With more than 8,500 monumental buildings, over 80 museums and thousands of restaurants, cafés and shops, Amsterdam is a cultural world attraction. As a tourist you will have to make choices because there is much to do in this city of the Golden Age. We have good news for you! In this ultimate overview you will find the best 200 things to do in Amsterdam. So get inspired. And choose the attractions that will amaze you.
The historic and unique Amsterdam canals with their ancient buildings on the quays have a length of 75 kilometers. You can sail across the canals in different ways. By boat you can enjoy the splendor of the Golden Age in an unforgettable way. Below you’ll find some great options.
- 100 Highlights Canal Cruise
The 100 Highlights Canal Cruise is the absolute must-do when you are in Amsterdam. Cruising the most beautiful parts of the historic canals is an experience you won’t forget.
- Free boat crossing over the IJ river
A great free attraction is to take the municipal boat from the Central Station to the other side of the IJ river. Boats sail in different directions and are available day and night. Enjoy the crossing and the beautiful views.
- Hop on – Hop off Canal Cruise (24 hrs)
The comfortable Hop on, hop off canal cruise boats offer frequent and regular services. Choose from four routes and 20 stops near museums, shopping districts and attractions.
- Museum Line
The Museum Line sails a special route through famous museums such as the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum and Hermitage. If desired, you can get off at berths and continue your cruise later.
- Pizza Cruise
An extremely special dining experience is now possible with the daily Pizza Cruises at 6 pm and 8 pm. During this typical canal cruise, pizzas and ice cream are delivered by New York Pizza.
- Dinner Cruise
Together with a chef you can make a Dinner Cruise on the Amsterdam canals. Enjoy outstanding culinary delights while cruising through the enchantingly lit canals of Amsterdam for two hours.
- Candlelight Cruise
How about a romantic 2-hour Candlelight Cruise at nightfall? You’ll see the most famous landmark buildings and sights in all their night-time glory.
- Rent a Pedal Boat
Explore the canals of Amsterdam with a pedal boat! You can rent pedalos at various locations in the city centre. Individually and for groups. Determine your route yourself or make a puzzle trip.
- Open Boat Canal Cruise
An alternative way to preserve the Amsterdam canals is the Open Boat. In these small boats you’ll feel the (usually) fresh Dutch wind through your hair. The skipper will tell you great stories about Amsterdam.
- Rent a Private Boat
You can sail the Amsterdam canals in various other ways, for example in a luxury saloon steamer or in open boats (with captain) for small and large groups.
World Famous Museums
Amsterdam has a huge number of museums, including several museums that are generally regarded as top-10 museums in the world, namely the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. Below we have listed the absolute must-visit museums.
The absolute must-visit museum with dozens of world-famous paintings. Some of Rijksmuseum’s highlights include work from Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer.
- Van Gogh Museum
Another top museum. Marvel at the world’s largest collection of paintings and drawings by Vicent van Gogh, one of the great painters of the 19th century.
- Anne Frank House
Visit the world-famous house in its completely reconstructed state of 1944 and experience the impressive story of Anne Frank through quotes, photos, videos and original items.
- Heineken Experience
View the history of beer brewer Heineken in the former Heineken Brewery. Built in 1867 it was the first brewery of the worldwide leading manufacturer from Amsterdam.
- Stedelijk Museum
Museum of modern and contemporary art and design with 90,000 objects. One of the world’s most influential museums for twentieth-century art.
- Hermitage Amsterdam
This branch museum of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg (Russia) is another top museum in Amsterdam. The exhibition area covers 2,172 m².
- National Maritime Museum
The Dutch Maritime Museum contains the second largest maritime collection in the world. It’s located in the building of the former National Sea Arsenal from 1655.
- Rembrandt House
Visit the former residence of Rembrandt van Rijn that was built in 1606. With, among other things, reconstructions of Rembrandt’s living space and workshop.
Canal House Museums
- Museum van Loon
Take a look behind the facades of the canals belt. The museum at the Keizersgracht, founded by the Van Loon family, is a beautiful house from 1672 with original portraits, furniture, silverware and porcelain from various centuries.
- Canal House Museum
Museum “Het Grachtenhuis tells the story of the origins of the Amsterdam Canal Belt in an interactive and multimedia way. It’s located at the Herengracht in a beautiful canal palace from 1663.
