The beauty of Amsterdam can never be covered with just one post. We don’t think even two can cover it. But we want to give you a full experience of this magical place.
The previous post mentioned the 10 best attractions in Amsterdam. Click on the link to read it, if you haven’t already.
Before we go ahead, let me tell you something that is very important to consider. If you are going to spend some time in this city and explore it, it will be very wise to get the City Card that is known as the ‘I Amsterdam City Card’ here.
You get discounts and can save money while visiting museums, attractions, booking cruises, renting bicycles, traveling in public transportation, and even getting to concerts.
Let’s not delay anymore and just get onto the 9 best things to do in Amsterdam.
Cruise along the charming waterways in Amsterdam
Boat tours and cruises are the classic way to spend some time in Amsterdam.
The whole city is full of beautiful canals and there’s no better way to find out more or experience more, than by taking a cruise through one of its lovely waterways. You can obviously rent boats too if that’s something you’d prefer.
Amsterdam was built around the Amstel River, from which it received its name. The water from this great river was channeled into forming many of the city’s canals.
There are many canal cruises given in and around Amsterdam but the best ones include a visit to the Blauwbrug Bridge.
The Rhine River flows through Amsterdam too and a cruise on this river will take you through many UNESCO sites. You can even tour through most of Central Europe with a cruise starting in Amsterdam.
Most popular tours take you to visit most of the key sites, which include Anne Frank’s House and the Van Gogh museum. They take you to sample chocolates and beers and watch the beauty of the Dutch tulips.
There are even many tours that are ideal for couples, complete with candlelight dinners.
Biking in Amsterdam
Biking is a popular way of getting around in Amsterdam. In fact, cycle lanes and paths are an integral part of the city’s infrastructure. It also adds to the environmentally friendly nature of the city (Frankly this is one of the biggest reasons I love Amsterdam so much).
You can easily rent a bike and go out for exploring all the places, both alone and in company. Discovering the city on a bike is the perfect way to take the tourist edge off of you.
Of course, if you’re like me and have the tendency to get lost, there are also many bike tours that are offered.
Bike routes around the Amstel River, through Zuid and Amsterdamse Bos, and through the Amsterdam-Zuidoost are some of the more popular routes.
One important thing to keep in mind is where you park your bikes. Bike theft is pretty common in Amsterdam. And it’s also a good idea to avoid the rushes from 8:00 am to 9:00 am and 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Have the Heineken experience
One of the oldest breweries in Amsterdam and currently, one of the largest beer producers in the world, the Heineken brewery is one that cannot go without mention.
The visitor center presents the history of the Heineken family, a self-guided walk through the place, and even a tasting session. This interactive journey through the brewery is now known as the Heineken Experience.
The experience comprises four levels of antiques, personal and group explorations, beer tastings as well as interactive sessions with some of the best multi-media technology in the world.
Of course, the tasting is only available for people above the age of 18. But that’s not just it. You can play games and ride horses. You get free beers and you also get to put a name on your bottle of Heineken.
It’s truly a fun experience for anyone who wants to visit Amsterdam, with astounding technology and very friendly staff. However, there are considerable queues during regular times and it’s highly recommended to purchase a ticket in advance.
Relax and get goosebumps at the Concertgebouw
It’s also known as the Royal Concertgebouw and is a concert hall in Amsterdam. This elegant concert hall with its magnificent architecture was built in the 19th century.
Before the onset of COVID 19, it was one of the busiest concert halls in the world. It is no wonder though because it’s also one of the world’s finest with its excellent acoustics, the brainchild of the architect Adolf Leonard van Gendt.
It’s also home to the Dutch Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which is one of the best orchestras in the world. From the founding, there have only been seven chief conductors to this day.
The conductors themselves and the 121 musicians who presently hail from 25 countries aim to deliver the highest level of quality every time. You’ll surely not regret a concert here, as you feel the music in your bones and feel at peace with the world.
Taste some beer at the Brouwerij ‘t IJ
This endearing brewery, Brouwerij ‘t IJ is set up next to the 300-year-old De Gooyer windmill. This makes it unique all on its own, despite being smaller in size compared to the other breweries in the city.
The ostrich-and-egg logo is inspired by the founder Kaspar Peterson, who loved ostriches a lot. In fact, the brewery has actually adopted an ostrich. They named her Esasa.
The beer is less expensive and more authentic than the other large beer factories in the city. The brewery has eight beers brewed on a regular basis and three beers, brewed at least seasonally with a few beers brewed specially.
There are also tours organized although it never goes on for too long into the night, to prevent the local residents from being too disturbed.
Visit all of Amsterdam in one go at the A’dam lookout
The A’dam lookout is an observation deck, situated at the top of the A’dam Tower in Amsterdam. To reach there, you can take the free ferry from near the Central Station and then walk a short path to reach.
The tower is 100 meters high and it gives you a 360-degree view of the city of Amsterdam, like no other place in the city can. You will be able to observe the Historical Center and the Pulsating Port among other famous landmarks. You will also be able to see the famous UNESCO accredited canals.
It also has Europe’s highest swing which takes you just over the edge of the building. That is a definite guarantee for a quick surge of adrenaline.
They also provide a thrilling virtual reality-based rollercoaster ride that takes you through the city. There is also a bar on the top, where you can take a quick and refreshing break.
Go for an eating tour in Amsterdam
What better way to experience a place than through its food? It’s also an amazing way to acquaint yourself with more people. Find out the best food, check out the cheap options, get familiar with the luxury diners. You will even learn a little history. (Am I getting too excited?)
The Amsterdam Light Festival food tour is a great food tour that usually features at least 20 light displays and artworks. You get to learn a little history as you stop for food at the best local places.
The Jordaan tour is also a great one to go for and has many amazing reviews. The tour allows you to discover beautiful 17th-century architecture as well as many local and easily missed experiences.
Amsterdam impresses with not only traditional Dutch food but also exquisite international cuisines. Passionate tour guides will lead you through every nook and corner. They will be teaching you about the history of the places through food.
Take a photo at the I Amsterdam letters
I Amsterdam is the slogan for the people as well as the city of Amsterdam. It is a representation of the people’s pride and support for their city.
The I Amsterdam letters were first set up in front of the Rijksmuseum as a marketing campaign to attract more tourists. However, the job was done a bit too well, leading to large crowds and it was finally removed from there in December 2018.
Now they’re set up in the Schiphol airport and still serves as an amazing place for selfies. There are also many other smaller displays throughout the city. And once you’ve taken a photo there, you can add the hashtag #iamsterdam for a chance to be featured on their Instagram feed.
Another place to spot these letters is by the Sloterplas Lake but it’s not great for a selfie because some of the letters lie flat and others don’t.
Eat at Vuurtoreneiland
Vuurtoreneiland is a small island that you can take a boat from Amsterdam to. There’s not much on the island except a lighthouse, a small house, and a restaurant. In fact, Vuurtoreneiland itself stands for the ‘Lighthouse Island’.
Once the location of a military post, it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and then handed over to the Dutch government organization for forestry and management of nature reserves. They then handed it over to local entrepreneurs who would preserve the heritage of the place.
The restaurant born then, is very unique because it’s actually a temporary greenhouse during the summers. While interestingly in winter, dinners may be served in underground shelters.
It serves many fabulous dishes that you can choose to have sitting there or outside on the beautiful beach.
There aren’t many inhabitants on this island but the rugged nature of the island adds to its peculiar beauty. You can explore the ruins of a fort nearby and the surrounding nature.
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