Amsterdam Travel Guide

  • Rijksmuseum
    by akkipaa
  • Boat House
    Boat House
    by swiftfoot
  • oh yeah! fishy fingers!!
    oh yeah! fishy fingers!!
    by djski

Amsterdam Highlights

  • Pro
    RoyJava profile photo

    RoyJava says…

     Great History, Magnificent Canal-houses, Wonderful Nightlife, Incredible Tolerance, Cultural City 

  • Con
    jo104 profile photo

    jo104 says…

     tourists only going to smoke it up in coffee shops 

  • In a nutshell
    PeteP51D profile photo

    PeteP51D says…

     If all you remember is the Red Light District, you've missed Amsterdam. If you don't remember much of anything, you're on the right track... 

Amsterdam Things to Do

  • Red Light District - De Wallen

    I always found it droll travelers who are whisking their way across Europe and barely spend two days in Amsterdam. Sure there are a lot of strange smells but the Dutch are very pragmatic and welcoming to their masses of visitors. Take the VVV. I was benefited from this well run government outfit for lodging, maps, and information about the local...

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  • Anne Frank House

    There seems to always be a line outside the Anne Frank house. We found out too late that you can pre-purchase your tickets on-line. This allows you to avoid the line - you show up at your designated time and you are allowed entry through a separate door. During the summer the museum is open 9a-9p and if you don't have tickets already, your best bet...

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  • Canal Boat Tours

    It happened that the Bleu Boats cruises were at moorings in front of my hotel near the Leidseplein. From a cruise years ago I remember that as these boats are low on water, so that they can pass under the bridges, the view on the houses along the canals is not best. The first thing one sees are the walls of the quays and the cars parked on these...

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Amsterdam Hotels

See all 523 Hotels in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Restaurants

  • FEBO

    Automatic vending machines for burgers, chips (fries) and croquettes. It's pretty cheap and pretty terrible. But if you're hungry, everything else is closed and you don't fancy a night shop rip-off, then needs must when the devil vomits into your kettle (c) Blackadder. Not a huge range for vegetarians. Situated all over town. I've only ever had...

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  • Humphrey's

    People are always wanting to know where the locals eat. We were with several VT friends, so the locals took us to this place and it certainly did not disappoint. It is a very pleasant place with excellent food. I love dark beer and was able to start with a nice Leffe Brown. I had the €23.95 a la cart menu which gives you several choices for 3...

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  • Sea Palace

    We ve just come back from a weekend in Amsterdam. Found this impressive looking restaurant, but were very disappointed. First there was a black hair, in my daughters bowl of soup, the water glasses were dirty, and the food? Well, we ordered a simple dinner, as it was so expensive! Chicken sweet and sour and rice.It was supposed to be balls of...

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Amsterdam Nightlife

  • Adult Spot

    THERMOS DAY- Contrary to another tip posted here, Thermos Day is very clean (yes, of COURSE wear flip flops!). No matter when you go, the men are extraordinary. Each time I've gone I couldn't believe that an American lad NOT Dutch appearing (tall, lanky, thin, huge-hung) was coupling with the stuff of dreams and calendars. They feature a hot tub,...

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  • Red Light District

    Amother bar in the Red Light District but rather tooked away down a narrow street is the 'hot or not' bar.Seems rather seedy at first with its dark interior but is actually a very friendly place to sit and relax and have a beer or two.Nice staff and a great selection of beers,wines and cocktails.Music videos and loud singing locals add to the...

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  • Leidseplein

    Don't bother! If you can find your way to the Liedesplein (very easy on the tram), then you've done 99% of the work of the so-called guides yourself. All the bars they take you to are within 5 minutes of each other, basically all either on or just off the same street. None of the bars charge a cover anyway, and all are empty until you go in (even...

