open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 to 17:30. At night and in the weekends there is always some pharmacy open on rotating shifts. 24-hour pharmacy: Sint Lucas Andreas Apotheek Jan Tooropstraat 164, Amsterdam +31 205 108 911 To find out which pharmacy is open, call a central number for pharmacies: