Things to do in Amsterdam

Broad canals crisscross a city famous for its world class art, tolerance, and happy cyclists.

Our most recommended things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam: Life of Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour

1. Amsterdam: Life of Anne Frank and World War II Walking Tour

Find out more about Anne Frank on a small-group or private guided walking tour of Amsterdam, led by an expert guide. Discover the city’s centuries-old Jewish Quarter in a small group setting while your guide weaves in anecdotes about Anne Frank's life and World War II. You will hear all about Anne Frank’s family dynamics, their move from Germany, their time in hiding, and her father’s life after the war. Start the tour outside the Portuguese Synagogue, a 17th-century Sephardic construction that still functions as a synagogue today. Find out about the background of the original Jewish neighborhood and how it developed over the centuries. Your guide will share stories of Anne Frank’s love of writing, the conditions she lived through in 1930s and 1940s Amsterdam, and how her diary became so famous. You will also hear about the Dutch Resistance during the Second World War and see where secret hiding places were located. Over the course of the tour, you will walk by the Jewish Historical Museum, stop at the Auschwitz Monument and see the outside of the Anne Frank House façade. Finish the tour with a small surprise at a local Dutch cafe.

Amsterdam: Volendam, Edam, & Zaanse Schans Day Trip

2. Amsterdam: Volendam, Edam, & Zaanse Schans Day Trip

Leave Amsterdam for half a day on this guided tour of the rolling Dutch countryside. Sit back and travel comfortably in a coach to the rural village of Edam. Take a walk through the quaint streets of Edam. En-route to Volendam, stop to visit an old cheese farm to see how authentic Dutch cheese is made. Indulge in trying some of these huge spheres of delicious cheese. Upon arrival in Volendam, follow your guide on a journey through the fishing village’s winding streets. Hear about how this bustling place was once the harbor for neighboring village Edam. Enjoy some free time to eat lunch. Next, move on to visit the windmill village of Zaanse Schans. Once used to ground spices, dyes, lumber, oil, cocoa powder, and many other items, the mills are still in use today. Some are now living museums where you can learn about the ins and outs of milling. Visit a wooden shoe factory and behold how traditional clogs are created using antique machines. Afterward, go inside a windmill and take a look at all the mechanisms and go out onto the platform for a remarkable view over the surrounding area.  Filled with newfound knowledge and a taste of the traditional Dutch ways of life, relax and reminisce about your trip while on the journey back to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam: Guided Bike Tour of Central Amsterdam

3. Amsterdam: Guided Bike Tour of Central Amsterdam

Discover the sights of central Amsterdam 2ith an expert guide riding by your side. You’ll learn about the city’s culture, see important historical sites, and famous hotspots as well as lesser-known local favorites.  Start your journey near the central station, pass the impressive A’DAM Tower, and ride over to the Western Islands, which are filled with charming drawbridges, old warehouses, and chic artists studios.  Continue along the Brouwersgracht Canal and visit the trendy Jordaan and 9 Street districts flanked by indie boutiques, cozy cafes, and hip eateries. As you ride deeper into the city center, you will enter the Grachtengordel neighborhood and zoom past the Westerkerk (Western Church) and the historic Anne Frank House.  Feel the buzz of music and street performers around Leidseplein Square, a busy theater district with a buzzing nightlife.  After so much excitement, enjoy a pleasant break in the Vondelpark, the largest park in Amsterdam and the most famous park in the Netherlands. Feeling recharged, circle the Museum Quarter and ride through the narrow streets of the Bohemian-influenced De Pijp neighborhood.  Cross the iconic Magere Brug (skinny bridge), a wooden drawbridge over the River Amstel, and arrive at the famed Artis Zoo leading into the Maritime Quarter.  Admire the impressive replica of a 17th-century Dutch East Indian Company ship at the Salt Harbour, before returning to back where your bike journey began.

Amsterdam: Open Boat Canal Cruise

4. Amsterdam: Open Boat Canal Cruise

Admire Amsterdam’s picturesque waterside landmarks on a 100% electric cruise. Take in incredible views of the city’s famous landmarks from an open boat and experience a relaxing way to sightsee, free of traffic. Learn informative and entertaining insights about the sites along the route. See the 17th-century buildings lining the famous canals, as well as new stylish buildings showcasing the influential 21st-century city that Amsterdam has become. Sail by the Hermitage Museum, then glide past the Skinny Bridge, the posh Amstel Hotel, and the charming neighborhood of Grachtengordel. Enjoy an open-air boat experience on a sunny day or stay warm with a protective covering on cooler days. In the winter months, relax on an enclosed boat to keep you warm. Benefit from the flexibility of a one-use ticket that can be used on any one of the cruises departing within the hour you booked.

Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum Ticket

5. Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum Ticket

As one of Amsterdam's most popular attractions, the Van Gogh Museum draws over a million visitors each year. With this ticket, discover over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and more than 750 letters from Van Gogh at your own pace. Access a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibitions.  Home to the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam transports visitors on a fascinating journey through the life of the artist and his contemporaries. The museum introduces the complete story: the artist, the context, Van Gogh’s personal ambitions, his emotions, the myths that surround him, and his influence right up until this very day. The Van Gogh Museum’s collection includes world-famous paintings such as Sunflowers, Almond Blossom, and The Potato Eaters.  The museum also organizes 3 temporary exhibitions every year. The Van Gogh Museum is open 365 days a year. Tickets are available online only. Don’t miss out, book in advance. Visitors can discover more about Van Gogh and his contemporaries with the multimedia guide, available in 11 languages. With more time to enjoy inside the museum, you can dive straight into the fantastic collections on display.

Amsterdam: Light Festival Cruise w/ Optional Open Bar

6. Amsterdam: Light Festival Cruise w/ Optional Open Bar

Experience the eleventh edition of Amsterdam Light Festival with Imagine Beyond as this years theme. You can enjoy the enchanting light works from the 1st of December 2022 till the 22nd of January 2023. During the 11th edition, Amsterdam Light Festival takes visitors by hand to the world of imagination, with the theme 'Imagine Beyond'. The world is moving, nothing appears to be ordinary anymore. Imagination enables us to exceed the here and now, envision the day of tomorrow however you like, and dream along. Get carried away to places beyond the well-known. Stare through the portals and let your imagination run free. What do you see? Are we talking to lamps? Are there only virtual bridges? Join a journey to the world of imagination with 20 specially selected light artworks made by (inter)national artists. Enjoy the company of your local skipper and hostess as you explore the city from the perspective of the water. 

Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise

7. Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise

Discover the best of Amsterdam on a canal cruise. Admire old and new buildings, bridges, and much more in a city that’s rooted in history but continues to change. Hear about the city from your audio guide. Take in views of the 17th-century buildings lining the canals, as well as the cosmopolitan 21st-century city that Amsterdam has become. See the many sides of the city from the Golden Bend to Overhoeks, the city’s newest quarter, and from the Music Building in the harbor to the VOC ship. Add an optional snack box to your cruise for something to munch on as you see the sights. Listen to your personal audio guide while on board, with commentary in 20 languages and complimentary headphones. The little ones will love the special "freshwater pirate" kids audio commentary and their own goody bag to enjoy on the boat.

Amsterdam: Icebar Entry Ticket with 3 Drinks

8. Amsterdam: Icebar Entry Ticket with 3 Drinks

Enjoy a refreshing beverage at a temperate minus 10 degrees Celsius at Amsterdam's Icebar, quite literally the city’s coolest drinks venue, with these entry tickets. Get winter wear, a welcome cocktail, and 2 drinks of your choice during your visit. Once you’ve exchanged your voucher for a designated time slot, marvel at a watering hole constructed almost entirely from ice. Everything from the walls and furniture to the very glass you sip your beverage out of is made of natural ice. Upon entering the bar, you will first see the lounge space, where you can have a welcome cocktail or a beer if you wish. This first part of the Amsterdam Icebar is nice and warm. After that, snuggle into the provided winter wear and savor the ambient light and ice sculptures of the Icebar. Choose from 2 different flavors of vodka, regular vodka, sambuca, rum, Heineken beer, or orange juice. Inside the Icebar you can stay up to 20 minutes. You may hang out in the lounge as long as you like, and try a selection of delicious cocktails. The “cool” factor goes even further than the general climate; mood lighting and toe-tapping party tunes complete the scene.

Amsterdam: AMAZE Immersive Audiovisual Experience Ticket

9. Amsterdam: AMAZE Immersive Audiovisual Experience Ticket

Pre-book your entrance ticket and step into the immersive and multi-sensory experience that is AMAZE. Explore 7 rooms containing interactive shows of lights, lasers, sound, smoke, new media art, visuals, and other special effects to stimulate your mind. Enhance your experience with a cocktail of your choice. Discover state-of-the-art technology from event organizers with over 30 years of experience in the events and music industry. The AMAZE experience is brought to you by the founders of Dutch Dance, ID&T (Sensation, Tomorrowland). Escape from reality and encounter interactive areas which elicit a range of emotions, from the relaxing to the intense. Go on a journey that reconnects you to your inner self. Interact with your surroundings via the many sensors and cameras to enhance the immersion of your experience.

Amsterdam: Heineken Experience Ticket

10. Amsterdam: Heineken Experience Ticket

1867 was a good year for beer. It was the year Gerard Adriaan Heineken built a new brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. In the pumping heart of the old brewery, you can dive into the world of Heineken beer.   On a 1.5-hour self-guided tour you’ll learn about the company’s heritage, the beer brewing process, Heineken’s innovations, and about what it takes to serve a world-famous beer. There will be a short presentation in English provided inside the factory.   Find out the 4 natural ingredients that make this beer, and discover the brand’s sponsorship activities with Formula 1, the UEFA Champions League and the Rugby World Cup. And sure enough, at the end of the tour you can raise your glass with new friends.

Frequently asked questions about Amsterdam

What top attractions are a must-see in Amsterdam?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Amsterdam?

The best day trips and excursions from Amsterdam are:

Bruges

Other Sightseeing Options in Amsterdam

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What people are saying about Amsterdam

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 155,893 reviews

I found the Van Gogh Museum surprisingly interesting. I didn't know much about the artist other than he was a painter who had cut his own ear off so I decided to purchase a ticket & learn a few facts while killing some time in the area. Well I was definitely in for a surprise. I actually loved the museum & went away feeling somewhat saddened for Van Gogh yet happy that I had taken the time to indulge in this activity. The museum, which is huge, was fairly easy to locate, very clean, had a café & souvenir shop. I purchased my tix online, well in advance of my trip, but it seems that others were buying them upon entrance. I thought it was really great that there are FREE lockers to store your belongings & an area to hang your coat during your visit. I also thought it was nice that visitors are allowed to take photos of the artwork & plenty of space for selfies! I recommend this wonderful place to explore, NOT just for educational purposes, but to gain insight on this troubled soul.

Heineken experience was very informative, fantastic staff , great entertainment + 2 glasses of beer. City canal cruise is directly across from the Heinekin experience. We did both in the evening, boat trip was fantastic, bridges all lit up .we had a fantastic guide , very jolly he even sang us a song . Enjoyed every minute of our time on board .

Hans was excellent and the tour couldn’t have been more picturesque or perfect. I had such a lovely day and saw such beautiful countryside. Hans modified the tour based on the preferences of the people on the tour. We climbed inside a windmill, saw little villages, saw cheese and clog making. Just magical.

Great Experience. Nice crew with lots of interesting informations about city and other things. I would recommend.

Tom was an awesome tour guide! Good vibes and made the tour so much fun and insightful!