Travel Guide

Everything You Need to Know

 Visiting Amsterdam? This Amsterdam Travel Guide has everything you need to know before exploring this charming European city. As the capital of The Netherlands, this  popular tourist destination is incredibly charming. Known for its elaborate canals, museums, boathouses, historic architecture & coffee shops, as well as its unique culture & history, the city truly has something to offer everyone.

Founded in 1275, Amserdam is a small and compact city that is bursting with history and offers endless things to do. Due to it’s size, the city easy to navigate and explore on foot, with most attractions being located in and around the city center. But just in case you aren’t up for walking, the city also offers a great public transportation system with trams, buses, and the metro. Between the world-class museums, bicycle tours, thriving arts scene, world-class restaurant scene, cultural attractions & more, there is no shortage of fun to be had. We have broken down all the details about where to stay, what to do, where to eat and drink & more in this Amsterdam Travel Guide below!  

Quick Tips


Amsterdam “Coffee Shops” are actually smoke shops. If you want coffee, look for cafes! 

When To Visit

The best time to visit Amsterdam is April-May or September- November, right before or directly after the summertime high tourist season.


The official language is Dutch, but nearly everyone speaks English as a second language.

Getting There

Schiphol Airport is the main airport serving Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands. Located just outside the city, Schiphol is a major hub for air traffic and is known for its impressive architecture. It’s the third busiest airport in Europe and serves as the home base for Dutch airlines KLM, with several others passing through with layovers like Delta, EasyJet, etc. Getting to the city center from the airport is super simple! A taxi should costs around 39€ and takes 15-20 minutes. You can also catch the train to the city center, which costs 5.40€ and it takes around 20 minutes.

What To Expect

Getting Around

Amsterdam has one of the best public transportation systems in Europe, but if you really want to get around like a local, rent a bike! Biking is the prefered transportation for locals, but can be a bit intimidating due to the vast number of bikes, cars, and people navigating the streets.

Biking: Bike rentals are ubundant throughout the city. However, one reputable place with locations all over the city is MicBike. Due to their exceptional service, this is our top recommendation for bike rentals. 

Walking: Being a small, compact city, most places are within walking distance of each other. Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, as we were averaging around 20,000 steps a day!

Public Transportation: Traveling within Amsterdam by public transport is straightforward, convenient and quite affordable. The extensive network is operated by GVB and connects the city’s neighborhoods by train, tram, metro, bus and ferry.

Whats the Weather Like?

In Amsterdam, the summers are comfortable and partly cloudy and the winters are long, very cold, windy, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 34°F to 71°F and is rarely below 22°F or above 81°F. 

Best Time to Visit

Summer is a popular time to visit, though it may be more crowded than other seasons. Fall is also a good time to visit, with pleasant temperatures and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. While the winter months can be cold with short days, the city is still beautiful with sparkling frozen canals and holiday spirit, and it can also be a good time to find deals on flights and accommodations.

Entry Requirements

You’ll need a passport that is valid for at least three months from your planned departure date – but it is always a good idea to have six months of validity just in case. And don’t forget to leave some blank pages for stamps! Visa are not required unless staying 90 + days. For the most up-to-date information on travel documents and requirements, you can check out the U.S. State Department‘s website.





If you’re thinking about sending a postcard from Amsterdam, you might want to consider one that features Grachtengordel. It’s a really charming area of the city that’s surrounded by the main canals – Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht. You’ll find lots of cute colorful townhomes, restaurants with waterfront views, fancy hotels, and popular attractions like the Anne Frank House.


Considered by many to be the most desirable neighborhood in the city of Amsterdam! Jordan is an absolutely gorgeous area with winding streets, canals, cute cafes, and high-end boutiques. It’s like a maze of charm and beauty, and it’s definitely worth a visit!


If you’re into art and culture, you might want to check out Museumkwartier, also known as the ‘Museum Quarter’. Located in the Oud-Zuid borough of Amsterdam, this neighborhood is home to some of the world’s most important artistic and historical contributions, chic dining experiences, and also one of the best-sounding orchestral concert venues on the planet. When you need a break from all the history, be sure to check out the array of high-end jewelry stores and designer boutiques in the area. 

De Pijp

De Pijp, which is located just south of Amsterdam’s city center, is a neighborhood that has undergone a transformation from a working-class area to a trendy hub. It has an urban industrial vibe mixed with bohemian flair, and there’s so much to do and see. You can visit the Albert Cuyp Markt for delicious food, or hang out at one of the cool brunch spots, retro pubs, or contemporary ateliers

De Wallen

De Wallen, or Amsterdam’s Red Light District, is the oldest neighborhood in Amsterdam and has been an important cultural center for over 600 years! If the cobblestone streets could talk, they would have plenty of stories to tell. This area is known for its peep shows, sex shops, cannabis cafes and nightclubs, and attracts a lot of travelers who are looking for a unique and unconventional experience. 

Amsterdam Accommodations


Conservatorium Hotel


The Conservatorium Hotel is a unique property that combines old and new. The exterior of the building reflects its 19th-century roots, but inside, you’ll find modern facilities like a glass-enclosed atrium and a large wellness center. This is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a combination of history and modern amenities.

