things to do in Amsterdam, Netherlands

As far as cities with bold personalities, it’s hard to go past Amsterdam as Europe’s most enthralling destination.

With such a unique geographical layout — one flush with bridges, canals, houseboats, and more — and an incredibly exciting culture featuring everything from world-class art to a sleepless Red Light District (not to mention the legal shenanigans), there’s no shortage of things to do in Amsterdam.

1 – Browse the Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This museum is simply one of the world’s best.

Where else can travelers explore 800 years of Dutch art and history from the country that birthed some of the world’s greatest artists including Rembrandt and Vermeer, then settle in for a Michelin star meal at the onsite restaurant Rijks?

Visitors love Rembrandt’s The Night Watch.

Read more about Rijksmuseum tickets price.

2 – Become a connoisseur at the Heineken Experience

Heineken Experience, Amsterdam

Get the scoop behind one of the world’s favorite drinks!

See how Gerard Adriaan Heineken’s beloved beer has been enjoyed for over 150 years with a glimpse into his vision, innovations, and the ingredients that go into the beer!

If the visit worked up a thirst, make sure to get yourself a glass before you leave.

3 – Go behind the scenes at the Johan Cruijff Arena Stadium

Johan Cruijff Arena Stadium, Amsterdam

Football fans won’t miss the opportunity to step out onto sacred ground at Ajax’s home stadium!

Stand in the dugout and dressing room, and see the glimmering trophy cabinet that would make a goldsmith blush!

Finally, if you can, watch Ajax play and delight their home crowd for an intoxicating experience!

4 – Cruise through the canals

sightseeing canal cruise in Amsterdam

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without seeing it from its iconic canals!

It’s a great chance to check out the city’s different neighborhoods and how they sprung up: the 13th-century medieval core built on swampland, the 1600s golden age-era, and the hip new neighborhoods!

Or take an evening cruise to see the beautiful city under lights.

Read more about the best Amsterdam canal cruises.

5 – Take a cheeky tour of the Red Light District

Red Light District, Amsterdam

Any list of things to do in Amsterdam has to include this risque segment.

Travelers are fascinated by the Prostitution Information Center which dispels myths and prejudices about the industry, and the Oude Kerk – Amsterdam’s oldest church which became wealthy when the nearby sinners would cleanse their spirits by donating a ‘sin tax’.

6 – Visit Anne Frank’s House in the Jewish Quarter

Jewish Quarter, Amsterdam

One of Amsterdam’s most historic and enigmatic neighborhoods, learn about the city’s troubled past and how World War II affected the lives of all those in the city – but also how the Dutch resisted occupation by offering secret hiding places for Jews!

At its center is the famous Anne Frank house and her moving diaries.

7 – Have more than just a coffee with a coffee shop walking tour

coffee shop in Amsterdam

Plenty of travelers choose Amsterdam for its cannabis culture, taking place largely within its ‘coffee shops’.

Let your guide show you the best shops and snacks, with samples of course!

You’ll even visit a coffee shop and order some goodies after your guide goes over Amsterdam’s best ganja finds, and shows you how to roll a joint (all legal in this city, of course).

8 – Explore Amsterdam on a hop-on hop-off bus and boat tour

hop-on hop-off boat tour in Amsterdam

With all the great things to do in Amsterdam, the bus and boat tour is a great way to get your itinerary in order!

Explore the city at your own pace and don’t worry about transport – hop on whenever you like, hop off wherever you like, and there’s always another one just around the corner, complete with an audio guide!

9 – See Sunflowers at the Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 700 letters from one of history’s greatest artists take you not only through his artwork, but into his exceptional (although tormented) mind.

See just how his art has reached and influenced so many people, but only after a struggling Van Gogh had already given up on his aspirations.

Sold out? Learn how to book Van Gogh Museum last-minute tickets.

10 – Do a city-wide scavenger hunt

scavenger game in Amsterdam

There’s more to Amsterdam than meets the eye!

With your smartphone as your treasure map, you’ll get a thrilling tour of the city full of fun facts, hidden history, and recommendations of great activities off the beaten path.

Best of all, you can pause the hunt if you want to stay somewhere a little longer.

11 – Check out the beautiful Jordaan district

Jordaan district, Amsterdam

This is the part of Amsterdam you see on postcards!

