Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Amsterdam

Things to do in  Amsterdam

Welcome to Amsterdam

The Netherlands brims with beauty and adventure, from its picturesque windmills and wondrous fields of tulips to its hip, art-centric capital city of Amsterdam. The most populated region of the Netherlands, historic Amsterdam is renowned for its quaint streets and scenic canals. Take in Amsterdam’s rich tradition of art by touring iconic museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum; tours offer skip-the-line access to these popular sights. The Anne Frank House is another must-see, attracting visitors from around the globe. A walking tour—or if you want to be like the Dutch, a bike tour—is a great way to get into the culture. For a little romance, enjoy a candlelit cruise at night with Dutch wine and cheese, and watch the city sparkle. Make time to tour the happening Red Light District’s bars and coffeeshops, and sample bitterballen (fried meatballs) and classic pickled herring, along with some of the country’s famed beers. Take a day trip or two to the Dutch countryside to admire Zaanse Schans, with its iconic windmills and clogs; or traditional villages such as Volendam and Marken. Keukenhof Gardens offers the pièce de résistance: a burst of colors from its vast array of flowers and millions of tulips. All in all, Amsterdam’s uniqueness makes it an unparalleled destination in Europe.

Top 15 attractions in Amsterdam

#1
Anne Frank House (Anne Frank Huis)

Anne Frank House (Anne Frank Huis)

star-4.524,165
The bestselling book “Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl” brought to life one of the greatest horrors of the 20th century in a compelling, personal way. In the true story, a young Jewish girl, her family, and some friends are forced into hiding in Amsterdam to escape the Nazis during World War II. The house that served as the Frank family’s hiding place for two years survived the war and is now a moving museum, with the primary site being the achterhuis (rear house), also known as the secret annex. Here the Franks sat in silence during the day and ate food that was secretly brought to them before being mysteriously betrayed and sent to Nazi concentration camps. Otto Frank, the only Frank who survived the war, published Anne’s now-famous diary in 1947.More
#2
Amstel River

Amstel River

star-4.533,413
The Amstel is the great river that runs through Amsterdam and whose water was diverted into the city’s famous canals. The city was first built around the river, giving it the name Amstel Dam, and today the waterway is flows past modern buildings and charming houseboats before winding its way into the Dutch countryside.More
#3
Hermitage Amsterdam

Hermitage Amsterdam

star-529,672
An outpost of St. Petersburg’s famous Hermitage Museum, the Hermitage Amsterdam showcases revolving exhibitions of painting and historical artifacts, often with a Russian theme. The sprawling Amstelhof building dates back to the 17th century, stretches along the Amstel riverfront, and features an inner garden courtyard.More
#4
Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

star-4.55,715
Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of works by the legendary Dutch artist, is a must-see for art and art history lovers. The museum boasts a collection of Vincent van Gogh’s personal effects, plus 200 paintings and 500 drawings by the master and his contemporaries—including Gauguin, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Bernard—plus Van Gogh’s famous works The Potato Eaters and Wheatfield with Crows.More
#5
Amsterdam Red Light District (De Wallen)

Amsterdam Red Light District (De Wallen)

star-533,509
Most famous for its streetside brothels, Amsterdam's Red Light District (De Wallen) also houses scenic canals, bustling restaurants, bars, and plenty of shopping opportunities. While this controversial neighborhood may not be for everyone, its winding cobblestone streets and narrow alleys evoke Amsterdam’s rich history and laid-back culture.More
#6
Emperor's Canal (Keizersgracht)

Emperor's Canal (Keizersgracht)

star-525,980
The second of Amsterdam’s three major waterways, the Emperor’s Canal (Keizersgracht) is the widest in the city. Its quiet waters wind through otherwise bustling neighborhoods, and it is lined with picturesque old houses—some of which have had famous residents. A boat trip along the canal lends itself to some wonderful photo opportunities.More
#7
Amsterdam Central Station

Amsterdam Central Station

star-537,821
Amsterdam Central Station (Amsterdam Centraal Station) is the largest railway station in the Netherlands, as well as the country’s most visited national heritage site. Serving up to 250,000 passengers every day, it’s the city’s most important transport hub, offering both national and international train services.More
#8
Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum

star-530,520
Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is the largest and most visited art museum in the Netherlands. Its collection, which ranks among the world’s finest, includes nearly 8,000 pieces spread over 80 galleries. Some of the Rijksmuseum’s most revered works are 15th- to 19th-century paintings by Flemish and Dutch masters, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals. In addition to the astounding eight centuries of Dutch art and history, the museum has extensive outdoor gardens and a Michelin-starred restaurant.More
#9
Jordaan

Jordaan

star-4.531,222
Once a working-class neighborhood, Jordaan in central Amsterdam has become an upscale enclave favored by artists and designers. Grand 17th-century houses, art galleries, speciality shops, music venues, cafes, and restaurants line the leafy canals in this quintessential Amsterdam neighborhood, which attracts tourists and locals alike.More
#10
FOAM Photography Museum Amsterdam (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam)

