Whether you’re already heading to Amsterdam for a weekend getaway or you need some more information to prove that the city is worth the visit, in this post I’m sharing with you my favourite places. After almost three months of partially living in Amsterdam, I can definitely say that it is one of the most charming cities in Europe. However, most of the tourist tend to go to the Red Light District and various coffee shops, but I can tell you they are missing the best parts of the city. Therefore, I’m super happy I finally managed to put this little guide for you with my tips on when to go, what to do and what to wear. Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!
When to go
July and August are most popular, but I won’t suggest them. I would say the best time to visit Amsterdam is April/May to early June and October/ November. However, if you want to see the tulips and the city in full bloom, then you should come from mid-April to early May.
What To Do
1. Walk around the canals.
Probably my favourite thing to do the whole day and I’m never getting bored of it. That’s why I’m not going to share with you any public transportation tips in this guide, because the best way to explore one of the Europe’s most photogenic cities is definitely by foot. The Western Canal Ring is my favourite area, it is not so crowded with the tourists and you can totally feel like a local. I also love walking around Prinzengracht, Herengracht, Keisergracht and the little streets in between. But for the coolest conceptual shops, restaurants and trendy cafes, get lost in Jordaan. I’m absolutely in love with this area and I’m really amazed at how few tourists actually visit it.
2. Admire Art.
Amsterdam is a home to an enormous number of museums, I can tell there is a museum for everything. But, I wouldn’t suggest spending your entire trip in museums. If you are coming for more than 2 days, then it is worth to pay a visit to some of the main. My personal favourites are:
Rijksmuseum. The National Dutch Museum, holds the most impressive art collection by far. You will need at least half of the day, to explore the numerous artworks, including the famous Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. But you will definitely enjoy it. If you booked a really short trip, I would suggest at least taking a stroll around the Rijksmuseum Gardens (see picture bellow). It is definitely one of the nicest places to relax in the city centre of Amsterdam.
Van Gogh Museum. Home for the largest collection of works by Van Gogh, including the famous sunflowers, makes it a truly impressive museum. Note: book your ticket ahead of time online! Also, every Friday the museum is transformed into a lounge bar where you can enjoy some cocktails, music and a free guided tour.
3. Visit Amsterdam’s Markets
If there is one thing I absolutely adore about Amsterdam is the abundance of fresh fruits, fish and flowers. As strange as it may sound, it is one of the things I’m missing the most when I come back to Düsseldorf. It is one of our Saturday’s rituals to go to the market and buy a lot of tasty food for the whole week. On top of my list are Albert Cuypmarkt and Noordermarkt. You will not leave them empty handed, I can assure you.
4. Cruise the Canals
Taking a canal tour is one of the best way to see the city, especially if you are here for the first time. However, if you have the possibility, I would suggest skipping the touristy boats and renting a smaller boat instead. It gives you a much more intimate and better experience of the canals. But if you are in for something truly memorable and romantic, I would recommend taking a Candle Light Cruise.
What To Wear
With Amsterdam streets covered in cobblestones, first of all you will need at least one pair of comfortable shoes. My perfect choice are Stan Smith sneakers, or any kind of sneakers that are both comfortable and easy to style. In terms of clothes, it can get confusing. I would say opt for neutrals and basic pieces that you can mix and match. If you are planning to come during summer, it will most likely be sunny and warm, but you can never trust the Dutch weather. So, always make sure to have a jacket or a trench coat in your luggage. A pair of jeans in addition to packing all kind of shorts and skirts is also welcome. Likewise, I will put a lightweight sweater in my bag, just in case you might need an extra layer.