The Best Sites and Bites in Amsterdam

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Advisor - Nicole Mosher
Curated By

Nicole Mosher

  • Amsterdam

  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Outdoors

  • Entertainment

  • Nightlife

A rowe of tall buildings on a canal
Curator’s statement

Amsterdam is such a special city. This place is truly where the world comes together in perfectly chaotic harmony. It hosts many fantastic museums, the canals are romantic, the architecture is a marvel, and there is a variety of delicious cuisine. Amsterdam is the place to experience history, culture and freedom.

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Where to stay in Amsterdam

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Things to do in Amsterdam

A black and white piece of artwork hanging in a warehouse

Museums

Van Gogh Museum: Gives you a glimpse into the life of the famous artist and the progression of his art.

Verzetsmuseum: A great alternative if you cannot get tickets to the Anne Frank House, providing insight into the resistance movement during World War II.

STRAAT Street Art Museum: Located in Noord, this museum showcases street art on a grand scale, offering a unique perspective on urban art.

Fabrique des Lumieres: An immersive art experience with rotating exhibits, offering a chance to see art in a larger-than-life format. Located in Westerpark.

Rijksmuseum: A grand museum featuring beautiful architecture and works by Dutch masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer, including the famous Night Watch painting.

Amsterdam Museum: Tells the story of Amsterdam's past, present, and future, offering insight into the city's history and culture.

Experiences

Canal Tour: A romantic way to view the city, offering daytime and nighttime options to see Amsterdam's architecture from different perspectives. Recommended companies include Those Dam Boat Guys and Lovers Canal Cruises.

Walk the City: Explore Amsterdam's beauty on foot, with picturesque neighborhoods like Jordaan and Nine Streets offering boutique shopping opportunities.

Red Light District: Despite personal feelings, it's an important part of the city's history. Remember not to take photographs of the red-light windows, and note that it may not be suitable for children.

Vondelpark: Amsterdam's largest green space, perfect for a leisurely stroll or picnic.

De Pijp: Home to the Albert Cuypmarkt and a variety of culinary delights, offering a taste of the city's gastronomic scene.

Damrak: Where you'll find the Dancing Houses, a great spot for photography

Day Trips:

Keukenhof Gardens is a beautiful side trip out of the city if you come during tulip season, late March until mid-May. Spend a day strolling around the sea of blooms. I purchased a roundtrip transportation and entry combination ticket through the Tulip Festival website.

Geithoorn is a quaint city without roads. This city uses the water to get from place to place. Getting here requires a car or a bus ride; I went with an organized tour group through Viator. Cruise on the canals, pop into the cheese shop, and have a delightful lunch while you enjoy a different slower way of life compared to Amsterdam.

Zaandam is a short train ride from Amsterdam. This recommendation is for those that like to collect permanent travel souvenirs. My favorite tattoo artist has her shop here, Celestial Tattoo Studio. The artist can be found on Instagram jadejay.ink, she is highly talented and creates beautiful ornamental pieces of original work.

If you are going to explore the “alternative side” of Amsterdam, please educate yourself before you go. There is a very informative podcast on YouTube done by, Dam by the Gram, where you can learn about all things dealing with that aspect of the city. Also, for an alternative art experience follow @the_fairy_house on Instagram as they host wonderful events every Wednesday that will allow you to showcase your artistic side in an intimate setting. You can create your own unique travel keepsake and meet some of my favorite locals.

Places to eat & drink in Amsterdam

Steak on a white plate

Restaurants

Bellezza The Restaurant: Bellezza The Restaurant is a gastronomic adventure. Eat, drink, and explore your way through an Amsterdam “warehouse.”

Restaurant De Kas: Restaurant De Kas has rightfully earned its Michelin star. Located in one of Amsterdam’s outdoor spaces, this restaurant strives to provide dishes created with the freshest ingredients.

Moeders: Moeders, or Mothers, is the place to go if you’re interested in trying traditional Dutch cuisine.

Van Stapele Cookies: Van Stapele Cookies are famous and delicious; therefore, this shop is always busy with a massive line. A tip, you can order these cookies online and schedule a pickup date and time to avoid waiting in line. Schedule this in advance of your trip as the slots do fill up quickly. You can walk right up to the employee outside manning the line and the shop will have your cookies ready for you.

Melly’s Stroopwafels: Melly’s Stroopwafels is my favorite shop for this treat. They are made fresh every day, just not right in front of you. The best part, I haven’t ever had to waste time waiting in a long line. They have all the typical toppings available as well as packs of the regular cookies that you can take home.

Fulu Mandarin: Fulu Mandarin is an upscale choice to sample Sichuan cuisine.

Little Thai Prince: Little Thai Prince is my favorite restaurant in Amsterdam. It is a small place and everything on the menu is good. I try something new every time I go there and have never been disappointed.

Local Treats

Bitterballen: Bitterballen is my favorite Dutch food. It is served in a lot of the smaller cafes and restaurants around the city. You can try a “flight” of bitterballen at De Ballenbar in the Foodhallen but the best is served at Cannibale Royale.

Albert Cuyp Market: Albert Cuyp Market has all the iconic gastronomic treats of Amsterdam all in one place, plus a bit of shopping. Here you can find freshly made stroopwafels, kibbeling, poffertjes, and apple pie

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Natasha L. Hardy’s guide, The Best of Amsterdam: Guide to Canals, Museums & More.

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Amsterdam.

Advisor - Nicole Mosher

Travel Advisor

Nicole Mosher

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