- Museum Willet-Holthuysen
Discover life in a stately mansion from 1687 and discover how the wealthy Willet-Holthuysen family lived on the Herengracht between 1861 and 1895. Be amazed by the 18th and 19th century period rooms and the many art treasures.
World War Museums
- Dutch Resistance Museum
The Dutch Resistance Museum has permanent and changing exhibitions. Authentic objects, photos and documents, film and sound fragments tell the history of people in wartime.
- Dutch Resistance Museum Junior
Go to the Netherlands with the time machine during the war and live with Eva, Jan, Nelly and Henk. Fly in the cockpit of an airplane to the stories of children in the Dutch East Indies, Surinam, the Netherlands Antilles and the rest of the world.
- National Holocaust Museum
This museum in the Jewish Cultural Quarter is currently being set up and will be further developed in phases about the coming years. Today the National Holocaust Museum already offers a selection of exhibitions and events.
Photography, Film and Art Museums
- EYE Film Museum
Opposite the Central Station you will find the striking EYE Film Museum. It houses the largest film library in the Netherlands. The collection of the museum consists of 46,000 films, 500,000 photos and 41,500 posters.
- Photography Museum “Huis Marseille”
This photography museum in two canal houses on the Keizersgracht contains fourteen exhibition spaces. It offers a rich and varied exhibition program with changeovers about four times a year.
- Outsider Art Museum
Distinctive, surprising, unpolished art can be seen in the Outsider Art Museum. The visitor enters a completely new world here and is taken into the wild roller coaster of national and international outsider artists.
- Photography Museum Foam
This museum at Keizersgracht organizes large exhibitions presenting the work of world-famous photographers. You will also find rapidly changing exhibitions of young talent. At the same time, at least three different exhibitions can be seen.
- Cat Cabinet
The Cat Cabinet is an art museum on the Herengracht entirely dedicated to cats. The collection includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and other artworks of cats, including work by Picasso, Rembrandt and Corneille.
Amsterdam is traditionally known as a sanctuary for sex and drugs. That fits with the spirit that belongs to the city. This has been reflected in the famous Red Light District for centuries. In this area there are also several educational museums that are worth a visit.
- Sex Museum Amsterdam
This popular museum at Rokin comes with a collection of erotic images, paintings, objects and photographs. The sex museum tells the story of the development of human sexuality during the years.
- Museum of Prostitution
Unique in the world is the Museum of Prostitution. It’s located in the heart of the Red Light District. This museum tells the secrets of an Amsterdam Prostitute.
- Erotic Museum
The Erotic museum in the Red Light District looks at eroticism in all its forms throughout the ages. The collection includes sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographs and other artwork.
- Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum
Where else than in the Red Light District you will find this small-scale museum. The museum has a unique collection that covers all aspects of cannabis. It also facilitates scientific research and fulfills an informative function on cannabis.
- Artis Royal Zoo
Spend a day in the zoo founded in 1838 in the centre of Amsterdam. Artis is a top zoo with its 900 animal species, 27 monumental buildings and 1.1 M visitors per year.
Theaters, concerts and cinemas
- Royal Theater Carré
The most prestigious theater in the Netherlands is Carré. It’s nowadays mainly used for musicals, pop concerts, music, theater and cabaret shows. The Dutch Opera and Dutch National Ballet also occasionally use the auditorium for performances.
- Royal Concert Building
The Concert Building at the Museumplein is world-class, with a history that dates back to 1888. In the historic building, there are 800 concerts every year in four halls, mainly classical music.
- Theater Stadsschouwburg
Theater Stadsschouwburg has been home to the theater since 1896. It presents large Dutch companies and young makers who are ready for the big stage. Here you can also admire the great masters from abroad. It’s located at the Leidseplein.
- Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ
The hypermodern Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ is a concert hall with a core repertoire of contemporary classical music and related genres. In the building you’ll also find café-restaurant Zouthaven with a large terrace overlooking the IJ river.
Paradiso is best known as a music venue where many famous names have occurred, especially in the genre pop music. The large room accommodates 1,500 guests, which guarantees an intimate atmosphere. You can go here daily for acts.
