15 Things to Do in Amsterdam
1. Be romantic.
Find the The Fault in Our Stars Bench in Leidsegracht and pretend to be Gus and Hazel for the day. Don’t forget to take that awesome selfie to commemorate the moment.
2. Visit the Dam Square.
The Dam Square is Amsterdam’s central square that plays a huge role in history because it is where the city was founded. Some important monuments can be also found nearby such as the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis), New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) and the National Monument.
3. Go museum-hopping.
If you’re into art and history, don’t miss Museumplein where you can visit two of Amsterdam’s major museums – Rijksmuseum which houses some of the country’s most significant art pieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer; and the Van Gogh Museum which contains the painter’s largest collection from his earliest works to his final masterpieces.
Museumplein / Museumpromenade, 1079 RA Amsterdam, Netherlands
4. Eat like a local.
Stuff yourself with as much waffles and pancakes as you can. It’s a must when you visit this city.
5. Learn about history.
I could never recommend this enough, never miss the Anne Frank House when you’re in Amsterdam. Learning about the Holocaust from a young girl’s perspective will open your eyes and give you a life-changing experience.
6. Take a short out of town trip.
Take a daytrip to nearby suburbs if you have more time on you hands. Netherlands has some of the world’s most picturesque towns and it’s a shame not to even check them out. Some of the options you can choose from are Zaanse Schans (a windmill village), Keukenhof (tulips fields and gardens), Delft (pottery) and The Hague (Dutch Parliament and Noordeinde Palace).
7. Be a typical tourist.
You only live once so be all-out in experiencing everything the place has to offer. Take a lot of photos, do all those silly poses, vlog to your heart’s content. After all, who knows when you’ll be back? It might be soon, it might be never.
8. Take copious amounts of canal pictures.
Amsterdam has made a name for itself for its magnificent waterways. Did you know that it has more bridges than Venice? Venice has 409 while Amsterdam has 1281, that’s three times as many! Every corner is postcard-worthy so remember to snap away!
9. Visit a flea market.
What I notice about Europeans is that they are very fond of their antiques so instead of throwing them away, they put it out for sale. When in Amsterdam, be on the lookout for flea markets because you might never know which treasures you could actually take home with you.
10. Stumble upon unique places.
Don’t be afraid to get lost in Amsterdam’s charming streets. It’s not that big of a city so you’ll eventually find your way back. In the meantime, appreciate what’s in front of you. Isn’t it a joy to discover secret places and instagram-worthy corners?
11. Scout for vintage records.
Again, Europe is a mecca for everything vintage, that includes LPs too. So if you own a Crosley back home, you could actually save some bucks if you’re into really old, hard-to-find vinyls. All you need is a bit of patience to find what you’re looking for in a mountain of them.
12. Appreciate architecture.
Amsterdam is anything but ordinary. Just at the sight of the pretty canal houses would make you gasp in amazement when you see them for the first time. These canal houses together with the canals are already UNESCO World Heritage sites. Not only that, in fact, this city has a unique mix of both historical and modern architecture that would surely peak your interest.
13. Relax in a nearby park.
There are plenty of green landscapes around the city where you could escape to after a long day of walking around. Bring a book, something to sit on and maybe a light meal and you’re good to go. All parks are family and pet-friendly too so you can bring your furry friend along anytime.
14. Meet new friends.
When you’re in a place like Amsterdam, it’s not hard to make friends with people because the ambiance is just light and airy and everybody seems to be in a good mood all the time. The Dutch are one of the friendliest hosts I’ve met. Furthermore, hostels in this city prove to be a safe place to stay in and make new acquaintances.
15. Go out of your comfort zone.
Amsterdam is a city of possibilities. There’s so much to see, so much to try. Rent a bike, see the Red Light District, eat a brownie. At the end of the day, just make sure you don’t do anything that you’ll regret later. Remember to be fearless, but be smart with your choices too.
Amsterdam is a city that oozes with charm and vibrance, it’s hard not to fall in love with it. It’s one of those cities that you don’t easily forget because of the way it made you feel, or how it changed a part of you. If by chance you’re in Europe, try to pass by. You’ll know what I mean.
Where we stayed:
Mauritskade 57, 1092 AD Amsterdam, Netherlands