The capital of The Netherlands is well known for its quaint historical architecture, its coffee shops and the canals that wind their way like veins through the heart of the city. It’s an incredible place to visit and there are an innumerable amount of things to occupy your time.
Get on Your Bike
One of the first things you’ll notice about Amsterdam is just how many bikes there are! Everybody here cycles, so there’s no better way to see the city than to go on a Private Bike Tour with a Local. Withlocals is an awesome online marketplace that connects travellers wanting to experience something out of the ordinary with local hosts in their chosen destination offering private tours and experiences. On this bike tour you’ll be introduced to many of the most important and famous sights Amsterdam has to offer and get to know some places that only locals know. No surprises then that it’s one of the top things to do in Amsterdam.
For More, Check Out Withlocals.com for their Top 10 Things To Do in Amsterdam
☞ Looking for hotels? Check out ThePlanetD for Where To Stay in Amsterdam
Hit the Museums
Amsterdam is well renowned for its incredible collection of world class museums, which range from the utterly brilliant to the unthinkably weird. No matter what your interests are there’s a museum for you, even if you’re not the type to usually frequent them.
Visit the house that Anne Frank lived in, see some of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous works in his eponymous museum and discover Amsterdam’s history at the Rijksmuseum. Or alternatively head to the Museum Vrolik with its display of skeletons and foetuses in jars, the Tattoo Museum which runs through the history of body art or the Sex Museum which is, well, pretty self explanatory.
Check Out the Red Light District
The Red Light District in Amsterdam is infamous for its abundance of sex stores, banging bars and glass fronted shops with scantily clad, gyrating women stood in them. But there’s also another side that you may not be aware of. It’s actually located in the oldest part of the city and the architecture found in this area is really stunning. Forget your preconceptions and head down to the red light district to see what it’s all about for yourself, you may just be surprised. Just remember to look up.
Go Cheese Tasting at De Kaaskamer
The Netherlands is one of Europe’s great centres of cheese production with a fine tradition in creating both an excellent quality and selection. De Kaaskamer is arguably the most famous cheese shop in the city and is stocked floor to ceiling with what must be hundreds of varieties. You’re able to sample many of the cheeses on offer and the friendly staff will even vacuum pack your cheese ready for your flight home. If it lasts that long.
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Go on a Canal Cruise
Amsterdam’s canals are one of it’s most famous features, and a cruise is undoubtedly the best way to experience the waterways. Constructed hundreds of years ago, they provide a wonderful view of the city’s historic centre and will give you an entirely new perspective. There are plenty of ways to cruise down the canal network including private boat tours, hiring your own boat to navigate at your own pace or even while sharing a romantic candlelit dinner with your loved one. This is the perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon and get a bit closer to the history of Amsterdam.
See Also: The Beautiful Canals of Venice (VIDEO)
Take Pictures of The Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes)
If you want to get some postcard worthy snaps while you’re in Amsterdam then this is the place to go. The Nine Streets is, unsurprisingly, made up of nine tiny streets that are some of the most picturesque you’ll come across. Quaint little cafes, restaurants, bars as well as trendy boutiques line the shop fronts and pretty, bike laden bridges connect the narrow streets which are interrupted by a series of canals. This is a real local’s spot where you’ll observe typical Amsterdam life taking place.
Visit Amsterdam’s Central Public Library
The Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, otherwise known simply as the OBA, is the city’s main public library and it’s conveniently located right next to the Central Station. Granted, library’s aren’t usually considered a cool thing to see or do, but before you dismiss it, understand that this is no ordinary library. It’s one of the largest public libraries in Europe with 7 floors filled to the brim with books, and the nearly 2 million visitors it receives can’t all be wrong. Wonder at the modern building’s beautiful design, and spend a couple of hours marvelling at the sheer number of books on display and chilling out in the cafe.
Get Stuck in at the Tasting Tavern
What began in 1679 as simply a liquor distillery in the heart of the city, quickly grew into what’s known as a Proeflokaal, or Tasting Tavern. The Wynand Fockink Proeflokaal isn’t the easiest place to find in Amsterdam as it’s hidden away in a small alley behind Dam Square, but it’s well worth the effort to locate it. Try some of the 70 plus hand produced and bottled liquors and genevers on offer which are still being made using the same recipes and methods as they did over 300 years ago. There’s also an onsite shop where you can purchase the full range of products to take home with you.
Marvel at the Famous Flower Market
The world’s first and only floating flower market is one of the most colourful and fragrant places in the city. The shops are positioned on a series of connected floating barges on the Singel Canal and have been present in Amsterdam since 1862. The market harks back to a time when the canals were the main way for suppliers to get their goods to the sellers, and still has a romantic air to it.
Dine in Darkness at Ctaste
For a truly unique dining experience, head to the highly unusual Ctaste, a restaurant where guests are treated to an entire meal in total pitch darkness. The idea is to awaken the rest of your senses by making you rely completely on your hearing, smell, touch and taste by taking away your sight. The restaurant is staffed by a team of visually impaired and blind individuals who have been specially trained to make you feel at ease as well as serve the food and drinks in this environment. This is definitely a meal you won’t forget in a hurry.
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