Amsterdam may be a relatively small city in comparison with other major European capitals but you couldn’t experience everything this city has to offer in a life time – there is always something going on! In the modern world’s time-pressured and busy way of life, it’s often only possible to get a few days away and Amsterdam has become a popular destination for a city break. With a major international airport offering cheap daily flights from across Europe, Amsterdam is a great place to enjoy such a break and the city has so much to offer to those visiting even for just a quick weekend.
There’s something in this city for absolutely everyone and, although if we were to write up every great thing to do in Amsterdam, we’d be writing for a week, here are some of our favourites…
Must do things in Amsterdam
There are quite a few things that simply must be done in Amsterdam during a visit to the city, whether short or long. Amsterdam is known for several things and whilst not all of them may be recommended for everyone, there are a few that are absolute must dos!
Get on a Boat!
Given the city’s unique canal-filled landscape and the importance of these waterways to the Dutch capital’s history and culture, getting on the water is an essential part of a trip to Amsterdam. Whether you’re enjoying some Dutch beer on an Amsterdam Booze cruise, or simply checking out the city’s best-loved sights, boarding a boat is one of the best ways to see what this city has to offer.
On your bike! Give Cycling in Amsterdam a go…
Aside from the canals, Amsterdam is best known for the city’s beloved bicycles. Getting on a bicycle and cycling through the historic cobbled streets of the Jordaan is something that many people dream about before visiting Amsterdam. As well as being a romantic travel experience, cycling in Amsterdam is the most practical way of getting around the city and a great chance to see through the eyes of local people (the majority of whom cycle every single day!). If you really want to take things up a gear, you can even jump on a beer bike with your friends and pedal around the city whilst enjoying Amsterdam’s world-famous pilsner, Heineken! Find out more about renting bikes (beer bikes or the normal ones!) on our partners at We Are Amsterdam’s website here.
What to visit in Amsterdam
The Dutch capital is full of things to see as well as things to do. Here are some of the places that you must visit during a three day trip in Amsterdam…
Visit the best Museums Amsterdam has to offer!
Amsterdam is undoubtedly one of the cultural capitals of Europe – there are more museums per square mile than any other city in the world and the city is home to the Dutch National Museum (the Rijksmuseum) among others. The city has produced some of history’s finest painters and artists and Amsterdam is home to a number of must-see exhibitions, museums and attractions for art lovers – from the Rijksmuseum to Van Gogh, Amsterdam Light Festival to the Amsterdam Art Weekend. Find tickets for all these museums and more here.
Experience a uniquely Amsterdam experience at the city’s famous Coffee Shops!
Although this might not be for everyone (and it’s certainly not a part of everyday life for the vast majority of Dutch people), smoking cannabis in a coffee shop is a pretty unique experience and many people who visit the city are keen to give it a go (especially if they’re from a country where the practice is banned). If you do decide you want to visit a coffee shop, check out this blog on the dos and don’ts of smoking weed in Amsterdam here.
Enjoy a great night out at the best bars & nightclubs in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is home to some of the best nightclubs and dance music venues in the world. There are hundreds of clubs across the city, from luxury VIP night spots to grungy, underground techno clubs. Amsterdam has a pretty unique club culture and if you’re a night owl then it’s definitely a great city for you – many of the city’s clubs are open until well into the morning so even on a short trip to the city there’s always plenty of time to party!
If you’re not the clubbing type and would prefer a chilled-out drink in a local bar, visiting a typical Amsterdam Brown Café may be more your thing. Many of these historic bars have been serving drinks since the 17th or 16th centuries and are the perfect places to get a drink and a tasty Dutch snack (favourites such as bitterballen or kroketten are delicious deep-fried snacks which make the perfect accompaniment to a local beer).
Nightlife can be found pretty much across the whole city. In recent years, many of the city’s best-rated clubs have been popping up outside of the city centre. If you fancy something a little different to the usual clubs, check out what West and Noord have to offer – you won’t regret the slightly longer journey.
Grab a bite to eat at the best restaurants in Amsterdam or try something completely new!
No matter how short the trip, you’ve got to eat! Luckily, Amsterdam has become a bit of a foodie heaven in recent years and hosts a huge selection of fantastic restaurants. From luxurious Michelin star restaurants for a romantic meal to a cosy local ‘eetcafe’ serving up Dutch classics, there’s plenty of places to grab a bite in Amsterdam. For those with a sweet tooth, the classic Stroopwafels are always a good bet (grab them freshly made at the Albert Cuyp Markt), as are Poffertjes – the famously fluffy Dutch mini pancakes dripping in butter and powdered sugar – yum!