Amsterdam travel guide

Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most interesting cities, with its 17th-century canals, picturesque gabled buildings, bicycle-friendly lanes and streets, quirky hidden courtyards, and art galleries housing many of the world’s masterpieces. It’s also just very, very cool, with a cutting-edge design scene and fantastic restaurants, bars and clubs. Yes there’s the red-light district and a few hazy cafes, but if you go beyond the tourist traps, you’ll find that Amsterdam is even more intriguing than you thought. If you’re planning a visit, explore our Amsterdam travel guide and find out how to make the most of your time in this exciting city. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have top suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel, where to stay, getting around and more.

Where to stay

When you’re choosing where to stay in Amsterdam, it’s important to keep in mind that anything within the inner canal belt will be within walking distance to the city’s main charms, sites, and attractions. The advantages of a compact city! So, what accommodation you want depends entirely on the Amsterdam experience you’re after – there’s something for every traveller, on a budget or otherwise. Want to be close to the central hub of pubs, clubs and eateries, or would you prefer to reside on the quieter side, closer to the city’s parks and residential areas? Here are a few of the best areas to...

Things to do

You’ll never run short of things to do in Amsterdam. Plus, the city’s compact size and beauty means that everything’s only a short scenic walk or bike ride away. Even getting lost in the maze of narrow alleyways and beautiful canals can mean an afternoon well spent (unless, of course, you’ve booked a cheese and wine tasting!)

Travel tips

The city of Amsterdam welcomes millions of travellers from across the globe each and every year, and these key Amsterdam travel tips can help you become one of them in no time. ...

Getting Around

As you might expect in a city of its size, getting around in Amsterdam is easy and affordable whether you choose to walk, join the locals on the brilliantly executed bikeways, or catch the tram.  Often, exploring by foot is the preferred choice of tourists, but hiring a bike is also popular. From the seat of a cycle, you can see the city through the eyes of a local, effortlessly explore areas further out from the city, and even enjoy a leisurely ride though Amsterdam’s many parklands.

Where to eat

There’s certainly no scarcity of places to enjoy delicious food and drink in Amsterdam. Venture for just a few minutes and you’re sure to stumble across something to suit your tastes: a cosy pub, a cute cafe or, as locals will likely suggest, a cheery canal-side terrace bar for drinks in the afternoon sun. An abundance of restaurants throughout the city satisfy every hungry traveller’s craving – whether on a budget, after high-end dining, or adventurous – from vegetarian and vegan delights to Indian, Italian, modern Dutch cuisine, and many more.


Amsterdam shopping is reflective of the city’s rich cultural heritage. It can mean browsing the best of cutting-edge fashion and design, world-famous art, and valuable antiques; unearthing something truly unique in an independent store; or jostling with crowds in vibrant outdoor markets for Dutch souvenirs, flowers, vintage clothing, and collectables. ...

Best time to travel

The weather in Amsterdam can mean clear blue skies and pleasant sun, but, as is hallmark of Northern Europe, it can often be grey, chilly and wet. So it’s best to be prepared with a light rain coat and layers no matter what time of year you visit. ...


Take some time out in Amsterdam’s parks and squares. Though the city is compact and highly urbanised, it still manages to have a healthy share of beautiful green spaces and botanical gardens providing a welcome dose of fresh air, nature, and relaxation.  Plant enthusiasts can’t miss the centuries-old Hortus Botanicus botanical garden, which boasts an incredible abundance of different plant species and a butterfly sanctuary, and the city’s massive Vondelpark is a must for that picnic in a lively park. The Oosterpark is also an option for a more tranquil experience away from the tourists.