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Top 5 things to do in Amsterdam

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Fabrique des Lumières
1. Fabrique des Lumières
See art come to life at Fabrique des Lumières - the largest digital art center in the Netherlands - in the Westergasterrein, Amsterdam! A large industrial space with walls up to 17 meters high features immersive exhibitions by classic, modern and contemporary artists. With advanced technology, the artworks are brought to life by light projections and accompanying music.
Keukenhof
2. Keukenhof
The tulip is one of the most iconic symbols of the Netherlands – and nowhere are they worshipped more whole-heartedly than at the Keukenhof. Known as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof has fields of more than seven million tulips spread out over 32 hectares. The focus is on the mighty tulip, but roses, gerberas, daffodils, orchids, and more all get their time to shine here. There are English and Japanese gardens, a playground, petting zoo, maze and much more to explore. It's open for just eight weeks each spring.
The Upside Down
3. The Upside Down
The Upside Down is the biggest Instagram museum in Europe – but it's more than just a museum. It's part amusement park, part club, part magic mushroom trip! Get your friends together and remember to charge your phones; you'll need battery power for all the photos you'll take in this mind-melting world of fun. Explore the boundaries of your own creativity, trick your brain and tickle your senses. The Upside Down is located at Europaboulevard in Amsterdam, just a short tram ride or cycle from central Amsterdam.
Van Gogh Museum
4. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum displays over 200 of Vincent van Gogh's works, including landscapes, still lifes and drawings, and letters. By displaying them alongside works from Van Gogh's contemporaries, viewers get real insights into his life and work. The museum itself is comprised of two buildings. The main building, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, Joan van Dillen, and J. van Tricht, opened in 1973. The second building, designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa was added in 1999. Located in Amsterdam's Museumplein (along with the Stedelijk and Rijksmuseum), the Van Gogh Museum is one of the most-visited museums in the Netherlands.
Rijksmuseum
5. Rijksmuseum
The National Museum of the Netherlands, or the Rijksmuseum, has been housed on this location since 1885. It recently underwent a ten-year, €375 million renovation. The Rijksmuseum has over 5,000 paintings (including Rembrandt's Night Watch) and has an emphasis on the Dutch Golden Age. But it's not just paintings – there are sculptures, antiques, collections of clothing and weapons, and one of the finest actively-used libraries you'll ever see. The Dutch architect P.J.H. Cuypers designed this elegant building, and even put himself in the design as one of the statues on the roof.

Reasons to visit Amsterdam

Hand-picked combinations

Combine Amsterdam favorites. Some things are better together.

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Tulip Festival Card

  1. Keukenhof
  2. Amsterdam and Region Travel Ticket
  3. Tulip Festival Digital Guide

+ 1 other top thing to do

4.6 (50)
From $58.17 $55.45
—5%

The Amsterdam Pass

  1. Museum Van Gogh tickets
  2. Rijksmuseum
  3. Canal Cruise Amsterdam

+ 1 other top thing to do

4.6 (57)
From $71.22 $67.42

Popular exhibitions in Amsterdam

All things to do in Amsterdam

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The best way to enjoy mesmerizing Amsterdam is through its most unique feature – the canals. Choose from an array of Amsterdam canal cruises and soak up the city's history, architecture, and fascinating views! Amsterdam boat tours offer a range of experiences for guests of all ages and interests. Choose from a morning canal cruise served with breakfast, or a leisurely day tour with your choice of pizza, BBQ, or Gouda cheese tasting. Let the captain do the steering while you enjoy a drink (or two) on a booze cruise, or book a romantic evening excursion instead. There are plenty of options! Get to know Amsterdam with an expert guide to point out historic points of interest, showcase classic photography opportunities, and share fun facts about the city. Canal tours are available in several languages and most offer audio guides. Rain or shine, these semi-covered tour boats are your ticket to experience this iconic city in true Dutch fashion.
4.4 (1485)
From $16.31
Amsterdam

