Amsterdam, Netherlands

For some, planning a trip is a painful exercise and trying to package everything together is a tirelessly boring task.

But for us, preparing for a trip is just as good as being on it.

TotalGuide continues to help millions of travellers plan their trips so they can truly experience all that Amsterdam has to offer.

We don’t just throw together a bunch of information and litter it with affiliate links, we take pride in our research and people on the ground to ensure the information we give is up to date, accurate, value for money and of course safe.

If you don’t want to plan then that’s cool too, have a look at our ready made itineraries where you can pick and choose what you want to do.

So, let us begin.

Why Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is drenched in history so it’s no surprise that you’ll find some of the best museums and galleries in Europe here, including the famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum in Museum Square. Containing over 200 paintings, 500 drawings and letters from Van Gogh, it’s the largest collection of the artist’s work in the world – and well worth a visit. On Fridays it stays open late, and you can often find musicians, DJs and performers there.

The canal isn’t just there for pretty pictures, there’s also a lot of buzz and activity around it. A canal cruise is one of the best ways to see the city and there are many you can try. You can take on your standard canal cruise in a traditional canal boat, or opt for a more active option of a canal bike or hire your own mini boat for the day. We have a few cruises on our site which you can book before which are the Beer and Burgers Cruise or a more subtle and romantic Candlelight Cruise.

You’ll find lots of local markets sprinkled around the city, where you can buy food, souvenirs, flowers, and art. The most popular markets are the Rembrandt Art Market, the Mercatormarkt – where you can buy local produce – and the Zuidermrkt, where you can buy local produce. At Christmas there’s also a great range of Christmas markets which are both atmospheric and fun.

But it’s not all just museums and nice architecture, check out our TotalGuide of Things to do in Amsterdam 2021

There’s no lack of festivals in Amsterdam. No matter what time of year you visit there’s always something going on whether you’re into dance music, food or art.

Kings Day is held on 27 April and is dedicated to the king’s birthday: expect colourful street parties, markets and parties galore. Other festivals include the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre shows, Amsterdam Gay Pride and Amsterdam Kookt food festival.

Amsterdam nightlife will not disappoint, wherever you fancy a few cosmopolitans, a quiet beer or a wild club night.

Big clubs include Escape, Studio 80 and Westerunie, all of which offer famous DJs, big tunes and lasers. If you’re more into the cocktail scene, bars such as Twenty Third and Tales and Spirits are perfect. Or, if you want to keep it casual, you can relax in one of the city’s many cafes.

Our What’s On Amsterdam 2021 guide is packed full of the best events all year around

With tulips being the Netherlands’ national flower, you can expect to see them all over the city. Head to Keukenhof, only 30 mins away from the city, a famous flower show which runs between March-May. For something a little closer, Tulip Island in Vondelpark is an annual tulip display from July-September. Finally, a trip to the floating flower market really is a must: the Bloemenmarkt is present all year round on the canal.

Bikes are a big deal in Amsterdam. If you want to explore the city like a local there really is no other way than to hire a bike. There are many bike hire companies you can use, which are easy to find and affordable. If you fancy a little structure to your bike exploration then you can also take on a bike tour of the city.

Amsterdam takes its food seriously, with 12 Michelin starred restaurants at its disposal, so if you’re a foodie you won’t be disappointed. The Hotel Okura boasts five restaurants, four of which are Michelin starred, so it’s well worth a visit if you fancy the finer things in life.

From croquettes in vending machines to Michelin starred restaurants, don’t eat out in Amsterdam until you’ve read our Amsterdam Food Guide 2021

Whatever your reason for booking a trip to Amsterdam, you won’t be disappointed.

Getting to Amsterdam

KLM is the main flag carrier for the Netherlands and provides both long and short-haul flights usually to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, other smaller or budget airlines may fly into other regional airports within The Netherlands so check which airline operates and from where.

We’ve found that flying into a regional airports such as Eindhoven and then travelling by train or bus to Amsterdam is cheaper, however it will add another 2 hours on top of your trip.

If you’re arriving to Schiphol Airport then getting into the city centre is straight forward. The NS train will take you from the airport to Centraal Station in around 15-20 minutes. You will have to buy a ticket from within the terminal and there are self serving machines littered all over the arrivals terminal.

It costs around 6 euro’s but be careful, you won’t need a season ticket and you won’t be allowed to use any rail discount passes that aren’t covered within the Netherlands. Also, be mindful that some of these trains have silent carriages meaning those in groups or with children may want to avoid them.