The Dylan Amserdam


If you’re looking for a unique and conveniently located hotel in Amsterdam, you might want to consider staying at a place that pays tribute to the city’s rich history. This hotel is housed in a former theater from the 17th century and is decorated with antiques and original art. Guests have the option to choose from five different room styles to fit their needs, though the wood-beamed loft rooms are particularly popular.

De L’Europe


De L’Europe is a well-known hotel in Amsterdam that dates back to the 18th century. It’s a landmark in the city, with a neo-renaissance facade that overlooks the Amstel River. The hotel is conveniently located near many of Amsterdam’s museums, shops, and restaurants.

Hotel V


They have two locations, one in Centrum and one in Grachtengordel. Both hotels have a warm and cozy design style that combines modern and vintage Scandinavian furniture with quirky accents like antique portraits and fancy chandeliers. The staff, who are dressed in Canadian tuxedoes, give off a hipster vibe, and the bar menu has a lot of craft cocktails that are popular with locals. The rooms themselves are really comfortable, with comfy beds, cool bathrooms, and excellent shower pressure. It’s a great place to stay for a few days!

Pulitzer Amsterdam


The Pulitzer Amsterdam is a beautiful hotel that’s located on the Prinsengracht canal, offering a picture-perfect location. The charm doesn’t stop there – the hotel was built in the 1960s by converting a canal house into a hotel, so it has a storybook charm that continues inside.

The Hoxton Amsterdam


If you’re looking for a quintessential Amsterdam experience with a boutique hotel vibe at affordable prices, this is the spot you should stay. It’s a great choice for anyone looking for a mix of traditional Dutch charm and modern style.

The Toren Hotel


If you’re planning a romantic getaway in Amsterdam, this is the place for you. It’s located in the elegant Keizergracht district and is housed within two 17th-century buildings. The hotel is lavishly decorated with exquisite fabrics, rich jewel tones, velvet wallpaper, and period furniture, making it a perfect choice for couples looking for a luxurious and romantic experience.

Amsterdam Things To Do


Albert Cup Market

Situated in the historical neighborhood of De Pijp, the Albert Cup Market is the largest and most popular outdoor market in the Netherlands, with 260 stands operating six days a week selling everything from Vietnamese spring rolls to freshly made stroopwafels. Since 1905, the ‘Cuyp’ has fascinated Amsterdam’s residents, home cooks, tourists and anyone looking for a bargain. The market provides hours of entertaining shopping and browsing, with stands selling everything from shoes and luggage to fresh vegetables and fish. 

Canal Cruise

If you want to see Amsterdam in a really unique and special way, you should consider renting a boat and cruising the canals. It’s a great way to explore the city, also known as the “Venice of the North,” and see the beautiful houses and old bridges up close. There’s something really special about being on the water, especially with friends, and it’s a great way to experience the freedom and beauty of Amsterdam.

The Red Light District

The Red Light District in Amsterdam is the largest and oldest prostitution area in the Netherlands. It’s located in a valley and is lined with sex shops, gay bars, peep shows, and cannabis shops. It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in Amsterdam and has a lot of character, with a maze of alleyways leading to medieval churches, neon-lit canals running between lively bars, and unexpected museums.


If you’re an art or history enthusiast, you won’t want to miss the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The museum houses a wealth of period artifacts and features works by masters like Rembrandt, covering 800 years of heritage.  With over 2.2 million visitors a year, it is a great place to immerse yourself in Dutch culture and learn more about the country’s past.


Amsterdam-Noord is a unique neighborhood located just four miles north of the city center. It’s easy to get to via a free five-minute ferry ride from Central Station. Amsterdam-Noord has been gaining a reputation as a creative hub since the early 2010s, with former factories being transformed into spaces for tech start-ups, edgy artists, and innovative chefs. It’s a great place to explore if you’re looking for something a little different and off the beaten path.

Van Gogh Museum 

The Van Gogh Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. It has the largest collection of Van Gogh’s works in the world, as well as some of the artist’s personal belongings and letters. The museum traces Van Gogh’s life through his art, and you can also see works by other famous artists like Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard.

De 9 Straatjes

The Nine Streets, also known as the 9 Streets, is a charming area in Amsterdam filled with cute stores and picturesque streets. It’s a great place to walk around and do some shopping, with a variety of townhouse-turned-fashion-boutiques, cafes, specialty stores, vintage shops and antique stores. The 9 Streets are located to the south of the Anne Frank House and consist of nine side streets.

Anne Frank House

Known as the top tourist attraction in Amsterdam, The Anne Frank House shares the harrowing journey of Anne Frank’s life. Throughout the museum, you will experience the retelling of her story and see where she hid when the Nazis swept through Europe. Given it’s popularity, be sure to buy tickets in advance, as they are likely to sell out. 

The Heineken Brewery

If you’re a fan of beer, you won’t want to miss the Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam. It’s a paradise for beer lovers and a great place to learn about the history and heritage of one of the most well-known beer brands in the world. The tour is interactive and self-guided, lasting about one hour. You’ll get to see how Heineken beer is made, learn about the history of the company, and even learn how to serve your own beer.


