Highlights of What to Do in Amsterdam
When someone mentions Amsterdam, what comes to mind?
Tulips, windmills, clogs, cheese, canals, narrow tall houses, bicycles, coffee shops, Van Gogh, and the Red Light District are some images that stand out. We discovered this city has all of this, and more!
Things to Do in Amsterdam
After completing an incredible 15-day Viking River Cruise, we disembarked in Amsterdam, and spent a few days here, to experience some post cruise excursions in the Netherlands.
Here’s our list of recommendations on what to do, where to stay & dine while in this bustling city.
Boat Ride on Canal
Rederij De Jordaan offers the best private luxury boat tour through Amsterdam canals! By far, this was our #1 highlight during our stay in Amsterdam. You can choose from two beautiful, immaculate boats, with an experienced skipper who navigates through the Amsterdam canals on a customized cruise.
Boats are available for every occasion – discovering the city, water taxi boat service, weddings, anniversaries, bachelorette parties, happy hour cruises, and corporate events for 1-22 people.
Cruise through the legendary canals of Amsterdam and see the sights, while enjoying the ambiance, quality snacks and the finest drinks. Book your reservation and the Captain will pick you up at your hotel, museum or restaurant. Contact: Reinhard at email@example.com +31 6 5024 3236. Rederij De Jordaan was founded by Reinhard Adriaanz Spronk and Miloe Van Bodegraven in 2014. The company has two classic saloon boats, named the Farahilde 1908, and the Welmoed 1932.
This Dutch National Museum is located at Museum Square, and showcases the arts and history of Amsterdam. Most famous paintings to see are Night Watch, Rembrandt’s largest, most famous canvas, and Vermeer’s paintings.
Van Gogh Museum:
This museum will introduce you to the life of Van Gogh, and highlights his largest collection of art.
Anne Frank House:
Visit the home where Anne Frank went into hiding with the Frank Family, and wrote her world famous diary. Learn about the tragic events that took place in Amsterdam during 1933-1950. One of the most popular places to visit in Amsterdam and wait lines can take hours, so reserve your ticket online months ahead of time! The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to the Westerkerk, in central Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Photos courtesy of: © Anne Frank House / Photo: Cris Toala Olivares
Walk the Canals:
Strolling along the canals is a great way to get familiar with the neighborhoods.
Visit the Amsterdam Flower Market centrally located in the city.
Shop De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets)
Visit the “Nine Streets” for designer shopping, boutiques, galleries and cafes.
Walking the city and seeing the different bridges is fascinating – especially the skinniest bridge in Amsterdam, called the Magere Brug (bridge).
Ride a Bicycle:
If you dare, take a ride through Amsterdam by bike! With 250 miles of cycling paths, there’s plenty of places to cycle. But watch out, everyone rides a bike, and the streets can be chaotic.
Visit the largest flower garden in Europe with 7 million tulips, daffodils, hyacinths that grow over 80 acres in Lisse, Holland. Only about a 30 mins drive from Amsterdam. Reserve tickets online since the best time to visit is during the April and May timeframe and tickets go fast.
Be sure to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Kinderdijk where there are 19 authentic windmills. Don’t Miss! A visit to the Windmill Museum where you can explore the mill, and meet a “miller” who can show you how the windmills operate. If there’s plenty of wind, you’ll see the mill go into motion!
One of the most quintessential Dutch towns is Delft, with canals wrapping around the lively market square and continuing to the outskirts of the city. This town is famous for its Delftware, hand-painted blue-and-white pottery, and home to the Dutch Master Painter Johannes Vermeer.
Official Tourism Site – I Am Amsterdam
Considered to be the most luxurious hotel in Amsterdam, this upscale hotel has combined five 17th-century canal-side palaces. Beautifully restored with a 17th-century spiral staircase, original fireplaces and some rooms include period features such as beam ceilings.
The elegant Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Hotel is in the heart of one of the finest streets – Herengracht, on the UNESCO World Heritage list for its canal setting. Just a 4 mins walk from 2 tram stops, and 15 mins walk to both Dam Square and the Rijksmuseum. Perfect location to explore Amsterdam!
Few more hotels to check out on the next trip…
De Kas Restaurant and greenhouse nursery is one of the most unique dining experiences in Amsterdam and tops our list! This classy restaurant has 24 ft ceilings, and is located inside a set of greenhouses dating back to the early 19th century.
The Chef and team create Mediterranean dishes from organic herbs and vegetables grown on-site, and on their farmland in the Beemster area, supplemented by products from local purveyors. The menu varies seasonally as the gardeners harvest daily.
Lucius Seafood Restaurant
If you fancy seafood, book a reservation at popular Lucius where you will find an array of fresh fish selections from grilled salmon to the Lucius platter of seafood!
We had wonderful breakfasts at the Waldorf Astoria’s Librije’s Zusje.
The Conservatorium –
Stopped here for a light bite and hope to return!
If you are a fan of modernist cuisine, book a reservation here and you’ll test your taste buds and experience extraordinary flavors.
Greetje – Traditional Dutch fare.
More Restaurants to visit on our next trip…
Ciel Bleu, Amsterdam -Ferdinand Bolstraat 333 (Okura Hotel – 2 star Michelin)
Johannes, Amsterdam – Herengracht 413
Le Restaurant, Amsterdam – Tweede Jan Steenstraat 3 (multi course)
Bridges, Amsterdam (Sofitel Legend The Grand Hotel)
Ron Blaauw, Amsterdam
Bussia Cucina Moderna – fixed menu or a la carte – excellent
Pllek – in a shipping container http://awesomeamsterdam.com/pllek/
Vasso – Italian – Rozenboomsteeg 10 /14
List Courtesy of: Jerrol Golden, world traveler & foodie, and the Concierge at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam for their restaurant recommendations.
HOW TO GET AROUND
Marcus Transport Services
Marcus Transport Services provides transportation for individuals, families or groups, public and private organizations in the greater Amsterdam area and beyond.
Our drivers were outstanding, and provided quality transfers, with personal service. Contact Tel: +31(0)88-6600500 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We choose Blacklane for our chauffeur service for a day trip to Keukenhof and Delft. Our driver was excellent, punctual, and professional. We didn’t need to worry about maps, directions, and were able to relax and enjoy the day and see the sights.
Global Adventuress would like to thank De Kas, Lucius, Librije’s Zusje for hosting meals.
We want to thank Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam for partially hosting our stay. We would also like to thank Rederij De Jordaan and owner Captain Reinhard for a private canal boat tour – #1 highlight in Amsterdam!
Big thanks to our transfer services – Blacklane and Marcus Transport Services for providing us with on time, professional transfers.
Also, the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Anne Frank House for providing press passes for our visits. And Keukenhof for providing us with media access to their lovely gardens.
Finally, we want to thank Viking River Cruises for hosting our cruise and arriving safely to our final port – Amsterdam!