The former working-class neighborhood is now hot property, keeping its rustic 17th-century charm intact.

Canals, courtyards, bridges, and backstreets are abundant – look out for young artists and entrepreneurs making their mark on the area while you listen to the tales of the magical Jordaan district.

12 – Put on your detective hat and do an Escape Room

escape room in Amsterdam

The world-famous Escape Room has been delighting people all over the world!

Enter a themed room like The Gallery or The Orient Express where all at once, the door behind you shuts.

All you have are 60 minutes, whatever is in the room, and your talented brain to solve the room! Are you ready?

13 – Go tilting at the Zaanse Schans Windmills

Zaanse Schans windmills, Netherlands

The most iconic Netherlands pics have to be the canals and the windmills!

Take a trip out to the stunning sea of different-colored tulips in the Dutch countryside, then the charming windmill village appears in front of you – a testament to the country’s aim to be more eco-friendly and cool all at once.

14 – Sleep on piles of cash at Youseum

Youseum, Amsterdam
credit to Youseum

Ever wanted to dive into a literal sea of likes and recline on piles of cash in the International Bank of You?

How about getting married in an LGBTQ chapel?

These immersive exhibits are all about you!

Discover a little about yourself and a lot about art, identity, and the power of social media in this truly unique experience!

15 – Have a drink at the Mirror Bar at House of Bols

Mirror Bar, House of Bols, Amsterdam

Step into the world of Lucas Bols, the brand providing Amsterdam with top-class liqueurs since 1575!

Experience the history through aromas, film, sound, and the Hall of Taste with all 38 liqueurs on show – before a bartender at the Mirror Bar will concoct one in front of your eyes to try!

16 – See the world’s largest flower garden at Keukenhof Gardens

Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands

15 kilometers of paths through 32 hectares of tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils feels like you’re walking through a giant painting!

The floral fragrances and flowers in any color you can dream of are literally at your feet. Travelers love the themed gardens, particularly the English garden, Japanese garden, and historical garden!

Read more about Keukenhof Gardens tickets price.

17 – Make your way to the Hague, Rotterdam, and Delft

The Hague Peace Palace, Netherlands

Holland’s second city, Rotterdam, has a buzzing nightlife, as well as stunning architecture, so stay the night if you can!

Charming Delft is the resting-place of choice for most Dutch princes, but has plenty of incredible monuments and the world-famous porcelain factory!

Finally, The Hague’s Peace Palace is a symbol of international cooperation and peace.

18 – Let your imagination come to life at Ripley’s Believe It or Not

Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Amsterdam
credit to Ripley’s Believe It or Not

This isn’t your ordinary museum!

This bizarre, eclectic place will freak you out, yet you’ll be unable to look away.

Whether it’s the shrunken heads, a robot made from car parts, underwater Amsterdam, or the world’s longest fingernails which when laid out are the length of a three-story building… you’ll never guess what’s next!

19 – Look inside yourself at Body Worlds

Body Worlds, Amsterdam

200 real people on display at an exhibition like no other!

The models seem like they can jump back into life at any moment, all showcasing the intricacies and vulnerabilities of the incredible human body!

The Happiness Project exhibition shows how happiness lifts our health, meanwhile, the adults-only basement exhibition may make your jaw drop!

20 – Be the king or queen at Castle Muiderslot

Castle Muiderslot, Netherlands

If these walls could talk, they would tell a great story or two!

Luckily, a tour guide can take over the moat into this castle that’s over 700 years old, and tell you all the tales of this turbulent place!

It’s amazingly well preserved, down to the historical herbs growing in the garden!

21 – Spot wildlife and Van Gogh at Hoge Veluwe National Park

Hoge Veluwe National Park, Netherlands

A little out of Amsterdam, the national park is a great place to hike or cycle while looking out for the deer, mouflon, and wild boar!

Most travelers will then head to the nearby Kroller-Muller Museum, the second-largest collection of Van Gogh’s art anywhere in the world, and a 160-sculpture garden among the nearby nature!

22 – Ride a bike through Amsterdam

bike tour in Amsterdam

This is how the locals get around!

Local guides love leading bicycle tours where travelers can cover a lot of ground and get into those narrow streets for the city’s secret spots that only a local knows, in between stopping at the major landmarks and getting the lowdown on Amsterdam culture!