- Cinema Tuschinski
Amsterdam’s most famous cinema is located at Reguliersbreestraat 26. The cinema opened in 1921 has 6 rooms, including a hall with 735 seats. Here you are in the right place for films that attract a lot of public.
- Cinema De Munt
Near Tuschinski you will find another large cinema: Pathé De Munt. I’s located at Vijzelstraat and has 13 halls including a dolby cinema hall. You can go here for a large selection with films.
- Music Theater
The Music Theater on the Amstel river is the most important theater for opera and ballet in the Netherlands. The Music Theater is home of The Dutch Opera, the National Ballet and the Holland Symphonia.
- Boom Chicago
Boom Chicago is an American comedy group known for their English-language comedy, theatrical shows, improvisation, stand-up and burlesque. Their comic performances are now housed in the former Rozentheater.
Streets and squares
- Dam Square
You can’t miss this central and always busy square in the historic heart of the city. Here you you can find the Royal Palace, the New Church and the National Monument.
This vast square with lots of greenery is located directly behind the Rijksmuseum. You can lie here in the grass and enjoy the beautiful buildings and museums around.
Relax on this historic square from 1660. It’s a pleasant meeting place for both inhabitants of Amsterdam and tourists. Here you will find many cozy terraces, theaters and restaurants.
This is Amsterdam’s entertainment area par excellence with many catering facilities and terraces. Here is also the Rembrandt monument from 1852.
Architecture 15th to the 18th century
- Royal Palace of Amsterdam
This eye-catcher at Dam Square was built as a town hall in the mid-17th century. It’s seen as the most important historical and cultural monument of the Golden Age.
- Oost-Indisch Huis
View the former prestigious Amsterdam office of the Dutch East India Company, the world’s first formally listed public company. A large part of this building at the Oude Hoogstraat 24 was built in 1606. Today the building is part of the University of Amsterdam.
The inward-looking building complex at Kalverstraat 71 with its beautiful entrance gates has a remarkable history. It was built in 1580 as a home for orphaned children. The architecture of the old Burgerweeshuis is still largely intact. Today, the Amsterdam Museum is located here.
View Het Prinsenhof, a historic building from the beginning of the 15th century. During the time it was a monastery, guest house and city hall of Amsterdam. Many royal guests stayed here overnight. Today, a very luxurious hotel in Amsterdam is located here.
The monumental Maagdenhuis at Spui 21 is a large, striking building in the city centre. It was built in 1780 as an orphanage for girls. The exterior is almost identical to the state in which it was built.
- ‘t Aepgen
In the distant past, most houses in Amsterdam were built of wood. Almost all of them have been lost by fire. ‘T Aepgen on Zeedijk 1 is an exception. Built in 1546, this is one of the oldest still existing wooden houses in the city.
Architecture 19th and 20th century
- Central Station
View this large church-like trainstation building. It dates from 1881 and is a well-known work by master architect Pierre Cuypers. It’s in a largely original state.
- Amstel Hotel
The Amstel Hotel is one of the world’s most luxurious hotels. The monumental building was taken into use in 1867. It’s built in Renaissance style with typical Dutch influences.
- Beurs van Berlage
This architecturally highly prized building on the Damrak was designed as commodity exchange by architect Hendrik Berlage. It was built in 1896. Since 1985 it has a cultural function. King Willem-Alexander was married here in 2002.
- Amsterdam School Museum
“Museum Het Schip” tells the story of “The Amsterdam School”. It’s an important architectonal style from 1910 through about 1930 in the Netherlands. Many iconic buildings in Amsterdam have been built in this striking architectural style.
- Palace of Justice
At Prinsengracht 436 is the imposing former Palace of Justice. It was built in classic style in 1836 on the site where an orphanage used to be. Currently this building is being converted into a top hotel.
Het Scheepvaarthuis on Prins Hendrikkade was built in 1913 as an office building for six Amsterdam shipping companies. The building is generally seen as the first building that has been entirely built in the style of the Amsterdam School.
This building at Reguliersbreestraat can’t be overlooked because of its extreme large iconic logo on the top of the building. This national monument was built in 1934 and brought continuous newsreels. Nowadays there is a casino located.
