With its characteristic canals (UNESCO World Heritage) surrounded by narrow, low and crooked 17th-century houses, Amsterdam is, without a doubt, one of the most charming capital cities in Europe. The rich cultural life and a wide range of entertainment make Amsterdam a full-scale city which has managed to retain its small-town feel. With over 50 museums, of which many are famous across the globe, this city is a real treat for art-lovers: highlights include the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum.
Scenic canals, cozy bars and cafes combine with architectural masterpieces to make Amsterdam one of Europe's most beautiful cities. Take an unforgettable journey through this charming Dutch capital. The Rijksmuseum houses countless works of art, the Van Gogh Museum features 600 pieces by the famous artist, and the Anne Frank House gives you an insight into life in the Second World War. Each has its own unique story, but they all show how magnificent Amsterdam can be.
Here are some of the most exciting things you can do and see in Amsterdam:
Sign up for a tour or excursion to discover a side of Amsterdam you might never see on your own. For example, a canal cruise is an absolute must for every first-time visitor. Amsterdam’s fantastic architecture is best seen from a sightseeing boat on the canals. But Amsterdam is also a great city to explore by bike or on foot. Travel outside the city and experience the typically Dutch landscape of windmills, dikes and manicured green pastures. Stroll through quaint fishing villages, take a boat tour along the scenic waterways or cycle along the sand dunes.
Be a savvy traveller and get to know the city of canals like a local with our free guide to Amsterdam. Check out the best cafes and restaurants, get ideas for things to do and see every day of your trip and don’t miss out on nightlife.
For the visitors who have already seen the beautiful canals, visited the highlights, pioneered the Jordaan neighbourhood and got the hang of the never-ending nightlife, here’s news for you: there is plenty more to experience. The vast Amsterdam Metropolitan Area offers a great variety of products and activities: beaches, shopping centres, history museums and much more. All of these attractions are within an hour's reach using public transportation.
Looking for a quick snack, a refreshing drink or a romantic three-course dinner? Amsterdam has all of that and more. From grand cafes and historical watering holes to Michelin stars and the best seasonal produce, keep reading for tips on where to have a memorable meal or drink in Amsterdam.
Whether you’re after soaking up the atmosphere of a traditional Dutch brown cafe, lounging in a city luxurious grand cafe, enjoying a summer drink on one of the city’s many terraces or checking out the thriving bar scene, Amsterdam is the perfect place to enjoy a tipple.
Here are some of the absolute must-visit cafes in Amsterdam:
The dance clubs in Amsterdam might feel too small for somebody who is used to flashy clubs in NY, LA or London, but don't worry — they can be just as entertaining and delightfully crazy. Hip, laid-back or sophisticated — the choice is yours.
Whether you're searching for the best souvenir, a unique vintage dress or the latest designer handbag, Amsterdam has the perfect shop for you. Hunt for antiques, score some limited-edition trainers or sample local Dutch delicacies: you can find it all in Amsterdam.
Besides the main shopping streets, Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat, home to all the shops you would expect to find in a large European city, Amsterdam has a lot to offer to the luxury shopper. De Bijenkorf department store and Magna Plaza shopping centre are two of the best spots in town for upmarket items. Furthermore, the Spiegelkwartier will fulfil your desire for antiques, while the neighbourhood markets open their doors to budget-conscious shoppers.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) 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.
Address: Evert van de Beekstraat 202, Amsterdam
Phone: +31 20 794 0800
Passport / Visa
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.
Best Time to Visit
Most tourists tend to plan their trip to Amsterdam for the summer, so if you want to avoid crowds — come in April–May or September.
You'll get mild temperatures, blooming flowers in spring and golden trees in autumn.
Be ready for rain regardless of the season. April and May are considered part of peak tourist season. Locals use websites like buie.nl to predict when the weather down to minutes.
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 tourist population drop in autumn and winter months, as does the temperature. 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. If the winter happens to be particularly cold, you can ice-skate on the frozen canals. Some cafes set tables and chairs straight on the ice.
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. No cash is accepted on busses or trams.
Phone: +31 204 606 060
More Information: www.iamsterdam.com/en/plan-your-trip/getting-around/public-transport
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.
Uber is operating in Amsterdam.
Phone: +31 20 777 7777
At the main post office, you can phone, fax (retro!), buy maps and stamps, in addition to the usual services.
Stamps can also be bought in most convenient stores. Post-office boxes are red.
There is a convenient service point at the Amsterdam Central Station
Pharmacies (Apotheek in Dutch) are usually open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm. At night and at weekends pharmacies are open in rotating shifts, so you'll have to look around a bit.
Mediq Apotheek and Kring-apotheek are popular drug store chains. Dam Apotheek is centrally located on the Dam square and DA Apotheek on Leisestraat has one of the best opening hours.
Call the central number for pharmacies to find out which ones are open in your area:
Phone: +31 20 592 33 15
More Information: www.amsterdam.info/health/pharmacies
Country code: +31
Area code: (0)20
The Netherlands uses the Type F electrical plug with two round pins, same as in many countries in Continental Europe. The standard voltage is 230 volts, but some hotels have special plugs for 110 or 120-volt shavers.