A forward-thinking city that offers a diverse selection of things to see and do, Amsterdam is one of those places that will have you coming back for more, such is its allure. Each time you visit, the buzzing city can offer you something completely different, so however you wish to spend your days and nights, rest assured that you will return home fulfilled and already thinking about your next trip.
The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is famed for its canals, bicycles, art, museums, tall and narrow houses with ornate gabled facades, and lively nightlife. While the city holds a rich history dating back to the 13th century, it’s the 17th-century Golden Age, when it was at the forefront of European art and trade, that is heavily celebrated.
If you’re planning a trip to this exciting city, then read on for our guide on how to make the most of this buzzing place from morning to night.
Take a boat trip
Seeing as so much of Amsterdam has its famed canals running through it, it makes perfect sense to view the beautiful architecture and notable sights from the water while learning about the city’s history from a knowledgeable tour guide. Glide along the water and relax as you take in the best of the city and plan what delights you’ll dip into once it’s finished.
Shop on foot or by bike
Flower markets, food markets, boutique shopping and more, one of the best ways to uncover these goodies is to head out on foot, or if you dare, by bike. The centre of the city is quite compact and so you can wander and discover quite a lot of the top sights as you go. Head to De Pijp and the Albert Cuypmarkt – the stroopwafels will certainly tempt.
By the time night falls, there’s far more to do than hang around the Red Light District, and heading to the casino for a flutter is a popular pastime here. We spoke to those in the know at Casino777, who gave us the lowdown on the best casinos to check out while visiting Amsterdam. Holland Casino is popular option with visitors enjoying the sleek venue with its casual ambience, while poker, roulette, slots and live DJ nights make this a fun place to be when night-time comes around. Holland Casino Amsterdam West sits a little out of the centre, but is worth the trip, while Casino City have a few venues to choose from if you want to widen the net and enjoy a table game with friends or night at the slots elsewhere.
Amsterdam is well known for its array of renowned museums from the quirky to the grand with art playing an important role. Rijksmusem has to be up there with one of the best, the grand offering boasts masterpieces by Vermeer and Rembrandt including The Night Watch (1642) by the latter, among its 7,500-strong collection. The Van Gogh Museum is an in-depth look at the artist’s life and works, while modern art fans should head to Stedelijk Museum. Anne Frank Huis is another of the city’s cultural hot spots and displays Anne’s original famed diary in a glass case – it’s best to book in advance if you’re planning to go here.
To escape the hustle and bustle (and cyclists) of the city, it’s always nice to discover a pocket of nature to relax in, and Vondelpark is just the place to do this. The huge park, which first opened in 1865, covers 47 hectares and boasts an open-air theatre, playground and food and drink vendors.
The café culture is big here, so stop off and relax with a coffee in between all of the sight-seeing. There couldn’t’ be a prettier backdrop than the bridges, canals and pretty facades to take in while sipping your brew, and if you wish to enjoy some cannabis related goods then ask at the bar and be sure to stay at the coffeeshop if lighting up.
From sky-high bars to dark and atmospheric offerings, there are plenty of cool places to spend a few hours on your evenings in Amsterdam. Proeflokaal Arendsnest, Door 74, Drink n Sink, Tales and Spirits, Vesper, Hiding in Plain Sight, Flying Dutchman Cocktails, and Twenty Third Bar at Hotel Okura are just a small selection of what’s to be found across the city.