Landing in the middle of the night? Book your taxi in advance to avoid high charges on arrival

If you are travelling by train then you will arrive at Centraal Station which is the main rail hub in Amsterdam. If staying close by to Centraal Station is a priority then check out The Hotel Ibis, DoubleTree Amsterdam or Art’otel Amsterdam.

For information on getting around Amsterdam, please check out our Getting Around Amsterdam section

Most Popular Attractions

This beautiful, vibrant, lively city that never sleeps and is known as ‘Venice of the North’ can be travelled by walking along the canals, beautiful parks and museums, to riding a bicycle to various locations and to taking canal cruise and ferries to all the areas in and around Amsterdam.

Whatever you may be interested in, Amsterdam can give you all by visiting beautiful museums, to great coffee shops, the long list of canals, beautiful flower markets and a visit to the red light district would also be an interesting choice.

1. Canal Belt

One of the most famous Amsterdam attractions includes the beautiful canals which have been there since the 17th century. More than 100 canals adds to the beauty of this city and can be experienced in the best way possible when you take a boat ride and enjoy the architecture, the beautiful mansions of the elite and get an insight of the their tradition.

These canals were built to manage Amstel Rivers flow. The whole stretches of canals are lined with beautiful trees adding to the serenity of this beautiful city. You can cross the canals various bridges built. You can rent a houseboat or book with a houseboat hotel and be on the water for as long as you wish to.

2. Rijksmuseum

This museum has artifacts of great significance and importance since the 13th Century with more than a million artifacts being there. Its beautiful construction started after Pierre Cuypers design won an award and it was opened in 1885.
Some of its famous works include the paintings by Johannes Vemeer, Rembrandt and many more. You would not mind paying for entry here when you get to see ‘Night Watch’, Rembrandts famous masterpiece.

3.Van Gogh Museum

House to the letters and paintings of Van Gogh is one of Amsterdam’s Tourist Attractions that cannot go unnoticed. His artwork is chronologically displayed to give an insight into his vivid style. His work is displayed in a four story building designed by Gerrit Rietveld.

The different floors have different styles and showcase more than 200 paintings, his struggles in life and the great efforts taken to restore his work and also works of artists like Millet, Daubingy and Gaugin.

Where to Stay

There are over 500 hotels in Amsterdam so finding which one suits you all comes down to a few simple choices.

If museums and a steady dose of culture is your thing then we’d recommend XXXX. It’s location is within walking distance of the XXX, XXX and XX museums. This part of Amsterdam is XXXXX and boasts some of the best canals for an afternoon stroll.

The cannabis culture in Amsterdam is undeniably vibrant, this tabboo is very much tolerated here. If you’re coming here to enjoy a smoke then why not stay above a coffee shop? XXX and XXX are both very popular with the “wakers & bakers”. You can find out more by taking a look at The TotalGuide to Cannabis Coffee Shops in Amsterdam

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Premium

 

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When to go?

The best time to visit Amsterdam is around early April until end of June and then early September until early October.

By doing so you will avoid the large crowds than descend on Amsterdam during the summer months of July & August whilst still being able to enjoy good weather.

Although the Netherlands does not offer up the warmest of climates, Amsterdam can see highs of 22°C (71.6°F) in August. It is worth noting that January is the coldest month where temperatures can fall to as low as 0.8°C (33.4°F)

For more information on yearly weather charts and daily weather updates in Amsterdam, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need help putting your trip together? let us help you out and give you all the information you need to make your trip a memorable one.

Getting to Amsterdam

KLM is the main flag carrier for the Netherlands and provides both long and short-haul flights usually to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, other smaller or budget airlines may fly into other regional airports within The Netherlands so check which airline operates and from where. Get the best deal on flights to Amsterdam We’ve found that flying into a regional airport such as Eindhoven and then travelling by train or bus to Amsterdam is cheaper, however it will add another 2 hours on top of your trip.

If you’re arriving to Schiphol Airport then getting into the city centre is straight forward. The NS train will take you from the airport to Centraal Station in around 15-20 minutes. You will have to buy a ticket from within the terminal and there are machines all over. It will cost around 6 euro’s but be careful, you won’t need a season ticket and you won’t be allowed to use any rail discount passes that aren’t covered within the Netherlands. Also, be mindful that some of these trains have silent carriages meaning those in groups or with children may want to avoid them.

It’s a good idea to plan ahead, check what time you land as taxis to Amsterdam centre will cost in excess of €50.00

If you are travelling by train then you will arrive at Centraal Station which is the main rail hub in Amsterdam. Depending on which hotel you choose (see below) and what time you arrive, you will more than likely have to get a tram or taxi to your hotel. If staying close by to Centraal Station is a priority then check out The Hotel Ibis, DoubleTree Amsterdam or Art’otel Amsterdam.