Located in Amsterdam-Zuid, Vondelpark is a sprawling 47-hectare urban green space that is frequented by tourists and locals alike. It’s conveniently located near Rijksmuseum and the whole museum complex, making it the perfect place to take a relaxing, mid-day break from sightseeing.

Amsterdam Restaurants


This large scale food market is filled with 21+ food and drink stalls. It is located within Amsterdam’s up-and-coming neighborhood, Oud-West, and is the first indoor food market in the Netherlands.

The Avocado Show

At this trendy restaurant in Amsterdam, avocado isn’t just a breakfast food. All of the dishes feature the humble fruit in creative ways, including poke bowls, pancake stacks and even avocado cheesecake. 

Ciel Bleu

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience in Amsterdam, this two-starred Michelin restaurant is a must-visit. Known for its stunning ambiance and top-notch cuisine, it’s a very popular spot. Be sure to make reservations well in advance!

De Kas

Located in a greenhouse dating back to 1926 that once belonged to Amsterdam’s Municipal Nursery, this restaurant’s atmosphere is as good as its food. Choose between simple and fresh meals, all prepared with farm to table ingredients grown locally on site.

Wilde Zwijnen

For a trendy dining experience with a focus on modern Dutch cuisine, head to Wild Boar in Oost. The industrial, shabby-chic interior and daily menu featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients make this a must-visit spot. Choose from a three or four course meal and pair it with some wine for a truly memorable experience.

Alex + Pinard

If you’re an early diner, you won’t want to miss this charming wine bar near the Dappermarkt. They offer one of the best deals in town, with dishes like pappardelle with ragù being a favorite. The gnocchi changes seasonally, featuring strong flavors like smoked scamorza in winter and fresh green peas in spring.


Pesca is the perfect spot for seafood lovers! As soon as you arrive, the friendly staff will offer you a glass of champagne to sip on while you browse the day’s fresh catch of fish, mussels, octopus, and scallops displayed on ice. Choose your favorite and add some drinks and sides, then grab a table and wait for your plate of perfectly cooked seafood to arrive.

Bak Restaurant

At Bak, you’ll enjoy a culinary experience that celebrates the best of Dutch ingredients, all while taking in stunning views of the river IJ. Benny Blisto, has crafted a mouthwatering menu featuring sustainable fish and a variety of vegetables. And to wash it all down, you’ll find a fun and varied wine list with a great selection of natural wines at reasonable prices.

Amsterdam Bars

Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain Sight (or HPS, as locals call it) is a secret, speakeasy-style bar that feels like an exclusive clubhouse. Located close to the center of Amsterdam but tucked away enough to avoid the tourist crowds, this classy bar is the perfect place to relax and enjoy an evening with friends or solo. The bartenders are knowledgeable, the cocktails are inventive, and the lounge-style seating makes it a cozy and comfortable place to spend the evening.

Bar Bukowski

Bar Bukowski is a cozy neighborhood hangout near Oosterpark that’s dedicated to literature and liquor. It’s named after writer Charles Bukowski and has a laid-back atmosphere that feels like the neighborhood’s living room. The bar has a great selection of classic cocktails and a well-rounded beer list, and the decor is inspired by literature, with a typewriter-inspired light installation above the bar and Bukowski quotes on the menu. 

Flying Dutchmen Cocktails

This spot has been gaining international recognition for its amazing drinks and talented mixologists. Co-owner Tess Posthumus has been nominated for the best international bartender at the Spirited Awards for many years in a row, and she brings her expertise to this buzzy, centrally-located bar. The focus here is on classic cocktails based on recipes that are up to 400 years old, and there’s a wide selection of spirits to choose from, with over 500 bottles behind the softly lit bar.

Brouwerij ’t IJ

The Brouwerij ‘t IJ brewery is located in an old bath house at the base of Amsterdam’s largest windmill, and has been brewing Belgian-inspired beers on-site for over 30 years. Their beers can be found on menus all around the city, and they even have a second tasting room at Het Blauwe Theehuis in Vondelpark. But the original outpost is definitely worth a visit, where you can take a tour, try a flight of their beers, or enjoy the sun on the large terrace with the windmill overhead.

SkyLounge Amsterdam

Known as being a tourist spot, don’t be surprised if there aren’t many locals here. While only 11 stories up, this spot is known for its unbeatable views over Amsterdam. With soaring windows and immaculate views, the ambiance is almost as good as the drinks. 

Cafe Zilt

This whiskey café has a wide selection of specialty craft beer and whiskey. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable about their spirits, and the warm interior makes for an excellent spot to spend time with friends.


If we haven’t convinced you yet, Amsterdam is well worth visiting. The best part? You can visit as a quick stop over on the way to your final destination in Europe. In fact, our first time visiting Amsterdam was on a layover to France! With its iconic canals, historic townhomes, and cobblestone lanes, Amsterdam is a picturesque destination that truly has something for everyone. Thanks for reading and please reach out with any questions or feedback!

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