FOAM Photography Museum Amsterdam (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam)

star-525,702
Located in a former 16th-century warehouse, Foam (Photography Museum Amsterdam) has been displaying emerging artists alongside internationally recognized names since it opened in the early 2000s. Spend a few hours browsing the collection of contemporary and traditional artwork, or attend one of the museum’s workshops or talks.More
#11
Amsterdam Tulip Museum

Amsterdam Tulip Museum

star-512,144
Run by a local bulb company, the small but informative Amsterdam Tulip Museum traces the history of the Dutch tulip obsession from the height of 17th-century tulip mania to today’s multi-million-euro bulb industry. If you’re looking for unique tulip-themed gifts or rare bulbs, the museum shop is the place to be.More
#12
Westerkerk (Western Church)

Westerkerk (Western Church)

star-4.532,271
Amsterdam’s 17th-century Westerkerk (Western Church) is as known for its architecture, including a spire that measures some 280 feet (85 meters), as it is for its history. Rembrandt was buried here, and in her diaries Anne Frank wrote about the church’s clock chime—one of the few outside-world experiences she had while hiding from the Nazis.More
#13
Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug)

Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug)

star-4.533,616
Amsterdam’s Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug) crosses the River Amstel in the city center. The wooden drawbridge features low arches and nighttime illumination. The bridge’s history reaches as far back as 1691, when the original structure was completed in a classic Dutch style that also influenced later renovations.More
#14
Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

star-58,294
The scenic Dutch village of Zaanse Schans is most famous for its windmills, once used to power everything from paint-making to paper production; today, it’s set up like an open-air museum, with five working windmills. Wander the village, view the preserved architecture, and watch the locals at work—in their traditional wooden shoes and Dutch garb, naturally. Green wooden houses, a historic shipyard, and a pewter factory are among the highlights.More
#15
Amsterdam Canal Ring (Grachtengordel)

Amsterdam Canal Ring (Grachtengordel)

star-59,006
Amsterdam’s Canal Ring (Grachtengordel)—a charming 17th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site—is probably best known for its picturesque canals. Comprised of three rings of semicircular waterways that are bisected by smaller canals radiating from the middle, like the spokes on a very Dutch bicycle wheel, the Canal Ring is crisscrossed by hundreds of bridges which connect these Dutch Golden Age islands.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Amsterdam

How to Spend 3 Days in Amsterdam

Top activities in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Open Boat Tour With Live Guide and Unlimited Drinks
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Skip-the-line Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam Private Guided Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
All inclusive Canal Tour by Captain Jack (Traveller's Choice Award 2021)
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Day Trip to Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam and Marken from Amsterdam
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Bike Tour of Amsterdam's Highlights and Hidden Gems!
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Amsterdam Small-Group Canal Cruise Plus Snacks and Drinks
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Amsterdam

star-5
The best day on the canals
Carol_L, Aug 2022
Amsterdam Small-Group Canal Cruise Plus Snacks and Drinks
The scenery is gorgeous, and it truly was the best experience to see and learn about Amsterdam.
star-5
Best tour!
Mardi_C, Aug 2022
Amsterdam Countryside Bike Tour Including Cheese Farm and Clog Demonstration
We recommend to do this at the start of your trip as he gives you great tips on where to go out and great activities to do!
star-5
Well worth the money
Amy_E, Aug 2022
Amsterdam Open Boat Tour With Live Guide and Unlimited Drinks
Excellent tour really interesting & a lovely relaxing way to see Amsterdam.
star-5
Great fun bike tour
Matthew_G, Aug 2022
Bike Tour of Amsterdam's Highlights and Hidden Gems!
Great way to see Amsterdam in a relaxed way.
star-5
Beautiful view of...
Tsitsi_G, Aug 2022
Amsterdam Open Boat Canal Cruise - Live Guide - from Anne Frank House
Had a lay over in Amsterdam and was able to see alot in just 1hr
star-5
Really good guide. He was...
Heather_E, Aug 2022
Anne Frank Guided Walking Tour through Amsterdam's Jewish Quarter
Got to see parts of Amsterdam .
star-5
Excellent service, Great...
Suzanne_R, Aug 2022
All inclusive Canal Tour by Captain Jack (Traveller's Choice Award 2021)
Excellent service, Great trip, a fab way to see Amsterdam book now a must.
star-5
Do not miss this tour.
Margaret_D, Aug 2022
Anne Frank Guided Walking Tour through Amsterdam's Jewish Quarter
He was very detailed in discussions and his English was great.
star-5
Perfect to See Amsterdam
Janene_C, Aug 2022
The Ultimate Amsterdam Canal Cruise - 2hr - Small Group - Exclusive Boat
The canal cruise was an amazing way to see Amsterdam!
star-5
Great way to see and...
Kerry_M, Jul 2022
Amsterdam Guided Evening Canal Cruise with Bar on Board
Great way to see and learn about the city!
star-4
Cozy
Simon_K, Jul 2022
Amsterdam Open Boat Canal Cruise - Live Guide - from Anne Frank House
It’s cozy and a great way to see Amsterdam.
star-5
MY great experience with Viator!!
Johnjill9, Jul 2022
Private Transfer from (AMS) Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam
FRIENDLY AND informative points of interest to see and do in Amsterdam .
star-5
Amazing time we’ll worth...
Alan_D, Jul 2022
All inclusive Canal Tour by Captain Jack (Traveller's Choice Award 2021)
Of your in Amsterdam it’s a must do you get to see the whole city while relaxing with a drink
star-5
Great way to see the city!
Erin_B, Jul 2022
Luxury Canal Cruise Amsterdam: Tourguide included
What a great way to see the city!
star-5
Great day
andreahelensimpson, Jul 2022
Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam and Marken Tour
Whole trip was great, and good to see a bit of the area surrounding Amsterdam.
star-5
Excellent tour
Raul_P, Jul 2022
Amsterdam 1-Hour Canal Cruise from Central Station
The length of the tour is perfect and you get insights about the major attractions of Amsterdam.
star-5
Great tour of the canals
Bradley_L, Jul 2022
Amsterdam Canal Cruise in Classic River Boat With Drinks & Dutch Cheese
It was a great way to see the canals and learn a bit about Amsterdam!
star-5
Relaxing Tour of Amsterdam
Marie_M, Jul 2022
Amsterdam Open Boat Tour With Live Guide and Unlimited Drinks
This was a gentle, relaxing way to see the beautiful canals and historical architecture of Amsterdam.
star-5
Lovely evening in Amsterdam
Raenell_R, Jul 2022
Luxury Dinner Cruise in Amsterdam
We were on the boat for 3 hours; very relaxing way to see the city.
star-5
You should do this tour!
Bradley_L, Jul 2022
Dutch food and Amsterdam history tour in the Jordaan area with max 8 guests
It was a great way to see Amsterdam, taste their food, and learn a lot of local culture with a local guide.
We perform checks on reviews

