Colloquially referred to as ‘the Venice of the North’ Amsterdam is a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world. With their world-renown museums, buzzing culture and so much to do, it’s no wonder why thousands of people flock there yearly. So if Amsterdam is on your travel list, then here are five things you absolutely should do when you go.
Go on a canal cruise
A trip to Amsterdam should always start with a canal cruise; with 165 canals across Amsterdam, a cruise is a perfect way to get to know the city and gain a new perspective. There are so many different types of canal cruises to choose from, from romantic dinner cruises to private guided tours and they run all year round. There are also plenty of independent companies to choose from so do a bit of digging online if you want to escape the masses and have a more unique canal experience.
Educate yourself at one of the many museums
The Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum are two of the most famous museums that you can visit in Amsterdam and they’re located in the aptly named, Museum District. You could spend every day of your trip visiting museums in Amsterdam and you still probably wouldn’t have the time to visit them all. Some others to consider visiting include:
- The Anne Frank House
- The Amsterdam Cheese Museum
- The Amsterdam Tulip Musem
- The Stedelijk Museum
Learn about the cultural history of the red light district
When people think about Amsterdam they often think of the red light district. More than just a home for prostitution, Amsterdam’s red-light district has an over 800-year history for you to explore. Amsterdam is also famous for its coffee shops and although it may not be the only place in the world where you’ll find specialized cannabis items such as a highly educated gavel it’s one of the friendliest and if you want to immerse yourself with cannabis culture then this is the place to be.
Take a guided bicycle tour
Amsterdam is a cyclists heaven, with bikes often taking priority over both cars and pedestrians, this makes a bike tour the perfect to see the city and explore the winding, cobbled streets. If you’re not confident you’ll find your own way around then hop on a guided tour, which will show you all of the best parts of the city, or alternatively rent a bike for the week and make your way around the city yourself. Just remember that many dutch bikes don’t have conventional breaks and you’ll need to make good use of your bell to warn other tourists you’re coming.
Eat the local food
Amsterdam is the perfect place to try traditional Dutch food. Dig into a freshly made Stroopwafel oozing with caramel and dipped in chocolate, or try Bitterballen, the ideal bar snack, savory, crunchy and delicious, the perfect accompaniment to a winters day. Or if you’re into cheese then there is no shortage of cheese shops in Amsterdam which are the perfect place to try traditional Dutch cheese, many of these shops offer free tasters and travel size cheeses for you to take home.