By Cacinda Maloney
10 Things to do in Amsterdam
From its world-class art museums to its floating flower markets, the city of Amsterdam is reinventing itself from its hedonistic side to now focusing on its rich artistic heritage. I put together this list of 10 things to do in Amsterdam, so that you will not miss a single one. You can peddle your way through the city on a bicycle (where you will find utterly hundreds of them parked on every bridge) or walk on foot and use the well-equipped tram system. This vibrant city will give you plenty of things to do and here are 10 things to do in Amsterdam the next time you are there:
- Rent a holiday apartment.
When traveling with family, it is always better to get a house or apartment than to spend the money on multiple rooms in a hotel. Amsterdam has plenty of apartment choices for your family. Next you should think about renting an apartment in the city instead of staying at a hotel if you are traveling with your family. You will be surprised at how much “value” you will get out of the deal.
- Have a delightful dinner.
Combing the flavors of French and Dutch at Gouden Reael, you will be grateful I suggested this amazing restaurant. I was lucky enough to hear about this little gem in the city owned by a husband-wife team. It appears that mostly locals hang out here, as it is a bit off track for tourist, but it is well worth the cab or tram ride. The food is mouthwatering and the service impeccable, as well as the ambiance that make this such a special experience while in Amsterdam.
- Shop the Sevens area.
I love this quaint area of posh, yet affordable shopping that is within walking distance from a hotel that I have stayed at several times, the Hotel Pulitzer. This is also just down the street from the Anne Frank House.
- Visit a museum.
With more than 50 museums in the city, it is a museum-lover’s dream. Arguably the city’s most important museum is the Rijksmuseum,which features works by Dutch masters such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh. But don’t forget the Anne Frank House. She was one of the most recognizable figures of the Holocaust, and her diary tells what life was like during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam during WWII. Get tickets online before you go, so there is no standing in the queue. And the NEMO science center photographed above is great for the kiddos.
- Stay on a houseboat for a view from the water.
An original way to enjoy Amsterdam is to stay on one of the city’s houseboats and here, once again, you can get value for your money spent. Take a look at HouseboatRental.Amsterdam, where you can peruse their website for a large selection of houseboats all over the city.
- Check out the street art on Spuistraat Street.
This street in central Amsterdam is full of cool street art and graffiti. Bring your camera because some of it is definitely photo-worthy! Find the yellow “snake house”.
- Rent a bicycle and get to pedaling.
This town is a bicycle town and so when in Rome… do what the locals do and ride a bike. There are several places around town that rent them and it makes for an easy breezy way to get around town and is much more fun than any cab or tram ride.
- Visit the Flower Market. We all love those gorgeous flowers that originated in the Netherlands, specifically thinking the tulip in all its brilliant colors. The most famous market is the Bloemenmarkt along the Singel.
- Visit the House of Bols.
A unique adventure and interactive experience in the world of cocktails, liquors, bar tending and the Dutch spirit Genever. Here you will be introduced to the world’s oldest distilled spirit brand since 1575 made right here in Amsterdam!
- Make your way to the Red Light District.
Last but, certainly not least! If not just for a gander you must go, but a great alternative to the creepy men and scantily clothed women, you could take a guided walking tour of the Red Light District instead. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way compared to peering into the bewitching red lights. Also going during the daytime works too!
So there you have it: 10 Things to do in Amsterdam
Disclosure: This trip to Amsterdam was in conjunction with my last day with Viking River Cruises and was sponsored by the official Tourism Board of Amsterdam. The scrumptious food I ate at de Goulden Real, the shots I took at the house of Bols, and the blurry red light district photo I took were all a part of my own doing!