Amsterdam. Our adoration for this city never ends, from its cutting-edge culinary scene to its most well-known landmarks. Amsterdam is one of the most culturally significant towns in Europe, perhaps best known for its art galleries and museums, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House. Of course, the city also has a thriving nightlife.
No matter the weather, there are countless things to do in Amsterdam, and many of the most worthwhile activities are found outside of the well-traveled tourist routes of the city center. So, we have listed some options for you to consider next time you visit Amsterdam.
But before we do that, we would also like to provide a unique tip. We assume that you are flying to Amsterdam and you don’t travel there on foot. If you do, you’d probably need any of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport transfers. And boy do we have the solution. Just check the decent folk at AtoB Transfer. They provide the best rates for airport taxis in town and you will experience the most comfortable ride by AtoB airport transfer. So, don’t miss them!
Now, without further ado, let’s see the 10 best things to do in Amsterdam like a local.
The Jordaan is frequently referred to as Amsterdam’s most picturesque neighbourhood, and entering there is like travelling through time.
The Jordaan, once a working-class neighbourhood, is now one of Amsterdam’s most coveted neighbourhoods and is lined with independent art galleries, antique shops, courtyard gardens, and ambiance-filled bars and restaurants.
One of Amsterdam’s best shopping experiences is to abandon the map and become lost in the maze of winding streets known as the 9 Streets, which extend eastward from the Prinsengracht canal.
In Amsterdam, there are more than 800,000 bicycles. More bikes than people! Cycling is a way of life in Amsterdam because of the city’s unmatched network of bike lanes and level terrain.
The best way to explore the area’s attractions is on two wheels, and Amsterdam frequently ranks at the top of the list of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities.
Get on your bike and travel to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel to view a charming 12th-century village full of historical landmarks or travel to Sloterplas to cool down in the huge lake.
Uninitiated people might find raw herring a little frightening, but everyone visiting Amsterdam should try it. Ask for a broodje haring to get the fish served in a little sandwich with pickles and onions, and you can see haringhandels (herring carts) all around the city.
Between May and July, when the herring is supposedly at its finest, is the ideal time to try it raw. Still, famished? During your vacation, see if you can sample all of these traditional Dutch delicacies.
Countryside and windmills
If you intend to stay in town for more than a few days, make plans for a day excursion to the region’s many attractions. A beautiful landscape of beaches, windmills, picturesque countryside, and historic cities are all within easy driving distance of Amsterdam using airport taxi.
The charming city of Haarlem, for example, is only 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam Central and is home to a wide variety of stores, cafes, and restaurants as well as a wealth of history and culture.
This enormous collection of former industrial buildings in Westerpark served as the home of the municipal gasworks for the city. Westergas has undergone a transformation to become a vibrant cultural center and is now home to a wide range of enticing pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, a microbrewery, an art-house theatre, and a host of creative companies.
Watch out for the frequent food markets, mini-festivals, and events that are held in this area, like the thriving Sunday market that is held on the first Sunday of every month.
The Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, and The Royal Concertgebouw are all located on Museumplein, where you can easily get by AtoB airport transfer.
A green and aesthetically gorgeous 19th-century neighborhood that has just received world-class repairs, Oud-Zuid is a haven for art enthusiasts. The area between the buildings is constantly filled with outdoor exhibits, fairs, and a huge paddling pool where you can dip your toes on warm days.
The square is transformed into a huge outdoor ice rink throughout the winter. With the I Amsterdam City Card, access to more than 70 institutions is free.
Canals and bridges
The UNESCO-protected canal belt in Amsterdam was built in the 17th century to keep the sea at bay and is the epitome of a picture-perfect Amsterdam scene. It is a really lovely sight, especially after sunset when fairy lights are strung across the bridges and the entire region seems magical.
On a guided boat tour through the canals, you can learn a lot of fascinating facts, such as the origin of the term “dancing houses” for the houses that sway along the canals and other insights into the inner workings of the city. You can choose from various canal cruises but our ever favorite are the romantic ones with the little candlelight in the middle of the tables.
It’s unfortunate that so many tourists to Amsterdam never make it north of Amsterdam Central Station, where there is a thriving food, drink, and cultural scene. A boat ride will get you, free of charge, to various drop-off locations, including the cultural hub NDSM, where you can take advantage of a variety of festivals and events that happen frequently around the waterfront and.
Beer at a historic brewery
The most accessible of Amsterdam’s eight historic windmills, De Gooyer in the Oostelijke Eilanden (Eastern Islands) neighborhood. Our suggestion is to take an Amsterdam airport taxi and head to the award-winning Brouwerij ‘t IJ. There is a drinking deck outside, so here’s to beers under the sun!
Nothing tastes nearly as delicious as beer made on the premises, but you can buy a variety of the brewery’s organic standard and seasonal ales at numerous Amsterdam bars. Just don’t overdo it—you can find more than enough craft beer bars and microbreweries in the city that will “talk” to you via one more frosty fluitje.
Cocktails are a unique way to enjoy and experience Amsterdam’s gorgeous skyline and magnificent architecture. At Canvas, the terrace bar of the Volkshotel, which is renowned for its inexpensive beverages and priceless view of Amsterdam, you can soak up the expansive view while taking a dip in one of the outdoor jacuzzis.
Alternatively, head over to A’DAM Tower for Madam’s frosty sundowners. It would feel like you are at the top of the world.
And there you have it! This is the complete list of the 10 best things to do in Amsterdam like a local. At least we do them every time we visit Amsterdam, so we thought to share it with you, hoping that you will enjoy them as much as we do.