Amsterdam, Netherlands | City Guide

Amsterdam, Netherlands | City Guide

Hey friends! I’m FINALLY writing about my favorite city in the entire world – Amsterdam! I’ve been wanting to for the longest time but I honestly don’t think I can do this city justice in just one article. So I decided that I’m going to be doing quite a few different ones and will be starting off with an Amsterdam city guide! This definitive city guide to Amsterdam will help you plan the perfect trip with information on hotels, travel, restaurants, and activities across the city. I hope you enjoy!


Amsterdam City Guide


Where To Stay

I recommend you book your hotels through Expedia or Trivago to find and compare the best possible deals.  

Radisson Blu – Schiphol Airport

Boeing Avenue 2, 1119 PB |  +31.20.655.3131

I love staying at the Radisson Blu while in Amsterdam – especially at the location at Schiphol Airport as it’s very convenient for traveling. There’s a direct train from Schiphol to Centraal making it very easy to get from the Radisson to the heart of Amsterdam.

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Hotel Clemens

Raadhuisstraat 39, 1016 DC | +31.20.624.6089

Hotel Clemens is a boutique hotel located in the center of Amsterdam! It’s a 4-minute walk from the Royal Palace and about a 5-walk to the Anne Frank House, among others. However, there are only 14 rooms available so if you’re able to book a room, go right ahead! Plus, there’s complimentary breakfast and free WIFI.

Wondering & Wandering's Amsterdam city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Hotel Estherea

Singel 303-309, 1012 WJ | +31.20.624.5146
Hotel Estherea is an ornate, old-world boutique hotel located in a 17th-century townhouse on the Singel canal. Its location is fantastic – it’s about a 7-minute walk from vibrant Dam Square and a 10-minute walk from the Anne Frank House museum. There’s also a library (and you know how I love my libraries) and a cozy, 24/7 bar!

The Toren

Keizersgracht 164, 1015 CZ | +31.20.622.6352
The Toren is a boutique hotel located in a pair of 17th-century houses on the Keizersgracht canal. A small plus with this hotel is that, with an advance notice, they allow pets! Any hotel that allows pets is a good hotel in my opinion. It’s also located right around the corner from the Anne Frank House.

Hotel The Exchange

Damrak 50, 1012 LL | +31.20.523.0080
Hotel The Exchange is located in a 17th-century building in the Red Light District, opposite of the Beurs van Berlage, a former stock exchange building. It’s also a 7-minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal Railway Station. It seems to be the theme that my favorite hotels are located in 17th-century buildings. 

Museums

Museums are abundant in Amsterdam! In fact, there are around 400 museums in Amsterdam, which attract almost seven million visitors every year! Here are the ones that I recommend adding to your itinerary.

Related:   Lake of Ozarks | Travel Guide

The Anne Frank House

Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV | +31.20.556.7105

In my opinion, the Anne Frank House is a must visit while in Amsterdam. It’s incredibly sombering to walk the same halls that Anne Frank and her family hid in for over two years. Just make sure you book your tickets in advance, as the lines can get long.

Expect to spend 1 to 2 hours here.

Van Gogh Museum

Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ | +31.20.570.5200

If you love art as much as I do, the Van Gogh museum is also a must visit. It houses the largest collection of Van Gogh’s artwork in the entire world! The gift shops are also worth checking out as well, especially if you’re artistically inclined. Just make sure you purchase your tickets in advance and arrive earlier in the day, as it can get pretty busy. Make sure you also leave your camera at home, as photography is not allowed in the exhibits.

Expect to spend 2 to 3 hours here.

Wondering & Wandering's Amsterdam city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Rembrandt Museum

Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK | +31.20.520.0400

The Rembrandt House Museum is a historic house and art museum where the painter Rembrandt lived and worked between 1639 and 1656. Walk-in tickets are available but you’re also able to purchase them in advanced.

Expect to spend 30 minutes to 1 hour here.

Amsterdam Cheese Museum

Prinsengracht 112, 1015 EA | +31.20.331.6605

Honestly, I’m adding the Amsterdam Cheese Museum to this list because it’s filled with free cheese samples! And you can take cheesy (pun intended) photos with various props located through the museum.

Expect to spend 5 to 15 minutes here.

Sexmuseum

Damrak 18, 1012 LH | +31.20.622.8376

This is exactly what you think it is. Sexmuseum is the world’s first and oldest museum dedicated to sex! The museum looks at many aspects of sensual love through the ages, displaying an extensive collection of erotic pictures, paints, photographs and more.

Expect to spend 30 minutes to 1 hour here.

Wondering & Wandering's Amsterdam city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Rijksmuseum

Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX | +31.20.674.7000

The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. As with the other museums in this guide, purchase your tickets in advance and unlike the Van Gogh museum, you are allowed to use photography (just without flash).

Expect to spend 1 to 2 hours here.


Food & Drink

True, no one fawns over Dutch food like they do with French food or Mexican food but Amsterdam is filled with delicious restaurants featuring cuisine from all over the world. Here are some locations that I recommend checking out.

The Avocado Show

Daniël Stalpertstraat 61, 1072 XB | +31.6.30633130

I’m in the minority here, but personally, I hate avocados so this restaurant is not for me. I can see the pitchforks now lol. Everybody else in the world seems to love avocados so I had to include it in this Amsterdam City Guide.

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Italia Oggi

Binnen Bantammerstraat 11, 1011 CH | +31.20.620.0898

This is one of the best Italian restaurants that I’ve ever been to! The food is delicious and the service is fantastic. I personally recommend getting the cheese wheel – yummy!