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Amsterdam Transportation

  • Train to & from Schiphol Airport

    update 2013 This does not exist no more as all will change to a chipcard system soon. for tourist info go to Holland Tourist Information Schiphol Airport, Arrivals 2 at Schiphol Plaza Tel: +31 (0)20 702 6000 Opening times: Monday - Sunday 07:00 - 22:00 Think they sell the Iamsterdam card but dont think that includes the train. updated...

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  • Trams

    If you want to travel by tram or bus in Amsterdam the first thing to do is to read the information in Dutch and English on the website of the www.gvb.nl GVB is the public transportation company for Amsterdam. You will also find maps of all transports. On the home page you will find a TOURIST GUIDE with valuable info. I show here what is most...

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  • Central Station & Trains

    At the North side of the Central Station a new first floor Bus station has been made. From here the following EBS buses from/to the Central Station arrive and depart: -110-Central Station-Edam Busstation -118-Central Station-Edam Busstation -124-Central Station-Purmerend Tramplein -125-Central Station-Landsmeer -225-Central...

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Amsterdam Shopping

See all 411 Shopping in Amsterdam
  • Souvenirs

    In Amsterdam center there are several Henri Willig cheese shops, specialised in selling Dutch cheese and traditional food like stroopwafels, cranberries and liquorice. The center city shops are located at: Singel 516/SOU Reguliersbreestraat 24. Haringpakkerssteeg 10/18 Cheese

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  • Clothing Shops

    Marlies Dekkers is a well-known Dutch lingerie designer. She has a number of shops all over the world, where her line of lingerie is sold. The Amsterdam shop is located in one of the cosy "Nine Little Streets". A second Amsterdam shop is located at: Cornelis Schuytstraat 13 - 1071 JC Amsterdam. Lingerie.

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  • Kalverstraat

    Kalverstraat in one of the biggest shopping streets in Amsterdam , with many expensive stores and famous brand names. The street starts in Dam square and after 700-800 meters ends near Munttoren. The street is one of the busiest shopping streets in Amsterdam and very crowded. You will find almost anything , from shoes to kids games , from...

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Amsterdam Local Customs

  • Urinating

    There clearly is (or has been) a problem with men and their bladders in Amsterdam. Whether this is linked to inebriated gentlemen falling into canals whilst obeying a call of nature I cannot say. Nevertheless the city has provided metal 'pissoirs' at strategic points. It is thought so important that gentlemen find the appropriate facilities...

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  • Coffee Shops

    Amsterdam (at least the central part) is lined with Coffeshops selling Marijuana. Although I am sure locals use them too, I got the definite impression that they cater to tourist and expats who have flocked to the city because of the tolerance. To add to the confusion if a cup of coffee is what you really want go to a bar.

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  • Architecture

    If I wrote somewhere enthusiast reviews about architecture in France, Italy, Spain, England, I don't feel motivated by the architecture of Amsterdam. Certainly very typical but nothing monumental as one sees along the avenues of Paris, Rome, Vienna, Prague, Budapest or Venice. The houses of Amsterdam are very "middle class" for the simple reason I...

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Amsterdam Warnings and Dangers

  • Drug Dealers

    I saw tips that you should not buy drugs at all (except the coffeeshops and smartshops) and that it's illegal. That's true. But that's not the mentality of giving tips and information as we are used to in the Netherlands. What I mean to say is for example: if a tourist want xtc, there is no one to stop them. The first advise is: don't buy and use...

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  • Red Light District

    Photographing Amsterdam during the day or night can get a tourist carried away capturing this vibrant city. However, there are sections of the city that photographs are not wise during the evening hours. This pertains to the famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) Red Light District. DO NOT attempt to photograph the girls in their stalls...

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  • Pickpockets

    In the time it took my beloved Proserpina to raise her chipcard and swipe it while exiting the 2 tram, a pickpocket accessed her zipped and momentarilly not tightly clutched pocketbook and made off with her wallet and a pair of designer sunglasses. One swipe, two seconds, out the open door, and gone - an olympic class sprinter. An immediate trip...

