Planning your Amsterdam Visit. How many days should you spend in Amsterdam?
There’s no right answer, but you can get a real feel for the city if you allocate three full days. That will give you enough time to hit the big sights, see the canals, and explore your way through some neighborhoods.
Getting around town
Amsterdam is an easy city to navigate. While the public transport is first class, most visitors find that the city is compact enough to be 100% walkable, safe for the train to and- from Schipol Airport. Plus, you can easily rent a bicycle when the weather’s nice.
How expensive is Amsterdam?
While there are a couple big activities you
will have to pay for like the Anne Frank’s House and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam is full of street markets and small independent galleries. And the city is so walkable that you won’t need to spend a lot on public transportation.
Good to Know?
Language: Dutch and lots of English
Best Time to Visit?
There’s never be a promise of good weather in Amsterdam, but you can expect milder temperatures and longer days between April and September. April is especially lovely those famous tulips will be blooming, and you can celebrate Holland’s biggest holiday of the year, King’s Day.
Whether you plan to visit one of Amsterdam’s famous muse
ums or check out the cafés and bars of the Jordan District, a 3-hour walking tour through the Dutch capital city will help you get your bearings and allow you to make the most of your stay. Passionate local guides will walk you through the history of Amsterdam, from its start as a muddy village on the River Amstel, to becoming the most important trading city in Europe. You will go where other tours don’t and hear stories you’d never otherwise hear, from the wild history of prostitution and drug decriminalization, to the tragedy of Anne Frank’s story and Nazi occupation. Sure, everyone knows about the coffee shops but what else is fun to do in Amsterdam? Holland’s capital city is a hub for happy cyclists, lazy beers by the canal, and art-lovers. As you start planning what see, here are some activities you can’t miss.
1. Rembrandt House Museum
Explore the life and work of Dutch master, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, at the Amsterdam home where he lived and worked for 20 years until he went bankrupt in 1656, Discover rooms where Rembrandt worked, and see work of art, furniture, and other objects from Rembrandt’s time. The museum also owns an almost complete collection of Rembrandt etchings, and part of the collection is on permanent view. There are frequent temporary exhibitions showcasing the work of his predecessors and contemporaries and modern and current work of art in the museum’s new wing. In addition, demonstrations of how Rembrandt’s etchings were printed in the 17th century are held daily, revealing techniques, processes, and all manner of facts about graphic art for your enjoyment. Amazing museum, Rembrandt was a great artist and visiting his home is awesome. You can find pictures of his students and friends and his own drawings. So much beauty in the world. On the 2nd floor, you can check out how streets of Amsterdam looked like hundred years ago. beautiful collection with a little story about each place, photo from nowadays and reference map.
2. Paradisco and Madame Tussauds Amsterdam
Situated in a prominent monumental building, Paradisco has been a hotspot for decades. This is a place you should have been at least once during your stay in Amsterdam. Come early to avoid the line. Leave yourself to the music and dance.
Get ready for Amsterdam’s most fun and interactive attraction with this VIP fast track entry to Madame Tussauds on Dam Square. To step into an amazing world of wax, located within an easy walking distance of Central Station, and convenient for public transport network. You can be as beautiful as Doutzen Kroes on the catwalk or sing on stage with the outrageous Lady Gaga at Madame Tussauds. Play football with legendary soccer star Rafael van der Vaart, or test your IQ with the brainy Albert Einstein. Meet the stars of the silver screen, music industry and world’s of politics and public life that you’ve dreamed of meeting.
3. Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Best beer in Amsterdam and a great place to enjoy it outdoors on tables under the Windmill.Want to know what was the first? The egg or ostrich? Super funny and interesting tour about one of the best beers brewed in Netherlands. 3:30 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in English, free beer. Order their beer sampler and a mixed Cheese and Salami platter you gonna love it.
4. Van Gogh Museum
When Vincent van Gogh decided to become an artist in 1880, he had no experience of drawing and painting. Neither he knew if he had any talent. A place that must be visited in Amsterdam not only 100 of Van Gogh, you can also enjoy some Gaugin, Monet, Picarro, Angrand etc. When buying a ticket online forget waiting times, instant access the fastest way to get to the museum. As one of most Amsterdam’s attractions, the Van Gogh Museum draws over a million visitors each year. Discover over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and more than 750 letters from Van Gogh at your own pace.
