Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, and with good reason, it’s one pretty epic city!

10 Places You Must See On Your First Trip To Amsterdam (8)Brimming with amazing culture, incredible nightlife, world-class museums and historical gems, this is one city not to miss when thinking of a European city break.

Unique Things To Do Visiting Amsterdam (34)

Where to stay? 

One things that’s really cool about Amsterdam is that it’s a city for everyone, especially when it comes to a place to rest your head! No matter what you’re looking for luxury, chic, modern or classic – you’ll definitely find a comfy bed that’s right for you. One of the coolest hotels that we’ve stayed at whist in Amsterdam has to be the CitizenM.

CitizenM Amsterdam (13)Firstly, they’re great for being affordable but at the same time, pretty plush… they have one futuristic multi-colour rain showers and a bed that’s fit for a king or queen (just look how big it is). And don’t get me started on the plethora of free movies they have here too (and we’re not talking movies from the 90s either – there are movies from the last 12 months and some pretty brilliant classics).

CitizenM also have early check in (10am – to check in even before 10am you’d have to pay a small fee) and you can check out of your room as late as 8pm (again, at a small fee).

The whole room is open plan and is a total chill-out pad, especially after a long day exploring the city – it’s the best place to rest those weary feet!

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Oh yeah, they’ve also got these pretty nifty iPads that literally control everything in the room from lights/TV to the mood of the room! 😉

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Take a look at the rooms below!

CitizenM have a few hotels now, with two in Amsterdam (one 3 minutes walk from the airport and one in the city itself)…

CitizenM Amsterdam (8)…you might even find a Pokemon whilst you’re there! 😉CitizenM Amsterdam (15)

 What are the main sites to see?

1) Head inside Westerkerk

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Westerkerk or West Church is famous for being the most popular church in Amsterdam and has even housed royal weddings in the past… oh la la!

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Built in the Renaissance style with Gothic features, many visitors come here to see the tomb of Rembrandt who is buried in the church – pretty eerie but a place that every first time visitor should see in Amsterdam

2) Discover a bookworm’s dream at Rijksmuseum

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Founded in 1809, the Rijksmuseum houses a huge range of art work and antiquities and is said to have something in the region of seven million art pieces that took hundreds of years to accumulate!

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There are 250 rooms here for you to peruse and even a library with over 35,000 books. Bookworms rejoice!

3) Explore The Van Gogh Museum

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Come here if you want to see the largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings anywhere across the world! There are over 200 paintings here as well as drawings and letters that belonged to this 19th century artist that’s now one of the most prized artists.

4) Reflect at The Anne Frank Museum

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The former home where Anne Frank and her family hid during much of the Second World War, this is a moving visit for those who choose to make the journey and one that has a lasting reminder of the barbaric and inhuman persecution of Jews and of minorities.

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The home has now been turned into a museum and is looks as close to how it would have been in Anne Frank’s time. Take a tour of the moving museum which embraces acceptance and equality for all.

5) Live like a Royal in the Royal Palace

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The official residence of the King of Holland, the Royal Palace was first built in 1648 as a sign of their power. Built to mirror the architecture of ancient Rome, the palace is opulent and ornate and one that is stunningly beautiful – just make sure to check out the state rooms!

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6) The port and canals of Amsterdam

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Still very much a working port to this day, the Port of Amsterdam stretches for 19 kilometres until it reaches the sea. Cruises operate here around the harbour and canals that bisect Amsterdam so come here if you want to see the city from the water…

Exploring Amsterdam's Canal (By Driving A Boat For The First Time!) (13)

… you can even hire a boat for the day and chill-out with a tipple and picnic! The best way to spend a sunny afternoon!

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7) Smell the flowers at Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

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Known for being Amsterdam’s botanical garden, come here if you want to take in some of the best nature in the city. The garden used to be dedicated to medicinal herbs but now has exotic and tropical flowers that bloom in the summer months!

8) The National Monument

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The National Monument is actually an obelisk that stands at 22 metres high. It is a memorial to the victims and veterans of the Second World War. It’s a moving reminder of the city’s turbulent history.

