Amsterdam Travel Guide
The capital of the Netherlands is a city that attracts a huge number of travellers every year. Small in comparison with other big capitals, the reality is that Amsterdam is a box of surprises for places like the Canal Ring or for cafes like Barney’s, spaces as singular as magical.
The Old Centre is another of the city’s spaces that should not be missed in any way. On the streets of the oldest part of Amsterdam you can visit places such as Oude Kerk, one of the oldest churches in the city, or Chinatown, so fun is guaranteed.
Getting away from the busy streets of the Dutch capital and relaxing in nature is another great feature of this city. Parks like the Vondelpark allow for this. In short, Amsterdam is a perfect destination if you are a lover of culture, leisure or monuments.
- Top 5 reasons to visit Amsterdam
- What to do in Amsterdam
- When to visit Amsterdam
- How to get to Amsterdam
- Where to stay in Amsterdam
- Getting around Amsterdam
- Where to eat in Amsterdam
Top 5 reasons to visit Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a city that is built on water. Parallel to its streets run a good number of canals that make the capital of the Netherlands known as the Venice of the North and have been in operation since the seventeenth century and are now one of the great attractions of the city.
If Amsterdam is alive during the day, going out when the sun goes down can be an unforgettable experience. The best way to discover this is to walk around areas like Rermbrandtplein and Leidseplein to find clubs like Claire or Club Up where you can enjoy music, drinks and much more.
It is hard to imagine that a single museum is one of the best reasons to visit a city, but the truth is that it is. The Rijkmuseum has works by the great painters and artists of the Dutch Golden Age such as Rembrandt or Vermeer, so its collection is one of the highlights of this city.
The luxury of diamonds
Few people know that Amsterdam has been an important international centre for jewellery since the 16th century. Large quantities of precious stones pass through the city, so visiting places like Coster Diamonds or Gassan Diamonds is ideal for discovering the most luxurious side of the city.
Anne Frank and her legacy
Almost everyone knows the story of this little girl who left one of the most important newspapers in history. The house in which she and her family stayed during the Second World War is in Amsterdam, so you should take advantage of your stay to get to know it.
What to do in Amsterdam
Walk around the Museums
This space is the real cultural heart of the city as it contains the National Museum and is very close to the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk. In addition, the park is very popular with cyclists and pedestrians who fill a very special area with life.
Boat trips on the canals
Just as no one would leave Venice without walking along its canals, anyone arriving in Amsterdam must take a cruise to see its streets in a very special way. There are many boats that are dedicated to this, so the offer is very varied to live an experience full of charm.
Visit Dam Square
If you want to find the real heart of Amsterdam, just go to Dam Square, the most popular square in the Netherlands. As well as always having a great atmosphere, this square is home to such important sites as the 17th century Royal Palace and the World War II National Monument, so it’s one of the corners of Amsterdam you can’t miss.
Getting closer to Westerkerk
At the entrance to the Jordaan quarter there is a monument that shows the splendour of Holland in its golden age. It is Westerkerk, the largest church in the city with a beautiful 17th century clock tower. Inside are the remains of Rembrandt, another good reason to visit this church.
Explore the Red Light District
The countless red lights are what give this old part of town its name. Streets such as Warmoesstraat or Zeedijk are very popular places to visit during your stay in Amsterdam.
When to visit Amsterdam
The good climate and the possibility of enjoying all the city’s monuments without problems are conditions that make the city very crowded from May to September.
Although the above is the best time to go to Amsterdam, if you want to avoid queues you can choose April or October as visiting months, as there are less tourists and the climate is better than in winter.
How to get to Amsterdam
Schiphol Airport (AMS) is the airport that receives most of the international flights arriving in Amsterdam. To get from here to the city centre you can take the Airport Express 197 train from the same airport or a taxi for between 40 and 50 EUR.
The train is a great option to get to the very centre of Amsterdam. The station is located near the Old Center and receives daily convoys from the UK, Paris, Brussels and many other capitals.
An economical and efficient alternative, as it allows you to quickly reach places like Zeeburg or Sloterdijk, destination stations for many buses. Companies like Megabus or IDbus serve the area and connect with cities all over Europe.
Access to the city is from the A10, the ring road that surrounds the entire historical area. It should not be forgotten that within this area parking is paid for in order to encourage fluid traffic.
Airports near Amsterdam
(RTM) Rotterdam The Hague
Where to stay in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s most popular districts
Old Center: Many of the city’s hotels and hostels are located here and are also very close to the main monuments in the area. Prices range from 40 EUR to 150 EUR per night for luxury accommodation.
Jordaan: this is a good neighbourhood to stay in because of the quality of its establishments and the charm of its streets. Canals, small traditional houses and the proximity of places like the Anne Frank House are good reasons to stay here.
Red Light District: full of life, this area of Amsterdam is the choice for those looking for the most affordable accommodation. For about 15 EUR you can find beds in hostels and be very close to the central station or Nieuwmarkt.
Getting around Amsterdam
The public transport system is excellent and has trams, buses and subways. To use it you need to take out the OV-chipkaart which can be found at almost every station and public transport stop.
Taxi service in the city is fairly well regulated, so you should not expect bulky or abusive fares. The normal price for a common journey is between 5 and 12 EUR.
Car rental is a service available both in the city and at the airport. It is a good option if you want to make excursions outside Amsterdam. However, if your goal is to move around downtown only, it is not advisable at all because you will be charged for parking.
Cost of living in Amsterdam
Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat, Heiligeweg, and Leidsestraat are the main shopping streets in the city, so head there if you’re a lover of shops and boutiques of all kinds. For example, a coffee in a bar will cost you about EUR 2.50 while dinner for two in an average restaurant will go for EUR 60.
Where to eat in Amsterdam
Street food is very important in the city. Ossenworst dishes are available at all markets and squares, as are herring sandwiches and similar specialities, and it is important to visit a number of restaurants to understand that Amsterdam is one of the great gastronomic capitals of Europe.
For example, de Silveren Spiegel with its traditional Dutch menu or the more modern Zaza’s must be taken into account.