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  • It has long been a destination of choice for modern travellers and knowing about the exciting things to do in Amsterdam, you will be tempted to plan a trip to this destination too. The diversity, relaxed atmosphere and freedom it offers have made it, one of the best places to visit (and even live in).

    It’s come a long way from being a fishing village to becoming a progressive and culturally rich city. It’s spawned great artists like Vermeer, Van Gogh and Rembrandt whose works continue to inspire awe today.

    Every city offers visitors a list of things to do and attractions to see. But Amsterdam promises more than that. Its famed red light district is dotted with coffee shops where drinking coffee is just part of the fun. Come April 27th and the entire city turns into one big party as people celebrate the birthday of the king. You’ll get caught up in the festivities and will love the positive vibes that permeate the air.

    Urban parks and green spaces that invite you to take time off and relax, amusement parks that will bring out your inner child and artificial beaches where music and campfire dominate – no matter what your idea of fun is; you’ll find it in Amsterdam!

    Discover more of what the city has to offer by checking out our list of exciting things to do. See if you can cover them all.

    Here are some of the best things to do in Amsterdam:

  • 01Must Do Things in Amsterdam

    Must Do Things in Amsterdam
    1. Visit Rijksmuseum- Rijksmuseum is a national museum that showcases the arts and history of Amsterdam. Works by famed artists like Vermeer and Rembrandt van Rijn are exhibited here.

    2. Know more about Anne Frank House- See where Anne Frank wrote her famous diary detailing the Nazi occupation. Anne Frank House displays personal documents and objects of the Frank family.

    3. Visit Van Gogh Museum- Van Gogh Museum is where you should be to see the works of one of The Netherland’s most famous artists, Vincent Van Gogh. It also houses works by other renowned artists like Claude Monet and Eduoard Manet.

    4. Visit Efteling – fairytale-themed amusement park- About an hour away from Amsterdam is Efteling, a land of wonder with roller coasters, a fantasy palace and a forest filled with your favourite fairytale characters. Spending the day here is one of the best things to do in Amsterdam.

    5. Take the Heineken Experience- Go on an interactive tour of one of the largest breweries in the world at Heineken Experience, a former brewery. Tickets cover beers too.

    6. Take an amazing experience at Vondelpark- Around 10 million visitors flock to Vondelpark and it’s easy to see why. The vibrant urban park has an open-air theatre, a cast iron music dome, a playground for children and bronze sculptures of Joost van den Vondel.

    7. Discover a secret courtyard in the heart of the city (The Begijnhof)- Once a begijnhof (almshouse) for a sisterhood, The Begijnhof today is the site of two churches. It’s built around a green courtyard that’s a tranquil space in the midst of the bustling city.

    8. Try herring from a herring cart- Herring is a common food in The Netherlands and you’ll find many herring carts in Amsterdam too.  Hollandse nieuwe or new herring is the best and munching on it is one of the top things to do in Amsterdam.

    9. Take a canal cruise- Amsterdam’s famous canals stretch for over 100 km. As you cruise the waters, you’ll come across numerous islands, bridges and monuments.

    10. Rent a bike to hop Amsterdam- Amsterdam is packed with attractions and the best way to see them all is by renting a bike. In fact, this is how most locals move around. There are many dedicated bicycle paths to connect you to the places.

    11. Artificial beach Blijburg aan Zee- Bask under the sun at Blijburg aan Zee, an artificial beach with a very laid-back vibe. Campfire evenings, live music, and great food – it has it all.

    12. Fun pillow fights taking place on the Dam Square- Who said pillow fights are confined to bedrooms? Dam Square comes alive on International Pillow Fight Day where dozens of ‘fighters’ battle it out. This year, it takes place on April 7th, 2018.

    13. Swing 100 meter above at A'DAM Toren's Lookout platform- A’DAM Lookout offers a panoramic view of Amsterdam but the real thrill is Over The Edge, Europe’s highest swing. See if you dare to swing over the ledge and back!

