TL;DR: There are so many amazing things to do in Amsterdam. Whether you're in Amsterdam alone, for a weekend, or you've just moved to the city, we've put together some tips to help you make the most of your time. Find out some of the best unusual things to do in Amsterdam as well as where to store your things and buy souvenirs. Plus, we've included our top recommendations for the best Amsterdam tours available, so that you can experience Amsterdam in style.
Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations. Its famously liberal policies are one reason for that. But there's far more to this beautiful city than the notorious coffee shops and the red light district. Take a walk along the many canals of this charming city or explore its impressive museums, and you'll find plenty to keep you occupied. Home to the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, and a famous tulip market, it's not hard to see why Amsterdam gets the millions of visitors it does. And with its many cool neighborhoods and celebrated nightlife, you can find something to do in Amsterdam by day and by night.
A weekend in Amsterdam
13 Best Ways To Experience Amsterdam In 2023
Amsterdam is one of the most visited cities in the world. Its reputation for diverse museums, its bicycles, its canals, and its coffee shops is second to none. Amsterdam is truly unique and with the thirteen companies detailed here, you'll leave no corner of the trendy Dutch capital undiscovered.
Best Walking Tour – Who Is Amsterdam Tours
No one says you have to wear clogs, in fact, a good pair of sturdy walking shoes would probably be better when you go on a walking tour of Amsterdam with Who Is Amsterdam Tours. As you wander the streets of the city on this private tour, you'll not only see the sights but get to chat with some local workers as well.
Put your best foot forward on a walking tour Who Is Amsterdam Tours by emailing them at email@example.com or calling them on 31-64-2042506.
Best Hop-on, Hop-off Tour – The Tour Company
Being able to get on and off whenever you see something that takes your interest is what makes tours with the Tour Company just that little bit different. The coach will take you around the tulip fields, past iconic Dutch windmills and there's even a boat ride included too.
Get ready to hop aboard The Tour Company's bus by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling them on 31-20-2184218.
Best Photography Tour – PDY Media
Learn how to take photos of Amsterdam like a professional photographer and snapshots that are totally Instagram-worthy with PDY Media. It's not as easy as you might think, but a PDY Media guide will let you in on all the secrets and make sure your photos are the kind that get a few thousand likes.
Prepare to snap Amsterdam in all its glory under the guidance of PDY Media by calling them on 31-68-168-1525 or emailing them at email@example.com.
Best Custom Tour – Sarah's Tours Amsterdam
Even though you may want to do and go exactly where you feel like when you feel like it, it's good to have someone personable with you to make sure you don't miss out on anything. Hire Sarah, a private guide from Sarah's Tours Amsterdam and she'll make sure you have the best time in Amsterdam imaginable.
Call Sarah on 31-20-215-7454 or email her here at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about her private tours.
Best Canal Cruise – Rederij de Jordaan
There are a hundred different types of canal cruises in Amsterdam. Some you can get behind the wheel of the boat and on others you can't. If you like to be the captain of your own craft, hiring a Rederij de Jordaan boat is the ideal solution. The electrically-powered boats seat up to twelve so you can take all your friends for a sail down the canals too.
Get in touch with Rederij de Jordaan by email at email@example.com or call on 31-06-5024-3236.
Best Weird Tour – Museum Photo
If you enjoy doing unusual things then you'll totally love this experience in Amsterdam with Museum Photo. What does it involve? Getting dressed up in period costumes and being the model in a photo shoot. So if you want to get your Rembrandt or Van Gogh on, they have just the outfit to suit.
Prepare for your portrait shot with Museum Photo by calling them on 31-62-951-7295 or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Running Tour – Tourist Run Amsterdam
Get your running shoes on and discover the sights of Amsterdam while jogging around the city streets with a running guide. Tours are customized to suit your fitness level as is the length of the run so if it doesn't include passing by all the city sights you want to see, you'll have to jog back again to see them later.
Prepare to race around Amsterdam with Tourist Run Amsterdam by calling them on 31-622-91-0024 or emailing them at email@example.com.
Best History Tour – Tom's Travel Tours
Get an in-depth feel for the history of Amsterdam by going on one of Tom's Travel Tours. They'll take you through the tulip fields, into the Van Gogh Museum, and past the windmills on the Rembrandt Walk. It'll be a laugh a minute if you go with these entertaining guides who have all the local knowledge.
Organize your fun tour with Tom's Travel Tours by calling 31-62-653-4331 or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Tour For A Business Trip – The Amsterdam Feeling
When you're on a business trip to Amsterdam you'll have much less time to enjoy yourself than a regular tourist so you'll need a trip that's specially tailored to your needs. You'll get just that if you go on a tour with The Amsterdam Feeling because that's exactly what they specialize in. Finish your meeting then discover what Amsterdam has to offer and you can even take the entire team along with you if you book a corporate tour.
To mix business with pleasure go on a tour with The Amsterdam Feeling by calling them on 31-65-284-0859 or email them at email@example.com.
Best Architectural Tour – Elizabeth's Tailor-Made Tours
The architecture of Amsterdam is really something special and the only way to appreciate it is with a guide who knows all about the different buildings and the periods they were constructed in. Take one of Elizabeth's Tailor-Made Tours and by the time it's over, you'll know as much as she does about Amsterdam's architecture.
Build on your plans for touring Amsterdam by contacting Elizabeth's Tailor-Made Tours on 31-62-099-0879 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Photo Tour – Shoot Me! Photography
Capturing an important moment photographically means knowing how to click the shutter at precisely the right instant to record it forever. You can learn how to do it – from studio portraits to landscapes and action shots – while you're in Amsterdam with Shoot Me! Photography.
