Amsterdam is a city full of attractions, from its location on the canals, through numerous museums to visit, to less typical ones, such as coffee shops or the red light district. The capital of the Netherlands is also associated with tulips, cheeses, bicycles and windmills, which can also be seen here. Amsterdam attracts crowds of tourists every year, regardless of the weather or the season.
The city has its own unique atmosphere, you can relax here and see something interesting at the same time.
Attractions in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a place with a past visible everywhere. It used to be one of the most important ports in Europe, from where ships sailed into the distant world, carrying all kinds of goods. The city had its best times in the 17th and 18th centuries, but to this day it has remained an open, modern and relaxed place.
Amsterdam’s attractions can be seen in one weekend, but many people return here frequently. Partly because of the numerous monuments and interesting places, and partly because of the local atmosphere and the relaxed lifestyle of the local inhabitants.
As already mentioned, even one weekend is enough to visit Amsterdam. It all depends on what we want to see. For some, two days will be sufficient, for others, and two weeks will be too short to see everything thoroughly.
Amsterdam, or at least its historic center, can be easily explored on foot during walks. Another way is to use public transport, which will take you to all the major attractions of the Dutch capital. However, the most popular way to get around Amsterdam is by far the bike.
In Amsterdam, two-wheelers can be seen everywhere.
Perhaps, then, it is worth getting on a bike and visiting one of the most bicycle-friendly European capitals.
So let’s start exploring Amsterdam with our travel guide.
What is worth visiting in Amsterdam?
The most iconic place where most tours and visitors arrive is Dam Square. Although it does not impress with its size, it is one of the places where the most important events and meetings of local residents take place.
It is at Dam Square that the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) is located. The building in which Napoleon Bonaparte lived can be visited. Inside, it is worth paying attention to the large figure of Atlas holding the globe. In addition to the Royal Palace, Dam Square also houses an old library, a 15th-century Gothic church – Nieuwe Kerk, and the world-famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
When visiting Amsterdam, you should definitely not miss a visit to the National Museum Rijksmuseum. Here you can admire the collection of paintings with over five thousand works, not only by Dutch artists, but also others from the 15th to 19th centuries.
The collection of this museum includes such famous paintings as “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt or “The Milkmaid” by Vermeer. In addition, in the Rijksmuseum we will see a large collection of Asian art, a cavernous library and a collection of porcelain. The museum also has an observation deck.
See on the map of Amsterdam attractions where exactly the museum is located:
Vincent van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
The second must-see on the tourist map of Amsterdam is also the Van Gogh Museum. It is entirely devoted to one artist. You can see over 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 letters as well as photos and personal belongings of this painter. Among Van Gogh’s works there are of course the most famous ones, ie “Sunflowers”, “The Potato Eaters” and “Van Gogh’s Room in Arles”.
What sights do the streets of Amsterdam hide?
Among the sights of Amsterdam, it is definitely worth paying attention to the Westerkerk church. It is distinguished by the highest tower in the city, which, importantly, you can climb to admire the views from the top. It is said that this is where Rembrandt was buried, but his burial has never been fully established. Interestingly, every week on Tuesday at 1 p.m., an hour-long organ concert takes place here.
Another interesting monument on the tourist map of Amsterdam is the Oude Kerk, or Old Church. Its building is the oldest religious building in the capital of the Netherlands and is over 800 years old. This church is also distinguished by its octagonal tower, which you can also climb.
From the top, there is a view of the entire city.
Anne Frank Museum
The most popular monument in Amsterdam is also the Anne Frank Museum. In the house where her whole family was hiding from persecution, a memorial site was created. Inside, you can see memorabilia related to Anne Frank, as well as exhibitions on the persecution of Jews during World War II. It is worth booking a ticket online faster, because the queues to the museum ticket office can be huge here.
What other attractions await us in Amsterdam?
Tourist attractions in Amsterdam
One of the biggest attractions of Amsterdam are its canals. There are as many as 160 of them in the capital of the Netherlands, and their total length exceeds 100 kilometers. Long ago, they mainly served as a transport network for people and goods throughout the city. Currently, cruises on them are a good entertainment for arriving tourists. It is worth going on a journey through Amsterdam’s water canals at least once during the day or at night and admire the city from this side. During the cruise, you can often learn many interesting facts from the guide / captain.