5. Amsterdam Canal Ring
By boat or by land, you won’t be able to avoid Amsterdam famous canal ring. Go for a stroll, hop on a ferry tour, or people -watch in a canal side bar.Explore the canals of Amsterdam by candlelight on an enchanting 2-hour canal cruise. Sip wine as you sail past the sights of the historic Canal Belt, listening to a fascinating multilingual commentary as you go. Departing from close to central Station, cruise past the dreamy Magere Brug, magical floodlit for the evening. Experience the romance of the house boats and the slender merchant houses reflected in the canals. Along the way, sip wine and snack from a selection of Henri Willig cheeses, French bread, olives, and nuts. The leisurely tour is the most relaxing way to end a day in Amsterdam or the perfect way to start an evening of fun.
6. Anne Franck House
Buy a ticket online to avoid the wait. From the train station, take the bus 170, 171, and 172 to the Westermarker stop take the street car back to the station 13, 14 and 17. The Anne Frank House was condemned to demolition in the 50’s. Fortunately, the building has been protected from demolition and now is one of the most visited spots in Amsterdam.
7. Red light District
Explore the famous Red light District of Amsterdam in a small group. Learn what is happening in the many sex clubs and laugh at one of the bizarre sex shows and theaters. Learn how the prostitute earns their living and look behind the scenes of the Red Light District. Discover Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District on a humorous 1.5-hour tour guide. Learn how much the average a prostitute earns per night, how many customers they have per shift and which sexual acts pay the largest sums. The 1.5-hour tour highlights all the positive as well as negative aspects of the Amsterdam Red Light District. From the National Monument on Dam Square go to Warmoestraat, one of the most famous Gay streets in Amsterdam. Pass the Condomerie, a condom store that specializes in all kinds of rubbers, then go further into the heart of the district to the Prostitution Information Center(PIC). Former prostitutes are dedicated to educational work at the information center and are trying to dispel prejudices about prostitution. Directly opposites lie the Old Church (Oude Kerk), the oldest church in Amsterdam and probably the only church in the world which is surrounded by prostitution. The special situation of the Old Church helped enforce its great wealth because sinners of the night felt obliged to wash their contaminated souls clean through a generous donation or “sin tax”. Around the square, the church is surrounded by a row of windows flooded by red lights revealing attractive, scantily-clad women.
Discover more about the process of negotiations between customers and prostitutes, about their income and expenses, prices, room rentals, and taxes, but also about women security. Continue wandering the streets of the district and see what’s hiding behind the Casa Rosso, the Moulin Rouge, the Hospital Bar. Visit the street of Genderfluid, who in addition to their voluptuous breasts usually have a big package. Past Amsterdam’s first commercial coffee shop, the city tour leads to a peep show from the 70’s. The visit to the peepshow is a small highlight of the tour. The peepshow was once the most popular establishment of the entire district, today it is a nostalgic gem in a street of absurd sex shows.
The tour will take place in any weather. Don’t forget an umbrella for rainy days. Distance traveled is approximately 1.8 kilometers at a comfortable pace during the city tour. There is enough time for photos, but they should be taken only from the bridges. The places to take pictures are indicated. It is forbidden to take photos of the prostitutes. Participants of 16 years old accompanied by a parent or guardian. Participants can go on this tour unaccompanied from 18 years of age.
5 Tips for a safe visit
Amsterdam’s main red-light district isn’t as dangerous as you might think, partly because its historic quarter offers so much more than the scarlet-hued vice it’s renowned for. Nevertheless, here are a few measures you can take to stay safe.
1. NO Photos
The women in the windows aren’t mannequins. They’re people at work. Failure to show respect may see you forcibly removed from the area.
2. Watch your valuables
De Wallen might be one of the world’s safest red light districts but it’s still a crowded hub of tourists. Keep a tight watch on any valuables you can’t leave at the hotel.
3. Go at Night but stay alerted
The Red Light District is one of the best places in town to see at night, but be wary of drunk tourists as well as pickpockets. Avoid the back alleys if exploring alone.
4. Know your limits
Most of De Wallen’s problems are caused by immature tourists who think Amsterdam liberal attitudes are an excuse to get as drunk as possible. Don’t get carried away.
5. Take a tour
Far less can go wrong in a group led by someone who knows the area. As a bonus, you’ll gain some serious insight into Red Light District’s 14th-century buildings.
