If you are planning your Amsterdam bucket list, look no further. We have the most iconic destinations within the city, foods to try, neighborhoods to visit, and things to do. You will never be bored in a city as exhilarating as Amsterdam.
The nice thing about this Dutch city is that you can really just stroll and relax or take it to the top level and swing off a building over 300 feet in the air. Amsterdam is radiating with fantastic things to do for everyone and one of the best cities in Europe.
Amsterdam itself is about an eight the size of London with nearly a million people living in the city. The city is walk-able as most of it is flat but there is also a great public transportation system or you can learn to use a bike like the locals.
No matter what you decide to fill your Amsterdam bucket list with, you are going to have an incredible time in this stunning European city!
Ultimate Amsterdam Bucket List
1. Eat a stroopwafle
No Amsterdam bucket list would be complete without indulging in a stroopwafle .. or 10! This wafer cookie has a caramel inside and is smashed by two extremely thing layers of dough.
Pro tip: when ordering a stroopwafle, let it sit over your hot coffee or tea for a couple minutes and it gets the caramel soft and gooey.
2. Visit the Anne Frank House
This museums was once the residence of Anne Frank and her family for about two years while they hid during World War II. While this visit is more of a lesson in history, it should not be missed.
Pro tip: There are a lot of very steep stairs within the house. If you are not comfortable or cannot make the walk up, know before you go. The modern part of the museum is accessible though.
1016 DK Amsterdam
3. See the tulips
The tulips are one of the best reasons to visit Amsterdam in the spring. You simply cannot escape their colorful beauty. Many Europe bucket list checkers have this very activity on their list, and with good reason, it is beautiful!
The best time to see the tulips is typically between March-May. If you want to take a quick day trip to see 7 million+ tulips, head to Keukenhof in Lisse. Just about 30-60 minutes from the city center, you will not be disappointed.
4. Walk through the red light district
It would not be an Amsterdam bucket list if the Red Light District was not on here. Considered the most popular attraction within the city, this is where prostitution is legal. You can absolutely walk through without partaking in shows, etc.
One place not to miss is the Red Lights Secrets Museum. You can learn all about sex work in the Netherlands here, which is actually the oldest profession.
Be respectful and do not photograph or record people while visiting. The Red Light District is a top travel bucket list destination.
5. Eat frites
Technically the french fry was invented in Belgium, but is widely popular throughout Amsterdam. There are street stands, restaurants and vendors throughout the city selling this delicious snakc in a variety of ways.
One of the most common ways is the thick cut Belgian fries with mayo on top!
6. Royal Palace of Amsterdam
Visiting the Royal Palace of Amsterdam will take some advanced planning but worth adding to your Amsterdam bucket list. The Palace is still in use by King Willem-Alexander and is not open to visitors when he is using it. While it is not a residence, it is still used by the King for receptions.
7. Purchase a souvenir clog
An iconic souvenir from Amsterdam is the clog. You won’t see many, if any, people wearing them in the city nut they are still very much a part of the culture in rural areas. They are designed to protect the feet.
8. Ride a bike
One should only take on this activity with a group led tour, friend or a great sense of adventure. Initially it can seem like chaos, but once you get the hang of it, it can be an exciting adventure. You will need to pay very close attention to signs, lights, other bikers, and of course, pedestrians. You want to keep the people around you and yourself free from harm.
9. Take a boat ride through the canals
This can be done in a variety of ways from just renting or taking a tour on a small open air boat and driving through the canals to taking a tour on a much larger boat and doing a full dinner and sunset. One of the best ways to see Amsterdam is at night on a canal cruise tour. Either way, its going to be a blast.
10. Visit a coffeeshop
This might not be on everyone’s Amsterdam bucket list but it is a big driver for tourism. And I don’t mean coffee. Coffeeshops are for buying and smoking cannabis is smaller quantities. It is not uncommon at all for people to visit these shops as visitors to the city or residents.
Looking for an exciting ganja walking tour? This is a great way to learn more about the industry and visit.
If you plan to visit, go in, play it cool.
This popular park in Amsterdam is host to public performances things to see like the Alchemist Garden.
Note: there is no drinking or smoking allowed and the park is free to visitors.
12. See the Dam Square
Dam is an unmissable place within Amsterdam. Day or night, there is always something going on and tourists strolling through. You will find a variety of food options, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam and you can even visit Madam Tussaud’s wax museum!
13. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is a dedication to the works of Vincent. There is no fee to explore the museum but you will need to reserve a time for entry. You should budget about two hours to walk through and see everything.
14. A’dam Lookout
For a panoramic view of Amsterdam, this is the place to be. Feeling adventurous? Take the 328 foot swing over the top of the building called “over the edge.” This is not for the faint of heart but if you are into it, check it out.
