Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, and with good reason, it’s one pretty epic city! From beautiful canals, bright colored tulip fields, funky art, more bikes than people, and of course a very open policy on “soft drugs” and sexuality. But truly, Amsterdam has something in store for everyone. What surprises me most is just how lovely the city is; with picturesque houses stacked side by side and fancy gables atop every building. Whether you’re into museums, food, or just want to feel immersed in the culture, Amsterdam is the perfect city to explore. Below is our list of the top 10 things you must do in Amsterdam.
1. Visit the Westerkerk
Westerkerk or West Church is famous for being the most popular church in Amsterdam and has even housed royal weddings in the past.
2. Browse the Rijksmuseum
Founded in 1809, the Rijksmuseum houses a huge range of art work and antiquities and is said to have something in the region of seven million art pieces that took hundreds of years to accumulate!
3. See the Royal Palace
The official residence of the King of Holland, the Royal Palace was first built in 1648 as a sign of their power. Built to mirror the architecture of ancient Rome, the palace is opulent and ornate and one that is stunningly beautiful – just make sure to check out the state rooms!
4. Rent a bike downtown
The absolute best way to get around this city is by bike. Don’t be alarmed! There are lots and lots of bikers… EVERYWHERE. But this bike friendly city means it’s easy to rent and return your bike. The fastest and prettiest way to see the sights by far. Truly, it’s the best way to live like a local.
5. Shop at Dam Square
There are so many things to see and do near and around Dam Square- where the city was founded. From the city’s National Monument, the incredible Oude Kerk church (the oldest building in the city), lots of shopping, and even Madame Tussauds – you’re sure to find something you enjoy.
6. Smell the flowers at the Bloemenmarkt
The flower market, or Bloemenmarkt, is so much fun to peruse. You’ll find more than flowers. You’ll also find cheese shops, Dutch Souvenirs (wooden shoes!), and more. But the dainty flower stalls are definitely my favorite.
7. Stroll along the central canal
Of course, one of the most impressive features of Amsterdam is the lovely canals that dip around every corner. It makes for such a peaceful addition to this busy city. The best time is to watch the bright orange light pop at sunset over the glittering canals. A famous spot is the “7 Bridges” where you can see 7 arcs light up at night.
8. View the architecture in Central Station
Some of the prettiest buildings are right around Central station and the station itself. It makes for an impressive view as you hop off the train.
9. Find the Bejinghof courtyard
One of the coolest parts of this city is its notable acceptance of cultures and practices. Amidst the bustling of cars and dinging of bike bells is a lovely courtyard, Bejinghof. This former home to the Beguines – a group of unmarried religious women who chose to live together – is an enclosed group of homes around a small, green courtyard. You’ll find an almost hidden church and one of the oldest wooden houses in Amsterdam.
10. Watch the sunset at Pllek
This amazing little spot is a favorite place for local’s to enjoy in Amsterdam! Head to Pllek on a summer or winter’s evening, grab yourself a hot chocolate (or glass of wine) and enjoy the glistening sunset over the city. It’s one of Amsterdam’s coolest places!