Things to do in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a pedestrian-friendly city, but it'd be a shame not to explore it as the locals do - by bicycle. Rent a bike from AmsterBike and pedal around yourself, or take a guided tour. (If you'd rather not bike, you can get a great overview of the city on a canal cruise). Here are some other classic things to do in Amsterdam:
Visit the Van Gogh Museum. Housing the art collection of Vincent Van Gogh's younger brother, Theo, this museum includes around 200 paintings and 500 drawings by Holland's native son, as well as by Van Gogh's friends and contemporaries. The paintings tell the story of Van Gogh's journey from Holland, where his work was dark and somber, to France, where he discovered vivid color.
Sightsee in the historic Begijnhof district. This classic example of Dutch architecture dates back to the 14th century. The neighborhood has a serene setting, with small houses and picturesque gardens surrounding tidy courtyards.
Stroll through Bijlmermeer. This neighborhood, once infamous for muggers and junkies, is now a booming area for innovative architecture, and is home to the shopping center Amsterdamse Poort.
Sunbathe in the Vondelpark. What to do in Amsterdam between museums and tours?This 120-acre park, located near the Rijksmuseum, has gorgeous lawns, paths, and an open-air theater, as well as a Picasso statue.
Built as a brewery in 1662, this nightclub on the Singel Canal in central Amsterdam served as a concert hall, cinema, and auction hall, all of which are noticeable in the exposed wood beams, ceiling paintings, carved stucco, and Greek columns.
Though Abraham Tuschinski was killed along with his family at Auschwitz, his spectacular cinema in Amsterdam survived and remains the largest in the Netherlands. Today, it’s the extravagant mix of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Moorish, and Oriental styles throughout the theater that ensures its fame.
Stationed within the Dylan Hotel, this elegant, brasserie-style bar is a popular spot for lunch, dinner, and business meetings over cocktails. The space includes both the fireside Bar Badou and a lounge with comfortable, low profile furniture.
Tulip bulbs, seeds, and cut daffodils, roses, lilies, and more are for sale at this shop. Ask the shopkeeper for bulbs that are certified to pass U.S. Customs. Even if you don’t buy, a stroll through the urban garden atmosphere is worthwhile.
With the exception of making it on the guest list, the doorman’s favor is necessary to enter this top-of-the-line lounge and nightclub off the Leidseplein, Amsterdam’s version of Times Square.
This floating flower market is always filled with people, who come for the experience, colors, and fragrances, even if shopping isn’t on the agenda.
High atop the temporary HQ of the Stedelijk Museum, in the edgy eastern docklands, sits this anomaly of dining and entertainment: occupying a full floor of a vast warehouse building, it has the merest hint of décor (some cheery yellow-green paint here and there, long picnic tables).
Though the store also sells brands like Tumi, Samsonite, and Rimowa, among others, the namesake Italian-designed luxury leather goods make it worth stopping in. The creation of sleek luggage, totes, briefcases, and shoes (for men and women) has been a family tradition since 1898.
With 21 beers, 21 wines, and 21 whiskeys, this minimalist pub encourages you to taste, as the name suggests.
This shop is marked outside by a white sign at 233 Singel with “Orangebike” inside an orange circle of windmills, klompen, tulips, and bikes. The company offers a "green" way to the city: guided bicycle tours.
This ethnographic museum is an initiative from the Royal Tropical Institute, which seeks to understand and preserve non-Western cultures. The ornate, four-story brick building houses art, photographs, music, and film to highlight the cultures of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Most of the airport’s stores center around this hub, a well-vetted string of stores—Nike, H&M, the Body Shop, Suit Supply, and various boutiques—from which to grab a last-minute gift, outfit, or travel accessory.
Movie stars, fashion gurus, and business leaders make up much of the clientele at Van Revenstein’s boutique in the “Nine Streets” shopping district along the canal belt in central Amsterdam.