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Amsterdam Tourist Traps

  • Red Light District

    In the summer this place is heaving with tourists and where there are lots of tourists there are lots of undesirables such as heroin junkies, aggressive beggars, pickpockets and some real ugly looking prostitutes and seriously if you ain't going there for sex there no point going. If you have to go do it in the early evening as it is slightly...

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  • Coffee Shops

    So, 7 years ago in Amsterdam I had my first holiday there, it was blinding! Fantastic weed at really cheap prices. I went there last week hoping things would be the same, oh how wrong could I have been. No longer is there a massive range of weed nor are there any cheap prices. Don't expect to go out there and get some cup winner weed and pay an...

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  • Canal Boat Tours

    You can throw things if you want, but I think the canal cruises you get by Centraal station are a disappointment. Especially the ones on closed boats where you sit crammed in with 30 other tourists, staring out the windows of the low cabin, straining your neck to look up at the bridges. Just don't do the above.... it's a boring ripoff. Here on...

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Amsterdam What to Pack

  • Rain gear

    Typical weather ranges from about 0 degrees Celsius in the depths of winter (although there is usually very little snow) to typically pleasant sunny days of +20 to 25C in the summer. However, the weather can be very unpredictable and change within a matter of hours even if it looks good to start with. Make sure you a warm coat, gloves, scarf and...

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  • Comfortable Shoes

    I had read that wearing white tennis shoes would label you as an American tourist, and it appeared that it was probably a true statement. I wore boots, and my boyfriend wore his tennis shoes the first day, but by the second he was wearing some black shoes! (But after all that walking, he was back into the white tennis shoes!) And I would definitely...

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  • Packing for Winter

    Pare your crap down & pack light! I work for an airline loading freight & luggage & have found a travel-type backpack to be the best of all worlds. Travel-type packs have the option of protecting the straps & sholder harness behind a zippered cover. Check out LL BEAN, or REI.com or any outdoor store. Trust me, strapes & loose gear get torn off ALL...

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Amsterdam Off The Beaten Path

  • Zaanse Schans

    This was the highlight of my visit, actually getting inside a historic windmill and actually seeing the working movements of the mill. These windmills are hundreds of years old and were moved to Zaanse Schans to be part of the museum park. Inside the windmill you can see the working parts are made of wood, no metal. A small charge is made to...

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  • Canals & Boat Tours

    Cross the 'IJ' behind the central station with the 'ijplein'-ferry. When you get off, walk along the waterside to the east (right) untill you arrive at the orange building called 'wilhelminadok' to enjoy a lunch, watching the ships sail in and out. A lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon without the hustle of tourists in the centre.

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  • Jordaan

    Cross the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and head for the Prinsengracht. Forget about BRUTUS that used to be at MOLSTEEG 8. We go west perpendicular to the canals via either the LELIEGRACHT or HERENSTRAAT/PRINSENSTRAAT to the PRINSENGRACHT west-side and take a right to the WESTERSTRAAT. Sometimes there is market here and in the weekends there is enough...

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Amsterdam Sports & Outdoors

  • AJAX - Arena

    The Amsterdam ArenA is home to AFC Ajax, four times winners of the European Cup and a club with plenty of history of playing beautiful "Total Football", meaning in its roughest sense that every player is totally comfortable with the ball and can play in any postion on the pitch. Past famous players Johan Cruff and Marco Van Basten It was opened...

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  • Ice Skating

    If you can brake and keep up with the group speed, join the Friday Night Skaters. Tour Amsterdam on your inline skates. You will cover 20 kilometers and always a different route. Wrist, elbow and knee protection as well as a helmet are essential items.

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  • Walking

    Another great sport in Amsterdam is leisurely strolling along the many grachts (canals) and watching zillions of large and small, fast and slow boats float by. Since both my boy-friend and I enjoy being around water, we had a great time gracht walking and boat watching. Not only will you find interesting architecture along the grachts, but also...