23 – Go canoeing in the Wetlands

canoeing in the Wetlands, Netherlands

For adventure-loving travelers, or anyone who just needs a few hours away from the busy city, the Wetlands are a great escape!

The rural Netherlands by the Wetlands is literally picturesque – Rembrandt painted it!

With birds tweeting and the aroma of wildflowers, this is a perfect setting for a sunset over the flat countryside.

24 – Get on a Segway

segway tour in Amsterdam

A guided tour on a self-balancing segway lets you do things you can’t do on a tour bus.

Zip by the canals, down Skinny Bridge, and through the Botanical Gardens while your guide captivates you with great finds, anecdotes, and local recommendations for things to do in Amsterdam!

And don’t worry, Segways are easier than they look!

25 – Fly over Amsterdam in the 5D THIS IS HOLLAND experience


This brings a whole new meaning to Flying Dutchman!

Get the best of the Netherlands in this fully immersive sensory experience! Soar through the sights, sounds, and smells of Amsterdam and the Dutch countryside – all while putting your feet up in the flight simulator.

Fly over heritage sites, canals, windmills, and all!

26 – Meet Shrek, Van Gogh, and Nelson Mandela at Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds, Amsterdam Madame Tussauds has lifelike versions of plenty of celebrities, who stand remarkably still for photos and are happy to listen to your thoughts on them!

Artists, singers, royals, superheroes, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and more on display – then swing by the recording studio to belt out a tune and get the footage sent to you!

27 – See Studio Irma at Moco Museum

Moco Museum, Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s contemporary art scene is as cutting edge as the grandmasters that came before it.

Banksy’s Laugh Now is a popular highlight for visitors, as is Dutch-born Studio Irma’s celebration of female artistry in her piece Reflecting Forward.

Studio Irma’s powerful art ensures all visitors to Moco return with a shared, empathetic understanding!

28 – Get a taste for Amsterdam on a food tour

food tour in Amsterdam

Explore Amsterdam through your taste buds on private food tours to all of the local hidden gems.

It is definitely the most delicious way of experiencing the culture and traditions of the city as you learn about all the rich history of authentic dishes including the signature stroopwafel – a delight for any sweet-tooth!

29 – Be scared out of your pants at the Amsterdam Dungeon

Amsterdam Dungeon, Amsterdam

BOO! Scared? Okay, maybe not.

But the dungeon show will make your hair stand up on end!

Experience Amsterdam’s dark side with shows full of live actors, creepy history, jump-scares, gruesome sets, torture chambers, and a good dose of dark comedy!

Travelers are intrigued by the gallowfield, where all those sentenced to Death Row once congregated.

30 – Take a sketch class at the Rembrandt House Museum

Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam

Visitors can take paint and sketch classes where the great artist lived and worked until his bankruptcy.

The house and its decor scream 17th-century brilliance and exhibit Rembrandt’s rare pieces and personal collection.

To dive deeper into his art, there’s a display that uses modern technology to reveal details of his paintings that the naked eye can’t spot!

31 – Cross the border into Belgium

Bruges day trip from Amsterdam

Since Amsterdam is at the heart of Europe, travelers can take the chance to explore great places!

Bruges in Belgium – known as ‘the Venice of the North’ – is close enough for a half-day or full-day trip complete with beautiful water, famous chocolate, historic district, and bustling marketplace – with free time to spare!

32 – Board a vintage ship at the National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum, Amsterdam

How did the Netherlands conquer the seas to have colonies from New York, to South Africa, and across to Indonesia?

They discovered new land – see the old atlases where they sketch it down for the first time!

Then follow the adventure of an 18th-century sailor as you board a replica period ship!

33 – Walk Giethoorn’s Old Town

Giethoorn’s Old Town, Netherlands

Drive out of Amsterdam on polder landscape – land which was taken from the sea – and head to one of Holland’s most scenic villages!

Cars are banned from the old city to preserve Giethoorn’s character, so you can only explore on foot or on a boat through its canals!

Visitors love the curious thatched-roof houses.

34 – Discover how the city got so cool at the Amsterdam Museum

Amsterdam Museum

How did this awesome city produce artists, sportspeople, red lightworkers, and manage to colonize every corner of the world?