Moco Museum

The Modern Contemporary (Moco) Museum Amsterdam is housed inside Villa Alsberg, a 1904 townhouse in the middle of Amsterdam Museumplein. High-profile guest curators and exhibitions highlight some of the modern world's best contributors to the art world. Eduard Cuypers, cousin of Rijksmuseum designer Pierre Cuypers, designed the townhouse, making it a sight to see in itself. But the work inside is absolutely phenomenal; two current attractions showcase the work of street art activist Banksy, and pop artist extraordinaire, Andy Warhol.
4.7 (778)
From $21.20
The Heineken Experience is located in the original Heineken Brewery. Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought this building back in 1863 when it was the De Hooiberg brewery. He then turned it towards the production of his eponymous beer. The building remained a brewery all the way up to 1988. It was then that it became a museum (and hotspot for Heineken consumption). Located in the vibrant neighborhood of De Pijp, the Heineken Experience is ideally situated for a canal cruise, and some city exploration that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of Dam Square. Since 2001, it's been the world-famous Heineken Experience. After a year-long update and redesign in 2008, the Heineken Experience is more Heineken-y and Experience-y than ever before.
4.6 (3370)
From $22.83
up to —8%
NEMO Science Museum is a science centre in Amsterdam, located at the Oosterdok. It was built on top of the IJ-tunnel that connects the centre of Amsterdam with the north of the city. The striking building, designed by Italian architect and engineer, Renzo Piano, opened its doors in 1997. Some say the shape of the building mimics the appearance of a large boat, but others suggest that it's actually a reflection of the tunnel it was built upon.
4.6 (555)
From $19.03
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ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo is an iconic zoo and botanical garden founded in 1838. It is the Netherlands' oldest zoo and one of the oldest in the world, featuring a number of historic buildings and architectural gems that provide a dose of Dutch culture alongside the incredible wildlife encounters. Located in the heart of the city, ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo covers an area of over 10 hectares and is home to some 700 species of animals, including Asian elephants, African penguins, net giraffes, jaguars, and more. The zoo is also renowned for its botanical gardens, which contain some of the world's rarest trees and exotic plants. The zoo has a variety of interactive exhibitions, including a Planetarium, Aquarium, Geological Museum, Insectarium, and a Butterfly Pavilion. There are also lots of educational and recreational activities for kids, including a petting zoo, playgrounds, and an interactive science center.
4.7 (1130)
From $27.18
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Madame Tussauds is located in the center of Amsterdam at the ever-busy Dam Square. Founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud in the 18th century, this iconic wax museum chain has locations in many cities across the globe, including London, Berlin, New York, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and of course, the Dutch capital. Madame Tussauds Amsterdam is home to hundreds of historical and royal figures, film and sports stars, and immersive themed galleries. The museum encourages an interactive approach to the wax figures – so go ahead and hug your favorite celebrity crush! Madame Tussauds has been a central fixture in Amsterdam since 1971, with its first location at the Kalverstraat, before being moved to the Dam Square, where it can't be missed – and definitely shouldn't!
4.6 (595)
From $25.01
Eye Filmmuseum is the museum for film and the art of the moving image. Located in the iconic building on the IJ River, Eye organizes exhibitions at the intersection of film and visual arts and film programs that shed light on the very earliest film history, to the most current social developments. Eye's collection includes more than 50,000 Dutch and international films and a multitude of posters, photographs, film equipment, books and personal archives, including the renowned Unesco World Heritage Collection of film pioneer Jean Desmet. Eye preserves, restores and presents film; from classics, blockbusters and early avant-garde films to the very latest VR experiments.
4.7 (7)
From $13.59
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Welcome to the coolest bar in Amsterdam (literally). This teeth-chattering locale is the perfect spot to sample the lifestyle of a Polar explorer, without the risk of frostbite. Just meters from the busy Rembrandt Square, this is a great stop on a night on the town in Amsterdam. Free drinks and thermals should keep you warm. The bar is sculpted from 60 tons of natural ice and even your glass here is made from frozen H2O!
4.5 (268)
From $28.81
AMAZE Amsterdam is an immersive experience created by the world's largest dance event organizer ID&T. Visitors experience a journey from head to heart, where they are taken through seven experience worlds filled with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology. A labyrinth of storytelling is on offer, with shows full of lasers, lights, visuals, 11D sound, interactive effects and especially sound and music. AMAZE combines 30 years of show experience into a new, exciting way of going out – the next phase in the evolution of entertainment.
4.6 (46)
From $29.30
The Cat Cabinet (Het KattenKabinet) is puuurrfectly located in the 'Golden Bend' of the Herengracht. Situated on the classically-furnished piano nobile of a storied 17th-century canal house, there are many rooms full of cat paraphernalia (and real cats). This house (and the one next to it) were once the property of the Van Eeghen family. In 1985 it was bought by the Stichting Herengracht 497 and restored, eventually becoming the feline-filled fantasy it is today. It's an easy tram or bike ride from most places in Amsterdam.
4.5 (122)
From $10.87
The impressive Royal Palace Amsterdam, located on Dam Square, is one of Amsterdam's top attractions. It was built in the Dutch Golden Age as the city hall for Amsterdam. It later became a palace for the royal family, a function it still has to this day. Consequently, it's not always open to the public. It plays a key role during State visits and it's also home to some pretty amazing 17th-century art - representing the Dutch Golden Age.
4.8 (464)
From $13.59

