What to do in Amsterdam on your trip to Europe

Amsterdam is always a good idea. In this post, we rank some of our favorite places to visit in Amsterdam – both well know and a little off the beaten path.  

5 Amsterdam tourist attractions that live up to the hype

Just because you are a traveler and not a tourist doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore some of Amsterdam’s most popular spots. Here are our top 5 Amsterdam tourist attractions that deserve the noise: 

1.  Van Gogh Museum 
The entrance as the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

Some art installations are talked about too much. Many might call this the pride of Amsterdam’s art collection and it’s still talked about too little. When visiting a city that prides itself on art and culture, you simply must make time for the crown jewel.

Book your ticket to the Van Gogh Museum in advance to save time and skip the lines.

2. Vondelpark 
People walking on a sidewalk lined by trees

Located near the museum square, Vondelpark is the perfect place to take in Dutch culture, bike through the park, or just rest between touring museums.

3. Heineken Experience
Green bottles of Heineken beer in ice

Even for those who aren’t beer drinkers, the Heineken Experience is one stop you can’t miss in Amsterdam. Often cited as the best brewery for touring, see where this world famous beer is brewed, and try a pint for yourself.  

4. Canals of Amsterdam
Buildings and a canal of Amsterdam

You don’t have to be an architecture buff to appreciate the canals of Amsterdam. The canals are one of the things that make this city unique, and thankfully they’re all over the place! When strolling through the city, don’t forget to stop and take in the bridges and canals

Discover the beauty of this amazing city from a unique perspective by taking an Amsterdam canal cruise

5. Dam Square
The palace and other buildings line Dam Square in Amsterdam

Just can’t decide what all to do in Amsterdam? On a tight schedule? Dam square is the place to experience a little bit of everything. Get a taste of Dutch architecture, tour the Amsterdam Royal Palace, take in the art museums, and make sure to leave time at the end for a bit of shopping.  

And 5 of Amsterdam’s hidden gems you might not have heard of

The touristy places are great, but Amsterdam is known for having many hole in the wall secrets and hidden gems. Here are just a few of the lesser known musts in Amsterdam. 

1. Hortus Botanicus
A man walks among cacti in the Hortus Botanicus

This botanical garden is a bit out of the way of the city center, but that’s why it’s called a hidden gem! Usually peaceful, and a prime option for days of foul weather, take a stroll through the garden and spend time inside the greenhouses to take in some world class greenery. 

2. Secret Library Books line multiple floors of the Cuypers Library

The Cuypers Research Library in Amsterdam should be at the top of the list for book lovers, academics, and history nerds. If you’re a reader, and travel is about museums for you, try to find this beautiful reading room of this secret library tucked away in the Rijksmuseum

3. Find a Speakeasy! 
A bartender pours a shot into an iced tumbler

If we told you where they were, wouldn’t that spoil the fun? Amsterdam nightlife is something special, but finding a hidden gem like this on your own might just make your whole trip. We’ll point you in the right direction though! Stay close to the city center, and ask around at regular restaurants and bars. You’re bound to get a good tip or stumble upon a speakeasy soon enough.  

Don’t want to roam alone at night? Check out some of these 

4. De Poezenboot A gray and black cat

Translation: Cat boat. It’s a boat with cats! Amsterdam is full of cats, but if seeing them in shop windows and on bridge railings isn’t enough for you, tour the city’s canals with the catboat’s friendlier-than-average cats. To be clear, the boat’s captain is not a cat…We think.

5. Albert Cuyp Market
Vendor stalls line a typical Amsterdam street

This isn’t the most hidden of gems, but with all the attention that the bigger tourist attractions get, this one is often overlooked. Albert Cuyp Market is one of the largest open air markets in Europe! Make your own food tour by sampling a taste of everything at your choice of food stalls, and keep your shopper’s eye out for that special find while you do.


Check out more Amsterdam activities, sightseeing and daytrips to build your own perfect Amsterdam vacation. Get there for less with our cheap student flight to Europe

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