Top ten things to do in Amsterdam

Are you planning a trip to Amsterdam and feeling overwhelmed by the many activities and sightseeing spots of the city? We created a list of the top 10 things to do in Amsterdam!

1. Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is a national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam and the most visited museum in the city. Just partially open for the moment, this is the spot to see the best set of Rembrandts in the region. From Rembrandt’s famous Night Watch as the main piece,to Vermeer’s Kitchen Maid in the Gallery of Honour, you could spend days visiting this amazing collection of art pieces. What’s more, beautiful gardens surround the building, which is now also home of a Michelin-starred restaurant, Rijks.

2. Van Gogh Museum

Discover the masterpieces of Vincent Van Gogh and find out more about his life. Housing the biggest collection by Vincent van Gogh in the world, this museum is as much a tour through the painter’s troubled mind as it is a tour through his art work. In the museum you will find more than 200 paintings from his gloomy early career in the Netherlands through to his later years in France, where he started painting with the colorful style that made him famous.

In the Van Gogh museum you will also find paintings by contemporary artists like Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet and Bernard.

3. Brown Cafes (coffee shops)

The brown cafés, better known as coffee shops or bruin cafés (brown cafes; traditional Dutch pubs), are the quintessence of a trip to Amsterdam. Discover the famous In ʼt Aepjenthat. The name comes from the various smoke stains on the walls. Brown cafes have candle-topped chairs, wooden floors and a cozy vibe that makes friends linger and chat for hours over drinks.

4. Jordaan

The Jordaan is a neighborhood in the heart of Amsterdam, known for its charming homes, fine restaurants and original stores. When you're in Amsterdam, it's a must to walk along the little streets and canals. On the many bridges over the canals, you can take stunning pictures and see why Amsterdam is considered the Venice of the North. The Prinsengracht, the Westerstraat, the Haarlemmerstraat and the '9 straatjes' (nine small streets) are only a few of the many popular streets to visit in this area of Amsterdam.

5. Vondelpark

Escape the city hectic life and relax in the nature at Vondelpark, the favorite place of the inhabitants of Amsterdam during sunny days for romantic couples picknicks, having a beer with friends and simply relax. If you like people watching you won't be disappointed: with its street performers, joggers and bikers and children in playground, you could simply seat and observe what's going on around you at the park for hours. The English-style garden includes ponds, lawns, sculptures and much more.

6. Outdoor Markets

Amsterdam is market-mad, and its streets lay out spreads from silks and coins to organic cheeses and bike locks. The Albert Cuypmarkt in De Pijp is king of the lot. Here stalls hawk rice cookers, spices and Dutch snacks, such as sweet stroopwafels (syrup-filled waffles). Bulbs fill the Bloemenmarkt, while porcelain teapots and other bric-a-brac tempt at Waterlooplein Flea Market. The Oudemanhuis Book Market has been selling tomes for a few centuries. Then there's the antiques market, farmers market, art market...

Did you know that the I am Amsterdam city card includes bike rentals, access to over 70 museums and top attractions in Amsterdam, canal cruises and public transport by metro, tram, bus and ferry?

7. Canal Trips

Did you know that Amsterdam has more canals than Venice? Getting on the water is one of the best ways to visit the city. Rent a little boat, go for a cruise and visit the ancient bridges and lovely historical houses.

You could also get the vibe by watching boats pass by one of the many cafes along the canals. Check out some of the city's 3050-plus houseboats. The canals of Amsterdam are part World Heritage Site.

8. Anne Frank Huis

Anne Frank House Museum is a must when you are in Amsterdam. Observing Anne Frank’s bedroom and her diary, is a strong experience that attracts more than a million visitors a year. Step behind the bookcase that swings open to reveal the ‘Secret Annexe’ and head up the steep stairs to the living quarters. It was in this gloomy, airless room that the Franks sheltered, maintaining total silence throughout the day, before being captured by the Nazis and sent to concentration camps. The only survivor was Anne ‘s father, Otto.

9. Cycling

The Netherland is a country of bicycles and it’s no surprise that in its capital, Amsterdam, there are more bikes than cars. Renting a bike in Amsterdam makes exploring the city so much more fun and easy.

Do like the locals and access to the city's neighbourhoods and their amazing architecture and museums, as well the windmill in the countryside by bike. Why not combining for example a bike to tour with a visit to the Jordaan, the nicest neighborhood to bike around.

10.King’s Day

It was Queen's Day for decades, but since King Willem-Alexander's time, King's Day (Koningsdag) is now celebrated on his birthday, 27 April (unless it is Sunday, in which case it is the day before). It's really just an excuse to hold a giant drinking party all over the city's streets and to wear crazy orange costumes, the national color. There's also an open market all over the city (where anybody can sell anything) and free concerts.