Visiting Amsterdam? This charming 17th-century canal-covered city has heaps of interesting sights that will keep you busy for an entire weekend, or even longer.
Forget about cliched images of smoke shops and gaudy red lights… This is one of the coolest cities in Europe. From floating flower markets to bohemian neighbourhoods, this city has it all.
We’ve got you sorted with the must-do things to do in Amsterdam:
1. Experience the funky Electric Ladyland museum
This insanely trippy museum is the only museum of its kind in the world; Electric Ladyland is dedicated to fluorescent art. You’ll find an eye-popping collection of fluorescent minerals, fluorescent artwork from the 1950s and other glowing artefacts.
Enter under the influence at your own risk – those colours are truly mind bending.
2. Bike through the tulip fields around Haarlem in April
Just a 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam are the famous tulip fields in Haarlem. Rent a bike and cycle through here in blooming season (second week of April till the second week of May). The colours are spectacular, and Haarlem itself has charming cobblestone streets.
Cycle along the waterfront towards Lisse and you can’t miss the tulips.
3. Wander around the Jordaan neighbourhood
One of the coolest areas in the Netherlands, Jordaan is a maze-like neighbourhood with a boho vibe. There’s great vintage shopping, art galleries, trendy cafes and bars and pretty streets to explore.
Be sure to check out the local markets: Noordermarkt has a flea market on Monday mornings and an organic farmers’ market on Saturdays.
4. Visit the Anne Frank house
The Anne Frank House at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam is where Anne lived in hiding with her family for more than two years during World War II.
Now converted into a museum, it contains a sobering exhibition about the persecution of the Jews during the war, as well as discrimination in general. An important place to visit.
5. Take a canal cruise… Or rent your own boat!
The old canals of Amsterdam are such a pretty sight by both day and night – when the bridges light up with magical fairy lights. There’s heaps of canal cruises to choose from, from hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tours to night time cruises with food and wine.
Visiting Amsterdam for King’s Day? Your best bet is to rent a BYOB boat for the full party experience.
6. Eat your way around Foodhallen
In the hip Oud-West neighbourhood, you’ll find De Hallen, a centre for the arts, crafts, fashion and food in a cool industrial building dating from 1902.
De Hallen is home to a cinema, independent stores and a boutique hotel, as well as the impressive Food Hallen – a food and drink heaven where you can munch your way through a selection of upmarket street food. Yum.
7. Go beer tasting at Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Amsterdam’s original microbrewery is housed in a working windmill, and will bring straight to Beer Utopia. They brew certified organic I.P.As and blonde beers.
The brewery offers tours and tastings, and also has a pub with a large outdoor terrace where you get some nice Dutch snacks to eat with the beers.