Get ready to click a great shot by calling Shoot Me! Photography on 31-62-035-9393 or, alternatively, you can email them at email@example.com.
Best Cycle Tour – Amsterdam Fietstaxi
If you thought tuk-tuks were only to be found in Asia, then think again. You can see Amsterdam by bicycle and without having to pedal if you jump aboard a rickshaw taxi from Amsterdam Fietstaxi. You can sit back, relax and not have to worry about the traffic while they do all the work.
Book your rickshaw ride by calling Amsterdam Fietstaxi on 31-65-348-1860 or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Windmill Tour – Holland Discovery
There's nothing more iconic of Holland than windmills. Most tour companies will only offer you a bus trip around the tulip fields to see them though, but Holland Discovery goes one better and takes you navigating along the canals to see them. Sailing down Dutch canals is an experience you shouldn't miss and nibbling on Dutch cheese during the stopover makes it even better.
Enjoy Holland's windmills from on the water by taking a canal boat tour with Holland Discovery. Call them for more details on 31 625 48 01 06 or email them at email@example.com.
With one of Europe’s biggest and busiest airports just outside the city, Amsterdam is the perfect location for a quick city break. One of the most popular cities in the world for bachelor and bachelorette parties, it’s also ideal for those looking for something more culturally enriching.
- The Rijksmuseum is the National Museum of the Netherlands, and it houses a truly impressive collection of art from around the country and around the world. One of the most impressive pieces is Rembrandt's famous The Night Watch, but you'll also find work by Vermeer, Jan Steen, and other notable artists. It's no place to carry heavy bags, though, so make sure you drop your unneeded possessions off at an Amsterdam luggage storage service before you visit.
- The Anne Frank House is a sobering memorial to the Holocaust, but it is also one of Amsterdam's most popular attractions. See the house made famous by the diary of the young girl who hid here with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. While Anne's story is a sad one, the museum dedicated to her is a great place to reflect on the progress we've made since that dark chapter of history.
- Explore the world at the NEMO Science Museum. This state-of-the-art facility looks like a ship rising out of the harbor and contains dozens of interactive exhibits that will explain the mysteries of science. It's the perfect activity for a rainy day and is always popular with kids.
With its charming canal-side streets and neighborhoods, Amsterdam is a city made for walking. But it's popularity means that crowds are practically unavoidable, especially in the summer. You can make exploration easier by dropping off any bags you don't need at an Amsterdam luggage storage locker so you can explore more easily. Store your suitcases in Amsterdam and make your trip more pleasant.
Off the beaten path in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has its share of must-see attractions. But this port city also has plenty of more quirky things to do. If you're a fan of the esoteric, you're in luck. Amsterdam has plenty of lesser-known but still interesting attractions to keep you busy.
- Visit a unique cat sanctuary on De Poezenboot. Cats and water don't usually go together, but it's perhaps not that big a surprise to find a cat shelter on a boat in this city of canals. Open since 1966, the shelter provides homes for dozens of cats. It's a great place for feline lovers to get some cuddles while on vacation.
- Tour the endless network of Amsterdam canals and relax at same time in a floating hot tub. These unique vessels can be piloted like a regular boat but let you soak in bubbling hot water while you explore. It's an unforgettable way to experience the city.
- Delve into Amsterdam's history of vice and prostitution with a tour of the red light district. Often led by former sex workers, these tours explain the long history of prostitution, which is legal in the city. The red light district is one of Amsterdam's oldest neighborhoods, and the stories you'll hear on this tour are absolutely fascinating. You'll do plenty of walking, so make sure to drop off heavy bags at a luggage storage in Amsterdam before you go.
What to do alone in Amsterdam
In this famously laid-back city, no one will bat an eyelid at you exploring by yourself. Despite its history of vice, Amsterdam is also a very safe city, so you don't need to worry about exploring alone. Drop off your unneeded positions at a bag storage in Amsterdam and try some of these solo attractions.
- Catch a movie at Tuschinski. Opened in 1921, this movie theater is often acknowledged as one of the most beautiful in the world. Its unique architecture and stained-glass windows make it look more like a church than a cinema.
- Take a brewery tour at Brouwerrij't IJ. Amsterdam is famous for beer brands like Heineken and Amstel, but this microbrew holds its own against the best of them. The small group tours are a great way to hang out with other visitors, and there's nothing like a couple of beers to help you mix and mingle.
- Explore the Rembrandt House. One of the world's most revered artists, Rembrandt van Rijn, lived for years in this house in Amsterdam. Visit alone, and it will be easier to enjoy the unique atmosphere of the painter's studio and maybe catch a glimpse of the famous Rembrandt light that makes his painting so luminous.
The best souvenirs in Amsterdam
Nobody seems to wear clogs in the Netherlands anymore, but that doesn't mean they aren't everywhere. The wooden shoes are a classic symbol of the country, and you'll find plenty of examples in Amsterdam. At The Dutch Clog Shop, you can pick up designer clogs for a more high-end take on this classic Dutch souvenir. Alternatively, head to the famous Bloemenmarkt and pick up some tulip bulbs. This gorgeous flower market explodes with color, and tulips have been associated with the Netherlands since the Tulip Mania of the 1600s. Or, you could head to the Condomerie and browse through what has to be the world's most impressive selection of prophylactics, guaranteed to get a giggle from your more open-minded friends.