8. Canal Cruise and Heineken Experience
“We wanted to bring back the connection with beer-making, and the history of Heineken, to help people see it, touch it, taste it”. described by branding expert Bob Rogers of the Burbank. Admire beautiful, traditional merchant houses, numerous bridges, and typical houseboats as you soak up the unique vibe of Amsterdam on a 75 minutes canal cruise. Then, avoid the lines enter the former Heineken brewery, which now hosts the Heineken Experience, an interactive exhibition where you will learn all about the brewing and bottling process during a fun, 90 minutes.
Find your way to the “Museum Quarter” at the heart of the city. Three museums, lunchtime concerts in the Concertgebouw, plenty of shopping, and grassy green space.
10. New Church
A part-time wedding chapel for Dutch monarchs, New Church is Holland’s most important church and a historical cornerstone in Amsterdam. Between coronations, check out their rotating exhibits.
11. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
This is one of the most important museums in Amsterdam. Go here if you want to see works by the Dutch Masters or famous creations such as Vermeer’s. As well as historical artifacts, the Netherland’s national museum boasts much of the country’s best art. With over 2,000 works from the Dutch Golden Age by luminaries like Rembrandt’s, Van Gogh, and Vermeer, here are a few must-sees to help plan your visit.
Top 5 most famous paintings in Rijksmuseum
1. The Milkmaid by Johann Vermeer
A drizzle of milk is the only movement in Vermeer’s exemplary study of a woman engaged in daily routine- as much the artist’s trademark as his exquisite rendering of light.
2. Self Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh
This early self-portrait captures the artist’s transition into the Post-Impressionist style that would define his seminal works. A perfect aperitif for the nearby Van Gogh Museum.
3. The Battle of Waterloo by Jan Willem Pieneman
Through storm clouds linger over Napoleon’s army, a patch of sunlight pierces through to illuminate the Anglo-Dutch heroes. No prizes for guessing which side the artist was on.
Unusual for a self-portrait, Rembrandt’s face is cast in shadow. Is he commenting on the vanity of his contemporaries, or have we just been duped into paying closer attention?
5. The Threatened Swan by Jan Asselijn
Asselijn’s swan adopts an almost kung-fu like stance against an approaching.
Schiphol Amsterdam Airport is located about 10 kilometers outside central Amsterdam. For a quick, simple and cheap journey in, the train is ideal. If you want door-to-door service, you can take a taxi or a hotel shuttle.
Trains for Amsterdam Centraal railway station depart from Schiphol railway station. You access the station via Schipol Plaza, right outside the arrivals halls. Frequency ranges from 6 trains an hour 7 AM to 11 PM, to an hour 1-5 AM. The one-way fare is around € 4-€7, and the trip takes 15 to 20 minutes.
Another rail route serves Amsterdam Zuid railway station, Amsterdam RAI railway station, and Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA railway station. A one-way, 8-minute ride to Amsterdam Zuid or 11-minute ride to Amsterdam RAI costs around €3-€5. A one-way, 14-minute ride to Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA cost around €4-€6.
Netherlands Railways operates passenger train services both in Amsterdam and across the country. In addition to the Centraal Station hub, there are 7 train stations in the city: Zuid, RAI the city’s main convention center, Amstel in the south, Muiderpoort in the east and Lelylaan, De Vlugtlaan and Sloterdijk in the west.
The connection Hotel Shuttle (+31 88 339 47 41) runs daily every 10-30 minutes from 6 AM to 9 PM. It connects the airport with some 100 Amsterdam hotels. Reservation isn’t necessary, and buses depart from Schiphol Plaza. You can buy tickets from the Connection desk inside Schiphol Plaza or on board from the driver, using either cash or credit card. For one person, the fare is around €17 one-way and €27 round-trip. There are discounts for groups of 3 to 8 people. Children aged 4 to 14 pay around €8 one-way and €13 round-trip.
Schiphol Taxi (+33 20 303 7200) stands can be found in front of Schiphol Plaza. Expect to pay at least €40 to reach the center of Amsterdam, a journey of 20 to 30 minutes. You do not have to tip as a service charge is already included in the fare.
