Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, and with good reason, it’s one pretty epic city! Brimming with amazing culture, incredible nightlife, world-class museums and historical gems, Amsterdam is one city not to miss when thinking of a European city break; especially when visiting the Netherlands.
We always have the best time visiting all the best sites in Amsterdam.
Take a look, below, at the best things to do in Amsterdam on a first visit to the city.
1) Head inside Westerkerk
Westerkerk or West Church is famous for being the most popular church in Amsterdam and has even housed royal weddings in the past.
It’s all very oh la la!
Built-in the Renaissance style with Gothic features, many visitors come here to see the tomb of Rembrandt who is buried in the church.
Yeah, it could be seen as pretty eerie but a place that every first-time visitor should see in Amsterdam.
Oh, and don’t forget to book this unlimited public transport ticket before arriving in Amsterdam. It gives you unlimited travel all across Amsterdam and is one of the best you can get if you’re wanting to make the most out of your time in the city.
2) Discover a bookworm’s dream at Rijksmuseum
Founded in 1809, the Rijksmuseum houses a huge range of artwork and antiquities and is said to have something in the region of seven million art pieces that took hundreds of years to accumulate!
There are 250 rooms here for you to peruse and even a library with over 35,000 books.
3) Explore The Van Gogh Museum
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) The Anne Frank Museum
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.
The home has now been turned into a museum and it 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
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 staterooms.
Just remember, you can’t always take pics inside.
6) The port and canals of Amsterdam
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…
… 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 in Amsterdam.
It’s all so much fun and well worth it.
After all, Amsterdam is known for its gorgeous canals.
7) Smell the flowers at Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
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
The National Monument is actually an obelisk that stands 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
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
This amazing little spot is a favourite place for locals to enjoy in Amsterdam.
Head to Pllek on a summer or winter 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 and well worth spending a few hours here.