Get the lowdown on how the spice trade gave birth to the Amsterdam we know and love today in a totally interactive museum that will leave you appreciating the city on a deeper level.

35 – Read the Confession Wall at the Museum of Prostitution

Museum of Prostitution, Amsterdam

The world’s only sex work museum!

It’s in a former brothel where visitors can see what it’s like on the other side of the Red Light District windows!

Learn how Amsterdam embraced sex work and the taboos, anecdotes, and dangers facing prostitutes.

Visitors love browsing the Confession Wall for juicy, eye-opening content.

36 – Take the ferry to Marken

Marken, Netherlands

Up until the 1950s, Marken was stowed away from the mainland where it built up a really unique character which it still has!

Check out the colorful wooden houses on stilts, the wooden shoe factory, the old-school fishermen on Lake Markermeer, and the lighthouse that brought them to safety.

37 – Find the Our Lord in the Attic Museum

Our Lord in the Attic Museum, Amsterdam

Anyone walking past the 17th-century houses would miss it.

At a time where Catholics couldn’t pray openly, a Catholic Church hid in plain sight.

Visitors love walking through the corridors and staircases of an ordinary house, to find a church hidden in the attic that has escaped the public eye for centuries!

38 – Be dazzled at the Diamond Museum

Diamond Museum, Amsterdam

Diamonds are forever – and so are the memories you’ll take from this museum!

This museum is definitely easy on the eye, and plain fascinating!

Learn how billions of years and a 200-kilometer journey from the center of the Earth goes into every diamond.

Visitors love the diamond ape skull and the diamond-encrusted Starry Starry Night.

39 – Experience 19th-century life at the Willet-Holthuysen

Willet-Holthuysen, Amsterdam

The glamorous house and its collection were left by the wealthy Mrs. Willet to the city of Amsterdam for all to enjoy!

Stroll through the French-esque ballroom, the lush garden, and the museum with a collection of art and antiques – to get a taste of the life of the wealthy and their servants!

40 – See real resilience at the Dutch Resistance Museum

Dutch Resistance Museum, Amsterdam

It’s 1940 and the Germans have taken Holland. What do you do the next day?

Learn how the shocked locals were forced to drastically change their lives under the new regime; while finding ways to resist by smuggling weapons, hiding Jews, and cooking with flower bulbs!

It’s a tale of resilience and standing up under pressure.

41 – Stay cool at the XtraCold Icebar

XtraCold Icebar, Amsterdam

Literally the coolest bar in Amsterdam.

Swap your tees for thermals and gloves and chill out in the -10 degree polar pub where everything – even your chair and your glass – is made from ice!

The funky colorful lighting adds an incredible ambiance which is the perfect way to begin or end any night on the town!

42 – Take the high road at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum

Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, Amsterdam

You’ll find this marijuana museum smack-bang in the heart of the Red Light District!

There are real plants growing along with pipes and paraphernalia from across the world, but visitors will be surprised at the many uses for hemp!

Fabric, food, fuel – there’s a reason why Holland became the hemp capital of the world!

43 – Discover good fashion in Fashion for Good

Fashion for Good, Amsterdam
credit to Fashion for Good

Did you know we buy 60% more clothing now than in the early 2000s, but only keep each garment for half the time?

This causes severe environmental impact which doesn’t need to be!

Visit Fashion for Good and get the lowdown on finding clothes that are as stylish as they are sustainable, as big brands like Adidas and Lafayette jump on board!

44 – Travel the world at Tropenmuseum

Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam

This is a museum about the world with a slight twist.

Instead of trying to emphasize the differences between peoples and cultures worldwide, the museum invites visitors to find similarities and universal themes that connect everyone!

There’s even a junior wing of the museum to keep the kids entertained, making it a must-visit.

45 – Go cheese-tasting with Henri Willig

Henri Willig cheese factory

Go behind the scenes at an authentic cheese factory as you sample the finest local cheeses with a matching beer or wine in hand!

Henri knows the As to Zs of all things cheese, visitors will learn a thing or two about how cheese is made, and how to tell your gouda from your goat’s milk.

46 – Find Woodcutter at the Stedelijk Museum

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Packed to the brim with dynamic modern-art masterpieces, this is heaven for art-lovers!

