Top Things To Do In Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam Skyline

Hallo! Hello!

We’re very excited to share our love of Amsterdam with you! We lived in this beautiful capital city of the Netherlands for four years. It continues to rank in the Top 10 of Countries to Live In.

The Netherlands is made up of 12 provinces; two of them are North and South Holland. That’s why you often hear people refer to the area as Holland. These two provinces are the country’s main cities, including Amsterdam.

Amsterdam actually feels more like a town or village yet has so much to do including the fabulous things the area is known for from cheese and clogs to windmills and tulips.

We can go super deep on Amsterdam and here’s a great start.

Top Things to Do in Amsterdam!

1. Canals

Canals of Amsterdam

Check out KeeKee’s Fun Fact Video on Amsterdam’s Canals!

Amsterdam was founded on the banks of the Amstel River as a fishing village. It was dammed in 1222 thus leading to the city’s name, Amstelledamme, turning the city’s industry to trade.

Coming off the Amstel River and throughout Amsterdam, you’ll find the city’s beautiful canals. There are over 165 canals, more than Venice, Italy, or any other city in the world!

The Grachtengordel, or Canal Ring, are the famous canals forming a semicircle around the city.

Coming Soon: More about Amsterdam’s canals.

2. Bicycles (Fietsen)

Dutch Bicycles in Amsterdam
Check out KeeKee’s Fun Fact Video on Amsterdam Bicycles!

If you like riding a bike, Amsterdam is the city for you!

The Dutch love biking. They use fietsen, or bicycles, the way people use cars in other cities. When we lived in Amsterdam, we biked everywhere and didn’t even need to own a car!

The Netherlands is one of the safest places in the world to ride a bike and definitely a fabulous way to see and get around the city.

Coming Soon: More about the biking in Amsterdam.

3. Tulips

Tulips are the quintessential flower of the Netherlands and you will see them all over Amsterdam.

Dutch Tulips
This lovely flower makes Spring a fantastic time to visit Amsterdam. Close your eyes and envision rows and rows of colorful tulips. That’s what you’ll find just outside of town.

More than 1.7 billion tulips bloom across Holland every spring.

There’s even a Tulip Museum in Amsterdam.

Coming Soon: Read more about Dutch tulips and where to see them.

4. Windmills

Dutch Windmills
While we think of windmills as quaint, they were originally factories for industry. They converted wind into power to do things like pump water, saw wood for making ships, turn grain into flower and make paper.

There used to be more than 10,000 operational windmills, or molen, across the country. 1,200 windmills remain today.

Coming Soon: Where to see windmills on your trip.

5. Houseboats

Dutch Houseboat Amsterdam
As the houseboats line the canals, you’ll see them everywhere you walk or bike.

There are over 2,500 houseboats that are homes in Amsterdam. It became popular after WWII when there was a housing shortage.

Coming Soon: More great information about Amsterdam’s houseboats and how to go inside one.

6. Museums

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Amsterdam is packed full of museums as the Netherlands has been home to some of the world’s most famous artists including Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

The most popular museums can be found around Museumplein which is also close to Amsterdam’s lovely Vondelpark, the biggest and most popular park in the city.

Coming Soon: More on our favorite Amsterdam museums.

7. Westerkerk

Westerkerk Amsterdam
Kerk means church in Dutch.

There are many beautiful churches around town including Oude Kerk (the oldest and grandest), Nieuwe Kerk (on Dam Square), Zuiderkerk (gorgeously adorned) and our favorite, Westerkerk.

Located on the picturesque Prinsengracht, Westerkerk is the church Anne Frank mentions in her diary.

Coming Soon: More on Westerkerk and the surrounding neighborhood.

8. Albert Cuyp Market

Albert Cuypmarkt
The Albert Cuypmarkt is the largest and most popular outdoor market in the Netherlands with 260 stalls open six days a week (note a ton of things, not main attractions, are closed on Sundays). You can even find our favorite treat here…FRESH MADE Stroopwafel!

It’s in De Pijp neighborhood (where we used to live!).

Coming Soon: More information about the Albert Cuypmarkt.

9. Dam Square

Dam Square
This square is the heart of Amsterdam as it’s the site of the original 13th-century dam on the Amstel River that gave the city its name.

Surrounded by Koninklijk Paleis and Nieuwe Kerk it’s a huge busy open square with lots of cafes, tourist shops, and Amsterdam’s best department store, De Bijenkorf.

Kalverstraat, one of the main shopping streets, is also just off Dam Square.

Coming Soon: More about Dam Square.

10. Rembrandtplein (Rembrandt Square)

Named after the famous Dutch painter who owned a house nearby, this bustling square used to be the Botermarkt (Butter Market), a butter and diary market.

The square is now full of cafes and it’s presided over by a giant statue of Rembrandt and The Night Watch.

Coming Soon: Read more about Rembrandtplein.

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Amsterdam Picture Book