- Count 15 bridges
Amsterdam has more than 1275 bridges. A well-known free attraction is counting no less than 15 bridges in a row. You can do this at the corner of Reguliersgracht-Herengracht.
View Amsterdam’s oldest bridge that has been preserved in its original state of 1648. The Torensluis is a characteristic arch bridge over the Singel in the city centre. With 42 meters it’s also one of the widest bridges in the city.
- Magere Brug
This elegant double drawbridge is the best known of Amsterdam. It runs across the river Amstel. The Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) is well-known from various films including the James Bond film “Diamonds forever”.
The Blauwbrug is a monumental bridge from 1883 in the city centre. It runs over the Amstel river and is luxuriously built with a view to the Colonial Exhibition of 1883.
- De Negen Straatjes
The Negen Straatjes (The Nine Little Streets) is a shopping area with many small, separate shops and restaurants. It’s located in the centre-west in the middle of the canals.
- Magna Plaza
Right behind the Royal Palace at Dam Square, you will find Magna Plaza. It’s a covered shopping mall in a monumental building of the former Amsterdam Main Post Office.
- De Bijenkorf
This is the most luxurious department store in Amsterdam with 20,000 m² of retail space. It’s located on Dam Square in a listed building from 1915 in historicizing style.
- P.C. Hooftstraat
Are you interested in luxury shopping? This is the most expensive shopping street in the Netherlands. The shopping area contains a lot of exclusive clothing stores. It’s located near the Vondelpark.
The Walhalla for antiques and art is located in the Spiegelkwartier. Here you will find more than 70 antique dealers and art galleries. Together they offer an enormous range of antiques, old and contemporary art, exotic folk art and contemporary ceramics.
- Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat
These sprawling shopping streets are traditionally known as the Amsterdam shopping area par excellence. The shopping area is located in the heart of the city. Nowadays you will find here a lot of big chains such as H&M, Zara and Esprit.
About 235 shops are located in Haarlemmerstraat, Haarlemmerdijk and Haarlemmerplein. You’ll find a wide variety of shops from established chain stores to cozy, independent boutiques, specialty stores and cool restaurants.
- Oude kerk
This is the oldest building in Amsterdam. The Old Church (Oude Kerk) was built in 1213 and is still actively used. There are exhibitions and you can go there for guided tours.
- Nieuwe kerk
This is a very large 15th century church on Dam Square with a rich history. The New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) is mainly known for its royal investiture ceremonies and royal weddings. You can visit the church for changing exhibitions.
This church at the Prinsengracht has become world-famous from the diary of Anne Frank. It’s a 17th century building in Renaissance style. With 87 meters it contains the highest church tower in Amsterdam. You can go here daily (except on Sundays).
- Saint Nicholas Basilica
The colossal Saint Nicholas Basilica was built in 1884. It’s one of the few Catholic churches in the traditionally predominantly Protestant Amsterdam. You can visit the church daily for a guided tour (except on Sundays).
The fairytale Vondel Church was built in 1872 and designed by Pierre Cuypers, who also designed the Central Station and Rijksmuseum. The striking church was built as part of the Vondelstraat. Today it’s a multifunctional building.
- Sint Dominicuskerk
The Sint Dominicus Church from 1884 is a large neo-Gothic Roman Catholic church on Spuistraat that was designed by Pierre Cuypers. The Dominic church has a largely original design.
- Mozes en Aäronkerk
This actively used church on the Waterlooplein originated from a hiding church. For a long time it was not allowed to build Catholic churches in Amsterdam. The rectangular building dates from 1837 and is built in neoclassical style.
At the Noordermarkt you will find the Noorderkerk, which was built in 1620. It’s the first church with a completely new ground plan with four equal arms. The floor is an intact gravestone field with sometimes more than 5 people buried under a zerk.
Striking canal houses
- Narrowest house in Amsterdam
In the distant past in Amsterdam taxes were paid to the width of the home. That’s why many houses in the old town are so narrow. The house on Singel 7 is known as the narrowest house in the world. The rear facade is just one meter wide.
- Official residence Mayor of Amsterdam
The “House with the columns” was built in 1672. This canal palace has been the official residence of Amsterdam since 1927. You can spot it at Herengracht 502.