With the likes of Picasso, Cezanne, and De Stijl gracing its halls; visitors cannot stop browsing the 90,000-strong permanent collection including moving images, graphic design, industrial design, and installation!

Visitors also love hearing about the stolen masterpieces!

47 – Be mystified on an evening canal cruise

evening canal cruise in Amsterdam

Cruise your way through the evening as you are taken through the canals of the city, lit by thousands of lights along the bridges and buildings.

Amsterdam will feel like a fairytale as you sail through the city center and illuminated merchant houses.

If you are after a little evening romance, this is the experience for you!

48 – Learn that size doesn’t matter at the Micropia Museum

Micropia Museum, Amsterdam

Most travelers haven’t thought about microbes since high-school science, but they’re fascinating things!

We can’t even see them – yet they clean our water, cure diseases, and create energy!

Delve into the planet’s most important and successful critters and how much we need them at this award-winning museum which you don’t need a science degree to enjoy.

49 – Get the star treatment at the Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe, Amsterdam

You can’t have stroopwafel and cheese every night, so grab a hearty dinner at the Hard Rock! Munch on burgers, mac-and-cheese, ribs, or vegan options – they’re just some of the tasty food options on the menu.

After you order, be sure to check out all the rock memorabilia!

The cafe has Eddie Van Halen’s guitar and Marilyn Manson’s silver bodysuit on display.

50 – Go on a brewery tour

brewery tour in Amsterdam

Holland’s breweries are some of the best in the world!

As well as global names like Heineken, the more hipster craft brewery scene is serving up some incredible beers to delight your taste buds.

Going with a guide ensures travelers find their way to the best brewhouses, and get a sense of the history in every glass.

51 – Indulge yourself in a chocolate tour

chocolate tour in Amsterdam

Chocoholics and sweet-tooths will love checking this off their list of things to do in Amsterdam!

The city’s been slinging chocolate for hundreds of years and it’s absolutely perfect.

See how it’s made, try the samples, and learn a little about how it transformed from a rare delicacy to a common favorite.

52 – Take a class at FOAM Photography Museum

FOAM Photography Museum, Amsterdam

Still hunting that perfect Instagram pic?

One of Europe’s best photography museums with a mix of established artists and young talents is at your fingertips to inspire you with its eclectic display!

If that’s not enough, the museum also hosts tours, talks, and workshops to get the creative juices flowing for any aspiring artists!

53 – Laugh your head off at the Boom Chicago Comedy Show

Boom Chicago Comedy Show, Amsterdam
credit to Boom Chicago

For over 25 years this hilarious show has launched the careers of comedians like Jordan Peele and Seth Meyers!

The show mixes improv, music, video, and witty writing to leave audiences in hysterics!

Audience members also love the full bar, along with exciting pinball machines and classic arcade games.

54 – See the magical Light Festival from the river

Light Festival in Amsterdam

If winter nights seem gloomy and cold, this is for you!

Amsterdam waits for winter to illuminate its historic city with colorful light projections and cheerful sculptures, best seen from the water.

A guide will show you its highlights as you sip on a hot drink under a warm blanket to escape the cold!

55 – Let the butterflies land on you at Artis Royal Zoo

Artis Royal Zoo, Amsterdam

From elephants to penguins, wolves to fish, and even a planetarium with daily shows – this zoo has it all within its charming 19th-century historical buildings!

Travelers love the onsite restaurant by the aviary to sip coffee and watch the birds, as well as the thousands of colorful butterflies in the Butterfly Garden!

56 – Ride the Baron 1898 roller coaster at Efteling Theme Park

Efteling Theme Park, Netherlands

This massive park is based on fairy tales and myths.

From the moment visitors enter through the House of the Five Senses, they are transformed into a place of wonder and fantasy!

There are water slides and roller-coasters for thrill-seekers, but the Aquanura is stunning: a fountain with four frogs doing a water ballet!

57 – Get some new threads at the Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet

Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet, Netherlands

Time for a new wardrobe?

250 of the top fashion and lifestyle brands like Hugo Boss and Armani with almost half offering 30% to 70% off ought to do it!

Outside of the trendy fashions, this outlet offers perfumes, chocolate, jewelry, and home items – so everything can be as cool as your new clothes.

58 – Make some feline friends at the Cat Cabinet

Cat Cabinet, Amsterdam

The Cat Cabinet is the cutest and most cuddly canal house in town!

