It was a rainy September day when I first visited Amsterdam. Although it was a little hazy, I smelled the fresh air, I saw little cute and old cottages that made me feel home and I felt the easy going lifestyle that this city spread out. Not to forget the bikers. There were so many bikes, that I’d rather want to grab one and ride around.
Indeed, when I stepped out the Central Station I was thrilled to explore this beauty of a city. Amsterdam is truly beautiful and you can do so many things – no matter how the weather is. There are lots of museums, little alleys to wander or bike around, the famous Grachten you can visit by boat, stylish and cozy cafés and the Vondelpark to chill and leave all your cares behind. In short, in Amsterdam you have everything you need to live a beautiful life.
Download my checklist
Due to all the wonderful places, you might not have the chance to see every beautiful corner in a weekend (which most of you plan to stay), so I summed up my favorite spots to make your stay unforgettable. Plus you can download my checklist here to pick the favorite spots for yourself.
Places in Amsterdam
Museumplein with the famous “I amsterdam“ symbol
Leidseplein & Rembrandtplein with lots of bars and clubs
Jordaan is a very hip district with little vintage stores
NDSM, a former shipyard that is a center of culture now → there are free ferries
going from Central Station to NSDM daily (duration: approx. 15 min.)
Vondelpark to chill and hang out like a native
Red Light District & Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam
Haarlemmerstraat with concept-stores und authentic coffeeshops
Prinsengracht, Herengracht, Keizersgracht, Singelgracht (since 2010 part of the UNESCO World Heritage)
→ I recommend doing a Grachten tour, also to learn more and interesting things about the city. Otherwise I had never learned the funny fact that yearly 25.000 bikes fall into the canals. You find operators all over the city.
Note: Book online and in advance, so you benefit from priority access and avoid long lines!
Anne Frank House (10€/10,50€ online) → the house where the Jewess Anne Frank wrote her diaries
Van Gogh Museum (18€) → Van Gough & artists he was inspired by
Rijksmuseum (17,50€) → famous paintings from Rembrandt
Stedelijk Museum (17,50€) → modern art such as Monet, Picasso, Cézanne & Kandinsky
Shopping in Amsterdam
Cafés & restaurants in Amsterdam
Café de Jaren (best terrace in town → city center)
Café Van Harte (in the 9 Straatjes → western)
Pancakes Amsterdam (gluten-free pancakes → western)
MOOK Pancakes (delicious pancakes in a stylish location → western)
The Breakfast Club (good brunch → in western)
Metropolitain (burger & healthy stuff → city center)
Pluk (cakes & yoghurts → western)
Lavinia Goodfood (cozy & healthy food → southern)
C • T coffee & coconuts (hip & cozy with burger, bowls & pancakes → southern)
Noorderlicht//Pllek (beach bars at the NDSM with a view over the city → northern)
IJsmanschap (popsicles & ice cream → western)
De Carrousel (mini-pancakes & waffles in a unique location → southern)
Clubs & bars in Amsterdam
Club Up (Hip-Hop/R’n’B/Electro)
Bar Weber (cool & hip bar)
Bar Lux (cool & hip bar)
Happyhappyjoywest (Asian style)
Pazzi ‘de Clercqstraat 93’ (yummy pizza)
Café de Gieter (student bar with the cheapest beer of the city)
Good to know
If you are out late, note that the last trams will leave at 00.15am and the last metros at 00.30am. But don’t worry, there will be night busses. And of course you can take a cab to get home safely.
I hope this collection of food and location spots will help you on your trip to have a great time. If you want to know how to pack best for your travels, read my post about the ultimate packing list. It will give you interesting and helpful packing tips. Do you have any further questions about Amsterdam? Feel free to ask and I will get back to you as soon as possible.