Last year we have visited Amsterdam and we plan to go back soon (children staying at home this time again, because to be honest… there’s not much for kids in Amsterdam really). Everyone knows too, that Amsterdam along with Paris and Rome is probably one of the most visited cities in Europe.
But regardless of adult age: Amsterdam has so much to offer! And we’re not talking about anything slightly naughty here, the coffee shops and red light district will be on the list, mainly because everybody knows about them, so no introduction needed.
Luckily living in London gives us the privileged position of just hopping on the Eurostar and within 4 hours and that’s actually the most sustainable way to visit Amsterdam.
Another thing to consider before setting off is to purchase Go Amsterdam Pass. The Go Amsterdam Pass is an all-inclusive multi-attraction pass valid for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days that covers your admission to over 20 of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions. From guided tours to river cruises, famous gardens to ancient castles, the Go Amsterdam All-Inclusive Pass is your ticket to a diverse array of enjoyable attractions.
1. Canal boat trip
Probably the most famous and picturesque Amsterdam attractions are the canals, some of them dated back to the 17th century. More than 100 canals adds unique face to the city and the best way to explore them is when you take a boat ride and enjoy the architecture, the beautiful mansions, the history and get an insight of the their tradition.
This was by far my favourite thing when I visited Amsterdam. Really gives a wholesome perspective of the city and its history. Plus you can drink aboard so you can enjoy the trip stylishly with a cup of hot chocolate or wine.
2. Anne Frank House
Anne Frank’s house, where she and her family was hiding during the Nazi occupation has now been turned into a museum and it looks as close to how it would have been in Anne Frank’s time. Most people are familiar with Anne’s story because her diary was published after her father – the only one surviving the concentration camp from Anne’s family – published it.
The museum is a heavy place for a lot of people but nevertheless it’s an absolute must – visit place when in Amsterdam.
The Rijksmuesum has artefacts of great significance and importance since the 13th Century and also the museum’s architecture is just wonderful. Art of Vemeer, Rembrandt and many more are on display. Founded in 1809, the Rijksmuseum is home to a huge collection of artwork and antiquities.
A floating flower market which offers a wide variety of flower bulbs, flowers and bouquets is the one of a kind flower market which caters not just for the locals but is a big tourist attraction for the flower lovers. This beautifully vibrant and a unique flower market is open throughout the year, so that no tourist can miss visiting here.
5. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam contains the world’s largest collection of the artist’s work. It’s small and intimate and really tells his story.
6. Scheepvaart museum
A Maritime Museum known as Scheepvaart museum holds and showcases artefacts of the Dutch Navy. In earlier times it was a storehouse of the navy which had around 18 rooms with various artifacts. Sea Trade was amongst one of the main forte of the Dutch making them one of the wealthiest cities in the 1600s.
7. Small museums that worth a visiting
Some small, fun, niche museums that can be done within 30 minutes and the entry fee is very cheap (5 EUR or free) We discovered these when just wondering around the Anne Fran Museum (so you can see them at the same time) and found the Tulip Museum and the Cheese Museum. The latter is basically a cheese shop but has a free (but fab!) exhibition in the basement. Nevertheless worth a visit. So as the Tulip Museum and they are located next to each other and I also bought bulbs here as souvenirs.
I said I’m not going to include the infamous red light district and coffee shops but I have to include Electric Ladyland as the face of the coolness of Amsterdam. Electric Ladyland is the First Museum of Fluorescent Art, but more than that, it’s the life-work of Nick Paladino, an artist, who dedicated his life to fluorescent art. Don’t let the small size of the room fool you, it’s quite dense!
8. Diamond Museum
Another gem of the museums of Amsterdam (pun intended!) The Diamond Museum is a must for everyone interested in diamonds and jewellery. Highly recommended our if you would like to know more about diamond in general or diamond industry in Amsterdam. (Not all sparkling sadly.) Mainly replicas on display but interesting exhibition.
9. MOCO Museum
The Moco Museum is an independent museum with a wide range of inspiring modern, contemporary, and street art, you can find Banksy, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol – just to mention the most famous ones – and so many more in their collection.
10. Albert Cuyp food market
The city’s largest street market is just south of the city centre. It’s also a great food market with great variety of food, both local and foreign. It’s great to explore and try a bit of everything. Many of the market stalls are associated with a brick-and-mortar store located just behind the street-stall.