The cats basically run the house, you’ll see them on the vintage sofas, antique woodwork, and possibly scratching at the plush curtains.

They’re so adorable and friendly that you’ll pat them for hours and not notice the cat-themed art and paraphernalia!

59 – Be a kid again at the WONDR Experience

Wondr Experience, Amsterdam
credit to WONDR Experience

This takes all the fun of being a kid to a whole new level.

A giant ball pit, marshmallow pool, walk-through jungle, and karaoke booths are the perfect playground for adults – they are part of 15 play-areas created by some of Amsterdam’s most fun and artistic minds for grown-ups to embrace their inner children!

60 – Get your clogs, cod, and cheese at Volendam and Edam

Volendam, Netherlands

A retro fishing village, getting lost in Volendam’s seafood restaurants and its labyrinth of narrow streets is bound to end in you trying the local seafood (cod and herring are must-haves) and buying some fashionable clogs!

Then head to beautiful Edam to see how they make the famous cheese, before trying some yourself!

61 – Go Turvy-topsy at the Upside Down Amsterdam

Upside Down Amsterdam

Strike a pose and post this on your reel of things to do in Amsterdam!

It will push your creativity and expand your mind as you make your way through this equal part museum, amusement park, and illusion hall – full of opportunities for that perfect mind-bending picture that will make you look twice.

62 – Get the best views of the city at the A’DAM Toren Lookout

A'DAM Lookout observation deck, Amsterdam

With free telescopes and 360-degree views of Amsterdam from the observation deck, this is a great place to begin exploring the city!

For those who dare, the Over the Edge swing will stop you just short of launching into the city – meanwhile, party-goers prefer the Madam bar and nightclub to dance on top of the world.

63 – Stroll through the Vondelpark

Vondelpark, Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s largest park is not just easy on the eyes, it’s full of activity and life!

Aside from the usual dog-walking and people-watching, the open-air concert hall hosts free dance, comedy, and music performances!

There are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby, as well as a stunning statue of the poet Vondel surrounded by flowers.

64 – See a residence fit for a queen or a king at the Royal Palace Amsterdam

Royal Palace Amsterdam

The (not-so) humble abode of the Dutch Royal Family is sure to make your jaw drop.

Visitors love the Citizen’s Hall – a 30-meter high room saturated with natural light, complete with glimmering marble floors inlaid with world maps, a throwback to Holland’s exploration days, and a 6-meter statue of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders.

65 – Make science come alive at NEMO Science Museum

NEMO Science Museum, Amsterdam

Although it’s geared toward younger travelers, people of all ages will love the hands-on scientific experience!

Hundreds of games and self-guided tours covering engineering to chemistry, and chemistry to the human body.

When you’re done, check out the rooftop terrace for some underrated city views and decide where to go next.

66 – Hit up the beaches of Zandvoort and Scheveningen

Scheveningen day trip from Amsterdam

Craving a swim at the sunny beaches?

Zandvoort, known for being the home of the Dutch Grand Prix, and Scheveningen are two great seaside cities a stone’s throw from Amsterdam!

Travelers spend hours rolling down Zandvoort’s sand dunes and hitting the casino, or surfing and playing volleyball on Scheveningen’s beaches.

67 – Pick your next houseplant at Hortus Botanicus

Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam

One of the world’s oldest and most beautiful botanical gardens started as a place to grow medicinal herbs and plants and just grew from there!

A couple of interesting nuggets for visitors are the 2,000-year-old agave cactus, and that a single coffee plant here is the ancestor of all coffee in Central and South America!

68 – See a very out-of-place Church at the Oude Kerk

Oude Church, Amsterdam

At the center of the Red Light District is … a Church?

Contrast doesn’t begin to describe it – Amsterdam’s oldest and most significant Church is surrounded by cannabis shops and brothels.

The Oude Church is decked out with art, yet more famous than its decorations is its reputation: they say people after a night of excess in the Red Light District would donate money to the Church!

69 – Be stimulated at the Sexmuseum Amsterdam Venustempel

Sexmuseum Amsterdam Venustempel

This titillating museum touches on a taboo topic in a remarkably insightful way!

