I am excited to finally be sharing my Amsterdam Travel Guide with you guys! It took me a little bit longer than expected because there are so many great places to share. I was in Amsterdam for a week and could have easily stayed for two more weeks. One thing to note is that Amsterdam is very close to a lot of great day trip spots. I kept the trip easy and only went out of Amsterdam for one day. If you are looking for more day trip options, check out some of these guides.
Amsterdam Travel Guide: Important Things To Know
Public transportation is extremely convenient and reasonably priced. Definitely opt for public transit over Lyft or Taxies.
Since Amsterdam is such a big tourist destination, you will find that everyone speaks English.
You may think you are on a sidewalk, but it could be a bike lane. Keep your eyes open because bikes really do rule this city.
Amsterdam Travel Guide: Where to Stay
This was a family trip and we stayed in an apartment for the week. It was the best. Our apartment had four bedrooms, a full kitchen, a little balcony overlooking the canal, and was conveniently located. We stayed a little bit outside of the city center to avoid tourist crowds and I cannot recommend the neighborhood enough. If you get the chance to stay in neighborhoods surrounding Vondelpark, definitely take advantage of it.
Amsterdam Travel Guide: What to Do
Lounge in Vondelpark: I spent an afternoon reading, enjoying ice cream, and drinking wine in the park. It’s a perfect spot to relax and people/dog watch.
Museum Hopping: I didn’t get a chance to go to any of the museums this time around, but get your tickets early, especially for the Van Gogh museum because they sell out most days.
Heineken Brewery Experience: This was the most touristy thing I did on this trip and I loved it. If you have rainy weather, go check this out. It’s a fun experience and you even get to pour your own draft.
Take a Canal Tour: I recommend checking out Flagship Amsterdam for your canal tour. They have open boats, it’s a small group, and they have a bar on board. These canal tours can range widely in prices and Flagship Amsterdam was very reasonable at around 15 Euros.
Visit the Red Light District: I was only here for about five minutes, but it’s definitely a sight to see. I do recommend going in the evening but know that drunk tourists are going to be there too.
Shop on the 9 Streets: There are 9 streets of boutique shopping, and every storefront will have you wanting to shop. I found cute postcards to mail to friends and family, tote bags, and a few other little items to take home with me.
Visit a Coffee Shop: Cannabis is legal in Amsterdam. If you are looking to take advantage of that and get the stereotypical Amsterdam experience, spend an afternoon in a local coffee shop.
Keukenhof Gardens: A full blog post on this is coming soon. These gardens are gorgeous and a must see but you can only see them for a few weeks each spring. Stay tuned for a full review and more insight on getting there, making the most of your time, and what not to do.
Amsterdam Travel Guide: Where to Shop
Gathershop: Cutest little boutique outside of the Foodhallen. I am still so sad I couldn’t bring back all the little greenery through customs. This shop had adorable gold, dainty jewelry, beautiful linen dresses, leather goods, candles, a curated book selection, and of course all the plants you could ever want. I purchased the book, The Secret Guide to Amsterdam, which has curated some of the best spots to eat, drink, and stay. I would definitely recommend this book for Amsterdam, or another one of their guides for the next city you venture to as opposed to a normal travel guide.
Mendo Books: This bookstore is located on the 9 Streets and is a sight to see. It has every coffee table book you could want and the most beautiful layout. Definitely pop in here while browsing the other shops.
Wildernis: Say hello to the plant store of your dreams. This beautiful plant boutique sells all things green and while you are there, sit down and have a cup of coffee. I wish I had brought a book to sit and read in this picturesque spot.
Amsterdam Travel Guide: Where to Eat
Foodhallen: Yes and yes! This is the spot to go if you are with a group and can’t decide what to eat. They have over 15 different food vendors serving all different types of cuisine. I had seafood one night, bitterballen one night, and even tried the steak sandwich. Everything here was a hit.
Dignita: Looking for a brunch spot? Dignita offers gorgeous dishes at a reasonable price. I had the crumpets and couldn’t stop talking about them for the rest of the day. I recommend walking through Vondelpark after filling up here.
Cannibale Royale: One night I went out for steak tartare and Cannibale Royale was highly recommended. They have a variety of meat dishes but do not take your vegetarian bff here as they will leave hungry. The steak tartare and burgers are delicious.
De Carrousel: Don’t let this cheesy looking location fool you. They have the best poffertjes. Poffertjes are essentially tiny fluffy pancakes, but better than you can imagine. I got mine with butter and powdered sugar, but if you are feeling it, definitely add Nutella.
Coffee Sometime: This post easily could have been about all the different places I enjoyed an oat milk latte. Coffee Sometime was the standout latte and their porridge is also a must-have.
Vegan Junk Food Bar: All vegan, and all delicious. I recommend getting one of their legendary burgers and some fries. This spot also seemed like a great place to order takeout if you are looking for a night in.
Cafe Pluk: The most adorable cafe with some of the cutest desserts. Stop by here for an afternoon pick me up and it’s a cute spot to get souvenirs.
The Avocado Show: Of course I had to go to this spot. I am an avocado addict. If you are anything like me then you will find yourself waiting 30 minutes for that brunch seat. I have to say the novelty and aesthetic are the biggest draw here, but the actual food was just okay.
Polaberry: Go get yourself a unicorn cake pop here.
Fondue Fondue: The name really says it all, but this fondue spot is unreal. Make reservations ahead of time and plan to rest immediately after. Even though I was stuffed from the cheese fondue, I couldn’t say no to the chocolate fondue for dessert.
Amsterdam Travel Guide: Where to Drink
Troost: A great local brewery that has a bunch of different types of beer on tap. Amsterdam is filled with microbreweries so be adventurous and try something new.
Haddocks Catch Amsterdam: I went here on a sunny afternoon and enjoyed a glass of rosé. This would be a great spot for oysters too.
Craft and Draft: A small beer bar that offers over 50 beers on draft and rotates them weekly, this bar is a great late night spot.
Twenty Third Bar: This bar is just for the views. On the twenty-third floor of the Okura Hotel, you can see the entire city. I got an expensive glass of champagne and watched the sunset and could not have been any happier.
I had such a great time exploring this city and can’t wait to go back. What’s your favorite city to explore? Let me know in the comments below!
Photos by Camber Weiss.