    14. Try some potato fries at Vleminckx- There are potato fries and there are potato fries. In Vleminckx, you’ll find the best potato fries there are in Amsterdam. The 19th-century hole-in-the-wall has people lining up every day to savour the speciality.

    15. Visit NEMO Science Museum- Discover the mysteries of the universe at NEMO Science Museum. Defend the Earth in an interactive game, touch a real meteorite and bring ideas to life in the workshop.

    16. Visit Artis Royal Zoo- Exploring The Netherlands’ oldest zoo is one of the best things to do in Amsterdam. It has a wealth of attractions ranging from an aquarium to a botanical garden, a micropia, a planetarium as well as a zoological museum.

    17. Take a tour of Madame Tussauds- Take a tour of Madame Tussauds and stand next to A-list celebs, sports idols and superheroes. IamArt, an interactive experience, lets you be a part of the artwork of renowned artists.

    18. Smell the tulips at Flower Market- Floating markets aren’t confined to Asia; you can find one in Amsterdam that sells flowers of all varieties. Stop to pick up tulips and other flowers like geraniums and narcissus.

    19. Visit Royal Palace of Amsterdam- The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is a stunning work of art in the classical style. It was built as a town hall but King Louis Bonaparte later transformed it into a palace.

    20. Take a selfie with ‘I Amsterdam’ sign- Head towards Rijksmuseum in the south of Amsterdam and you’ll happen upon the famous ‘I Amsterdam’ sign, which provides the perfect photo op for Insta-worthy posts. The sign isn’t just a large backdrop, but, it symbolizes the diversity of the city.

    21. Shop at The Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes)- The canal belt of Amsterdam is home to a collection of charming stores and eateries you won’t be able to get enough of. Antique shops, vintage stores, boutiques, cafes and restaurants offer numerous opportunities for shopping and dining.

    22. Visit De Pijp Albert Cuypmarkt Market (largest in the Netherlands)- Street markets have an appeal that’s all their own and Albert Cuyp is no different. It holds the title of being the biggest daytime market in the country. You can find fresh produce, jewellery, textiles and eateries here.

    23. Go beer tasting under a windmill at Oostelijke Eilanden (Eastern Islands) neighbourhood- Sipping beer under a windmill – can it get any more charming? Brouwerij 't IJ stocks a selection of different beers that are all certified organic. Book a brewery tour and sample some of their specials.
  • 02Things to Do in Amsterdam at Night

    Things to Do in Amsterdam at Night
    24. House of Bols- Discover everything you need to know about cocktails and genever at House of Bols. When the tour ends, sit down for a delicious cocktail.

    25. Enjoy free wine samples at Wijnkoperij de Hermitage (first Saturday of every month)- Wijnkoperij de Hermitage has an assortment of wines for you to buy, but if you visit on the first Saturday of the month, you can enjoy free wine samples.

    26. Candlelight in a brown cafe- Amsterdam’s brown cafes are the best places to sit down for a drink, snack on bar tidbits and engage in conversation. The wooden décor lends coziness and warmth while the relaxed ambience helps you unwind.

    27. Enjoy a jazz show at the Bimhuis- Few places host such terrific jazz concerts as Bimhuis. The venue also has a restaurant that you can dine at before attending a concert.

    28. Hang out at the De Nieuwe Anita- Spend the evening at De Nieuwe Anita, a bar with a living room! The rear part of the establishment is where all the merrymaking happens but the front is a living room complete with upholstered armchairs and floor lamps.

    29. Enjoy shows at Concertgebouw- Concertgebouw or the Royal Concertgebouw is a concert hall that hosts some of the best shows. Take a guided tour for a close look at the building and listen to tales about its history. There’s a cafe too where you can grab a quick bite.

    30. Visit De Kas with your loved ones- De Kas is a set of greenhouses-cum-restaurant that serves amazing dishes prepared with harvests from the nursery. The greenhouses themselves date back to 1926 and their old age lends character and charm to the establishment.

    31. Enjoy food and drinks at Westergasfabriek- Head to Westergasfabriek for a chance to feast on vegan delights, baked goods and coffee whipped up by an ace barista. The establishment is also a cultural venue and plays host to talk shows and concerts.

