hero amsterdam.jpg

Amsterdam is the European capital of entertainment, attracting millions of tourists every year. Its low-cost flights and excellent tourist infrastructure mean that it is hardly surprising that it remains one of the most popular city break destinations. The city is quite unique in that a short action-packed visit is every bit as rewarding as a longer exploration, giving you the opportunity to choose how best to explore the city’s many attractions.

We have best flight offers to Amsterdam

Amsterdam on two wheels

Regardless of whether you’re staying for a weekend or longer, there are two tips to making the most of the city. The first is the Amsterdam City Card, which offers a range of discounts on attractions city-wide. The second is a bike, which gives you the chance to experience Amsterdam like a local and move around with ease.

There are famously more bicycles in Amsterdam than residents, and with 70% of residents getting on their bike each day, there’s no better place to explore on two wheels. The city’s infrastructure has been designed by urban logistics experts, so you’ll save time seeing the city by bike – always valuable during any city break. So saddle up for a ride along Amsterdam’s network of canals and over 1,000 historic bridges!

Amsterdam on a bike © iStock
Amsterdam on a bike © iStock

Amsterdam for the weekend

Weekends see Amsterdam at its most crowded and vibrant, with every language to be heard on the city’s streets. With plenty of unique attractions and some of Europe’s best events waiting, it’s easy to get swept up in the buzz. Experience the whirlwind of a weekend in Amsterdam!

Book attraction tickets before you go!

Amsterdam’s historic heart

Start your tour from Torensluis, the capital’s widest bridge. The most prominent spot on Amsterdam’s historical map is Dam Square, to which the city owes its current name. It is a place that never sleeps and is always full of tourists and street performers, day and night. Dam Square is also a good landmark and meeting point as it lies in the centre of a spider web of narrow streets that run throughout the old town. You can find Bijenkorf, the most prestigious department store in the whole of the Netherlands, as well as the Royal Palace in this area.

Royal Palace in Amsterdam © iStock
Royal Palace in Amsterdam © iStock

Meanwhile, Spui Square has quite a different atmosphere. This intimate space is filled with bookstores, with a weekly book fair held every Friday. Collectors and art enthusiasts should head to the local art market on Sundays, or for something a little more highbrow, look to the works of former resident t Rembrandt. The great painter’s square, Rembrandtplein, lies on the south side of the old town, and Rembrandthuis, his former home, is just three minutes north by bike. This is the perfect spot for a short break with a good coffee before pressing on to see Het Kleinste Huis, the smallest tenement house in Amsterdam at a total width of just two metres!

Red Light District in Amsterdam © iStock
Red Light District in Amsterdam © iStock

Europe’s best party

Amsterdam is a mecca for partygoers and weekends are made for partying until dawn in the Leidseplein district. Start your hedonistic dance with a visit to a cafe, where most Dutch people start their evening with a few pints of local beer. Then, head to Rembrandt Square, where you will be guided by the sounds of lively music.

Let your adventures around the city culminate in the famous De Wallen, the largest of Amsterdam’s ed light districts You will find a wide variety of pubs, coffee shops, brothels and restaurants. The culmination of the night’s adventure is a glass of Jenever – a traditional Dutch gin with the addition of molasses and juniper, drunk at sunrise.

Woman buying tulips in Amsterdam © iStock
Woman buying tulips in Amsterdam © iStock

Bloemenmarkt Floating Market

Bloemenmarkt is a unique and fascinating flower bazaar on the banks of the Singel canal. This centuries-old traditional spot will introduce you to a whole world of smells, colours and sensory experiences. Barges filled with flowers ajoin the city’s historic buildings – the market looks most beautiful in spring, when the tulips are in bloom.

Houseboats in Amsterdam © iStock
Houseboats in Amsterdam © iStock

Picture-postcard Amsterdam. Pijp or Jordaan?

Pijp and Jordaan are two incredibly charming neighborhoods in Amsterdam, where life goes on at a slower, more distinctly Dutch pace. Both offer a great escape from the bustling, consumerist lifestyle of the capital’s entertainment centre and are packed with an awe-inspiring number of breakfast venues and brunch restaurants. Take a moment to linger in one of the charming cafes and experience the urban vibe.

Fans of open-air markets will love the Noordermarkt, which hosts a Monday flea market and sells organic products on Saturdays. The central attraction of the Jordaan district is the Anne Frank House. Here, you can experience a taste of how Anne Frank, author of one of the most important testimonies of the Holocaust, and her family lived during the Second World War. This part of Amsterdam is also home to the intriguing Woonboot Museum, or houseboat museum, which is housed aboard a 1940s freighter. Pijp, in turn, is a desirable district of narrow streets with a huge range of atmospheric dining options. This is one of Amsterdam’s most vibrant and fashionable districts and the ideal place to treat yourself to the finer things in life Let your wallet recover at the daily Albert Cuyp Market – it’s hard to find better prices in the city.

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam © iStock
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam © iStock

Amsterdam during the week

If you choose to stay longer, you’ll have more time to explore neighbourhoods, parks, museums and markets, as well Amsterdam’s surrounding areas, at a less frenetic pace. Experience the city’s unique character of the city and learn more about the daily life of an Amsterdammer.

Fascinating museums – without the crowds

Visiting the city’s museums before noon on weekdays is a surefire way to beat the crowds. The Rijksmuseum, is an absolute must-see. The Dutch art and history museum hosts over two million tourists annually. Meanwhile, it would be a shame to miss out on Amsterdam’s many other excellent museums and galleries, which include the Vincent van Gogh, Cheese, Erotica, Tulip, Heineken and Bible museums. The Maritime Museum (Scheepvaartmuseum) and the Moco modern art museum are also very impressive. Remember to buy tickets online in order to jump the queue.

Vondelpark in Amsterdam © iStock
Vondelpark in Amsterdam © iStock

Local handicrafts

Many shops are closed on Sundays, so make sure you shop during the week. The number of souvenir shops and local handicraft shops is spectacular – artisan concept stores are the hallmark of the De 9 Straatjes district, where everyone should find something to take home as a memento.

Vondelpark and Hortus Botanicus

Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s green lung and the Netherlands’ most visited city park. It is what Central Park is to New Yorkers – a place of daily relaxation and an escape from the hustle and bustle of tourists. There are more green zones in Amsterdam itself, such as the Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world.

He Hua Temple in Amsterdam © iStock
He Hua Temple in Amsterdam © iStock

Multicultural Amsterdam

The Chinese Quarter is famous throughout the Netherlands. Here you will feel the cultural diversity that defines the Dutch capital. Visit Fo Guang Shan He Hua, Europe’s largest Buddhist temple. If you are fascinated by Jewish culture, be sure to visit Jodenbuurt, where you’ll find the Jewish Historical Museum and the Portuguese Synagogue.

We have best flight and accommodation offers in London

Student Thursdays

The intersection of Voetboogstraat and Handboogstraat attracts a crowd every Thursday, as Amsterdam’s students flock to alternative cafes and pubs, creating a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere.

Volendam, Netherlands © iStock
Volendam, Netherlands © iStock

Around Amsterdam

If you fancy a trip outside the city, here are some suggested destinations:

  • Zandvoort, for its beautiful beaches..
  • Volendam’s homely fishing village atmosphere.
  • Haarlem is known as “little Amsterdam” and has fewer tourists than the capital.
  • Zaanse Schans will let you experience the many charms of the Dutch countryside, along with open-air windmill museums.
  • Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port.
  • Edam is renowned worldwide for its eponymous cheese.

Whatever your preference, Amsterdam has plenty to offer for every schedule!



Looking for a specific place?