see - eat - drink - know
Friends and guests often ask what we like to visit and do ourselves in Amsterdam. Or if we know a great place to stay. Therefore we added a small summary of our favourites. It is not our intention to be complete. Consider this list of recommendations strictly personal. Enjoy!
MUSEUMS and BOAT RIDES
Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, Anne Frank house. they are for good reason our most visited museums. They are world class.
But if you want to understand Amsterdam a little better, we have a few other options for you. And Amsterdam as a whole is a kind of living and breathing artwork, and a canal cruise offers you a great view. In random order:
All about Amsterdam: Then, Now and in the Future
Museum Het Grachtenhuis (Canalhouse Museum)
Visit this beautiful Canalhouse in the heart of the city. Experience and learn how the famous canals were created, designed and built.
Museum Het Schip is dedicated to The Amsterdam School: an art and architecture movement of romance, the imagination and social ideals. It is sometimes referred to as the Dutch version of Jugendstil or Art Deco. You will find examples of the building style everywhere in the city. The most elaborate and famous example is Het Scheepvaarthuis, (The Shipping House), now used as a hotel.
Ons lieve heer op Solder (Our lord in the Attic)
A 17th-century canal house with a hidden Catholic church in the attic. While it was prohibited to celebrate mass, the authorities turned a blind eye. The church symbolises the characteristic (religious) tolerance of the Netherlands, established by the Dutch in the sixteenth century under Willem of Orange.
Established in De Bazel, a famous and beautiful building on Vijzelgracht 32. It was built in the 1920s as the main office of a bank. On the ground floor and in the vault you will find great historical exhibitions. The vault is especially beautifully designed with tiles in amazing patterns and colors, so don't miss it. Among other things, there are cupboards with drawers, in the drawers you can find countless numbers of historic maps. You will also find the Stadsboekwinkel (City Bookstore) with a comprehensive selection of books, maps, prints, etc. all about Amsterdam. Unfortunately the website is in Dutch only, but use Translate, or just go visit. A visit will probably not take longer than an hour and is always rewarding.
In the 17th century, Amsterdam grew into the most important city in Europe. Trading on the high seas made the city incredibly rich and, in half a century, the city population grew to five times its size. A new, grand town hall was needed to underline the power of this metropolis
In the heart of Amsterdam on the Keizersgracht the house of the Amsterdam regent family Van Loon can still be seen. In 1602 Willem van Loon co-founded the Dutch East-India Company. Get a glimpse of the life of the Amsterdam Van Loon family in one of the finest canal houses of the city.
During WWII Amsterdam was occupied by the Nazi's for five years. This museum gives you a revealing insight in how things went. How some people risked their lives to fight back in secret. And some not. How people struggled to survive. How life went on, despite the situation. It is a touching experience. Really important to not forget.
The only museum of microbes, in the centre of Amsterdam, adjacent to Artis (the Zoo). You can’t see them, but they’re here. They are on you. In you. And you’ve got more than a hundred thousand billion of them. They’re with you when you eat, when you breathe, when you kiss. You will will love this museum. Also fun with children!
Boat Rides and Canal Tours
For us a canal tour with the half open traditional white boats, operated by one of the companies with a long history is the best option.
Their jetty at Spui in the middle of the is our favorite as starting point.
No, their name has nothing to do with love. It is a family name, an old dutch word meaning the foliage or leafage (see!) of trees. Nevertheless, fall in love with Lover's.
A young company, smaller boats, different approach. Nevertheless, a good choice.
You will find thousands of restaurants in Amsterdam. Many of them are good, some are not, just check TripAdvisor and you will be fine. Nothing wrong with that. We just add a few of our own favorites that will give that little extra to your Amsterdam experience.
Eetcafé Van Beeren - Pubfood
Van Beeren has a renowned past as a brown pub in the Nieuwmarkt area, where locals, squatters, students and neighbours met each other while enjoying a drink and talkings about politics, life and the price of beer. Nowadays Van Beeren is a real Amsterdam eatery, focusing on good food. Besides that: great and warm atmosphere, very nice staff.