The exceptionally wide Coymanshuis on the Keizersgracht 177 was built in 1625. This canal palace is the earliest example of Dutch classicism in Amsterdam. It’s a grand national monument. Amnesty International is currently located here.
The Trippenhuis is a grand canal palace from 1662 on the Kloveniersburgwal 29. It’s one of the last examples of Dutch classicism in Amsterdam and a top 100 monument in the Netherlands.
- Herengracht 500
This canal palace from 1667 has one of the best preserved interiors from the end of the nineteenth century within the canals. Gerrit Hooft, seven times mayor of Amsterdam in the period 1752-1767, lived here.
These four contiguous canal houses were built in 1660 on the Herengracht. Each of the houses has a neck facade with triangular pediments. Together they form a national monument. You can spot them at Herengracht 362 – 370.
- De Vergulde Turkse Keyser
This national monument on Herengracht 527 stands out for its hood and fronton. After renovations it’s a beautiful example of Louis XVI style. Tsar Peter the Great stayed in this canal palace for some time and caused great destruction.
- House with the 8 entrances
On the Geldersekade 107 you will find a beautiful original corner house from 1634. This building has no less than eight exterior doors: the shop door, the cellar door and the front door. On the side wall you will find two curb doors and three cell pliers.
- House Papeneiland
House Papeneiland a striking corner house from 1641 at Prinsengracht 2. It’s a perfect example of a seventeenth century common type of corner house with upstairs rooms that were intended for the rental.
- House De Hoop
House De Hoop on Keizersgracht 209 stands out because of its gracefully designed façade with rich crowning. The facade of this house from 1619 was made in 1738 during a thorough renovation.
- Drie Hendricken
Drie Hendricken are three beautifully connected citizen houses from 1642. Unique to these houses is their concatenation. In addition, they were largely returned to their original state around 1945. You can find them at Bloemgracht 87-91.
- Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis
The double house Herengracht 518 is a striking city palace from 1687 with an former coach house on the Keizersgracht. It was built by Albert Geelvinck and Sara Hinlopen. They were among the 250 richest Dutch from the Golden Age.
- Huis Nienhuys
The city palace on the Herengracht 380-382 is striking because of its façade which is very unusual in Amsterdam. The facade is built in a French early Renaissance style. This was also the first house in the Netherlands with electric light.
Striking canal warehouses
- De Groenlandse Pakhuizen
At Keizersgracht 40, 42 and 44 you will find three rare warehouses built in 1620. Their facades end in a top pilaster while most warehouses have a spout. Originally there were five of these warehouses in a row. Two have been destroyed by fire.
Around 1610 these beautiful warehouses were built for the storage of grain and peat for the poor. Originally the warehouses stood on the water until the Leprozengracht in 1882 was filled up. The warehouse complex can be visited at the Waterlooplein.
- National Monument on Dam Square
The National Monument was established for the commemoration of the Second World War in the Netherlands. The monument occupies a central place at the annual commemoration of the dead, which is attended by the king of the Netherlands.
- Auschwitz Monument
Here every year the National Holocaust Remembrance takes place on 27 January. This iconic monument with its broken mirrors is located in the Wertheimpark. It was designed in memory of those killed in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
- Gay monument
This is a memorial on the Westermarkt. It was unveiled in 1987. It serves to commemorate homosexuals who have been persecuted for their sexual orientation and to support homosexuals in their struggle for recognition.
- Jewish Resistance Monument
On the corner of the Amstel and Zwanenburgwal you will find the granite Jewish Resistance Monument. It serves as a reminder to all Jewish resistance fighters who died in the Second World War.
- Jewish Memorial “Hollandsche Schouwburg”
In this historic theater at Plantage Middenlaan 24, Jews were brought together by the occupiers during the Second World War. Today it’s a monument with a name wall in memory of the Jewish victims. Entrance is free.
- National Dachau Monument
The National Dachau Monument is a memorial for the Dutch victims of the concentration camp Dachau. It’s located in the Amsterdamse Bos. The National Dachau Monument was opened in 1996 by Prince Bernhard and Princess Juliana.
- Gypsy monument Hell and Fire
The Gypsy Monument Hell and Fire on the Museumplein is a bronze statue in memory of all murdered gypsies. Every year a commemoration meeting takes place at this memorial, attended by Sinti and Roma.
