Requested by Lisa


Thank you for the request, @Lisa_Fav! I'm sorry it took me a while to put this together. This is a collection of things you could or should do if you ever visit the beautiful city of Amsterdam. As requested I left out the Red Light District and places to smoke pot (which you will encounter anyway). I hope this can be useful to some of you!
  1. Canal tours
    One of the most relaxing and impressive ways to see the city, especially on a sunny day, is by taking a tour through Amsterdam's many canals. Most tours start in front of Amsterdam's Central Station.
  2. Rijksmuseum
    Amsterdam's biggest and most beautiful museum. It's filled with gorgeous historic art pieces from artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh, and more. On top of that, it's also an architecturally beautiful building.
  3. Van Gogh Museum
    A museum entirely devoted to the work of Vincent van Gogh, where you can see many of his famous paintings and learn about his life. It is very much worth your time. Book your tickets in advance, or be prepared to wait in line for a while.
  4. Anne Frank House
    Anne Frank's diary is one of the most read and translated books in the world. This is the place where she wrote (most of) it. You get to visit the house where she and her family hid, and also check out the museum connected to it. Make sure you book tickets well in advance, because it sells out incredibly fast (admittance is very limited), and the ticket line at the museum itself is so long that you could be standing there for over an hour with no guarantee of getting in.
  5. Stedelijk Museum
    It may look like a giant bath tub, but it is actually Amsterdam's large museum of modern art.
  6. Spend a day at the park
    Amsterdam's Vondelpark is a beautiful place to spend a sunny day. It is basically to Amsterdam what Central Park is to New York City.
  7. Heineken Experience
    If you enjoy beer (especially Heineken beer) then you should definitely visit the Heineken Experience. It is an interactive museum about Heineken and how they make their beer. You also get to drink a couple of complimentary beers, of course. Book tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
  8. House of Bols
    If you enjoy gin/genever, visiting the House of Bols might just be the place for you. I haven't been there myself, but I've heard good things.
  9. Amsterdam Dungeon
    A scary and funny interactive tour inspired by the darker side of Amsterdam's history, through several dungeons. You'll encounter lovely shows about torture, witches, murder, and the Spanish Inquisition. You may want to leave small children outside for this.
  10. Paleis op de Dam - Royal palace
    Amsterdam has its very own royal palace: Paleis op de Dam. It is located on the Dam Square. You can take a tour, but it is not always open, so it would be wise to check online beforehand.
  11. Shopping: Kalverstraat
    This is Amsterdam's longest and busiest shopping street you'll find all kinds of shops here, but most of them are clothing stores.
  12. Shopping: P.C. Hooftstraat
    If you're looking to do some more high-and shopping, then the P.C. Hooftstraat is the place for you. This is where you'll find shops of brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès and the like.
  13. Museum Square and the I Amsterdam sign
    If any of your friends have been to Amsterdam, there's a big chance you've seen a picture of (then with) the I Amsterdam sign. There are more than one, but the biggest one is on the Museumplein (Museum Square). It's a large square surrounded by museums like the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum.
  14. Shopping: 9 Straatjes (9 Little Streets)
    This is a beautiful area (consiting of, you guessed it, 9 little streets) filled with little boutiques, monuments, gorgeous architecture and hip restaurants and bars. This is my #1 recommendation if you want to go shopping.
  15. Entertainment area: Leidseplein
    The Leidseplein (Leidse Square) is one of Amsterdam's most vibrant entertainment areas. On the square itself and its surrounding streets you can find an enormous amount of bars, restaurants, night clubs, you name it. If you're looking for something to do at night, this is a very good place to start. If you visit during the winter, you can also go ice skating there.
  16. Entertainment area: Rembrandtplein
    Amsterdam's other big entertainment area, with a lot of bars, restaurants, clubs, and more. In the center you can see a statue of Rembrandt and a recreation of his most famous work, The Night Watch (which you can see on display at the Rijksmuseum). Two of Amsterdam's biggest and most famous clubs are situated here: Escape, and Club Air.
  17. Bike tour
    If there is one thing you'll see a lot of in Amsterdam (besides tourists smoking pot or Argentinian restaurants, for some reason), it's bicycles. There are more bikes than people in this country. You can take city tours on bikes, or just rent a bike and explore the city by yourself. Watch out though, Amsterdam is a crowded city with very busy traffic. Watch out for cars, pedestrians, other cyclists, and trams.
  18. Beer bike tour
    Maybe a more fun version of a bike tour if you're with a group: a beer bike tour. This way you can see a lot of the city, get some excercise, and get drunk at the same time. The locals don't love these, as the people on them can get slightly obnoxious (I wonder why).