With a mixture of art, sculpture, humor, and eroticism, it looks at the role of sex in human life from the ancient Greeks, the steam machines used to cure ‘female hysteria’, and the increased sexual liberation of today.

Who says museums can’t be fun?

70 – Just try the herring

herring tasting in Amsterdam

Travelers might detect a strong fishy scent as they walk past food carts.

That’s the herring, and trying a plate is one of the most essential things to do in Amsterdam!

It’s not raw, and tastes like a salty sashimi.

It’s a perfect hangover cure, lowers cholesterol, and boosts the immune system. So go on, try one!

71 – Visit the Grave in the Gutter at the Begijnhof

Begijnhof, Amsterdam

This beautiful group of houses around a secluded courtyard was home to the Beguines – unmarried religious women who chose chastity.

Learn about the Miracle of Amsterdam where the holy bread was pulled from the fire intact, and see the flowers in the gutter where sister Cornelia Arens is believed to have been laid to rest.

72 – Hit up a music festival

DGTL music festival in Amsterdam

Every Easter, DGTL’s eco-friendly festival unearths the top of underground electronica for a long weekend of hectic light shows, sick beats, and dancing like no one’s watching!

Loveland is another incredible electronica and techno festival, with a giant pool party!

Or for something completely different, Klassifest is all about classical music touching the souls of its listeners.

73 – Haggle at IJ-Hallen flea market

IJ-Hallen flea market, Amsterdam

Europe’s biggest flea market with 750 stands pedaling clothes, antiques, jewelry, books, furniture, and everything in between!

To get the most out of your visit, get in early before the good stuff goes, or come in Sunday afternoon when vendors will slash prices on stock they don’t want to take home.

And don’t forget to haggle!

74 – Dine at a Michelin-star restaurant

fine dining restaurant in Amsterdam

We get that you can’t have salted herring and pot brownies every meal.

Treat yourself to the sweet and sour contrasts in De Kas, the creative use of vegetables at Choux, the incredible Asian food and cocktails at Geisha, or the relaxed ambiance and simplicity of Elkaar – to name a few!

75 – See a concert

Paradiso concert hall in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has one of the best and broadest music scenes in the world!

Dauphine is an intimate venue with soul, funk, and R&B; Paradiso is a former church that puts on a pop music show; Bourbon Street is jazz heaven; and the beautiful Muziekgebuow aan‘t IJ has the best backdrop to classical music going around!

76 – Watch a film at EYE Film Institute Netherlands

EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Amsterdam

For over 70 years, this museum has preserved Dutch film and spread the word on the truly unique and awe-inspiring Dutch film culture!

Whether you want to learn a little more about film as an art-form, or just watch a classic or modern film in their state-of-the-art cinema; there is something for any film lover to enjoy!

77 – Meet your new best friends on a pub crawl

pub crawl in Amsterdam

Experience Amsterdam’s famous nightlife!

Get ready to dance (and drink) the night away as a local guide takes you to the hip and energetic bars and clubs – while meeting the other travelers on the crawl.

With free drinks at every venue and bottomless spirits at the start, however, we can’t promise you’ll remember their names the next day!

78 – Show off your Dance Dance Revolution skills at TonTon Club West

TonTon Club West, Amsterdam

Neon lights, retro arcade games, Japanese-American fusion food, and a place to dance the night away!

This cool and casual club is a unique night out in every way – chomp down a ramenburger, play some arcade shooters, and sip on an alcoholic milkshake to loosen you up for the dancefloor (or Dance Dance Revolution)!

79 – See a show at Ziggo Dome

Ziggo Dome concert, Amsterdam

With the likes of Trevor Noah, The Weeknd, and Snoop Dogg set to sell out the arena; the atmospheric Ziggo Dome is one of the world’s best concert halls!

For travelers willing to splurge a little, try a pre-show 3-course meal in the Restaurant Member Lounge, which lets visitors get into Ziggo Dome through an exclusive entrance!

80 – Get around with an Amsterdam City Card!

Amsterdam City Card

If you want admission to 60 museums, free public transport, discounts at restaurants and sights all over town, and a handy souvenir for home – get an Amsterdam card!

Valid for anywhere between 1-4 days, it is the traveler’s key to the city!

Thanks so much for reading our list of things to do in Amsterdam!

As always, if you have any exciting additions to this list, feel free to leave a comment below.