Amsterdam is a city as beautiful as it is historic and fun! Whether you're in the mood for a bike ride or to taste some of the best beers in the world, Amsterdam can be of service. Here are my top picks for things to do in this one-of-a-kind city.
Dam Square is a vast open area where you will find fantastic street artists and buskers, and the most magnificent palace you will ever see. There are funfairs and state events in the square throughout the year, so if you're lucky, one may be happening while you are there. If not, just bask in the sheer size and intricacies of the King and Queen's Palace.
This park is so amazing, it is visited 4 times as much as Central Park (in people per square meter, that is). There is an open-air theatre where you can see concerts and shows during the summer months, and there are also multiple places for a drink if you find yourself thirsty.
Red Light District
Some come only for this, and some come for everything but this, but it is a part of their culture and if you want a tour of Amsterdam, you should check it out. This is simply a different way of life. While you need not book a hotel in the area, there are some lovely landmarks and interesting sights to behold in the area. Watch out for the bachelor parties though!
Floating Flower Market
The Bloemenmarkt is a sight to behold! Tulips, tulips and just about everything else. As the only floating flower market in the world, you must check it out, if not to buy, just to smell the amazing fragrances of thousands of flowers. You can even buy bulbs and seeds to take home with you.
Amsterdam is home to many incredible museums, two of which are the Anne Frank Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. It's €9 and for Pete's sake, book online! From 9am to 3:30pm the museum is only open to visitors with an online ticket. From 3:30pm until closing time you can buy a ticket at the museum entrance. The Van Gogh museum is €17 and opening times vary throughout the year.
Rent a boat
Amsterdam has 165 canals stretching over 100 kilometers with 1,281 bridges. A boat is what you need. There are lots of places you can rent boats, even ones you can drive yourself, and bring a picnic! This really is the best way to see the city.
Rent a bike
In the Netherlands, bikes are greater than cars. There are 13 million bikes in the country, and in Amsterdam alone, 15,000 are fished out of the canals each year! Biking is the way of life in Amsterdam. Rent a bike and lock it well: around 100,000 bikes are stolen in Amsterdam every year. Specific bike lanes make it super easy to get around, and cars generally must wait to let you past!
There are around 1,500 bars and cafes in Amsterdam, and seeing as it is the home to many of your favorite beers, be sure to test a few of them out. The nicest way to do it is to find a small bar overlooking a canal, sit outside and watch the world go by. If it's nightlife you're after, look no further than Rembrantplein & Leidseplein, two Amsterdam squares each packed with bars and clubs.
There you have it, a quick guide to Amsterdam. Enjoy the ride!