Travel Guides: Amsterdam City Guide
Amsterdam is a city connected by many canals and bridges. It is also one of the most bicycle-friendly cities which has many cycle paths that make commuting easy and enjoyable.
The city also has ancient castles and world-class museums to explore. You can also explore the quaint cobbled streets filled with restaurants and outdoor cafes.
The low-rise buildings and architecture of the city give it a more intimate feel compared to other metropolitan cities on the continent. But beneath the surface lies a modern, avant-garde city that combines the buzz of a large mall with a laid-back attitude.
If you are visiting Amsterdam, you will no doubt want to take some shots of the panoramic views. And the city is certainly not lacking. From the astonishing architecture of the canal to the picturesque and colorful buildings, we list the must-see sites and monuments.
Popular attractions and monuments
One of the first trips on the itinerary is expected to be the A’DAM LOOKOUT, which offers 360Âº views of the historic city center and surrounding ports. There is also an interactive exhibition and a panoramic restaurant / bar / club. For the more adventurous, the site also has the highest swing in Europe at nearly 100 meters.
For those looking for a relaxed adventure, head to the Castles and Gardens region south-east of the city center, where you can also enjoy picturesque lakes and explore quaint villages. Amsterdam Muiderslot Castle is worth a day trip, dating back to 1280, it has beautiful surrounding gardens.
A trip to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without a canal cruise. And with 165 canals, it’s a great way to explore the city’s rich history and take in scenic views and cultural landmarks. The Amsterdam Ring of Canals was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.
Once you are done navigating the canals you can head to the Keukenhof Gardens, this stunning landscape is a popular attraction that spans 32 hectares and has 7 million flower bulbs.
Art and culture
The city is home to world-class museums, one of the most visited being the Rijksmuseum, with over 800 years of history where you can find the works of Van Gogh.
For art lovers, a visit to the Stedelijk Museum is a must. The museum boasts 150 years of the finest modern art, with works by Picasso, Pollock, Warhol and more. Other popular places to visit are the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Amsterdam Museum.
Dam Square is one of the most popular areas of the city and is located in the historic center of Amsterdam, close to the main train station. With popular attractions such as the Royal Palace, Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and the National Monument. Here you will also find many restaurants, food stalls and shops.
Leidseplein (Leiden Square) is a lively square located in the center of the city. The area is full of cafes, restaurants and open-air bars. There are also plenty of entertainment options with movies, theaters, comedies, and street shows.
The Red Light District is another popular destination with tourists and is located in the oldest part of Amsterdam. The area comes alive at night and there are many tour groups offering walking tours, which can be the best way to explore the area.
If you are feeling adventurous and want to taste a local specialty then you must try broodje haring; a fish served with pickles and onions, which can be found in Haringhandels (herring carts) in the city center.
Another popular local snack is Bitterballen; Fried meatballs with a crispy crust served with a portion of mustard, which can be found on the menu of most pubs. You should also try the thick fries called frites or patat, which are usually served in a paper cone with condiments. If you’re looking for something sweet, try the locals favorite Oliebollen, which are delicious, fried dumplings coated in sugar.
For hearty local cuisine, head to The Pantry for delicious meatballs and mash, or sea bass fillet.
For a relaxing afternoon, head to Amsterdanse Bos (Amsterdam Forest); a huge urban space and one of the largest urban parks on the continent. Here you can walk, cycle or enjoy a picnic. There is a 14 km cycle path which can show you the best parts of the forest.
You will not run out of shopping options in Amsterdam. If you’re looking for big brands and labels, you’ll find them at Kalverstraat, which is the city’s most popular shopping destination. For luxury brands, head to PC Hooftstraat, where you’ll also find boutiques. You can also visit the Albert Cuyp market; claimed to be the longest street market on the continent.