A local’s pocket guide to Amsterdam

Christian Peeters

Christian was born in the Netherlands and lived there for over 25 years before moving to the United States. Every time he visits, he makes time to eat a “Bitterbal” and sit by one of his favorite canals on the “Herengracht.”

The first thing you should do in Amsterdam is …...

buy an OV Chipcard that lets you travel on all public transport. When the weather allows for it though, rent a bike—most places in Amsterdam can be reached quickly by bike.

A perfect Saturday in Amsterdam …...

starts with brunch at Bakers & Roasters. After that, head to VondelPark, rent a boat and have a picnic on the Amsterdam canals. For dinner, order “bitter garnituur” (fried appetizers) at one of Amsterdam’s famous brown cafés.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is …...

the Anne Frank House, situated in the heart of Amsterdam. Walking through the historic house while hearing and reading about the history will give you a new perspective on WWII.

To discover the "real" Amsterdam …...

walk through the non-touristy areas. You’ll be surprised by the small boutiques, restaurants, and bars. And try to make small talk with locals—they love to speak English.

For the best view of the city …...

go on the canals. The houses look even more majestic from the water and, if you rent a boat, definitely dock at Hanneke’s Boom, a bar and restaurant where you can grab a drink.

One thing people get wrong …...

thinking Amsterdam is just a party city when you can admire art at the Van Gogh museum or explore the “negen straatjes,” a neighborhood with boutique stores and cafés along the best canals of Amsterdam.

People Also Ask

What is Amsterdam famous for?

One of Europe’s most-visited cities, Amsterdam encompasses attractions both high-brow and risqué. Travelers are drawn here for the city’s rich history and culture as much as its infamous coffee shops and the Red Light District. It’s also the city of canals, which gives it the nickname of the “Venice of the North.”

...More
What should I not miss in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is home to some of the most-treasured artworks in Europe, many of them in the Rijksmuseum alone. Don’t miss Rembrandt’s The Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum; Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the Van Gogh Museum, and Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring in the Mauritshuis Museum.

...More
How can I spend 2 days in Amsterdam?

Two days in Amsterdam is enough time to take a boat tour through the canals; explore the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Musuem, visit the Anne Frank House, wander around the bohemian Jordaan neighborhood, and relax in charming Vondelpark. In the evening you can take a peek at the Red Light District (De Wallen) on a guided tour.

...More
How can I spend 3 days in Amsterdam?

With three days to spare in Amsterdam you can thoroughly explore the city’s canals by boat, admire some of the world’s great masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum, visit historic attractions such as the Anne Frank House, and even travel just outside the city to the riverside windmills of Zaanse Schans or tulip fields of Keukenhof.

...More
Is Amsterdam very expensive?

Yes, like most major western European cities, Amsterdam can be an expensive destination. Hotels are expensive and admission fees for museums and other attractions are typically on the higher side. However you can easily save money by walking or taking public transport rather than using taxis and dining away from the touristy areas.

...More
Is Amsterdam a dangerous place?

No. Amsterdam is no more dangerous than other major European cities. Pickpocketing is the most common crime against tourists so it pays to keep your wits about you. As for Amsterdam’s notorious side, don’t smoke outside of coffeeshops and book a guided tour if you want to explore the Red Light District after dark.

...More
Frequently Asked Questions