Top 10 Things to do in Amsterdam for First-time Visitors

Top 10 Things to do in Amsterdam for First-time Visitors


1. Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is probably the most known of all the museums found on Museumsplein, not just what is on display inside but also the architecture of the building itself is really spectacular. This classic museum has a great collection of the greatest pieces from all the well-known Dutch artists between the 16th and 18th century, as well as a wide range of Asian art etc.

When you are there, look out for the library. It is very easy to miss but actually, in my opinion, one of the must-sees.

Behind the museum you will find the popular iamsterdam sign, which is the spot for tourist from all over the world to take a photo.

Entry fee for adults is 15 Euros, however there are a lot of discounts available. Free with Museumskaart and some other passes.

2. Rent a bike

Just do it like the locus: there is no better way to see most of the city is on two wheels.

Finding a place where you can rent a bike is an easy task, a bit more difficult is to find a parking spot for it later on. Be careful when riding your bike, as traffic can be a bit busy sometimes.

3. Take a tour on a canal boat or rent your own

If the weather is nice, getting a paddle boat can be a lot of fun. Experience Amsterdam on water is a completely different feeling. Also a lot of tour operators offer canal boat tours the whole year round.

4. Shopping in the 9 Straatjes

This place is perfect if you want to shop somewhere besides the usual high street shops. As the name already says, in those 9 streets, you will find shops from Dutch designers, great places to buy souvenirs and also some nice cafés for a little break.


5.Love Lock Bridge – Staalmeesterbrug

If you are looking for the perfect place to take pictures, this is it. Not far from Rembrandtplein and the flower market, you will find a little bridge with lots of love locks on it.

During sunset, the sun will shine directly on the canal and the clock tower opposite the bridge, making it a great, atmospheric location for a photo and a romantic spot for couples.

6. Sloterdijkmuseum

If you like modern art this is a place to check out. It is situated on the Museumsplein and has changing exhibitions. It also shows the development of modern art through the 19th and 20th centuries and features interesting paintings, sculptures and installation.

Entry fee: 15 Euros for adults, discounts available, free entry with the museumskaart and some Amsterdam passes.

7. Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh is most likely the most famous of all the Dutch painters. His own, very special painting style made him to one of the founders of modern art and he inspired a lot of artist up to now. The museum is newly renovated and on three levels, you get a great insight in the life of Vincent van Gogh from his early beginnings until his tragic death. His well-known painting of the sunflowers can, of course, be admired there.

Entry: 15 Euros, discounts available, free entry with museumskaart and some Amsterdam passes.

8. Try some of the Dutch specialities

The Dutch are world famous for their cheeses and when you are in Holland, you definitely should taste some of the hundreds cheeses available and buy your favorite to take home.

Not to miss are also the many other specialities like Bitterballen and Kroket and there are some great Dutch beers to try.

9. Experience the nightlife

You won’t forget a night out in Amsterdam. The city is full of life at night and known as a very open-minded, tolerant city. Whether you want to get to know the bar scene, participate in a pub crawl or party in one of the clubs- there is always something going on and you will find something for all the tastes.

10. Optional: Have a walk through the red light district

I am going to leave that as an optional point. Still Amsterdam is also known for it’s red light district and if you are interested have a walk through on your way home. There are also some tours through the red light district where you can listen to the stories behind this scene.


Places to stay:

  • The Bue Wave Houseboat Hotel

This is the most genuine experience you can get: sleeping in a house boat on the canals of Amsterdam. The boat house is situated a little bit out of the touristy center, but all the main attractions can be reached within a few minutes.

The boat has two separate rooms with a double bed- all with a view over the canals, bathroom, as well as a big living room with a nice kitchen.

The highlight is the lovely floating garden attached to the house boat which just invites to relax outside and watch the boats pass by.


  • Hotel Meininger, Amsterdam

The Hotel Meininger Amsterdam is a chain of budget hotels, combining the best of a hotel and a hostel in one.

It is situated close to the station Amsterdam Sloterdijk, which makes the city (5 minutes) and the airport (10 minutes) easily accessible by train or bus.

The free wifi, free guest kitchen and the communal area is a nice extra for solo travelers, couples or groups.



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