9) Rembrandt House Museum

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The Rembrandt House Museum is located in the former home of Rembrandt and his wife and is the site where many of his most famous paintings were created. You can now tour the house and learn all about the history of Rembrandt and see many of his most famous works. It’s a dream destination for art enthusiasts.

10) Watch the sunset at Pllek


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This amazing little spot is a favourite place for local’s to enjoy in Amsterdam! Head to Pllek on a summer or winter’s evening, grab yourself a hot chocolate (or glass of wine) and enjoy the glistening sunset over the city. It’s one of Amsterdam’s coolest places!

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This Is Where To Go For The Best Sunsets In Amsterdam! (16)

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  • The CitizenM hotel looks so nice and cosy! I would love to get back to Amsterdam soon!

    Abigail Alice x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Oh, the bed was so snuggly, I didn’t want to get out! Ha!

      Lloyd xx

  • Great places, great post! Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities and I always end up going back.
    (I also have an Amsterdam City Guide post)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ours too! Gotta love that city!

      Ohhhh we’d love to read your Amsterdam post… we’re heading back again in 2 weeks and would love some new recommendations 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Yeah! Please do, I would love your opinion about the post!
        I have many recommendations if you guys would like some – just let me know.

        • HandLuggageOnly

          That would be awesome, we’re flying across tomorrow. Do you know any really cool places that most of us visitors wouldn’t know about? Really excited to arrive now!

          Thanks so much Gabriela 🙂

          Lloyd & Yaya xx

          • Of course, no problem! You guys are incredibly lucky, I wish I was going back! I don’t know exactly where you guys have gone but here are a few places:
            Coffee and Coconuts is a must (the interior is quite awesome along with the food/drinks). Back to Black has wonderful coffee and delicious pastries. Bakers and Roasters is one of the best for brunch. Finally, Bar Bukowski for drinks!
            Let me know if any of those served you well.
            Have a great time xx

            • HandLuggageOnly

              Thanks so much Gabriela

              We’re so excited… really hoping we can fit some of them in! 🙂

              Thanks again for all your kind help, Gabriela – we really appreciate it1 🙂

              Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Your pictures are so gorgeous, I seriously need to check out Amsterdam!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Abbie, you’ll love Amsterdam!

      Let us know if you’re going – always happy to help with tips.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Mandira Adhikari

    I just came back from Amsterdam two weeks back and it seems I struck off everything from this list except the sunset 🙁 Need to go again 😉

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! Sounds like you did really well!

      Sunset can be the excuse to return, eh? 😉

      Lloyd & Yaya 🙂

  • Yun

    Love the last picture! haha

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! Thanks!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Taste of France

    Willemspark and the neighborhood around it are really nice.
    The Grand Café by the train station is gorgeous.
    There’s a great flea market on Sundays at Waterlooplein.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      The flea market is incredible! We actually wen there on our last visit – I think we ended up losing a good few hours. It was so nice!

      Thanks so much for the recommendations… definitely going to check out the Grand Café (as we’re back there in 2 weeks)

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • We visited the Anne Frank House in June and it was definitely one of the more solemn tours I’ve taken.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It really is isn’t it, Emily! Solemn is most definitely the right word.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Steve Moga

    we spent a week there this summer (2016), renting a apartment in the Old pip. Highly recommend taking a kayak tour through the canals in Amsterdam. It’s a great way to see the city and experience the neighborhoods.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      That sounds incredible, Steve! Wow, thanks for sharing the link to your post too. Kayaking definitely seems like a fun way to do it!

      Lloyd & Yaya 🙂

  • This makes me miss Amsterdam. Great list!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Aida – Amsterdam is amazing isn’t it!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Amsterdam is such a beautiful place. I was there in 2008 and I definitely think it’s time for me to go back! 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It really is isn’t it Sophie – so glad you think so too! We love it!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I’m going in December over Christmas and this has given me some inspo so thank you.
    p.s any free walking tour you will recommend?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, you’re going to LOVE Amsterdam. There’s quite a few free walking tours of the city… though, I’d check on arrival at the tourist office near the main train station as times tend to change depending on weather/availability.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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