    32. Visit cannabis coffee shops in the RLD- The city’s red light district is famous all over the world and visiting it is one of the top things to do in Amsterdam. Pop into a cannabis coffee shop where socializing and smoking cannabis are popular pastimes.

    33. Visit Ice Bar- Icebar Amsterdam is like another world altogether. Ice is the star of the show here and even the walls are made of it. Don’t be too worried about the cold, though; you’ll be kept warm with a thermal coat and gloves.

    34. Visit Restaurant Moon- Dine at Restaurant Moon, an establishment that revolves to give you an ever-changing view! The menu features classic favorites with a modern twist.

    35. Tap on beats at Club Up- Club Up is a trendy underground nightclub where the music is loud and the energy buzzing. Take a couple of friends and let your hair down.

    36. Club NYX- Club NYX guarantees to set you in a party mood the moment you step in. Three floors play different styles of music, so you can pick your favourite.
  • 03Offbeat Things to Do in Amsterdam

    Offbeat Things to Do in Amsterdam
    37. Coolest escape room in Amsterdam is Locked.Amsterdam- Escape rooms are always a big thrill and Locked.Amsterdam will keep your adrenaline going. Solve puzzles and use strategy to get to the bottom of the mysteries.

    38. Dutch windmill and cheese tour- Only a few things are better than Dutch cheese and the best way to sample as much as you can is to go on a cheese tour. Add iconic windmills to the fun and you’re sure to stay entertained the entire day.

    39. Red Light District tour- Take in the sights of Amsterdam’s red light district or De Wallen. The medieval city centre is not just about sex shops and red-lit windows, however; there are numerous pubs, shops and restaurants to explore.

    40. Take a tour of The House with the Blood Stains- Erstwhile mayor Coenraad van Beuningen’s loss of fortune and later his sanity is the story behind the name of The House with the Blood Stains. It’s believed he scribbled signs and graffiti on the walls using his own blood at the height of his madness.

    41. Take a culinary cruise to Lighthouse Island- This is one of the most rewarding things to do in Amsterdam. A cruise to Lighthouse Island, a sumptuous meal at a pop-up restaurant and a view you won’t want to leave behind – the unique experience is unlike any you’ve witnessed.

    42. Try tandem biking with your friends- Travelling with a friend? The best way to get around the city is on a tandem bike together. There are several rental stations where you can pick up a bike and zip around neighbourhoods.

    43. The Torture Museum- Not for the faint-hearted, Torture Museum is a place where you can learn about medieval torture equipment and how they were used. Guided tours can be organized for groups on request.

    44. Electric Ladyland- Electric Ladyland is a shock to the senses with its striking fluorescent art. Home-made objects and natural rocks that react to UV light are displayed here and vividly brought to life when the black light is turned on.

    45. Visit Tassen Museum of Bags and Purses- Go on a journey of discovery at Tassen Museum of Bags and Purses. It houses the largest collection of handbags including purses, satchels and cases. The oldest of them date back to the 16th century.

    46. Celebrate King’s Day on 27th April- It seems like the whole of The Netherlands has a party come to King’s Day. The occasion celebrates the birthday of King Willem Alexander with street parties and flea markets set up and music shows organized.

    47. Attend a (mostly) naked sauna festival- Shake yourself to great music at Vrijland Festival, an event that celebrates diversity and freedom of identity. This festival is held every year.

    48. Take the free ferry across the IJ to Amsterdam- Cross the River Ij and get to Amsterdam on a ferry. See the cityscape in the distance and take photos to treasure the memories of your trip.

    49. Faralda Crane Hotel situated in the north of Amsterdam- Faralda Crane Hotel is one of those crazy places that you absolutely must visit. 50 meters high, suites overlooking River Ij and music events that have the best DJs playing – it has all the ingredients for the ultimate fun.

    50. Bike in the caves close to Maastricht- Explore Valkenburg’s underground labyrinth of caves on a bicycle. It is 8 km of fun as you navigate your way through narrow corridors with a headlamp your only source of light.

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