Weiler Taxi operates 2-seater taxi-bikes from the Dam. They travel in bike lanes and like regular taxis, can get you to places where public transportation doesn’t reach. The fare for 1 or 2 passengers is €10 for 15 minutes or €20 for 30 minutes. Rates for longer rides are negotiable with the driver.
Ride services such as Uber are an alternative to taxis, matching passengers with drivers via a mobile app. A ride from the airport to the city center generally takes about 20-30 minutes and costs between €25 and €40, though rates vary according to vehicle and demand.
Amsterdam’s public transport system is made up of an efficient network of tram, bus, metro and train lines. Single-use fares or travelcards can be used to complete your journey, with the option of buying them on a smart card.
GVB Amsterdam is the city’s public transportation company for trams, buses and the metro. The central point for fare information and ticket sales is in front of Central Station. Most tram and bus shelters and all metro stations display maps showing the entire urban transit network.
Daytime hours of operation for public transport are from 6 AM trams start at 7:30 AM on Sunday to around 12:30 AM. Night buses operate a limited service thereafter, with buses usually on an hourly schedule.
The minimum driving age in the Netherlands is 17. It is illegal for drivers to use a cell phone while driving, but hands-free systems are permitted. Netherlands uses the “priority to the right” system. Motorists on minor side roads have to yield to other vehicles emerging from the right. It is usually clearly marked if you have priority, either by the international yellow diamond sign, and or by white markings on the side road.
Tickets and travelcards
Trams, buses, and metros have a minimum fare of €0.88. Train fares are also calculated according to the distance traveled but are generally more expensive.
You will pay a surcharge of up to €1 for buying a disposable, single-use ticket. So unless you’re only making 1 or 2 journey’s, it’s worth obtaining a travelcard.
Electronic readers on metro and train station platforms, and on board trams and buses, deduct the correct fare. Just hold your card up against the reader at both the start and the end of the ride.
Fares and travel pass for all mode of transport can be loaded onto a “OV-chipkaart” smart card. There are 2 kinds available to non-residents: reloaded “throwaway” cards. A “throwaway” card is loaded with a specific travel product- for example, €2.90 for 1 hour of traveling on trams, buses and the metro. Cheaper cards are available for seniors and children ages 4 to 11. Children 3 and under ride free.
You can purchase smart cards from ticket booths and machines in metro and train stations, and many newsagents and supermarkets. Throwaway single tickets and 1-day cards can be purchased on board trams and buses.
There are 16 trams routes in the city. Several of these begin and end at Central Station, and one line 25 passes through, so you know, you can always get back to that central point if you get lost.
Most trams have arrowed indicators on the outside showing you where to board. To board a tram that doesn’t have arrows, push the button on the outside showing you where to board. To board a tram that doesn’t have arrows, push the button on the outside of the car beside any door. To get off, you may need to push a green button with an open-door graphic or the words “Deur Open”.
Four metro lines – 50? 51? 53 and 54- run partly overground and bring people in from the suburbs. From Central Station, you can use metro trains to reach both Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein in the central zone.
An extensive bus network operated by GVB complements the trams. Many bus routes begin and end at Centraal Station. It’s generally faster to go by tram, but many points in the city are served the only bus.
FOOD AND DRINK
Old-school venues dishing up traditional specialties, plus a growing number of cutting-edge restaurants and bars, make for an exciting dining and nightlife scene, there’s no shortage of suitable places. See Indonesian Feasts, Historic Liquor Houses and other. Top spots list for recommendations of specific restaurants, bar and more.
Traditional Amsterdam cuisine is simple, flavorsome and hearty. The following dishes are the most commonly found in Amsterdam:
– Raw herring – packed in salt after being caught, sold at haringhuis fish stands.
– Thick Dutch pancakes (pannekoeken) with apple syrup.
– Dutch pea soup (erwtensoep, or snert) popular in colder months.
– White asparagus (witte asperges)
– Stroopwafels thin layers of baked dough sandwiching a sticky caramel filling.
– Dutch apple pie or appelgebak served with a big dollop of whipped cream.
– Rijsttafel an Indonesian feast meant to be shared by 2 or more people, consisting of a bed of rice with small plates of meats and vegetables.
Beer and Spirits
Amsterdam is a beer drinker’s paradise. Locally made beers, from pilseners to stouts, are found at specialist craft beer bars or in a bruine Kroeger (brown cafes). The latter unpretentious, no-frills locales filled with camaraderie, like a British pub or an American neighborhood bar. In a proeflokaal or tasting house, you would traditionally drink jenever (Dutch gin, taken “neat” without ice.