  19. If you visit in October: Amsterdam Dance Event
    ADE is a week of EDM parties all over Amsterdam. House, techno, hardstyle, hardcore, deep house, trance, literally every type of EDM is represented here. Make sure to book tickets in advance, as most parties sell out quick. DJs from all over the world come to Amsterdam to play here, just like our own most famous DJs, like Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Tiësto, and Armin van Buuren.
  20. If you visit in late April: Kingsday festivities
    Koningsdag (Kingsday) is the biggest national holiday we have in the Netherlands. It's held on April 27, our king's birthday, to celebrate our monarchy. It's a day in which most of us dress up in something orange, or red white and blue, and party in the streets and cafés. Amsterdam becomes party central, riddled with festivities and people drinking in the streets (even more than usual). So if you come visit in late April, don't forget to bring something orange to wear.
  21. Sports: visit an Ajax game
    We don't have many huge sports teams in the Netherlands, but Amsterdam is home to our biggest (and my favorite) one. Ajax Amsterdam is our most successful and famous football (soccer) club. If you happen to like football, and you're here between August and May, you can go watch them play at the Amsterdam Arena.
  22. Amsterdam Arena stadium tour and Ajax Museum
    If you can't or don't want to go to a game, but you are still interested in the club or football in general, you can take a stadium tour through the Amsterdam Arena and visit the Ajax Museum to learn about the clubs history and its many successes.
  23. Improv comedy: Boom Chicago
    If you enjoy improv comedy, you should definitely pay a visit to Boom Chicago. And don't worry, you will be able to understand the comedians, because they're all Americans. In the past people like Seth Meyers, Jordan Peele, and Jason Sudeikis were a part of it, so you just might see a future comedy star perform while you're there.
  24. Science museum NEMO
    This is a cool spot to go to, especially if you're young or have kids with you. NEMO is a science museum where you can not just watch, but actually participate in science experiments.
  25. The Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade (July 23rd)
    The Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade is one of the biggest and most famous in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world come here to celebrate along. The biggest attraction is the Canal Pride float, with tons of (often decorated) boats, music, and dancing people.
  26. Pathé Tuschinski
    If you want to catch a movie, I would highly recommend you do it at Tuschinski, in its gorgeous main theater. It's where most big premieres are held here. It is a multiplex these days, so chances are you won't end up in that room. So if you do want to, make sure you see the film in Zaal 1 (Theater 1).
  27. The best view of the city: Westerkerk Tower
    A church with the tallest tower in the inner city. Entry is by guided tour only, but you do get a unique panorama view of the city that is well worth your time. It is also basically right next to the Anne Frank House.
  28. Amsterdam Light Festival
    A yearly festival, always held in winter. The upcoming one starts on November 26th, and ends on January 15 2017. Every year they put up pieces of light art by artists from all over the world throughout the city. You can walk a route past all of them for free, or take a canal tour and view them from the water (which I highly recommend).
  29. Scheepvaartmuseum
    Amsterdam's maritime history museum, where you can learn about 500 years of our naval history. There are many things to do and see here, so if you're a fan of anything to do with ships and maritime history, this place is a must.
  30. De Jordaan
    De Jordaan is a beautiful historic neighborhood in Amsterdam with lovely architecture and plenty of shops and cafés. It is as Amsterdam as it gets, really. It's especially a fun place to be on Kingsday.
  31. Albert Cuyp Markt
    Probably the most famous open air market in the country. According to its website, it's even the biggest open air market in Europe it has about 260 vendors). It's open 6 days a week, and you can get anything there, from fresh food to clothing. It is quite an experience.
  32. Waterstones
    It's a British bookstore chain that has only one store in the Netherlands. It's in a beautiful classic four-story building with a classic bookstore vibe, and very much worth a visit.
  33. Hermitage Museum
    It is a branch of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. It's a big museum in a classic and beautiful building that always has several interesting exhibitions. At the moment they have an exhibit of works of several Spanish masters, for instance.
  34. Try all the Dutch treats and dishes from this list I wrote a while ago: DUTCH TREATS: COOL THINGS ABOUT THE NETHERLANDS YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEVER KNEW
  35. Music: Paradiso
    If you want to visit a concert, then Paradiso is one of the best places to visit. It's a classic venue where big and smaller names perform.
  36. EYE Cinema
    A very impressive modern movie theater that shows a wide variety of film, and often also has exhibitions that have to do with cinema or television.
  37. Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market)
    This is the only floating flower market world, and the place with some of the best smells in the city. If you want to take home some tulips or other types of flowers, this is where you should get them. The bulbs are fit to take home with you.