Wau - Malaysian
Specialized in halal Malaysian food, made from the best and fresh ingredients. Lactose-free and/or gluten-free menu available. No added MSG. Vegan friendly.
Kantjil en de Tijger - Indonesian
There are a lot of Indonesian restaurants. Many of them are highly rated (and very expensive). Kantjil & de Tijger shines for more than 25 years on a vibrant location near the Spui in the heart of Amsterdam. It's accessible, spacious and contemporary, but their ricetable is really good and traditional. And if you do not want to have the whole rice table, try Nasi Rames. That's a "Plate service mini rice table" for 1.
De Plantage - French / European
A truly 'modern classic' restaurant. Contemporary cuisine. Beautifully located, adjacent to Artis (the Zoo) in one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods of Amsterdam. Just outside the city center, but easy to reach by public transportation (or go walking, amazing city views!). Suggestion: visit the Zoo first (it's a beautiful garden!), and or Micropia and Het Groote Museum and then have dinner or lunch at De Plantage.
Duende Dos - Spanish
There has been a large Spanish population in Amsterdam since the 1960s, when they came to do the work that Dutch people refused to do. They brought their food and culture, and Amsterdam benefits from this since. Dos survived all trends and modern influences. It is classic Spanish cooking and hospitality in a good way, one of the few places where the waiters still wear white shirts and black pants. Great food, great, lively and informal atmoshere. You'll find couples, families with children, groups celebrating something. Absolutely one of our favorites.
Spaghetteria - Italian
In Italy a spaghetteria is a stand-alone phenomenon. A place where local chefs do nothing other than cooking fresh pasta dishes. Full of flavor and without any ado. The son of a friend of ours introduced this simple and honest straightforward Italian concept a decade or so ago. With enthusiasm, hospitality and a tad of Italian swagger, young people serve the dishes in a vibrant environment. It blends perfectly well in the loose atmosphere of Amsterdam.
Sea Palace - Chinese
It looks touristy, maybe even a trap, but the food is great, the a la carte menu is perfectly in balance, the dimsum are excellent and the views are stunning. There are always large groups of Chinese visiting this restaurant, and that says enough, we guess.
Wing Kee - Chinese
Do not go here if you want to have dinner in a cosy atmosphere. But if you are interested in truly old skool Chinese, traditional food and atmosphere as it was common 50 odd years ago, when there was still a Chinatown in Amsterdam? This is the place to be, it withstood the total make over of the inner city. It is special and fun, the food is great and the choice is huge. Step back in time and enjoy!
You will find a zillion cafe's and bars in Amsterdam. These are some of our favourites, lots of local flavour.
In de Wildeman - beercafé
“In de Wildeman” is situated in a former Amsterdam distillery. A beer tasting bar without music and visited by a wide variety of people from all over the world and locals. 18 beers on draft. In addition, you'll find a selection of 250 different types of beers on bottle from all over the world. Unsurpassed.
Tasting tavern and liquor store in a small alley behind the National Monument on the Dam square in Amsterdam. Wynand Fockink started as liqueur distillery in 1679. Soon a tasting tavern was added, where customers could taste and buy the products. To this day, this practice has continued; here liqueurs and genevers are still being made using the same 17th century traditional craft methods.
Located at and around Noordermarkt you will find many cafés and bars. The most traditional, and famous for their interiours are:
Old café established in one of the two remaining wooden houses in Amsterdam.
Local microbrewery and beer tasting bar.
Most people prepare well. But maybe you missed some important information.
For your convenience we included a few websites to make your stay in Amsterdam easier.
Your guide to visit, enjoy, live, work & invest in Amsterdam. Amsterdam.
The official I amsterdam City Card since - 1966. Get your trip off to a smooth start. Order your City Card online now and make the most of your time in Amsterdam, with free entry to the city's top attractions and free public transport for the duration of your stay.
This is a great page to help you decide where to go in Amsterdam, apart from the City enter. Lot's of info about all neighborhoods
Plan your trip in Amsterdam by tram or bus
GVB day or multi-day tickets provides you with unlimited travel throughout Amsterdam, day and night, on the bus, tram, and metro. And for the number of hours that best suit your plans. The day ticket is valid for 24 hours after you first check in.