Everyone has their preconceived notions about Amsterdam and while some or many of those notions may be true, there really is something for everyone. From the hipster food scene to a rich history and culture in arts there’s plenty to do. It was shocking to see the difference from Luxembourg, only a half-day train ride away. As soon as you get out of the train station you are swallowed by swarms of people, locals and tourists alike.
As we made our way to the Airbnb, we were sure to take extra precaution around our wallets and valuables. Luckily, we didn’t have any issues but better safe than sorry!
From the best tourist attractions, unique ethnic food finds, and transportation tips here are our recommendations for everything Amsterdam.
Best Tourist Attractions
The Heineken Experience knew exactly what they were doing when they built this attraction. From learning the history of how it was made to the current process, and plenty of photo ops and games to play, there is enough here to keep you busy for at least an hour. Buy tickets online before you go…this is not something you want to wait in a line for 2 hours!
Cheese shop De Kaaskamer
You’ll find plenty of cheese shops in Amsterdam if you stroll up and down the streets, however, the Cheese shop De Kaaskamer was one of our best finds. We took home a vacuum sealed locally sourced Gouda, recommended by the shop owner, and haven’t tasted anything as good since.
Red Light District
Ahhh, the infamous Red Light District, known for its explicit scenery, is actually a large tourist attraction. When you visit be warned of seedy characters trolling the area. We went right at sunset to walk up and down the strip and watched as more and more lights turned red. It is something you have to see when you are there, however, I would think twice before taking kids!
Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is a popular must-see for Amsterdam and you’ll see it pop up on several sites when you do your research. This was one of our favorite museums throughout our European tour (which included Paris!). The once-home turned museum walks you through the life of Anne Frank reliving the torture her family experienced as if you were there at the time with her. When you go, read the displays, take in all of the details, and watch the short clips to truly have the full experience.
Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum offers a history lesson on the life of one of the most famous artists of all time. Despite his tumultuous life, Van Gogh produced some of the most beautiful artwork still recognizable by people all over the world. Starry Night is not here but you can still admire an enormous collection of his other works.
This is a great place to relax, take in some good music, and beautiful views of the city. It is free to go up, you just have to have to buy your own snacks and drinks; a great way to end an evening!
I AMSTERDAM Sign
Go early or go late at night, otherwise, there will be plenty of new friends in your selfie. It is an iconic photo opp that shouldn’t be missed! Make sure to Google where the sign will be located during the time of your visit, it is moved by the city regularly.
Hop On Hop Off: A good option to tour the city and hit all of the major attractions including many of the ones mentioned above.
City Trolley: Quick and easy way to get to the train station or other parts of the city.
Uber: Check your app for latest and greatest prices…they also have Uber Eats that gets delivered on a bike!
Walking: This is a great option to get around all of the attractions – we even walked from the train station to the Van Gogh Museum (approximately 1 hour)
Biking (if you dare): Another great way to see the city but make sure you know where you’re going or else you’ll hear it from the locals.