Best of Amsterdam
Updated: May 30, 2022
Also known as the 'Dutch Venice', the capital of the Netherlands is a charismatic city to visit in your lifetime. Known for its canals and picturesque houses, windmills, tulips and also for its coffee shops, Amsterdam is a very charming city that is loved by tourists!
Discover the best things to do in Amsterdam, and when to go!
Discover with us:
What not to miss
Anne Frank House
Discover the house of the sadly famous Anne Frank, a young Jewish woman who wrote a diary and died in the Bergen-Belsen camp. Discover the poignant story of Anne Frank through the museum in her former home.
You probably know the famous Heineken beer! Created in Amsterdam, you can visit its museum! Discover the old brewing room and prepare your liver for the beer tasting!
Not all Dutch people are proud of this beer because they have so much more to offer, tell us in the comments in you like Heineken beer.
The spring park of Keukenhof
Visit Amsterdam between mid-March and mid-May to see the impressive sight of the park covered in millions of tulips attracting tourists from all over the world for its delightful display!
Tip: book your tickets in advance if you want to be sure to get in!
City canal tour
Do you want to do something very cliché but actually worthwhile? Take a boat trip on the canal! Discover the city in a different way and with the explanations of a passionate guide!
What else to visit?
The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam
The Netherlands has an important role in maritime trade both in the past and in the present, so the capital has to have one of the largest maritime museums in the world! Discover the country's maritime history through the museum, including replicas of Dutch flag warships.
The Amsterdam Museum
Nothing better when you visit a new city than to discover its history, don't you think? The Amsterdam Museum will allow you to discover the history of the capital of the Netherlands!
Fact: the museum was built in a former orphanage.
The windmills of Zaanse Schans
Windmills are one of the things that represent the Netherlands most, so you can't go to the Netherlands without seeing some! We strongly recommend you go to Zaanse Schans, a village with many mills and wooden houses located 15 minutes by train from Amsterdam! You can even visit some museums.
The Royal Palace in Amsterdam (Paleis op de Dam)
Also known as the Paleis op de Dam, it was originally built as a town hall, but at the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon Bonaparte became king of Holland and decided to turn it into a palace.
Van Gogh Museum
Visit the museum of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh, where you will find the world's largest collection of his work. You will find paintings, drawings, and letters.
The Rijksmuseum is the most important museum not only in Amsterdam but also in the country! With its impressive art collection both in terms of the number of works of art and in terms of recognized artists.
How to travel there?
There are several ways to get to Amsterdam:
First, you can go by plane. Landing at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, which is the most important one in the Netherlands, and one of the most important ones in Europe, and that is also a big international hub. So, you can get to Amsterdam easily from anywhere in the world.
Once you are at the airport, you can take the train that is going to the Central Train Station of Amsterdam, which is the cheapest and one of the quickest ways to go to Amsterdam.
You can also take the bus, but we advise you to take it only if you really need to go to a precise place in the city because it is more expensive and longer, so not worth it. And you can also order a cab which is the most comfortable one (it will cost you around 50€).
To go to Amsterdam, you can also use the train to the Central Train Station. There are even trains arriving at the station from neighboring countries, such as a train from Paris in about 3:15 hours (which is worth it when you compare all the time it takes you to go to the airport, to wait there, take the plane, land, take your luggage and then traveling again to the city). You also have one coming from Berlin for example, but this one can be 6:30 hours, or way more depending on the number of stops that the train does.
You can also take the car to go there, but we strongly advise you to do as everybody and let it at the entrance of the city, in the giant parks for cars where you pay less than 10€ a day to let your car there, and then take common transportation to go to the center. Because then in the city center, this is really complicated to drive and to park due to the fact that the roads are more made for the bikes than the cars.
Plus, the Netherlands is a country that is part of the Schengen Area, so if you are coming from another country in the Schengen Area, you will pass without a visa needed.
You can also take the bus with services such as FlexiBus to get there from various Dutch cities but also from neighboring countries.
The Netherlands is a more expensive country than many other European countries, so it is possible that life in Amsterdam is expensive for you.
For a night in a hotel, you can find hotels for less than 70€, but for a mid-range hotel, it costs on average 100€ per night.
As for the food, if you go to a restaurant, it will also be more expensive than in some European countries. For a mid-range restaurant again, you will be looking at more or less 30€. If you want to go to a fast-food restaurant, the menu will be around 8€. Beer, on the other hand, is quite cheap as the Netherlands are kings of beer! You will find local beers (50 cl draught) at about 4,50€.
As for transport, if you want to be a real local, you need to rent a bike! You can rent a Bike City bike from 6.75€ per day, and with a 25€ deposit.
If you are not a fan of cycling, you can always take public transport (bus, tram, metro). The single ticket, sold for €2.80, is valid for 1 hour. But if you plan to use them a lot, you might be more interested in taking a day or even a week pass, which will cost you between 7,5€ and 32€, and which will allow you to use public transport at will.
When to travel there?
The period of good weather in Amsterdam is from May to August (although May is the beginning, so the weather is still not stable). So, we advise you to go in April/May/June if you can choose your holiday, as July/August is the very touristy period due to the summer holidays. Also, in early May all the tulips will already be open to give you a lovely show!
In April, we advise you more about the second part of the month, when the weather starts to be nice, but also to assist the magnificent tulip show, but also King's Day, an event about which we will tell you more below.
Where to eat?
In the Netherlands, you can easily find snacks, so we recommend this snack bar, Stubbe's Haring, which sells herring specialties, but you can also find some salmon or prawn options. Herring is a local specialty as the Dutch are kings when it comes to anything related to water (fishing, maritime trade...). In addition to the typical food, it is located on the canals, so you can eat in a very nice setting!
When it's time for a snack or dessert, you must try the Dutch waffles at Van Wonderen Stroopwaffel! These waffles have nothing to do with the Belgian ones, they are round and very thin like wafers. You can also add toppings on top like the other types of waffles.
As the last address we advise you to go to Foodhallen, which are big halls with lots of food stands, not necessarily typical dishes, you will also find food from all over the world.
If you want to discover more about the specialties of the country, read our article about Dutch food!
Tulip Festival (April-May)
During this festival, you will find many events such as parades with floats decorated with beautiful flowers, but also with exhibitions of many species of tulips... This is also the time to take your tickets to visit the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, lovely with all its open tulips! We also advise you not to stay only in Amsterdam to see the tulips, but to do the Tulip Route, going to towns not far from the capital (accessible by public transport, or trains) where you will have the opportunity to see tulip fields to your heart's content!
The best time to go is the second half of April.
King’s Day (April)
27 April is the birthday of Monarch Willem-Alexander and is thus a public holiday in the Netherlands since 2014. On this day, everyone dresses in orange because the name of the royal family is the House of Oranje, which has become the national color of the country. You will find everyone in the streets celebrating in orange on this day!
Amsterdam Dance Event (October)
The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), is a Dutch trade fair and electronic music festival held annually over five days in October. It reunites more than 1,000 events in nearly 200 locations.
We hope that you enjoyed this article. Don’t hesitate to like and share it. Discover more of our articles like visit Maastricht another Dutch city, or visiting Paris or visiting Milan… Follow us on Instagram @thewalkingparrot for more content and be alerted when a new article is coming.