More ways to experience Amsterdam

Planning your Amsterdam visit

Language

Dutch and English

Currency

Euro (€)

Dialing code

+31

Time zone

Central European Time (CET)

Get on your bike

Buy a one-hour or multi-day card at any metro or train station (or on the trams). Alternatively, rent a bike and join the locals as they speed about on two wheels (just watch out for trams if you’ve been coffeeshopping). Ride around Vondelpark, head out to the Amsterdamse Bos, or just get lost touring the pretty sidestreets. No one wears helmets, and scooters use the cycle lanes too, so be careful!

Rain or shine?

It’s pretty rainy and windy in Amsterdam from October to March, thanks to the flatness of these lowlands. Those are particularly good ‘museum months’. May through September often has blue skies and sunshine, and the vibe of the city changes completely. It seems that everyone is in shorts and summer dresses, cruising the canals, having a park BBQ or hitting the road and going to enjoy sea of tulips in Keukenhof.

Get in a food mood

What’s actually in a kroket or bitterballen is a mystery – but think meaty, creamy, beef broth inside a breadcrumbed suit and you’re close. You’ll find the same selection in most bars as they taste great with beer. Also, most coffees are served with a (small) biscuit on the side. PROTIP: Eat lots of kaas (cheese); the Dutch have been making cheese since 800 BC, so by now they’re pretty good at it.

What to do in Amsterdam for 3 days

Rijksmuseum

Visit the Rijksmuseum and be astonished, not only by the museum’s enormous collection, but also by the architecture of the building. Get drawn in by the beautiful stained windows and gothic like ceiling structures. Once inside the large collection of paintings dating from the 16th to the 21st century will amaze you. The top piece of the collection is without a doubt “The Night Watch”. Thus, all the more reason to make your stay in Amsterdam complete with a visit to the Rijksmuseum.

Canals

If you are visiting Amsterdam you will want to spend some time exploring the history of the canals. The 165 canals define the city’s landscape and were recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2010. The best way to explore the canals is by taking a scenic sightseeing cruise, which will take you through the heart of the city. Listen to the audio commentary and learn about the rich heritage while admiring Amsterdam’s highlights including the royal palace and the Anne Frank House.

The city

Amsterdam is much more than a city chock-full of museums, souvenir shops, the red light district and coffee shops. After a day of visiting museums, enjoying concerts or comedy shows, walk through the city and broaden your cultural view of Amsterdam. Venture into the Nine Streets or Jordaan to see some cute boutiques or go to the largest park in Amsterdam, the Vondelpark, and enjoy the relaxing scenery. Finish your day with a visit to De Pijp, a vibrant neighborhood with lots of cafes and terraces where you can enjoy a bite or drink.

Heineken Experience

While you are at De Pijp, find your way to the Heineken Experience, in the former brewery of Heineken. Learn everything there is to know about this world famous beer brewery, watch the brewing process of this delicious beer and enjoy a small beer tasting lesson. After being educated in the production of Heineken beer go to the bar, where you will get a free Heineken beer to finish your Heineken Experience visit. It is advisable to go in the morning, as it will get really busy during the day.

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