Where to stay?

There are over 500 hotels in Amsterdam so finding which one suits you all comes down to a few simple choices.

If museums and a steady dose of culture is your thing then we’d recommend XXXX. It’s location is within walking distance of the XXX, XXX and XXmuseums. This part of Amsterdam is XXXXX and boasts some of the best canals for an afternoon stroll.

The luxury option would have to include staying at XXX or XXX. They are the top hotels in the city XXXXX

Get 25% off hotels by booking through TotalGuide – click here

The cannabis culture in Amsterdam is undeniably vibrant, this tabboo is very much tolerated here. If you’re coming here to enjoy a smoke then why not stay above a coffee shop. XXX and XXX are both very popular with the “wakers & bakers”. Another good spot for those who want a smoke but don’t want to be in it 24/7 is XXX it’s still within walking distance but is on the fringes of the centre making it more chilled. Why not check out our smoke friendly packages? You can find out more by taking a look at The TotalGuide to Cannabis Coffee Shops in Amsterdam

What to see?

History buffs will be in their element, retrace the steps of Anne Frank in the house she lived in whilst hiding from the Nazi’s occupation of Amsterdam in XXXX. Pre booking tickets is a must as Anne Franks Huis is a very popular attraction and you can expect to queue for at least 1 hour.

No visit to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to the museums of The Netherlands finest XXX artists. Works of Rembrandt (Rembrandt Museum), Van Gogh (Van Gogh Museum) and XX are xxx Moco Museum Stedeljik Museum, rijks museum

You may have drank Heineken before but have you seen how it’s made? Take a XX tour of the XXX year old brewery which exports it’s famous lager to XX countries throughout the world. Or take a laid back approach and visit the IJ Brewery xxxx

Two things that are synonmous to The Netherlands are windmills, Tulips and Cheese. You can vist XXX windmills at XXX. Tulips can be bought in XXX and if you want to see the fields in which they are grown then head to XXX. The most famous cheeses in holland are XX and XX they can be bought in most supermarkets but for a unique experience why not visit XX

Diamonds are certaintly a girls best friend, but if you’d like to get up and personal at a real diamond factory then head over to XXX. Koh i Noor

Dam Square is XXXXX you’ll also be able to visit The Royal Palace whilst youre there too.

What to do?

Museums
Canal Cruises

9 streets

Jordaan Area

vondelpark

flea market

Zoo
Ajax

Relaxed cannabis laws throughout the Netherlands means weed is tolerated. It is part of the culture of Amsterdam and you wont be out of place taking part in this recreational drug whilst on your visit. We reccomend visiting authorised coffee shops only, you can find out more information and which ones to visit in our guide The TotalGuide to Cannabis Coffee Shops in Amsterdam.

Body Worlds

Rooftop Bars – sunset (A’dam Lookout)

After dark Amsterdam’s Red Light Districts comes to life, the most famous is De Wallen. It is a warren of medievil alleyways stretching over three canals and houses some 400 working girls. You will also find sex shops, sex theatres and peep shows in this area. For more information or to book a tour check out our TotalGuide to Amsterdam’s Red Light District

Nightlife – Paradiso, Concertgebouw, De School, Lidesplein, Di Pip?
– The TotalGuide to Amsterdams Nightlife

Experiences
– TotalGuides top 5 experiences you can do in Amsterdam

Getting Around

Bike. End of
But seriously, for a city with over 800,000 bikes, it would be rude not too. Cyclists have the right of way in most parts of this city and getting on two wheels will not only keep you fit but allow you to see more in less time. You can rent a bike here.

Take advantage of a cheaper rate, que jump and guranteed rental by booking your bike here

The Amsterdam tram network is one of the largest in Europe so getting to and from in this beautiful city couldn’t be easier. It’s a good idea to plan ahead because the trams as they are priced on time rather than distance. You have to check in and check out on each tram with the validator onboard. You can buy a ticket for an hour for €3.20 or 24 hours for €8.00. a 48-hour weekend ticket costs €13.50. Click here to buy tram tickets

Walking is a fantastic way to see the city, you’ll see things off the beaten track, be able to stroll through a UNESCO World Heritage Site at your pleasure. Amsterdam’s canal ring is something of beauty and is unique throughout the world, it played a major part in it’s Golden Age.

Taxis operate in the city centre and surrounding areas too. If you need to prebook a taxi, click here

Where to eat?

On The Go – The TotalGuide to eating on the go in Amsterdam
Budget – The TotalGuide to eating on a budget in Amsterdam
Middle – The TotalGuide to eating ———– in Amsterdam
Special Occasions – The TotalGuide to the Best Restaurants in Amsterdam