- Anne Frank Monument
Monument in memory of Anne Frank who died at the age of fifteen during the Holocaust. It was unveiled in 1977 by Mayor Ivo Samkalden and Otto Frank, the father of Anne. It’s located at Westermarkt.
- Sarphati Monument
This monument is dedicated to the 19th-century doctor and benefactor Samuel Sarphati. It can be found in the Sarphatipark. The monument has a round stone temple-like structure of 12 meters high. In the building is a bronze bust of Sarphati.
- Johan Cruijff ArenA
The Johan Cruijff ArenA is the home of AFC Ajax and the largest stadium in the Netherlands with more than 54,000 seats. You can go there daily for the Ajax museum and tours in the stadium.
- Olympic Stadium
Walk around the Olympic Stadium with its iconic marathon tower which was built for the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. The stadium is a national monument and it’s recently restored to its original state. Guided tours are available on request.
- Speed skating in open air
Challenge yourself on speed skating in Amsterdam. In the winter season you can go to the “Jaap Edenbaan”, a 400-meter artificial ice rink in Amsterdam East. At the skating oval you also can rent skates.
- Canoeing and pedal bike in the Amsterdam Forrest
In the beautiful Amsterdam Forrest you can rent a canoe or pedal boat. There are several long and short routes you can take through the beautiful Amsterdam Forest scenic area. The Amsterdam Forrest is just a few kilometer from the city centre.
- Climbing in a huge climbing hall
With 3,300 m2 the largest climbing hall in the Netherlands is located in Amsterdam. “Klimhal Amsterdam” has different climbing walls with routes of different levels. There is even a special hall with only bollard routes.
- Indoor and outdoor swimming pool
You can swim inside and outside in the Noorderparkbad located on the edge of the Noorderpark in Amsterdam North. Recently, this pool has been completely modernized. You can also enjoy a grand café.
- Swimming, health club and spa
The Marnix is a modern multifunctional sports centre in the heart of Amsterdam, near the Anne Frank House. The complex was completely rebuilt in 2006, and now features two swimming pools, a large sports hall, a spa, health club and a café.
- Swimming pool in the city centre
Anyone who loves swimming can easily go to the Zuiderbad in the center of Amsterdam. The monumental swimming pool from 1912 is located diagonally behind the Rijksmuseum.
- Ice skating on the Museumplein
Do you dare to skate once? In the winter season you can enjoy Dutch folklore on the Museumplein on a beautiful, spacious artificial ice rink. Skate rental and other facilities are available.
- Horse riding at Hollandsche Manege
You can ride a horse in the oldest horse riding school in the Netherlands which was founded in 1744. The current monumental building near the Vondelpark dates from 1882 and has a unique allure. The school has 35 horses and 17 ponies.
Towers and Gates
The oldest preserved defense tower in Amsterdam is the Scheierstoren on the Geldersekade. It was built in 1487. Large sandstone blocks can be seen in the quay wall along the Geldersekade; these are remnants of the old city wall.
Amsterdam has long been a fortress with city gates. One of the few remaining ports that are still on display is the Muiderpoort at Alexanderplein. It was built in 1770 in Louis XVI style. In 1811 Napoleon rode through the gate in a carriage pulled by eight white horses.
In the city centre you will find the 48 meter high Montelbaanstoren on the Oudeschans. It was built in 1516 as a lookout tower over the Zuiderzee. In 1606 this tower lost its function. The beautiful ornamental crown was then placed on the tower.
This 35 meter high tower with chimes is a remnant of the former Regulierspoort, a city gate from 1480. When the gate went up in flames in 1618, only the western tower was rebuilt.
Courtyards and Gardens
This is a unique historic courtyard founded in medieval Amsterdam. Previously it was the living environment of a religious women’s community. Nowadays it offers an unique oasis of peace in the middle of the city. You can go here for free during the day.
- Hortus Botanicus
The Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is a botanical garden with monumental buildings in the city centre. The garden is about 1.2 hectares and contains more than six thousand tropical and indigenous trees and plants.
