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

Known for 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.

De Pijp
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De Pijp

Known for 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.

Zuidoost
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Zuidoost

Known for 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.

Top hotels in Amsterdam

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Corendon Village Hotel Amsterdam
Corendon Village Hotel Amsterdam
4 out of 5
Schipholweg 275, Badhoevedorp
NZ$125
per night
20 Sep. - 21 Sep.
4.2/5Excellent! (2,057 reviews)

"The staff was very welcoming! The rooms were very clean."…"

Reviewed on 12 Sep. 2019

Corendon Village Hotel Amsterdam
Image for citizenM Schiphol Airport Hotel
citizenM Schiphol Airport Hotel
4 out of 5
Jan Plezierweg 2, Schiphol
NZ$216
per night
29 Sep. - 30 Sep.
4.4/5Wonderful! (5,132 reviews)

"Our first visit to a CitizenM hotel, it’s perfect for a stop over or business visit. The room is really well laid out to get maximum benefit from the space and give you all the space you need. Check in and check out is very quick and simple. The bar and restaurant area work really well, comfortable ..."…"

Reviewed on 18 Sep. 2019

citizenM Schiphol Airport Hotel
Image for Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam
Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam
4 out of 5
Paul van Vlissingenstraat, Amsterdam, North Holland
NZ$174
per night
6 Oct. - 7 Oct.
4.3/5Excellent! (249 reviews)

"Really close to centre of Amsterdam by tram. Great staff and great rooms. Slightly small but made up for it with the big bathroom!"…"

Reviewed on 18 Sep. 2019

Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam

Popular activities in Amsterdam

Anne Frank House
Image for Anne Frank House
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
Image for Van Gogh Museum
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

Van Gogh Museum Tickets
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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
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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
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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
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NIGHT CRUISE AMSTERDAM

NZ$30

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
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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.

Amsterdam XtraCold Icebar Tickets with Drinks
Image for Amsterdam XtraCold Icebar Tickets with Drinks

Amsterdam XtraCold Icebar Tickets with Drinks

NZ$35

The “coolest” hangout in town, XtraCold Icebar, keeps it warm by kitting you out in parkas, so you can comfortably relax and sip drinks in this all-ice venue. Bundle up and head inside to chill out in a bar completely made up of ice, pairing your frosty beverages with thrilling stories of ice-bound explorers.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Amsterdam

Beautiful Gardens Around the World to Visit This Spring
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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.

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