Amsterdam is one of Western Europe’s highlights. Tourists arrive in their droves every year, drawn to the historical canals, art, flowers and bustling café culture. But Amsterdam’s allure goes beyond its photogenic beauty. The city holds something for every traveler, whatever their interest. This is what keeps tourists coming back time.
With so much to do and see, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here is your handy guide to getting the most out of your trip to the Dutch capital. For more information and Amsterdam tour packages, click the link.
Hit the Museums
No trip to Amsterdam is complete without exploring the city’s museums. Amsterdam has the highest concentration of museums in the world, with more than 60 scattered across the city. The Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Museum Het Rembrandthuis house impressive collections from the Dutch masters.
The Anne Frank Huis brings the city’s Nazi history to live through the eyes of young Anne Frank and for families with young children, the NEMO science center is a fun day out for the family.
Rent a Bike
Visitors to Amsterdam will instantly notice the swarms of bikes that navigate across the city every day. Two wheels are clearly the locals preferred form of transport, so to experience Amsterdam like a local, rent one yourself.
But exploring the city like a local also means biking like a local. Stay in bike lanes, use your hands to signal turns and obey the bike stop lights (yes, Amsterdam has bike traffic lights).
Avoid the Tourist Trap Restaurants
Many of the Argentinian restaurants in the heart of the city are tourist traps and are overpriced and don’t provide an authentic culinary experience. There are great food options across the city. The Surinamese restaurants are excellent (Suriname was a former Dutch colony).
For Dutch food, the Foodhallen has a wide selection of reasonably priced authentic Dutch and international options.
There is More to Dutch Beer Than Heineken
Heineken is one of Amsterdam’s most recognizable exports, and for beer lovers, the Heineken experience is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. However, there is more to Dutch beer than Heineken. The country has a thriving craft beer scene dating back to the 1600s. Tour a microbrewery and sample some of Oedipus, Jopen and De Prael’s offerings.
Don’t Fear the Rain
It can rain at any moment in Amsterdam. Like London, the city is often in a state of drizzle. Accepting this fact and planning ahead will help you enjoy the city even in less than perfect weather. Wear waterproof shoes and carry a spare pair of socks and a light raincoat.
Try a Local Liquor
Jenever is a traditional Dutch liquour made of juniper berries. The liquor is enjoyed on its own, sipped as a stand-alone drink. To find out more about the manufacturing process and to try a selection of Jenever samples, pay one of the many free-to-visit tasting rooms dotted across the city map.
As you explore everything the city has to offer, and you meet the friendly Dutch natives, don’t be afraid to ask for advice or assistance. Amsterdam’s inhabitants are some of the most welcoming and friendly city-dwellers in Europe. They are always happy to offer a tip, recommendation or helping hand when approached.