- Nieuwe Suykerhofje
Take a look at a small courtyard. The eighteenth-century Nieuwe Suykerhofje is a wonderful example of one of the many courtyards in Amsterdam. It’s tucked away in a rear area on the Prinsengracht 385-393.
- Park Frankendael
Frankendael is Amsterdam’s only remaining 17th-century country estate. Today it’s a romantic park with historic gardens, a sunbathing area and marsh. Central to the park is the imposing Huize Frankendael where cultural events are organized.
- Van Brienenhofje
The Van Brienenhofje at Prinsengracht 85-133 was a Roman Catholic charity that was built in 1804. The courtyard has a remarkable façade that contrasts sharply with the surrounding buildings due to its extreme closeness. There is not one window in the façade on the street side.
- Zon’s Hofje
The Zon’s Hofje is a picturesque courtyard on Prinsengracht 159-171. The courtyard was built around 1765 for Mennonite women aged 50 and older. In the 19th century the complex was expanded with two buildings on the Prinsengracht.
This old courtyard from 1650 is located at Elandsstraat 104-142. At the foundation the court had 13 houses for “poor widows and elderly women” of Protestant denomination. In the course of time it has been expanded with different buildings.
Striking places of Worship
- Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder
Marvel at this former shelter church from 1661 in the city centre. At Oudezijds Voorburgwal 38 a real Roman Catholic church has been built in the attic of this common canal house.
- Portuguese Synagogue
When this 17th-century synagogue was built, it was the largest in the world. It’s an impressive building with a library and museum in the former Jewish quarter. You can visit the synagogue daily.
This church at the Keizersgracht was built in 1888. It stands out because it’s wedged between the canal houses. You can go to a church service every Sunday morning.
This church at Singel has been in use since 1639. Behind the inconspicuous façade of the canal house is a large church building hidden with its typical folding chairs. Guided tours are possible on request.
The smallest church in Amsterdam is built of wood and is located in Nieuwendam. This church is not much bigger than a small house. The Meerpadkerkje was built 150 years ago and today it’s a national monument.
- Synagoge Uilenburg
The Uilenburg Synagogue was a popular house of worship from 1766 to 1943 in the heart of the Jewish quarter. The synagogue was looted during the war. About 25 years ago the synagogue was largely renovated.
Actually, this temporary wooden church from 1668 would be replaced for a stone church. That never happened. The Amstelkerk was built during the second explanation of the Grachtengordel. In 1840 the church was rebuilt in Neo-Gothic style.
- Krijtberg Church
Wedged in between the canal houses you will find the Krijtberg church at the Singel. This narrow Roman Catholic rectorate church, built in 1881, stands out with an uneven facade with two stair towers.
- Sint Olofskapel
The Sint Olofskapel is a former church in the city center. The first chapel was built here around 1440 and in 1644 it was enlarged. The chapel was largely burnt down in 1966, after which restoration followed in 1991. Today it’s a conference center.
On the bustling Haarlemmerstraat you will find this important nineteenth century church designed by Pierre Cuypers. It’s a cross basilica built in 1861 with three striking slender towers and a three-aisled nave.
- De Duif
In the middle of the stately homes church De Duif is a hidden gem on the Prinsengracht. Those who look closely will discover a particularly successful neoclassical building from 1857. The modest appearance conceals a surprisingly large interior.
This is the most lively park in Amsterdam dating back to 1865. The 47-hectare park is rich in pavilions, ponds, monuments, a swimming pool, open-air theater, playgrounds and sandboxes. Here you can easily unwind in the middle of the busy city.
To the west of the Jordaan you will find the sparkling Westerpark neighborhood. It’s a green, energetic and creative meeting place. In and around the former Westergasfabriek you will find hip cafes, restaurants, galleries, a cinema and clubs.
The Amstelpark was established when Amsterdam hosted the horticultural exhibition of 1972. Afterwards, the park was kept in its original state. In this flowery park you will find a rosarium, various gardens, a petting zoo, playground, train and maze.
- Amsterdamse Bos
This unique forest is artificially constructed around 1935. Its a large recreation area on the outskirts of the city with a camping, theater, goat farm, jogging track and canoe rental. Here is also the Bosbaan, an official rowing course of 2.2 km.
