Top 20 things to do in Amsterdam

We have collected the top 20 best things to do in Amsterdam

Top 20 things to do in Amsterdam

Originally a little fishing village, Amsterdam became one of the most prominent seaports in Europe during the 17th century, and it is important even today. Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands, although the seat of power is situated in The Hague. The city is reportedly one of the best places to live in, and millions of visitors come here every year to see the great number of museums attractions. Don’t be surprised by the thousands of bicycles, as they are a very popular mode of traveling here. The city is also famous because cannabis in small quantities is not illegal, and even coffee shops use them. If you come to Amsterdman, but you are unsure what to do, here is a list of the top 20 things to do in Amsterdam.

  1. Leidseplein
    The Leidseplein is a popular square in the center part of Amsterdam. The place is surrounded by restaurants, cafés, bars, movie theatres and casinos as well. It’s frequently visited as a gathering place and as the start of tours, so be warned that if you don’t like crowds, then this place might not be for you. But even then, the square is beautiful and worth seeing at least once.

2. Anne Frank House
One of the most known places in Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House was the residence of Anne Frank and her family, the girl whose journal became a best seller and one the most important personal documents of the Holocaust. She and her family were trapped here for years until they were found and sent to a concentration camp. The house today stands as a museum dedicated to their memory and to show how they lived there.


3. Van Gogh Museum
Just like its name suggests, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is dedicated to the one and only Vincent van Gogh. Although he wasn’t very popular during his life, he became famous worldwide after his death, both for his life and his paintings and other works of art. Most of these today are kept at this museum, including his most famous works. Some other paintings from his contemporaries also appear here. If you are interested in art, especially Van Gogh’s, then this place is high on the list of things to do in Amsterdam for you. Even if you don’t care about art, at least check out the building itself, as it has an interesting design.

4. De Pijp
As one of the busiest neighborhoods, The Pipe, or De Pijp is a shopping place in the city. The most famous part of the district is the Albert Cuyp Market, probably the most known markets in the Netherlands. If you are interested in shopping then this place is for you. Everything can be found here ranging from foods, to souvenirs and cameras. De Pijp is known for its multicultural status, as there are many people here from different parts of the world.
5. Verzetsmuseum
The Verzetsmuseum, or the Resistence Museum is a historical museum dedicated to the war times, especially when the Netherlands were occupied during World War II by the Nazi Germany for around 5 years. The old photos, posters, films and objects recreate the scenes of the streets of Amsterdam, and how they looked like back then. It’s both about the everyday life of the Dutch people, and the heroic acts and resistance that some of them showed.
6. Natura Artis Magistra
The Natura Artis Magistra is a zoo in central Amsterdam, and of the oldest ones in Europe. It has a large collection of animals, that are surely worth a visit. The zoo has an aquarium and a planetarium as well, and even a library dedicated to botany and zoology. The libary contains more than 20.000 books on these subjects.
7. Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum is the State Musem of Amsterdam. It was originally founded in The Hague, but later it was moved to Amsterdam. The museum is dedicated to Dutch works of art and has a collection of about a million objects, of which only a smaller fraction is on display, but it always changed. The building itself is beautiful as well, so it is worth a visit, even if one isn’t interested in art.
8. Rembrandt House Museum
The Rembrandt House Museum is a place where Rembrandt lived and worked for almost 20 years. The house has been changed into a museum dedicated to his works and life. Apart from these, the museum has a collection of objects of art that Rembrandt himself collected. Demonstration of his etching technique can also be viewed for those interested in it.
9. Concertgebouw
The Concertgebouw is a concert hall in Amsterdam, and one of the busiest in the world. Around 700 thousand people visit it every year, and more than 900 shows are held there. The highly regarded acoustics and the wonderful inside of the building makes it a great place to see a concert if you are interested in it.
10. NEMO Science Museum 
Located at the harbor in a green ship-like building, the NEMO Science Museum is a must-see for those coming with children, and even for just adults. The science experiments are all interactive, and children can learn quite a lot from them, while also having fun. They can construct buildings, crash economies and conduct chemistry experiments, among others. These are not dangerous though, and are all supervised, so don’t be afraid of letting your kids have fun with them.
11. De Negen Straatjes
De Negen Straatjes, or “The Nine Little Streets”, is a exactly like its name suggests, nine streets parallel to each other. They’ve been calling themselves that for a while. The streets here are filled with all kinds of shops, including interior design, vintage clothing, souvenirs and a lot more.
12. Heineken Experience
As the home of the Heineken beer, one of the most popular attractions in Amsterdam is without a doubt the Heineken Experience, a tour and museum found at the old Heineken Brewery. Visitors can see the history of the Heineken beer, watch a virtual reality ride and even taste the beers. Although, for obvious reasons, the tasting is only for those who are 18 or older.
13. Museum Vrolik
The Museum Vrolik is a little museum dedicated to the works of Willem Vrolik, anatomist and pathologist. The museum houses a collection of human and animal deformities, with at least 150 specimen. This place can be very disturbing, so it is highly advised that you only come here if you have a strong stomach.
14. De Wallen
De Wallen is probably the most well known red-light district in the world. The district is filled with shops, shows, and other kinds of services related to these. Ladies can be seen in the windows awaiting customers. Statues and a fountain can also be found here, with obvious symbols. This place is definitely not for children, so be advised before choosing this as one of your destinations.
15. Theater Tuschinski
The Theater Tuschinski is a theater in Amsterdam, and is beloved by many for its interesting mixture of different architectural and interior design styles. Art Deco, Art Nouveau, expressionist architecture and others mix together to give the theater, especially the inside, an illusion like experience. Live performances and movies are both held here.
16. The Little Woodcutter
The Little Woodcutter is a small and hard to find statue near the Leidsekade on the branch of a large tree. The identity of the maker of this small statue remains unknown even today, but has been on the branch for almost 30 years. The sculptor has placed a few other small statues throughout Amsterdam, but this one is the hardest to find and probably the most memorable. As the years go by, the wood slowly grew on its saw and shoes in an ironic way.
17. Electric Ladyland
The Electric Ladyland is an underground little gallery dedicated solely to the beauty of fluorescent light. This dreamlike gallery is a must-see for everyone, as it is the only place in the world dedicated to this type of art. The rocks and little structures are illuminated in the dark by the fluorescent lights and give off an amazing vibe. Some have jokingly compared it to being on drugs, while not actually taking any.
18. Betondorp
This little village-like place may seem dull and gray at first, but Betondorp is actually quite fascinating in its own way. The buildings were built as an experiment to try out different concrete construction techniques, as there was a shortage of bricks back then. The buildings are now used both as houses and shops. They bring a different kind of “color” to the city, and tourists often visit it to see these styles of construction.
19. A’DAM Lookout
The A’DAM Lookout is an observation deck on the top of a 22-floor building, that provides a magnificent view of Amsterdam. It’s not only popular for its view, but the swings that are available at the top. These are the highest swings in Europe at a heigh of around 100 meters. Although it may seem scary, it’s completely safe.
20. Vondelpark
Vondelpark is a large park found in the city, and probably one of the most popular places to visit in Amsterdam. This beautiful park is great for those who want to take a break from the bustling city, and want to take a nap, have a picnic or just stroll between the trees. Sculptures, ponds, playgrounds and an open-air theater can all be found here, and people can even rent bicycles or rollerblades if they wish so. This park should definitely be high on the list of things to do in Amsterdam for everyone.
If you want to see other places where beautiful christmas markets are held, check out this page. Or if you want to visit other romantic locations with your loved one, see this collection.