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Amsterdam vacation – tips to plan holiday in the Dutch capital

Edited by: Rekha Rajan
Fact checked by: Jamshed V Rajan


Amsterdam has a rich history, picturesque canals, stunning architecture, world-class museums, and a vibrant culture, which makes it an ideal holiday destination for everybody.

No wonder the Dutch capital receives about 18 million visitors per year.

The city is ideal for all travelers – families, couples, groups of friends, seniors, etc.

The best part about a vacation in Amsterdam is the numerous day trips you can plan to Zaanse Schans, Keukenhof Gardens, and charming towns like Haarlem, Utrecht, and Leiden.

Check out the complete list of things to do in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam vacation
A’dam Lookout Amsterdam Canal Cruise Amsterdam Zoo
Anne Frank House Body Worlds Heineken Experience
Ice Bar Amsterdam Johan Cruyff Arena Keukenhof Castle
Keukenhof Gardens Madame Tussauds Rembrandt House Museum
Rijksmuseum Stedelijk Museum Van Gogh Museum
Red Light Secrets NEMO Science Museum The Upside Down
Amsterdam Dungeon Moco Museum Amsterdam Royal Palace
National Maritime Museum House of Bols Hemp Museum
Amaze Amsterdam Wondr Experience Holland Experience
Dutch Resistance Museum Straat Museum Fabrique des Lumieres
Ripley’s Believe it or not! Micropia Amsterdam The Cat Cabinet
Eye Film Museum Diamond Museum

Museumplein Amsterdam

Museumplein at Amsterdam
Anastasia Collection

The Museumplein is a public space in the Museumkwartier neighborhood of the Amsterdam-Zuid borough in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is home to some of the city’s finest museums and galleries.

Most travelers can spend between 2-4 days exploring Amsterdam. If you take day trips, you may need more time.

Check out our suggested itineraries below:

# 1-day itinerary for Amsterdam
# 2-day itinerary for Amsterdam
# 3-day itinerary for Amsterdam
# 5-day itinerary for Amsterdam

Things to do for couples

Couples enjoying in Amsterdam
Dario3274 / Pixabay

Amsterdam is a great place for couples to spend time together and create memories. Check out the things couples can do together in the Dutch capital.

Free things to do

Free things to do in Amsterdam
Jamila Aliyeva / Getty Images

If you are on a budget holiday, there are many things to do for free in Amsterdam. Go for walks, visit parks, cycle, explore the Jordaan neighborhood, etc.

Things to do for kids

School kids at Rijks Museums

Amsterdam has several kid-friendly attractions and activities. The NEMO Science Museum, Artis Royal Zoo, Amsterdam Dungeon, Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and Rijksmuseum are popular with families. 

Pancakes in Amsterdam

Dutch pancakes in Amsterdam
Merinka / Getty Images

Amsterdam is famous for its pancakes, known as “poffertjes,” due to their unique texture and flavor. Traditional Dutch pancakes are usually thin and large, while poffertjes are small and thick with a light, fluffy texture. 

Food tours in Amsterdam

Food tours in Amsterdam
Tupungato / Getty Images

Amsterdam food tours go beyond the essential culinary experience to immerse you in the city’s culture. During these highly-rated tours, you enjoy delicious food and drinks from Amsterdam’s best restaurants and streets with a fun and informative guide leading the way.

Best restaurants

Restaurant table in Amsterdam
ShotsbyNakya / Getty Images

Amsterdam has numerous popular restaurants and a dynamic culinary scene. Most of the city center has restaurants, cafes, and bars. Check out our list of the finest places to eat and drink in the Dutch capital.

Foodhallen Amsterdam

Foodhallen Amsterdam
Image: Foodhallen.nl

Amsterdam’s Foodhallen is a famous indoor food market in the Oud-west area of the Dutch capital. The Food Hall is constructed in a refurbished tram depot, offering a unique industrial feel. 

Coffee Houses

Amsterdam Coffee Shop
Image: Babylontours.com

Coffee shops in Amsterdam don’t just offer coffee or other beverages. They also sell cannabis items like hashish and marijuana. Amsterdam has about 160 coffee shops, mostly in the Red Light District.

GVB Amsterdam

GVB Tram in Amsterdam
MarioGuti / Getty Images

GVB Amsterdam operates a vast network of routes across the city and its surrounding metropolitan region. To pay for rides on any of GVB’s public transportation options in Amsterdam, passengers can purchase an “OV-chipkaart,” a contactless smart card.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Light on a bridge in Amsterdam during the light festival
Menno Janzen / Getty Images

Amsterdam’s Light Festival celebrates art, light, and creativity, featuring several light sculptures, installations, and projections that light up the streets, canals, and city buildings.

Weather in Amsterdam

Ig0rZh / Getty Images

Amsterdam’s weather is tourist-friendly all through the year. The best time to visit the Dutch capital is from April to September. However, the city is beautiful during the winter months as well.

Taxi in Amsterdam

Calling a taxi in Amsterdam
Laflor / Getty Images

Taxis in Amsterdam are usually colored black with yellow and blue checkered stripes on both sides. They also have a light on their top to indicate their availability. The taxi must have a meter and license as the city regulates it.

Parking in Amsterdam

Cars parked in Amsterdam
LittleWormy / Getty Images

If you are driving to Amsterdam for a holiday, you should know a few things about parking in the city. Amsterdam’s downtown parking is difficult and expensive. 

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The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.

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