This is a great place for walking or relaxing. The city park from 1961 is located in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. There are lawns, ponds, playgrounds and children’s farm ‘de Uylenburg’, the oldest in Amsterdam.
In 1928 they started the construction of the Flevopark in Amsterdam East. Because of its location on the Nieuwe Diep lake, it’s a lush area with plants and animals that can’t be found elsewhere in the city.
Combine a visit to De Pijp district with a stay in this small city park. The 4.5 hectare park from 1885 is built in English landscape style. An old pumping station can be admired here. The Sarphatipark contains various ponds and sunbathing areas.
In the Oosterpark, one of the larger parks in Amsterdam, you will find many green spaces, ponds and streams. Here you can find a wading pool for children and many hiking trails. Various festivals take place in the summer.
This oldest park in Amsterdam was opened to the public in 1812. It’s located in the Plantagebuurt. The 0.75 hectare park is the only one in the old city centre. In the Wertheimpark there is a natural stone fountain from 1898.
Views over Amsterdam
- A’DAM Lookout
From this observation deck opposite the Central Station you’ve got a great panoramic view over Amsterdam, the historic center, the harbors and the unique Dutch polder landscape. Here you can also can swing at high altitude.
- Rooftop Nemo Science Museum
This is a great free option for a nice view over Amsterdam. The 22 meter high roof of the Nemo Museum offers a view of the city centre and it’s canals. You can enter the roof from streetlevel by a stairway.
- Tower Westerkerk
With 85 meters the tower of the Westerkerk is the highest church tower in Amsterdam. You can climb to the first balcony. From here you’ve a great view over the city centre of Amsterdam and the outlying districts.
- Tower Zuiderkerk
During the summer months you can climb the 68 meter high tower of the Zuiderkerk. The church is located in the former Jewish district. From the first balcony you’ve got a great view over the city.
- W Lounge
On the top floor of Hotel W near Dam Square you can visit a beautiful restaurant. Here you’ve got a beautiful panoramic view over the city.
- REM Eiland
Dine at a height of 22 meters in this special restaurant, which is located in a former pirate radio and television station. From here you’ve got a great view over the IJ river and the Minerva Harbour.
On the seventeenth floor of the Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre you will find this sky bar. Floor17 has an extensive champagne and cocktail menu and a DJ will play on Friday night. Also enjoy the view from the 85 meter high rooftop terrace.
- Canvas op de 7
On the seventh floor of the lively Volkshotel you will find “Canvas op de 7”, an establishment known for its relaxed atmosphere, affordable cocktails and a beautiful view over Amsterdam.
- Albert Cuypmarkt
Six days a week you can visit the famous Albert Cuyp market, a street market since 1905. Located in De Pijp district it’s the largest daily market in Europe. The range offered varies from traditional fruit, vegetables and fish to clothing and multicultural products.
- Flower Market
In the heart of the city you will find the only permanent flower market in the world. It has been located on the Singel canal since 1862. You can visit 15 florists, various garden shops and gift shops.
- Flea Market Waterlooplein
The oldest flea market in the Netherlands can be found at the Waterlooplein. This cozy market has been around for 135 years and is open six days a week. There are around 300 market stalls with vintage photo cameras, second-hand books, jewelry and fashion.
- Lindengracht Market
The Lindenmarkt in the Jordaan district is almost 120 years old and has 232 market stalls with mainly general goods. Every Saturday you can go here for products such as flowers, vegetables and fish.
- Ten Katemarkt
The cozy Ten Katemarkt is located in Amsterdam Old West. You can go here six days a week for all kinds of products such as flowers, cheese, wine, clothing, vegetables and fruit. The market has about 100 stalls.
- Sunday Market
The Sunday Market takes place every first Sunday of the month at various locations in the city. The market offers self-designed products in the fields of ceramics, fashion, vintage, jewelry, accessories and illustrations.
- Rembrandt Art Market
The Rembrandt Art Market takes place every Sunday from March to October at Rembrandtplein. Come and look at beautiful art in different disciplines, such as paintings in oil and acrylic, pen drawings, etching and digital art.
- Flea market IJ Hallen
Europe’s largest flea market takes place every three weeks during the weekend in the IJ Hallen. There are 500 to 750 market stalls with all kinds of vintage items. You have to pay a small entrance fee for access.