Amsterdam is a charming city that’s easy to get around and full of fun things to do, whether you’re visiting for a romantic getaway or weekend trip with friends. Forget forking out on a flash hotel and book one of the hostels or Airbnbs the city has to offer.
A bustling hub of culture, there’s more to it than smoking weed and posing next to the iAmsterdam sign - which FYI was removed by the city council in December 2018, who claimed it was promoting ‘mindless mass tourism’.
Getting there and back is a breeze too, thank to the new Eurostar route which offers direct trains from Amsterdam to London from April 2020. Prior to this, passengers making their way back to the UK have to change trains in Brussels in order to go through passport control and security protocol.
Instead, check out some of the best museums in Europe, stroll alongside the canal and soak up the diverse and welcoming culture. If you’re looking for inspiration, Lauren Cocking from TripExpert has shared her top tips on what to see and do while you’re there.
1. Coffee and Coconuts
If you’ve flown out early morning, you’ll no doubt be famished, so stop off for a long, lazy brunch at this converted 1920s theatre with Scandi-inspired decor.
Breakfast is served until 1pm and includes coconut pancakes, avocado on toast, a huge selection of coffee, fresh juices and buckwheat porridge.
Address: Ceintuurbaan 282-284, 1072 GK Amsterdam
If you only have time for one museum, Cocking recommends making it the Rijksmuseum. Boasting an impressive collection of work from Rembrandt and Vermeer, it’s a great opportunity to soak up the Dutch art and history.
Tickets cost €19 if you book online and €20 onsite, while children under 18 go free. Not interested in buying a ticket? Browse the Rijksmuseum Gardens, Rijks Shop and Café instead that’s open from 9am to 6pm.
Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam
3. Supper Club
Dance the night away to old school tunes while sipping on experimental cocktails and lounging on the famous white beds synonymous with Supper Club, located in the city centre.
Let your hair down on Mondays, their most popular DJ night, with entry costing €10 (on Saturdays it goes up to €25).
Address: Singel 460, 1017 AW Amsterdam
Feed your hangover cravings with a triple-stacked toasties loaded with cheese, chorizo, tomato and spinach starting from €5. Or whatever wets your appetite, there’s also a great vegan selection with fresh coffee and juices on tap.
Amsterdam: Singel 441, 1012 WP Amsterdam
5. Anne Frank’s House
“In this rightly-popular museum – situated within the building where Anne Frank and her family hid to escape persecution – personal effects, including her diary, notebooks and family photos, as well as other informative exhibits, both document and paint a poignant picture of the Jewish wartime diarist’s brief life,” says Cocking.
Tickets can only be bought online, most up to two months in advance and some available on the website for the same day from 9am and cost €10 for adults and €5 for 5-17 year olds.
Amsterdam: Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam
6. Madam Pancake
It wouldn’t be a trip to Holland without enjoying a stack of pancakes. Situated in the heart of the red light district, there’s every sweet and savoury topping you can imagine. The cosy eatery is the perfect way to start your day in the city or finish our night, as it stays open until 9pm.
Address: Lange Niezel 18, 1012 GT Amsterdam
Amsterdam is home to over 800,000 bikes and the city is deigned for ease of transport. If you’re a bit rusty, cycle through the sprawling VondelPark in central Amsterdam until you’re ready to hit the road. In the summertime you can find free concerts in its open air theatre too. There’s bike hire shops across the city so you can get from A to B and save on the Uber fare.
Amsterdam: Vondelpark, Amsterdam
8. Brouwerij’t IJ
Cocking recommends beer lovers to pay a visit to Brouwerij’t IJ and give the Heineken Experience a miss. “Housed beside the photogenic De Gooyer windmill, this vibrant brewery and pub offers curated tasting flights, standalone, seasonal craft ales and some of the best organic beer the Netherlands has to offer,” she adds.
Address: Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam
Known as the “Venice Of The North”, Amsterdam boasts 100 kilometres of canals, as well as 1500 bridges and around 90 islands. Spend some time soaking up the sights and visit the only floating flower market in the world, Amsterdam’s Bloemenmarkt – situated on the Singel Canal, is the next best thing if you can’t make it the tulip fields outside the city.
Address: Singel, 1012 DH Amsterdam
10. De Beurspassage
“Few places pay such smart self-referential homage to that better than De Beurspassage,” Cocking tells HuffPost.
“Cast your eyes upwards as you stroll through this petite, emerald alleyway – which serves as a shortcut between Nieuwendijk Street and Damrak Avenue – and look for the chandeliers made from repurposed bicycle parts, spliff-shaped lampshades and a functional fish fountain.”
Address: Beurspassage, 1012 LW Amsterdam