There are many places to visit in Amsterdam, known as the city of bicycles and canals. We have to confess that Amsterdam is one of our favorite cities in Europe and we think it is also perfect for a weekend getaway. This multicultural and tolerant city, where you feel welcome from the first moment you step on it, is one of those places you would never want to leave.
If you have an extra day in the city we recommend you to visit some of the surrounding villages like Zaanse Schans, a beautiful village full of windmills. You can even visit the villages of Marken, Volendam and Edam.
We have made a list of the 4 must-see places to visit in Amsterdam. Let’s get started!
1. Amsterdam Channels
Amsterdam, known as the Venice of the North, has more than 100 kilometres of canals, more than 1000 bridges and more than 2000 houseboats. Part of them are in the historic centre, bordered by the Singelgracht and surrounded by three of the most famous canals: the Herengracht, the Prinsengracht and the Keizersgracht.
Our favourite channel is the Herengracht, where you can find the most stately and charming houses. Strolling along the banks of these canals, crossing their bridges, having a drink on one of the terraces with views are just some of the great memories you will take home from Amsterdam.
One of the best things to do in Amstedam is to cruise along its canals in order to see the city from another perspective. Although there are many routes you can take, we always recommend booking a one-hour tour to see some of the most important places in the city or take a night cruise with dinner.
2. The Flower Market
Bloemenmarkt is Amsterdam’s famous floating flower market and one of the most essential places to visit in Amsterdam. The history of the market goes back to 1883, when boats loaded with flowers arrived on the market every day for sale.
We have to keep in mind that Holland is a country famous for the quality of its flowers and especially for its tulips, so don’t be surprised if you find a great variety of them in this market. This is also one of the most typical and original souvenirs you can take with you from Amsterdam. So don’t forget to pack some tulip bulbs in your suitcase, they are sure to remind you of Amsterdam whenever you look at them.
This market is located next to the Singel canal and as a curiosity we will tell you that it is built on water, something that is not easy to detect at first sight.
One of the best excursions in Amsterdam for flower lovers is a visit to Keukenhof, a beautiful place where you can stroll through fields with thousands of colourful tulips. However, this excursion must be done during spring, the time of tulip flowering.
Market visiting hours: daily from 9:00 to 17:00. Sunday starts at 11:00.
3. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum houses the most extensive collection, with some of the best works, of the brilliant Dutch painter. The museum has more than 200 paintings and 400 drawings by Van Gogh from different periods, including “The Arles Bedroom”, “The Potato Dining Rooms” and “The Sunflowers”. It is advisable to take an audio guide to learn more about the history and details of his life and works. Another good option is to book this guided tour with an art specialist to get the most out of one of the most visited places in Amsterdam.
Market visiting hours: every day from 9:00 to 18:00. Fridays are closed at 22:00.
Begijnhof is one of our favourite spots and one of the must-see places in Amsterdam. This treasure is hidden near Spuiplein Square and is perfect for disconnecting from the movement of the city.
Begijnhof is a 14th century nunnery, where the Blessed Sisters lived, with a lifestyle similar to that of the nuns, but with more freedom. Inside the enclosure you will find elegant houses and a charming garden in the central part, of which we assure you, you will not be able to stop taking pictures.
You can’t miss the Houten Huys, the oldest house in Amsterdam and one of only two remaining in the city with its wooden façade. Another place to enter is the Begijnhof Chapel, the first underground church in the city.
Visiting hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00.
Feel the urge to visit Europe? Read our article about Cinque Terre in Italy.