If you’re visiting the Netherlands, or are thinking about doing so, there’s a good chance you’re going to Amsterdam – the capital. Situated in the province North Holland, Amsterdam is just a bit west of the center of the Netherlands. Nonetheless it is one of the largest and most famous places in the country. As such, it has a lot to do for tourists – but what are just tourist traps and what are the things you absolutely should not miss when visiting there? We listed the 5 best ones for you here!
- Rent a bike
The dutch are famous for cycling. If you’ve ever seen images or video of the Netherlands you no doubt have seen bicycles and bicycle-lanes everywhere. The Netherlands is pretty small so it makes sense that a bike is a great way to get around quickly and environmentally friendly, while avoiding heavy traffic in the densely-populated country.
In Amsterdam you won’t get far by car, and while there is good public transportation biking is generally the preferred way of getting about in the city. You can quickly get from place to place, visit a park or get some French fries while exploring everything the city has to offer. Rentig a bike is a must!
- Culture; museums and more
There’ a lot of culture in Amsterdam. The Anne Frank house, the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum probably being the most famous. If you’re looking for something else, the Madame Tussauds has wax statues of a to of famous people. Also just visiting the Museumplein might be a treat; there’s a lot of different museums, galleries and a lot of the time street art as well!
If you’re into other types of culture, like seeing how the locals live, going to the neighborhood ‘the Jordaan’ is a must. It’s one of the most well known parts of Amsterdam throughout the Netherlands. There’s just so much to explore that you could easily get lost there for weeks.
Other famous things to do while in Amsterdam, if you’re over eighteen, are probably visiting ‘the Wallen’ (red light district) or visit a coffeeshop in Amsterdam. These used to be shabby places but have since gone quite safe and popular among tourists – especially the ones in the city center. And while pickpocketing is a problem the city is generally a very safe place.
- Europe’s largest flea market.
The IJ-hallen are Europe’s largest flea market – you can find virtually anything there, and for great prices too! There are about 800 stalls selling everything from second hand goods, clothes, electronics and great food. A lot of locals also go here to buy various things, as the prices often can’t be beat.
The food is also amazing here. There’s huge variety, a sign of the rich mix of different cultures in the Netherlands and the standards are pretty high.
- Cruise the canals
Yes, this is very played out and only tourists do this, but still. Amsterdam is famous for the canals and even locals just have to cruise them at least ones in their lives. It’ll provide a great view of the city and there are a lot of different kinds of cruises to choose from. Some even have bars or restaurants on board!
If you have a little bit of money to spend, you can rent a private boat with captain and champagne for about 200 euro’s.
- All of the rest of the Netherlands
The Netherlands is small – use this to your advantage! Because while it is small, there are a ton of different kinds of towns, cities, nature and beaches! Wether you like to explore some caves, chill in the sun on a beach, want to surf or sail, want to see rare birds in nature parks or are interested in history and want see some castles, its all there, and easily accessible within a day by car or public transportation.
So don’t keep strolling the same streets, explore the whole country! Public transportation and the roads and car rental are both very reliable so there’s not reason to stick in a single place. Also, most people in the Netherlands, especially younger people, will speak English pretty well so the language barrier shouldn’t be a problem. Enjoy your stay and bring back some cheese!