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Amsterdam Favorites

  • Coffee shops

    its all over the place.dont go inthe first one avoid bulldog as they are for tourits look at the ones with plenty locals in stoned they are the best. i found the greenhouse to be the one, bubblegum is very popular smoke. nice babes behind the bar selling coka cola and coffee and the dealer in the corner expext to pay 8 euros for a good size bag...

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  • IAmsterdam Card & Passes

    I've Many of them are available with several discount cards, but the Hosteldeals card is by far the most attractive of all! For just 17,50 i've had access for reduced rates and incidentally some free stuff! had a blast there!

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  • Red Light District

    In the Red Light Districts of Amsterdam you will find, on any given day, hundreds of girls offering sex for money. Nowhere else on earth are the women so straightforwardly on display, sitting sparingly attired on stools behind windows. Nowhere else except in the other main Dutch cities, because this conspicuous window prostitution is distinct to...

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Comments (5)

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    I have no prejudice against brothels, sex shops or soft drugs but when they appear on VT as first "things to do" for Amsterdam I feel perplexed (euphemism)!

    • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
      Dec 23, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      .... and even a local editor cannot change that. PJ

    • breughel's Profile Photo
      Dec 26, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      That's the difference with travel guide books whose editors are able to propose what they think is "for better". A well known example in the EU are the stars *, ** or *** of the Guide Vert Michelin.
      By curiosity I had a look how TA ranks the attractions of Amsterdam:
      1° Concertgebouw, 2° Anne Frank House, 3° Central Library,
      4° Prinsengracht, 5° Van Gogh Museum, 6° Amstelkring Museum,
      7° Rijksmuseum, …
      On 37° Canabis College and finally the long waited for Red Light District on 43°.

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Jul 6, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    TRAVEL ALERT: Till Monday July 8 5:15AM No train connection to Schipol Airport. Also roadworks near the airport. Be aware of travel delays!

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Rijksmuseum Grand Reopening. Tomorrow, 13 April 2013, Queen Beatrix officially reopens the Rijksmuseum. The "State Museum" has been closed for renovation since 2003. Museum director Wim Pijbes said "It has been closed for 10 years, but now it can go on for decades." To the delight of museum lovers everywhere!

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    This year the las Queensday at April 30. From 2014 it will be Kingsday at April 27 (April 26 in 2014 though).

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    TRAVEL ALERT for NEW YEARS EVE: No public transportation from 8PM till 1:30AM New Years Day.

    • giampiero6's Profile Photo
      Dec 19, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      You might consider putting this is Amsterdam Transportation comment too....

 
Explore Deeper into Amsterdam
Sex Museum
Things to Do
Coffee Shops
Things to Do
Rijksmuseum
Things to Do
Heineken Brewery
Things to Do
Flower Market - Bloemenmarkt
Things to Do
Van Gogh Museum
Things to Do
Coffee Shops
Warnings and Dangers
Schiphol Airport
Transportation
Bicycle - Cycling
Transportation
Crossing the Street - Trams
Warnings and Dangers
Cycling
Favorites
Cycling
Warnings and Dangers
Beggars & Scams
Warnings and Dangers
Banana Bar
Nightlife
Magna Plaza
Shopping
Flowermarket
Shopping
Dam Square
Warnings and Dangers
Bus
Transportation
Paradiso
Nightlife
Train
Transportation
Casa Rosso
Nightlife
Gay scene
Nightlife
Canals & Houseboats
Favorites
Canal boat
Transportation
Albert Cuyp - Street Markets
Shopping
Free Ferry across het IJ
Transportation
Waterlooplein & Fleamarkets
Shopping
Food Markets
Shopping
Keukenhof
Off The Beaten Path
Dam Square
Shopping
Haarlem
Off The Beaten Path
Dam Square
Favorites
Teasers
Nightlife
Marken - Monnickendam
Off The Beaten Path
Red Light District
Local Customs
Urinating
Warnings and Dangers
Gabled Architecture
Favorites
Walking
Favorites
Madurodam - The Hague
Off The Beaten Path
ATM - Credit Cards
Local Customs
Map of Amsterdam

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