One part of the experience of visiting is the elevator, going from the bottom floor to top 20th floor in just 20 seconds, and it comes with a see through ceiling, and completed the experience with light and sound effects.
One of the most loved neighborhoods in all of Amsterdam, this are is super trendy. You will find a significant amount of cafes (where you actually buy coffee), boutique shopping opportunities, restaurants, and pubs.
There is also a plethora of activities in the area like the cheese museum!
You will also find the most popular canal in Amsterdam in the neighborhood, The Herengracht!
16. Get a picture with the “I Amsterdam” sign
One imply doesn’t visit Amsterdam and not get a photo with the iconic I Amsterdam sign. Its the flagship”I went to Amsterdam” photo opp!
17. Rembrandt House
This is where Rembrandt lived for 20 years and is now a museum. You can really dive deep and see how he lived before he went bankrupt and how he worked. Artists and those who appreciate the art will truly love visiting the Rembrandt House.
18. Take a walking tour
You can choose your own adventure on this as Amsterdam is rich in history and very walk-able. One walking tour worth considering is about the Life of Anne Frank and World War II. During this tour you will get to see things like the Auschwitz Monument, learn about Anne and her diary and so much more.
19. Gingerbread Houses
Easily the most photographed houses in all of Amsterdam, the gingerbread houses are down from central station and unmissable.
20. Eat poffertjes
It will be easy to eat your weight in these delicious dutch mini pancakes. These little sweet treats are usually served with powdered sugar and butter but you can expect to find a variety of ad-ons like Nutella!
21. See the smallest house
The smallest house is technically a store that sells teas and the like. Coming in at about six feet and 8 inches wide and 16 feet deep, this truly is a small space. Because of the limited space, if this is on your Amsterdam bucket list, it is wise to book a time in advance to make sure you can get in.
22. Albert Cuyp Market
Located in the De Pijp neighborhood, Albery Cuyp Market is considered to be the most beautiful street market in all the city.
23. Heineken Experience
If you love Heineken, then the Heineken Experience should not be missed in the city. Considered one of the best beers int he world, you can learn about the history and brewing once done here and even learn to pour the perfect brew.
24. De Pijp neighborhood
This Bohemian style neighborhood is hip and wort the walk around. Craving sensational middle eastern food? THIS IS THE PLACE TO FIND IT!
If learning about the history and arts of Amsterdam is on top of your list of things to do in Amsterdam, then check out Rijksmuseum! There are about 400 pieces on collection to see, including arts from Rembrandt.
26. Cheese tasting
There is a fantastic cheese tasting tour that lasts about 45 minutes where you can taste the cheeses of Henri Willig. During this epic cheese tour you should taste about five different cheeses and you can pair it with wine or local beer, the choice is yours.
27. See the sunset at Pllek
Pllek is definitely more of a local vibe, but good on you for visiting if you want to see a sunset. It is a little bit outside the city center but worth the trek. You will see it is a beachy vibe and there is a crane hotel in the vicinity!
28. Eat Gelato
One doesn’t visit Europe and not eat gelato, right? While gelato is not Dutch, it is still delicious and perfect for the spring or summer months while walking around.
29. Walk the canals
Make sure to get wonderfully lost throughout the canals in the city as part of your Amsterdam bucket list. The houses, bikes, florals, and boats are all what make the city so charming. If you love taking photos, there is a photo opportunity around every corner.
30. Stay at the W Hotel – rooftop
Just a two minute or so walk from the Royal Palace, the W Hotel is luxurious, yet quirky. The real draw is the rooftop pool with some views of the city below.
31. Visit during the magical winter
If you thought spring and summer were amazing, add Amsterdam to your winter bucket list because it is magical! All the snow falling between the canals against the stunning architecture. Such a dream.
32. Moco Museum
The Moco Museum is relatively new, just opened around 2016. The goal of the museum was to bring in modern and contemptoray art. You can expect to find the works of Banksy inside and other artists like Haring, Koons and piece of street art.
33. Ice Bar
Made from 35 tons of ice, this ice bar is sure to be an Amsterdam bucket list experience. There actually aren’t that many ice bars globally, so being able to experience one in general should be a top travel bucket list experience.
You can visit the Amsterdam Ice Bar in the -10 degrees Celsius space with your friends or solo and enjoy a cocktail or two. You do not need to pack a ton of warm clothes as you will be fitted for a jacket upon arrival to enter. Another cool feature is that your drinks will be served in a glass made from ice!
34. Stay in a unique Airbnb
There are tons of hotel options in Amsterdam, but there are some unique Airbnb’s in Amsterdam as well. You could stay in a canal home or one of the beautiful row houses!
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