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.

Known for

Museums, Biking and Boating

Explore map

Where to stay in Amsterdam

Canal Ring
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Canal Ring

Biking, Boating, Museums

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

Zuidoost
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Zuidoost

Romantic, Skyscrapers, Live Music

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
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De Pijp

Romantic, Museums, Dining

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.

Amsterdam North
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Amsterdam North

Ferries, Architecture, Boating

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.

Top hotels in Amsterdam

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for The Student Hotel Amsterdam City
The Student Hotel Amsterdam City
4 out of 5
Wibautstraat 129, Amsterdam
NZ$136/night
21 Jul. - 22 Jul.
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,695 reviews)

"liked the activities available and breakfast is amazing, also very clean and spacious"…"

Reviewed on 18 Jul. 2019

The Student Hotel Amsterdam City
Image for citizenM Schiphol Airport Hotel
citizenM Schiphol Airport Hotel
4 out of 5
Jan Plezierweg 2, Schiphol
NZ$165/night
9 Aug. - 10 Aug.
4.4/5Wonderful! (4,898 reviews)

"Great and friendly staff wonderful service. And very convenient to the airport"…"

Reviewed on 17 Jul. 2019

citizenM Schiphol Airport Hotel
Image for Steigenberger Airport Hotel Amsterdam
Steigenberger Airport Hotel Amsterdam
4 out of 5
Stationsplein ZW 951, Schiphol
NZ$136/night
9 Aug. - 10 Aug.
4.3/5Excellent! (2,004 reviews)

"Very upscale at an awesome price. Bedding very comfortable."…"

Reviewed on 16 Jul. 2019

Steigenberger Airport Hotel Amsterdam

Popular activities in Amsterdam

Anne Frank House
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Photo provided by Nederlands Bureau voor Toerisme and Congressen

Anne Frank House

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

Van Gogh Museum
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Photo provided by Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

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

Rijksmuseum
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Rijksmuseum

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

Dam Square
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Dam Square

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

Heineken Experience
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Heineken Experience

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

Leidseplein
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Leidseplein

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

Amsterdam Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
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Amsterdam Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

NZ$32

Explore Amsterdam on an iconic red double-decker bus! This hop-on hop-off tour allows you discover the city at your own pace, as well as having unlimited access to the bus for a 24 or 48 hour period.

Rotterdam, Delft & The Hague incl. Madurodam Day Trip
Image for Rotterdam, Delft & The Hague incl. Madurodam Day Trip

Rotterdam, Delft & The Hague incl. Madurodam Day Trip

NZ$150

Take a tour that lets you marvel at the far-reaching views over Rotterdam’s busy harbor from the height of Euromast Tower. See how delicate earthenware is produced in Delft, and see the charming center of The Hague on this pleasant day trip.

Amsterdam: Small-Group City Bike Tour
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Amsterdam: Small-Group City Bike Tour

NZ$61

Few world destinations were built for biking, and Amsterdam is one of them. Explore the city's best on two wheels, cycling along canals through the Red Light District, passing landmarks like the Rijksmuseum, and discovering locals' favorite hidden gems.

Private Amsterdam Red Light District and Coffeeshop Tour
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Private Amsterdam Red Light District and Coffeeshop Tour

NZ$76

Stroll through the infamous Red Light District of Amsterdam with a knowledgeable guide to uncover how counterculture thrives in this area. Witness firsthand the cities liberal attitudes to sex and cannabis as you explore the notorious streets.

Pizza Cruise with Drinks & Optional Heineken Experience
Image for Pizza Cruise with Drinks & Optional Heineken Experience

Pizza Cruise with Drinks & Optional Heineken Experience

NZ$71

Spend an evening on the water, savoring fresh-from-the-oven pizza and refreshing drinks as you cruise through Amsterdam's picturesque canals. Enjoy delicious Italian pizzas, ice cream for dessert, and cold Heineken beer as the city sights pass you by.

Bruges Day Trip from Amsterdam
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Bruges Day Trip from Amsterdam

NZ$150

Discover Bruges, an immaculately preserved medieval old town, just over the border into Belgium. Team up with an experienced guide to hear stories about this picture-perfect town while you explore charming streets, quaint canals, and exquisite shops selling everything from monk-brewed beer to handmade chocolates.

Other places like Amsterdam

Rotterdam
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Rotterdam
The Hague
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The Hague
Berlin
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Berlin
Copenhagen
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Copenhagen