The largest canals in the capital of the Netherlands are: Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, near which the houses built cost a fortune. Interestingly, virtually all the buildings along the canals are crooked, due to the fact that the tenement houses were built on piles driven into the boggy ground. As a result, the houses today are very uneven.
Another attraction without which no one can imagine the Netherlands are, of course, windmills. Yes, even in Amsterdam you can see them. There are eight windmills to choose from, each of which has its own name and purpose. Some are even working today.
Perhaps the most famous is the 19th-century dewatering mill – Molen van Sloten. It can be visited from the inside. Inside there is an exhibition devoted to the history of the mill itself and the life of Rembrandt, because his father was just a miller. The second example is the De Otter mill from 1630. Like the previous one, it served to drain the areas. It is currently used as a sawmill.
See on the map of Amsterdam where Molen van Sloten is located:
De Wallen’s Red Light District in Amsterdam
An undoubted attraction for many tourists is also a visit to the controversial De Wallen Red Light District. This is a place (in fact one street), where the ladies of light manners stand in shop windows like living goods and tempt with their charms.
This place is not very famous, but it does not prevent families with children from taking walks there.
See where the De Wallen district is located in Amsterdam. How to get there:
Coffe Shops in Amsterdam
Another quite controversial attraction of Amsterdam are Coffee Shops, i.e. cafes that also sell marijuana products. It is impossible not to mention them, because these “cafes” alone attract as much as 1/4 of the entire tourist traffic in the Netherlands. It is worth adding that each person can buy 5 grams of herb a day, but its possession is illegal.
In addition to ready-made twists, many shops of this type in Amsterdam also offer various types of sweets seasoned with marijuana.
What’s worth seeing in Amsterdam?
During your visit to Amsterdam you should definitely see the bridge considered to be the most beautiful in the whole city – Magere Brug. Among all the platforms and footbridges enabling trouble-free crossing of the canals, this one attracts the greatest interest. Magere Brug translates to Skinny Bridge and dates back to 1670. However, it was expanded and reworked many times.
It is now a drawbridge that connects the banks of the Amstel River.
Another place worth seeing in Amsterdam is the Begijnhof. It is quite a unique and specific attraction of the capital of the Netherlands. It is a kind of a complex of residential buildings, along with a church and hospital, which was inhabited by beguines. This term referred to wealthy widows and single, unmarried women who helped the needy and the sick. So it stood something like a secular monastery.
Interestingly, this place is still inhabited by only women. It is not allowed to visit the Begijnhof in groups, nor to bring dogs here.
A very interesting place in Amsterdam is also Kleinste Huis, the smallest house / tenement house in the city. Its width is just over 2 meters. The smallest house in the capital of the Netherlands is located at Oude Hoogstraat number 22. Despite its size, there is a shop and a tea room inside.
On site, you can drink one of a thousand kinds of tea, eat breakfast or buy a piece of home-made cake.
Interesting places in Amsterdam
When visiting Amsterdam, many people like to visit the famous Bloemenmarkt flower market. It is located at the end of the Singel Canal and is where you can buy the bulbs of Dutch most famous flowers – tulips. In addition, this famous Floating Flower Market offers fresh, cut flowers and gardening tools.
See on the map of Amsterdam attractions where the flower market is located:
This place has existed since 1862 and is still the largest flower market on the map of the Netherlands.
Art lovers will also love the museum at the Rembrandt House. Inside, there are recreated interiors from the period when the master lived here (1639-1658). A real treat for Rembrandt fans. On site you can see his most famous and valued works, as well as several other painters, incl. his teacher Pieter Lastman.
The Vondelpark is a great place to rest and relax in Amsterdam. It is a green recreational area with exotic vegetation. You can ride a bike, play football or just lie on the grass. There are playgrounds for the youngest, and for those who like to spend time actively, there is a rose garden to see and the Dutch Film Museum.
See how to get to Vondelpark:
Amsterdam tourist attractions map
On the following Amsterdam tourist attractions map you will locate all the interesting places, monuments and attractions that are worth seeing and visiting in Amsterdam:
Check out the official website of Amsterdam for more fun facts about this city.
What monuments, interesting places and attractions of Amsterdam do you like the most? We are waiting for feedback on the forum.