What to see & discover


My personal highlight: visiting the Moco Museum

I'm not really the biggest museum-goer. But my big highlight in Amsterdam was actually a museum - the Moco Museum! You can admire modern and contemporary art there. Admire is the right word, because both Bene and I were amazed by the art installations.

We were able to admire works by Banksy, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, the Kid and many other artists. The museum is located in the Villa Alsberg, which was designed by Eduard Cuypers in 1904 as a family townhouse. Every room in the museum is laid out differently. And unlike usual for me, I enjoyed looking at the works for longer. And that's saying something, because I usually only spend a short time in art museums, as the works of art often don't inspire me.

We - and some other visitors - particularly liked the Digital Immersive Art exhibition by Studio Irma. This is a light installation in the basement of the museum. For me, there was something really beautiful about the lights. And by the way, the lights also made for some cool photos!

By the way: from the top floor of the museum, you have a great view over the Museumplein and the Rijksmuseum! And if you still haven't had enough, you can also visit the Moco Museum in Barcelona!


Experience Amsterdam as you imagine it: De 9 Straatjes

When you think of Amsterdam, narrow, crooked houses and canals with bridges decorated with colorful flowers come to mind, don't they? Me too! And if you are looking for this “typical” Amsterdam, then you have to go to the canal belt.

You will experience this typical Amsterdam above all in the “De 9 Straatjes” (The Nine Streets) district. In the streets you will find many small stores that invite you to come in. I myself bought a small bag in a boutique, among other things, for which I have already received many compliments! You'll also find plenty of good restaurants, cafés and bars in De 9 Straatjes! A visit to this neighborhood is a must on your trip to Amsterdam!


Get to know a different side of Amsterdam: NDSM shipyard

Speaking of 'typical' Amsterdam, let's take a look at a completely different side of Amsterdam! The NDSM shipyard embodies a much more industrial image of Amsterdam. But where there was once the site of a shipbuilding company, you will now find a hip, trendy district!

The NDSM shipyard is located on an island in the River Ij. We therefore reached the site by (free) ferry. When we arrived, we were initially impressed by the street art on the old buildings. A colorful Anne Frank also made it onto one of the building walls. After a short exploration tour of the area, we went to one of the island's hip restaurants. We really enjoyed the food at Beach-Club Pllek, especially at sunset with a view of the city center of Amsterdam!

By the way: you can stay in special hotels on the site: in the Botel, a floating hotel, or in the Faralda crane hotel. You should also keep an eye on the dates of the NDSM shipyard, as there are regular flea markets, performances and other events.


Shoot postcard photos in front of the colorful houses of Damrak

Amsterdam Central Station and Dam Square with the Royal Palace are connected by the Damrak avenue. This makes Damrak a central location in Amsterdam, which is why you will meet a lot of people here - mainly tourists. You will also notice this directly from the many souvenir stores located there.

Doesn't sound too exciting now, does it? But Damrak also has something good to offer: THE photo motif of Amsterdam! A canal runs along the street, lined with beautiful, colorful houses. The backdrop is simply the postcard photo par excellence!

However, you should come here for another reason: Amsterdam's red-light district (“De Wallen”) is located to the east of Damrak. After all, this is what Amsterdam is famous for! In contrast to the red light districts in other cities, De Wallen is actually one of the oldest and most beautiful districts in the city. It is also home to one of the most famous and largest churches in Amsterdam: the Oude Kerk (Old Church). In contrast, you can find everything from brothels with peep shows to sex stores and museums in the surrounding old houses of the red light district!


Admire masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum

In Amsterdam this time - quite untypically for us - we even visited several museums at once! One of them was the Rijksmuseum. Because a visit to the Rijksmuseum is as much a part of a trip to Amsterdam as a visit to the Louvre is to a trip to Paris!

The Rijksmuseum is a historic art museum that is home to some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. As you may have noticed above, I am much less enthusiastic about such works of art than many other people. Nevertheless, I always want to see some famous paintings in real life. There is also a room in the Rijksmuseum that I find very interesting: the Cuypers Library. It is the largest and oldest art history library in the Netherlands. I find it so impressive that it was worth my visit for that alone!


Shop at one of the many markets

There are several markets in Amsterdam. You should definitely take advantage of this and go shopping at one of them! One of the most famous markets is the Bloemenmarkt (flower market). I loved the individual stalls and could have bought several flowers, vases and pots!

The Boekenmarkt (book market) is always open on Fridays from 10 am to 6 pm. As we only arrived on Friday afternoon, some of the stalls were already dismantling when we arrived at the market. Nevertheless, we were able to get a good impression of the market, which I liked. But I also just love markets like this!

If you're looking for a market where you can find everything, then the Waterlooplein market is the right market for you! As well as food stalls such as cheese stalls, you'll also find stalls selling bags, candles and all sorts of things. The market is always open Monday to Saturday from 9:30-17:30.

