Tasteful architecture, friendly locals and an abundance of culture builds a pretty picture of Amsterdam. To help you get your all-rounded Amsterdam experience, we’ve narrowed down a few must-do activities that will have you falling in love with the city from dawn to dusk.
Treasure hunt in city markets
There’s no better way to mingle with the locals than visiting the markets in Amsterdam. Let yourself be charmed by the friendly chatter and curious minded as you peruse the fine selection of well, everything. You can pick themed markets that offer antiques only, books only, vintage clothes only, or turn towards scattered flea markets that spoil you with both kitschy goods and artisan food. Popular visits include the Albert Cuypmarket and Waterlooplein flea market, both running from Monday to Saturday. For a proper treasure hunt, drop by the monthly IJ Hallen flea market by NDSM Wharf!
Immerse in Dutch culture at Museumplein
Sharing a lawn is the trio of Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum and Stedlijk museum – three cultural stooges set in the distinctly 19th-century and leaf-wrapped Oud-Zuid district. The air is charged even before you enter doors, as open-air markets and exhibitions take place on fresh grass in the summer and winter lays out an ice skating rink. Within three of Amsterdam’s biggest museums are art havens, stately buildings home to Dutch heritage. Spend an entire day browsing the scores of art works that date from classic works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, to contemporary pieces that celebrate Dutch innovation.
Bar hop for vodka shots
If you’re looking for spaces to let loose and chill with a drink in hand (or maybe go wild with the booze), check out this diverse list of bars to try. Get classy at Albus Hotel, which is designed to be both intimate and sleek; Café del Mondo on the other hand, with liven up your night with music nights in a warm pub venue. Want something more heart-pumping? Pass around those vodka shots at The Waterhole while pumping your head to its music line-up. Amsterdam is known for its inclusivity too; of the many LGBT-friendly drinking spaces, popular Café Montmartre lures in crowds with 80’s and 90’s hits.
Drift through Amsterdam on a Canal Cruise
A post-card symbol of Amsterdam, the city-wide canal belt takes you on a leisure tour of the city. Day time cruises will have you snapping pictures of the tilting houses and basking in the nostalgic feel of this 17th century construct; fairy lights brighten up bridges and the quiet hush of the night make evening cruises magical. Choose between hop-on hop-off canal tours for an alternative way to sightsee, or sign up for a wine-and-dine experience with local guides.
Explore its distinctive neighborhoods
Amsterdam is a patchwork of diversity and color, so explore its neighborhoods! Charming Jordaan is a collective of independent art galleries, courtyards and cozy restaurants, while the labyrinth-like 9 Streets keep shoppers happy. Westergas is the destination for foodies, teeming with bar-restaurants, coffee roasters, food markets and indulgent cultural events. Elegant De Plantage, lively De Pijp and Oosterpark are only a few of the delightful spaces the city has to offer.