Amsterdam is a beautiful city known for its art, music, (and thanks to Ocean’s 12,) its…cafes. There are so many fun things to do, so get ready to walk, bike, and tram all over exploring what this Dutch city has to offer!
There are a few must-see tourist stops along the way, and if you want to get an authentic Amsterdam experience, just ask anyone you pass! Everyone here is so welcoming and sweet. They really want you to have a fun time in Amsterdam, and love sharing their local hotspots with tourists.
Here are a few tips we got along the way.
Must-see Tourist Stops
Van Gogh Museum: This museum is the world’s largest collection of works from, well, Van Gogh! Make sure you purchase tickets in advance, because the line for this museum goes around the circular structure of the building on busy weekends. This museum is absolutely beautiful and just a few steps away from some of the other stops on our list…
I Amsterdam Sign: Visit “I Amsterdam” for the obligatory tourist photo in front of this widely recognized sign! We definitely recommend making your visit closer to nighttime are early in the morning before anyone is up if you don’t want anyone else in your photo. (No photobombs, please!)
Tulips: Amsterdam (and the Netherlands) is known for their beautiful tulips! If you’re an early riser, head to Bloemenmarkt to smell the tulips and purchase your favorite bouquet of flowers. You can also visit the Amsterdam Tulip Museum to purchase seeds that you can take back home for your own little tulip garden.
Where To Get A View Of The City
A’DAM Lookout: To get a 360 view of Amsterdam, take a (free) ferry to the A’DAM Lookout! The fun elevator ride to the top of this building leads you to a lookout with binoculars and even a swing on the edge of the building. (If you’re daring enough to take the ride!) We recommend going around sunset to get a beautiful view of the city (and maybe your next LinkedIn headshot).
Where To See (more) Art
Rijksakademie: We happened to visit the city during Amsterdam Art Week, and a friendly person we met at SLA recommended we visit Rijksakademie Open Studios. This exhibit featured the work of many talented students in Rijksakademie Art School. If you are an art-lover, definitely try to attend an open studio day at Rijksakademie.
Where To Eat
Pro-tip #1: On Friday nights, all of the restaurants are pretty crowded in Amsterdam, so do yourself a favor and book a “rezi” at the restaurant you would like to visit.
SLA: This cute lunch spot has locations in Jordaan and De Pijp – the younger, hipper neighborhoods in Amsterdam. SLA is perfect for anyone looking for a healthy bite during vacay. Here you can build your own salad or select a soup or sandwich from the menu!
Hummus Bistro d&a: For your hummus and falafel fix, stop by Hummus Bistro D&A. This bistro has deliciously silky smooth hummus and perfectly crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside falafel. Our favorite bite at this bistro; however, was the savory Shakshuka which was served simmering hot in a skillet.
Pesca: While you’re in the Jordaan neighborhood, you don’t want to miss the fun restaurant concept at Pesca! This restaurant is set up similarly to a fish market. When you step inside, you are greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff there to help you choose the type of fish you would like and recommend the best side dishes to go with your selection. Next, you step over to a wine bar where a sommelier recommends wine (by the bottle or glass) based on the food you ordered and your personal preference. The food is delicious and the environment is very hospitable. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to my family and friends.
Pro-tip #2: Don’t forget a souvenir! Stroopwaffel is a Dutch snack with syrup (stroop) sandwiched between two waffle cookies. You can stop by any bakery to grab these chewy and delicious waffle cookies as a delectable souvenir for your friends and family!
Where To Grab A Drink
De Gooyer Windmill: This beer bar is located in a Windmill. (So cool!) With a broad selection of beers to choose from, this makes for a fun stop that’s well worth the detour. (1 hour south of the city.)
Chin Chin: Just down the stairs from Pesca is Chin Chin. This spot features a Maneki-neko wall as you enter and quotes from Britney Spears in neon lights around the bar. There are also Ping-Pong tables if you would like to challenge anyone to a game.
Tales & Spirits: You might need a reservation on a busy night, but we were able to grab a fun drink at this cocktail bar near the Red Light District. Their menu is filled with arts-themed drinks including the Van Gogh-inspired cocktail “Drop of Art” pictured above! This cocktail comes with 3 colorful types of liquer (including Absinthe) served on a palette so you can paint with your drink. The hallway and bathroom walls are covered in art as well.
Have you visited Amsterdam? Let us know what’s on your must-see list in the comments below!