A slightly less well-known market, where you will also meet a lot of locals, is the Noordermarkt. The market was founded in 1623 as a pottery market, but has evolved into a weekly market over the years. However, it is still authentic today, as some of the producers here still sell their goods themselves. You can visit the market on Saturdays and Mondays from 9 am to 4 pm.


Stroll through De Hallen & Jordan

Jordan is a district of Amsterdam that I really liked. I had the feeling that there were fewer tourists around, the atmosphere was relaxed and everything felt a bit more authentic. There are also some very cool restaurants and cafés there! So it's worth stopping by and strolling through the district.

Then you can also make a detour to De Hallen. This is a former Amsterdam streetcar depot that has been converted into a shopping arcade with a food market. The stores in De Hallen mainly sell local products and clothes by local designers. After shopping, you can fill your belly at the food market!


Explore the city by bike

Amsterdam is the cycling city. That's why you should explore Amsterdam on the back of a bike! With the I amsterdam City Card, we were able to hire a bike for free from various providers. On the back of the bike, we first went to the Zevenlandenhuizen, the houses of the seven countries. Architecturally, they are well worth seeing!

Once we were mobile, we also set off for a few outer districts, such as Westelijke Eilanden and Prinseneiland. I had the feeling that we were the only tourists there and it was nice and quiet!

Of course, we also explored the canals of Amsterdam on our bikes. I particularly liked the part around the Groenburgwal.

We kept passing interesting places along the way, such as the Het Brillenpaleis glasses store and the Passage Beurs. We were able to see a lot in a short time with our bike, which is why I can highly recommend the bike rental!


Chilling out in the Vondelpark

On Saturday, we took a short break in the Vondelpark to process all the impressions. We walked along the water, watched a heron and finally sat down by a beautiful field of tulips. The little break was relaxing and the park was so worth seeing that I can absolutely recommend a visit.

If you're looking for a park that's close to you, there are plenty of other options in Amsterdam! Westerpark, Oosterpark and Sarphatipark are also popular. You can also enjoy the green spaces of Museumplein!


Enjoy the view from Madame Tussauds

I've never been to Madame Tussauds before. But in Amsterdam I finally wanted to go to one! Not just because of the wax figures. In addition to an interesting exhibition, the Amsterdam wax museum offers a wonderful view of the royal palace, the Paleis op de Dam! The large window from where you can look out over the palace also makes a perfect photo spot! I was therefore able to kill two birds with one stone at Madame Tussauds Amsterdam: 1. visit the famous wax figures; 2. take a great photo with a view of the palace.


Discover other good museums in Amsterdam

By my standards, I did visit quite a few museums in Amsterdam! This was a good idea as we always got into them for free with the I amsterdam City Card. Bene and I therefore also went to the Eye Museum, a film museum, which we reached by ferry. Admittedly, I had hoped for a bit more from the museum, but I still thought it was very cool. It even has a few movie theaters where you can watch films. It's also an interactive museum, which I always love!

Amsterdam is also famous for being home to the Anne Frank House, which you can visit. Unfortunately, all of our tickets were already sold out. So you should make sure you get your tickets early! Other interesting museums in Amsterdam include the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the NEMO. With the Museum of Prostitution and the Sex Museum, Amsterdam also has two extraordinary museums that are very popular!


See the city from above: A'DAM Lookout

If you want to see Amsterdam from above, then you can head to the A'DAM Lookout. Because from here you have a view over the whole city! Admittedly, I wouldn't have visited the lookout if it hadn't been included in the I amsterdam City Card. And I would only visit it with the card. I liked the view and the atmosphere at the top was very cool. But I don't think the A'DAM Lookout in itself is worth the price.

The sky swings, which are located at the top of the lookout and on which you can float above the city, are probably a bit more special. However, if you want to get up here before sunset, you should make sure you get a ticket for a timeslot early enough!

By the way: if you want to experience the city from above at a slightly cheaper price, you can head to the Dakterras GAPP bar for a drink!


If you like it: Enjoy the benefits of a liberal country

The Netherlands is known for the fact that you can consume all kinds of marijuana in coffee shops there. That's why some Germans like to travel to the Netherlands just for this reason - at least as long as it's not yet legal here. Amsterdam is probably the place in the Netherlands with the highest density of coffeeshops, which is why you can enjoy the benefits of the liberal country particularly well there, if you like it at all. When I was in Amsterdam with friends in 2013, we visited a really cool coffeeshop that is also very nice for those who don't want to smoke weed: the Greenhouse Effect Coffeeshop.


More tips for your city trip to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is not that big and yet there is so much to see! So much that one weekend isn't enough for everything. We also had to realize this and couldn't fit some places into our plans. But if you have a little more time, you can check out one or two of the places on our list and let me know how it went!

  • Hire a boat for a canal tour
  • Hortus Botanicus (botanical garden)
  • Openbare Bibliotheek (City Library)
  • Zuiderkerk (church)
  • Molen De Otter windmill
  • Salon de Thé (the narrowest house in Amsterdam)
  • Pythonbrug (architecturally interesting bridge)
  • Blijburg beach

I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.