Famed for its picturesque canals, famous museums, numerous coffee shops and laid-back vibe, this is the perfect destination for a weekend break or a longer stay.

It’s hard not to fall in love with Amsterdam the minute you set foot on its ancient cobblestone streets and colourful canal banks. This hospitable city has been welcoming travellers from all corners of the globe for centuries, and will make you feel immediately at home. Amsterdamers love to speak English and their friendly, laid-back attitude is catching; it’s an easy place to wind down and relax before setting out to explore the city’s rich cultural heritage.

The compact city centre is easy to explore by foot or by using the excellent integrated public transport system of buses and trams for longer journeys. A canal cruise is a great way to get your bearings, taking around an hour to cover all the main sights, or take a tip from the locals and hire a bike to navigate this gently undulating terrain.

The city’s famous canal district dates back to the Golden Age of the 17th century, when city’s increasing importance led to rapid expansion beyond its old 13th-century boundaries. The Canal Ring is now a world heritage site, where you can admire some of Amsterdam’s finest merchants’ houses and warehouses and visit the Anne Frank House to learn the moving story of this brave young diary writer.

The Royal Palace on Dam Square is one of the city’s most striking landmarks; take a tour of its lavish state rooms painted by Rembrandt, or head for the top floor of the Peek & Cloppenburg department store for a bird’s-eye view of the busy square from the windows of Madame Tussauds waxwork museum. Art-lovers will be open-mouthed at the priceless collection of Dutch masters on show in the historic Rijksmuseum, while the strikingly modern Van Gogh Museum houses the iconic paintings of this troubled genius.

Take an eye-opening wander through the notorious Red Light District or mingle with the locals in the friendly bars and restaurants of Nieuwmarkt before heading for the nightlife in Leidseplein. The following morning, take a refreshing walk through the green spaces of Vondelpark or grab a coffee in one of Amsterdam’s famously liberal coffee houses. Beer lovers shouldn’t miss the Heineken Experience where you can visit the old brewery and find out more about the production of this famous local lager.

Whether you’re in search of historic buildings and tranquil waterways, world-class culture and fine cuisine, or great shopping and pulsating nightlife, this cosmopolitan city ticks all the boxes.

Where to stay in Amsterdam

Canal Ring
Canal Ring which includes a marina, a river or creek and a city

Canal Ring

Known for Biking, Boating, Museums

4.5/5(74 reviews)

Walking, cycling or cruising around Amsterdam’s famous canal network offers a picturesque and invigorating way to view the city’s landmarks.

Amsterdam North
Amsterdam North, Amsterdam, Netherlands
trover photo by Gail Paton

Amsterdam North

Known for Ferries, Architecture, Boating

4.5/5(3 reviews)

Cross the river IJ to find one of Amsterdam’s most artistic and innovative neighborhoods, with trendy facilities and art hubs in former warehouses and ultra-modern buildings.

Zuidoost
Amsterdam Southeast featuring boating and a river or creek

Zuidoost

Known for Romantic, Skyscrapers, Live Music

4/5(14 reviews)

For big entertainment, visit this multicultural district, home of the Amsterdam ArenA, Heineken Music Hall and the forested Gaasperpark where you can enjoy watersports.

De Pijp
De Pijp featuring heritage architecture

De Pijp

Known for Romantic, Museums, Dining

4.5/5(11 reviews)

Thought to be named for its long, straight streets, this district was once the residence of artists such as Mondrian and is now one of Amsterdam’s trendiest spots.

Top hotels in Amsterdam

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
citizenM Schiphol Airport Hotel
citizenM Schiphol Airport Hotel
4 out of 5
Jan Plezierweg 2, Schiphol
NZ$145
per night
24 Nov. - 25 Nov.

Situated near the airport, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Van Gogh Museum and RAI Exhibition and ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (5,334 reviews)

"great customer service, kindness of the staff. The closiness to airport"…"

Reviewed on 18 Nov. 2019

citizenM Schiphol Airport Hotel
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station
4 out of 5
Oosterdoksstraat 4, Amsterdam
NZ$252
per night
24 Nov. - 25 Nov.

Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nieuwmarkt Square and The Old Church (Oude Kerk). Dam Square and Anne Frank House ...

4.4/5Excellent! (3,020 reviews)

"the location is prefect walking distance to the centre and if you want to travel to see the windmills on the outskirts of the city you are next door to the main station"…"

Reviewed on 11 Nov. 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station
NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky
NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky
5 out of 5
Dam 9, Amsterdam
NZ$287
per night
15 Dec. - 16 Dec.

Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Flower Market and Anne Frank House. Artis and Heineken Experience are also ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,583 reviews)

"Great location, bus/metro station is steps from the hotel. Staff are very friendly."…"

Reviewed on 15 Nov. 2019

NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

Popular activities in Amsterdam

Anne Frank House
Image for Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

4.5/5(52 reviews)

Anne Frank’s world-famous diary chronicles the moving history behind this much-visited Amsterdam landmark.

Van Gogh Museum
Image for Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

4.5/5(73 reviews)

The work of one of the art world’s most enigmatic geniuses is the focus of this fascinating Amsterdam museum.

Rijksmuseum
Image for Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum

4.5/5(87 reviews)

View one of the finest collections of Dutch masters in the world alongside priceless treasures from Asia and elsewhere.

Dam Square
Image for Dam Square

Dam Square

4/5(151 reviews)

History and heritage, fun and festivities come together in the beating heart of old and new Amsterdam.

Heineken Experience
Image for Heineken Experience

Heineken Experience

4.5/5(43 reviews)

Beer is the star attraction at this exhibition dedicated to Holland’s world-famous export.

Leidseplein
Image for Leidseplein

Leidseplein

4/5(47 reviews)

From fine dining to fast food, concerts to clubbing, this popular entertainment hub in the heart of the city has something for everyone.

Top activities in Amsterdam

Van Gogh Museum Tickets
Image for Van Gogh Museum Tickets

Van Gogh Museum Tickets

NZ$36

Discover the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh masterpieces with tickets to this eponymous museum. The exhibits are arranged chronologically so you can follow the artist’s biography and technical development.

Skip-the-Line Rijksmuseum Tickets
Image for Skip-the-Line Rijksmuseum Tickets

Skip-the-Line Rijksmuseum Tickets

NZ$36

8000 artistic and historical objects tell the story of 800 years of Dutch history, from the year 1200 right up to the present. The Rijksmuseum, which in English means The State Museum, exists for more that two hundred years and today belongs to the most breathtaking museums in the world.

I amsterdam City Card
Image for I amsterdam City Card

I amsterdam City Card

NZ$104

Swing through Amsterdam's can't-miss sights and must-see attractions with one convenient card. With the I amsterdam City Card, you can pop into museums, galleries, and gardens, whisk around town on the city's buses and trams, and enjoy a scenic cruise to check out Amsterdam's iconic canal houses up close.

NIGHT CRUISE AMSTERDAM
Image for NIGHT CRUISE AMSTERDAM

NIGHT CRUISE AMSTERDAM

NZ$31

Our Evening Cruise is a 90 minute night cruise that introduces you to the unique vibe of Amsterdam by night. Thousands of lights highlight the hundreds of bridges and the iconic buildings alongside the canals. Our waiter welcomes you on board our comfortable, luxurious boat.

Heineken Experience Admission Ticket
Image for Heineken Experience Admission Ticket

Heineken Experience Admission Ticket

NZ$31

A warm welcome, a cool beer. 1867 was a ‘dam good year for beer. It was the year Gerard Adriaan Heineken built a new brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. Today, the Heineken Experience opens up a real ‘dam experience.

Discover 3 gastronomic restaurants in Haarlem - SELF GUIDED FOOD & WINE TOUR
Image for Discover 3 gastronomic restaurants in Haarlem - SELF GUIDED FOOD & WINE TOUR

Discover 3 gastronomic restaurants in Haarlem - SELF GUIDED FOOD & WINE TOUR

NZ$168

The Culinary Food & Wine Tour takes 3 till 4 hours. During this tour you will visit three different restaurant. This is an amazing opportunity when you can not choose between cool restaurant Amsterdam has. We have selected our favorites especially for you.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Amsterdam

Beautiful Gardens Around the World to Visit This Spring
Image for Beautiful Gardens Around the World to Visit This Spring

Beautiful Gardens Around the World to Visit This Spring

Stop and smell the flowers on your next vacation in these gorgeous gardens across the globe.

Other places like Amsterdam

Rotterdam
Image for Rotterdam
Rotterdam
The Hague
Image for The Hague
The Hague
Berlin
Image for Berlin
Berlin
Copenhagen
Image for Copenhagen
Copenhagen