So much to do, so little time. We’ve created the ultimate Amsterdam bucket list for you (I warn you, it’s long). We’ve included well-known must-dos and real hidden gems & unique experiences. Now it’s your turn to tick ’em off.
1. Have a picknick in one of Amsterdam’s finest parks. As Vondelpark may be quite touristy, try Oosterpark, Westerpark or Rembrandtpark instead. Please note that barbecues are strictly not permitted in most parks.
2. Take one of the free ferries that run day and night from Amsterdam Central Station to the north side of Amsterdam. Go to the IJ-Hallen (one of the biggest flea markets in Europe) and have something to drink at Pllek afterward.
3. Hire a bike and wander through the canals.
4. Discover the incredible jungle of Hortus Botanicus and make sure you capture your plants on pink moment.
5. Check out the vibey Javastraat in the heart of Oost. Full of cutting-edge new bars and restaurants like Bar Basquiat, Gallizia, Walters Woodbury Bar, Hartje Oost and Bar Botanique just around the corner.
6. Try your luck at the TonTon club! Arcade machines and street food. Do we need to say more?
7. The Zeedijk area is the heart of Chinatown in Amsterdam and you’ll find the best food in town. Our faves: Bird (both snack bar and restaurant), DumDum Palace, Nam Kee and Oriental City (best known dim sums dimsum).
8. When the sun’s out, treat yourself to some drinks at NEST, a cool and hip rooftop bar at the Wibautstraat. On the 8th floor, you’ll enjoy an awesome city view while relishing in greenery and beautiful sunsets.
9. Go to Rijksmuseum.
10. Eat brunch at the G’s brunch boat.
11. Stroll through Oosterpark and treat yourself to some drinks and bitterballen in one of the nice cafes at Beukenplein.
12. Look for books Oudemanhuispoort book market which is located in a beautiful passageway.
13. Soak up the sun at Waterkant bar. A great spot for watching the boats go by and eating Surinamese food.
14. Check out the Amsterdam observation deck at A’DAM tower for an incredible panoramic view and try out the swing.
15. Enjoy a small bite at the Foodhallen.
16. Go shopping in De Pijp. Start at the Gerard Doustraat, then go to the Eerste van der Helststraat and finish at van Woustraat. Our faves? The Gathershop, Ninour, Indianaweg 10, Cottoncake, Nobody Has to Know, ANNA + NINA, Things I Like Things I love, Felice and Kaufhaus.
17. Enjoy and buy art, fashion, design, and food at the Sunday Market. Hosted at Westergasfabriek (every first Sunday of the month), Rokin (second) and Nieuwmarkt (last).
18. Visit FOAM museum.
19. Drink a beer in the best authentic brown cafes in the Jordaan area. Like Café Chris, Café Lowietje, Café Rooie Nelis, ‘t Smalle, Chaos, de Twee Zwaantjes, Het Bruine paard, Café Brakke, Papeneiland, and the famous Café Nol.
20. Check out the beautiful movie theater FC Hyena. The perfect place to hang out (big couches instead of cinema seats) and enjoy good (and budget proof) food and wines.
21. Get a sandwich at Cora (because it’s the best).
22. Rent a boat.
23. See a band or two at Amsterdam’s finest music venue: Paradiso.
24. The Heineken brewery isn’t that impressive. Instead, try some beers at one of the smaller breweries like Brouwerij ‘t IJ, De Prael, Troost or Oedipus.
25. Buy something to read at Atheneum (the best place for independent magazines) and read your new magazine or book on one of the benches at het Spui. Pro-tip: they sell reduced priced magazines outside.
26. Treat yourself to a warm stroopwafel at the Albert Cuijp market.
27. During summer, head to Café de Ceuvel and go out for a swim.
28. Check out one of the free expositions in het Stadsarchief and explore all treasures in de Schatkamer.
29. Stroll through the Utrechtsestraat and explore the unique shops.
30. Bingo! Try some try your luck at bingo nights at De Prael.
31. Dance the night (and morning) away at De School.
32. Go to a rooftop bar (Canvas, W Hotel, Skylounge, Floor 17, NEST).
33. Go to pretty Rialto cinema for a good art house movie and afterward, have a drink (+ sausage + cheese) at wine bar GlouGlou, just around the corner. Perfect date night!
34. Get a HEMA hotdog (or two).
35. A sandy beach in Amsterdam? Yes! Check out the relaxed Blijburg aan zee for a full holiday experience for a day.
36. Visit Stedelijk museum.
37. Take a boat from Amsterdam to beautiful Vuurtoreneiland and experience great cooking in a unique setting.
37. Go shopping at the Haarlemmerdijk + 9 Straatjes.
38. Enjoy the best apple pie at Winkel 43 at Noordermarkt.
39. Cycle to Durgerdam (it’s pretty).
40. Get an ice cream at IJscuypje.
41. Wander up to the baby goats at the Amsterdamse Bos.
42. Try Dutch beers at the beautiful Arendstnest. Don’t know what to choose? The staff (all wearing suits) are always happy to share their knowledge and let you try.
43. Get ready for some real vintage shopping at Ari’s place at de Overtoom.
44. Go to World of Foods.
45. We know Begijnhof is pretty (and busy). Instead, try Deutzenhofje.
46. Go swimming in the Noorderparkbad, which has been declared the most beautiful swimming pool in the world.
47. Grab a coffee Lot Sixty One coffee roasters
48. Stroll through the Oud-Zuid area. Especially the Willemspark area is terrific.
49. Visit Amsterdam Museum and get to know Amsterdam.
50. Play a game of Jeu de Boules at Mooie Boules Bar.
51. Check free movies during Pluk de Nacht festival.
52. Get some coffee at café Cook, a real hidden gem in The Baarsjes.
53. Visit Artis.
54. Buy a warm chocolate cookie at Van Stapele.
55. Visit Huis van Marseille.
56. Enjoy a party at Skatecafé (and maybe a meal too).
57. Visit one of many art galleries at Spiegelkwartier.
58. Try a quick snack from the wall at FEBO
59. Go to comedy club Toomler for a good laugh, located in the basement of The Hilton hotel. Top-tip: the late night comedytrain with great stand up comedians (every Saturday, starts at 23:59).
60. Soak up the sun at Blauwe Theehuis, a café in Vondelpark, with a 360 degrees terrace.
61. Take tram 2, considered one of the best tram rides in the world.
62. Sing karaoke at Casablanca.
63. Enjoy EYE with its cool contemporary film exhibits and terrace overlooking the water.
64. Treat yourself to some Turkish bread and dips (Dappermarkt / Javastraat) and have a picknick in Oosterpark.
65. Go to the peanut butter store in the Czaar Peterstraat.
66. Like board games? Make sure to visit Spelletjes Café. Perfect for rainy days.
67. Wonder around in the fantastic looking store The Pelican Studio.
68. Go to Sea Palace.
69. Enjoy the paddling pool at Westerpark during hot summer days.
70. Eat red velvet cake at De Drie Graefjes (it’s the best).
71. Get lost in the best night shop of Amsterdam: Sterk.
72. Visit Van Gogh Museum.
73. Go one of many festivals.
74. Treasure hunt time: Antiekcentrum Amsterdam is a real treat. It’s huge – it takes almost the whole block of houses between Looiersgracht and Elandsgracht – and probably the best place to find antiques and curiosa in Amsterdam.
75. Another insiders secret: treat yourself to some real good coffee in the red light district. It’s called De Koffieschenkerij and it’s located next to the old church.