Amsterdam, the city of canals and sin (with the forgiveness of Las Vegas), is an extremely attractive destination to spend a weekend or another day. In this article, I will try to show you what to see and do in Amsterdam so that you can choose what you like the most. And since we know that it is an expensive city, In this post, the travel expert at Othingstodo will be detailing the best places to eat cheap and other tips so that you do not have to take out a mortgage on your visit to Amsterdam.
Here is the list of best things to do in Amsterdam
- Chill down the canals
It seems obvious but due to tourism, sometimes it is not so easy to find a good place to relax and enjoy the canals. Despite everything, you can find places to rest and enjoy unique moments. I advise you to get lost in neighbourhoods like Jordaan or Prinseneiland.
- Red light district
It is the most famous and tourist neighbourhood in Amsterdam for its uninhibited atmosphere and its streets full of bars. But the most famous of the red light district is the brothels, many of them with windows in which the girls offer their services without shame. There are more than 300 brothels throughout the city. As it cannot be otherwise, respect must be respected and not taken photos of them as if they were fairground monkeys
- Enter a coffee shop
They are not ordinary cafeterias, we are wrong. Here you can find marijuana, hashish and other products such as “happy cookies” made with the hippy plant. They are accessible to everyone and inside you can see a menu with the products they offer. Some sell alcoholic beverages but most don’t. If it catches your attention, consume in moderation so as not to get a bad experience.
- Vondelpark, the most famous park in Amsterdam
If you are looking for a park to relax and walk quietly, Voldenpark is your best option. This central park has 47 hectares of green areas and numerous ponds with ducks. A good place to have a picnic if you go in summer.
- Rembrandt Square
In Rembrandt Square, we can enter the famous painting “The NightWatch” by the great Dutch painter and feel like one more character. And it is that in the centre of the square there is a sculptural set of the painting with life-size bronze characters. Do not forget the wide-brimmed hat so as not to clash.
- Explore Amsterdam by bike
The means of transportation par excellence in Amsterdam is the bicycle and it is a real joy to go around the city because it is absolutely flat. The Dutch are true professionals on the bike and go full blast, so be careful. There are also fantastic bike tours through the most emblematic places.
- Sunset at the Montelbaanstoren tower
This 48 m tower is also known as “Jaap the fool” , since it should not be very precise when telling the hours. It was built in 1512 and currently houses offices. It is very close to the red light district of Amsterdam but away from the hustle and bustle of tourist groups. An ideal place to enjoy the sunset overlooking the canals.
- Begijnhof, a curious place
If you have visited other towns such as Leuven or Bruges, you will already know the beguinage. They were places where the Beguines lived, Catholic women dedicated body and soul to the most disadvantaged. In the heart of Amsterdam, there is still one, which maintains the peace and quiet of yesteryear, oblivious to the debauchery of the city. A curious place that you must visit.
- Royal Palace
Despite its name, it is not the current official residence of the Dutch royal family. Since its construction in 1655, it has been the seat of the town hall and royal palace, although it is currently used for official receptions and formal ceremonies. You can enter to visit its lavish rooms for € 9
- New church
A Gothic-style church is located next to the royal palace and was built in the 15th century due to the lack of space for parishioners in the Old Church. So, making a show of originality, they called it Nieuwe Kerk, that is, New Church. It has been the usual place of weddings for members of the royal family for centuries. Price: € 12.50.
- Karvelstraat, the shopping area
Shopping fans will find their little paradise on Kavelstraat, Amsterdam’s commercial hub. Do not expect many bargains. Another good place is the Magna Plaza shopping centre, which occupies a beautiful building behind the Royal Palace.
- Noorderkerk Church and its flea market
If you go through the neighbourhood of Jordan, you will easily identify it, next to one of the main canals. It was built in 1620, being the church of the lower classes. On Monday mornings they organize a flea market where you can find second-hand clothes and gadgets of all kinds.
As in other cities such as New York, London or Havana, the Chinese community also resides in a neighbourhood with its own identity. In its streets, you can find shops with Chinese products, taste the gastronomy in its restaurants and visit the magnificent Fo Guang Shan temple. One of the most popular restaurants is Hoy Tin, usually frequented by the local community.
- Get to know the Amsterdam hipster
Amsterdam is a cosmopolitan and transgressive city with areas as lively as Jordan, the Jewish quarter. In recent years it has become a fashionable area with cafes next to the canals and hipster-style venues. If you are looking for the coolest and most modern you should drop by here.
- Waag Tower
This medieval defensive tower is the only surviving gateway to the Amsterdam wall. It was built in 1488, although it has subsequently been renovated on numerous occasions. In front of De Waag, a small market for groceries and flowers is set up every day.
- Eat an ice cream at Banketbakkerij VD Linde
Holland is expensive, yes, but you can also go low-cost tourism. In this ice cream parlour, they serve delicious artisan ice cream at a ridiculous price (around € 1.20). They only prepare cream flavour, but they embroider it.
- Have a coffee at the Dutch tower of Pisa
I’m not kidding you. Due to the unstable terrain of Amsterdam, some buildings have been losing their verticality. One of them is the one that houses the Café de Sluyswacht. In addition, this house was the residence and office of Rembrandt. It was built in 1695 and has fabulous views of a canal. Also inside you can see a few works by Rembrandt.