XtraCold Icebar

Amstel 194-196, 1017 AG | +31.20.620.0898

We went here on a whim and it’s definitely quite the experience! It’s a little on the spendy side for such a short experience, but you get three drinks included in the price so you can’t beat that. The bartenders are all very nice and the whole environment is so much fun! They do provide you with gloves and a coat so you won’t get frostbite. 😉

Wondering & Wandering's Amsterdam city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

Salsa Shop

Ferdinand Bolstraat 1, 1072 LA | +31.20.363.7369

In my opinion, this is the best Mexican food you can find that’s not actually in Mexico. It’s absolutely delicious! I highly recommend getting the chicken burrito with roasted corn. It’s an extra plus that the staff is extremely friendly and funny, which makes for a very welcoming environment.

Cafe de Pijp

Ferdinand Bolstraat 17-19, 1072 LA | +31 20 670 4161

This is my favorite place in Amsterdam to casually enjoy a drink, read a book, and hang out with the locals. This might possibly be my favorite pub in the entire world  – it has a relaxed, cozy atmosphere and good food at a decent price. I recommend getting the salmon and then their homemade apple pie for dessert – delicious!

Wondering & Wandering's Amsterdam city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.


Activities

Amsterdam Dungeon

Rokin 78, 1012 KW | +31.20.530.8500

This is definitely a touristy activity, but it’s very well-executed! It’s a little scary but you learn a lot about the darker side of Amsterdam history. With amazing actors, intricate scenes, and special effects, it’s worth a visit. Also, don’t forget to check out the Dungeon Bar afterward, you might need a stiff drink…

Expect to spend 1 to 2 hours here.

The Heineken Experience

Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE | +31.20.523.9435

Chances are, when someone thinks of Amsterdam, Heineken is the first thing that comes to mind. You can actually go through an interactive tour of the former Heineken brewery! You also get two free drinks included in the price of the ticket and a chance to hang out in the bar at the top of the brewery building which offers a beautiful view of Amsterdam.

Expect to spend 2 to 3 hours here.

Red Light District

The Red Light District might be my favorite area of Amsterdam because it’s iconic, liberal, and tolerant. It’s such a fascinating area, and so honest. While I haven’t partaken in the activities in the Red Light District, I very much enjoy just walking around the area. Just remember to put away your camera and film devices and please respect the ladies working in the windows.

Rent A Bike

Amsterdam is referred to as the city of bikes after all, so why not join the locals in the streets?! It’s the best way to get around and explore Amsterdam. You can find a list of places to rent bikes from here.  Speaking of bikes though, if you’re a pedestrian – always look both ways before crossing streets and bike lanes as bicyclists have the right-a-way.

Related:   Sioux Falls Travel Guide.

Wondering & Wandering's Amsterdam city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.


Notable Sites

The Fault In Our Stars Bench

Leidsegracht 4

I’m sure a lot of you are fans of The Fault In Our Stars by John Green and the movie by the same name, so I thought I’d add the famous bench to this Amsterdam City Guide. Personally, I disliked both the book and the movie so I didn’t get as much enjoyment out of visiting this as others may have. However, I look at it as a cool piece of art.

Wondering & Wandering's Amsterdam city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

The Royal Palace

Dam, 1012 HG 

I know that you’re able to tour inside the Royal Palace, but I’ve never been so I don’t know what it’s like. However, I’m adding this as a notable site because it’s such a fun area to do some people watching in. There are often entertainers in front so it’s worth taking your time walking through this area to observe them.

Wondering & Wandering's Amsterdam city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.

A’DAM Lookout

Overhoeksplein, 5, 1031 KS | +31.20.242.0100

The A’DAM Lookout is an observation deck located on top of a 20 story building. It’s most notable because of the over-the-edge swing (!!!) that gives you a serious thrill while delivering unbeatable views of Amsterdam.

Expect to spend 1 to 2 hours here.

Vondelpark

The Vondelpark is a public urban park about 120 acres large that’s a favorite amongst locals. It’s centrally placed south of Leidseplein and near Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum. Here you can find the statue of the poet Vondel, the cast iron music dome,  and the Groot Melkhuis with a playground for children.

Magere Brug

Kerkstraat, 1017 AK

The Magere Brug is a bridge over the river Amstel that connects the banks of the river at Kerkstraat, between Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. My favorite of the day to visit the Magere Brug is during the night time when it’s lit up as looks absolutely gorgeous in the reflection of the water.


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Wondering & Wandering's Amsterdam city guide to help you plan the perfect trip with information on restaurants, activities, and more across the city.
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Bri is the Harry Potter obsessed founder of Wondering & Wandering. When she's not blogging or traveling, you can usually find her in bed with a good book and a glass of wine.

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4 Comments

  1. October 21, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    I have been to Amsterdam twice (both times for a concert mainly) and I never felt the need to visit the Red Light District. Everyone expects you to go there. And smoke pot.Otherwise you haven’t “done” Amsterdam. I did neither, neither time, and I actually think I still really enjoyed Amsterdam. I had a blast going to see my favourite Dutch singer and I love Heineken on tap. So I didn’t feel compelled to comply.
    But now reading your post I wonder if I maybe missed out on something? That maybe it was worth seeing the infamous Red Light District… I don’t know…

  2. October 21, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Great guide. I visited Amsterdam for the first time last year and enjoyed it. I agree that the Anne Frank Museum is an absolute must-do there – it was the highlight of our trip and a really important place to go and reflect.

  3. October 21, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    Great post, I love Amsterdam, beautiful city!

  4. October 21, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    Wow I love your blog’s layout. Will have to pin this for my next amsterdam visit.

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