10 Things to do in Amsterdam, The Big 10 Must See!
10 Top Amsterdam Tips For Your Visit To The Dutch Capital
As with any visit to a world-class city, there are sights and sounds you simply must experience. London, Paris, Madrid, Rome – all have there very own unmissable and unmistakable landmarks and attractions. Amsterdam is no different.
So, in no particular order, Erasmus Amsterdam brings you our two-part Amsterdam Big 10 Must See attractions….
1: The Rijksmuseum
Having earlier this month welcomed its two millionth visitor since undergoing an extensive renovation, the national museum of the Netherlands, The Rijksmuseum, has to be in Amsterdam Airport Hotels big 10 list of must see Amsterdam attractions.
The 80 galleries tell a story of over 800 years of Dutch history and with over 8000 historical and artistic items on show, a single visit to the museum just isn’t enough!
No visit would be complete without viewing the centrepiece of the Rijksmuseum and the only object not to have been rehoused post renovation. The breathtaking Rembrandt van Rijn masterpiece Night Watch.
The Rijksmuseum is enormously popular with both foreign and Dutch tourists and weekends and holidays are particularly busy. However, with opening times from 9 am to 5 pm, 365 days a year, the savvy visitor has no excuse not to avoid the crowds!
2: Amsterdam Canal Cruise
No visit to Amsterdam would be complete without experiencing the city from the water. Afterall, the Dutch capital is home to more than 100 km of canals, more than 90 islands and an astonishing 1500 bridges. Little wonder the city has been christened ‘The Venice of the North.’
Construction of the Grachtengordel (Canal Belt) began 400 years ago, when the plan to build four half-circle main canals connecting to the Ij was put into action in 1613.
Cruising gently through the historic heart of the city and experiencing the unique view of the iconic bridges, churches, towers and magnificent merchant houses of the city, is simply a must-do on any visit to Amsterdam.
3: The Van Gogh Museum
Founded in 1973 and situated on Amsterdam’s Museum Plein, The Van Gogh Museum is home to the worlds largest collection of paintings and drawings by arguably one of the most celebrated artists of all time, Vincent Van Gogh.
Recently renovated, the museum consists of two buildings, the main Rietveld building and the Kurakawa wing. Visitors can enjoy the work of Van Gogh and his contemporaries spread over the three floors of the museum.
As with the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh museum is hugely popular with almost 1.5 million visitors in 2012 alone. To avoid the masses, we would advise a strategically planned visit to this unmissable Amsterdam attraction.
4: The Red Light District (De Wallen)
Yes, there is no getting away from the fact that the (in)famous Red Light District of Amsterdam is one of the city’s greatest tourist attractions. Located in one of Amsterdam’s oldest areas, De Wallen’s labyrinth like streets and alleyways, the historic canal system and architecture are worth visiting in their own right – if that is, the sex shops, sex museums, peep shows, coffee shops and red light kamers aren’t enough to satisfy your curiosity!
5: Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market)
Celebrated as ‘the worlds only floating flower market,’ the Singel Bloemenmarkt is located in the city’s southern canal belt.
Consisting of floating florists and garden stalls, the 150 year old Bloemenmarkt supplies both the city of Amsterdam and its visitors with a wide range of flowers including, of course, tulips in all shapes, size and colors.
As well as a wide range of flowers, bulbs, seeds, houseplants, all things garden and various Amsterdam souvenirs can be purchased at the Bloemenmarkt. The floating market is open Monday to Saturday at 9.00 am – 17.30 pm and on a Sunday from 11.00 am to 17.30 pm.
6: Anne Frank House
Having attracted over 1,195,000 visitors in 2013, Anne Frank House is one of the biggest pulls for tourists visiting Amsterdam and rightly finds its place in our Top Ten Things To Do In Amsterdam series.
As well as being dedicated to the life of teenage Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank, the museum, situated on the Prinsengracht canal, highlights all forms of discrimination and persecution in its permanent exhibition space.
The house itself, built in 1635 and a museum since 1960, includes The Secret Annex in which Anne Frank, her family and 4 other people had hidden from the Nazi persecution of the Jews in the occupation of Amsterdam in World War II.
Visitors are taken on a journey through the authentically preserved museum with original documents, objects, photographs and of course, are led by the writings of Anne Frank.
7: Stedelijk Museum
The Stedelijk Museum is a world-class contemporary and modern art museum located alongside the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh at Amsterdam’s Museum Square.
Comprising art and design from both the 20th and 21st centuries, the Stedelijk’s collection features world-renowned artists ranging from Van Gogh to Matisse and Pollock to Warhol and De Kooning.
As well as exhibiting modern and contemporary heavyweight artists, the museum prides itself on presenting exhibitions from the most current up and coming artists and designers.
Open daily from 10 am – 6 pm (Thursday 10 am – 10 pm) the Stedelijk is free of charge for those 18 years and younger.
Set in 120 acres of urban green space, the Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s most famous and visited public park.
Named after 17th century Dutch writer and playwright Joost van den Vondel, the ‘lungs of the city’ welcomes an estimated 10 million visitors a year!
Vondelpark is the perfect location to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life in Amsterdam. The park, popular with locals and tourists alike is home to a collection of restaurants and cafés, an open air theatre, a celebrated rose garden and for those of a more active persuasion, a skate hire shop!
9: Albert Cuyp Street Market
If searching for a bargain while soaking up the unique atmosphere of the largest street market in the Netherlands takes your fancy, then look no further than the Albert Cuyp Street Market.
With over 250 market stalls offering wares ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, trendy clothes and fabrics, leather goods, jewellery and much more besides, Hollands biggest and most famous market takes its place in our Top 10 Things To Do In Amsterdam.
There is something for everyone and all budgets to be found at the Albert Cuyp. And of course, no visit would be complete without a fresh cup of coffee and a delicious grote warme stroopwafel!
Situated in Amsterdam’s 19th century district De Pijp, the market is easily accessible using public transport and is open from 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday.
10: Hermitage Amsterdam
Located on the banks of the River Amstel the Hermitage Amsterdam is our last (but certainly not least) entry into our Top 10 Things To Do In Amsterdam.
As the largest satellite of the Hermitage Museum Saint Petersberg, the Hermitage Amsterdam celebrates both the historical and profitable relationship built by the two cities throughout the centuries.
Elegantly set in the historic Amstelhof building, the museum works in tandem with both the Russian Government and Hermitage Museum Saint Petersberg in organising exhibitions at the Hermitage Amsterdam.
Open daily from 10 am – 5 pm the Hermitage is easily reached using Amsterdam’s public transport including by bus, metro, tram and by boat.
If you have visited any of our must-see attractions, we’d love to hear from you! Likewise, feel free to tell us about your own top Amsterdam tips!