Restaurants in Amsterdam run the gamut from elegant 17th-century dining rooms to cozy canalside bistros. Most international cuisines, from Tibetan to Ethiopian, can be enjoyed here.
For unpretentious, low-cost food, look for examples of eetcafé, a Dutch dining institution. Many of these are essential brown cafes (bars) with a kitchen attached.
Middle Eastern snack bars and Surinamese fast-food restaurants are popular for quick bites. The former specialize in shawarma and falafel, and can be found in high concentrations around Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein.
Jordaan, De Pijp and Amsterdam Oost(East) are the places to look for informal and trendy neighborhood hangouts that appeal to Amsterdam’s younger and artistic crowd. They often serve simple meals that blend influences from various global cuisines.
Nightlife in Amsterdam is buzzing, with hundreds of pubs, bars, and clubs. There are a strong rock and jazz scene, too, plus English-language shows at cabarets and theaters along the canals.
Leidseplein is the center of the action, with some of the most popular restaurants and nightspots. The scene at Rembrandtplein is more casual, but with many hip venues. These 2 areas connected by Reguliersdwarsstraat, a street lined with cafes, clubs, and restaurants. The Red Light District serves up its own edgy brand of nightlife while adjoining Nieuwmarkt has a thriving alternative scene.
Farther out, the area around Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena station is home to bars and restaurants, a multi-screen cinema and 2 large concert venues, Ziggo Dome and Heineken Music Hall.
Amsterdam’s shopping districts offer global chain stores and quirky boutiques, with tax-free shopping an incentive for visitors from outside the E.U. You can rummage for antiques and souvenirs in the city’s traditional open-air markets, where you can also enjoy the sight and smell of fresh-cut flowers.
On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, regular store hours are 9 or 10 AM to 6 PM, though some stores don’t open until 1 PM on Monday. On Thursday stores generally open from 9 or 10 AM to 5 PM. Most stores open on Sunday too, usually from noon to 5 PM.
Shopping Districts and malls
Pedestrianized Kalverstraat and Nieuwendijk are the main streets for high-end chain stores, P.C. Hoofstraat and Beethovenstraat offer upscale shopping in the Museum Quarter.
The De Negen Straatjes (9 Streets) area of the Canal Belt is known for quirky stores and upmarket boutiques.
Magna Plaza, housed in the former main Post office on Dam Square, is an upscale mall housing around 50 specialist stores of all kinds.
You can do all your souvenir hunting in one place at Waterlooplein Market, which comprises around 300 stalls. The market is open Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM.
At Bloemenmarkt or Flower Market at Muntplein, you’ll find stalls of blossoms, bulbs and potted plants. The market is open Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 5:30 PM, and on Sunday from 11 AM to 5:30 PM.
Albert Cuyp Markt has hundreds of streets stalls selling food, clothing, flowers, plants and textiles. It’s open Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Vereniging De Boekenmarkt op Het Spui ( Book Market) on Spui has around 25 booths selling secondhand books and is open Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM.
The Netherlands is part of the European Union and uses the euro as its currency. Banknotes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros. Coins come in denominations of 5? 10? 20 and 50 cents, and 1 euro and 2 euros.
Because the Netherlands does not produce its own 1 and 2 euro cent coins, prices in the country are rounded to the nearest 5 cents.
The Dutch government requires that all taxes and service charges included in the published prices of hotels, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, salons and sightseeing companies. Even taxi fares include taxes and standard 15% service charge.
To tip like the Dutch do in a cafe or snack bar, leave some small change on the counter or table. In a restaurant, round the bill up, or to reward good service, add a maximum 10% of the tab.
Most hotels have free WI-FI or Internet access either in the rooms or in the public spaces, or both. Some coffee shop chains offer free WI-FI with the purchase just like what now I’m doing blogging here at the starbucks coffee bar I ask an Internet connection.
Amsterdam in general is a beautiful liberated compact place where one can glimpse of the Dutch Masters life like Rembrandt’s, Van Gogh and Anne Frank House. The Red Light District is a place where have to discover how’s the life of women work by night engage in this kind of job a very cool to walk through and you can see plenty of bike parking in every corner of the street as Amsterdam is called a city of bike.