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Travel Guides: Amsterdam City Guide

Amsterdam is a city connected by many canals and bridges. It is also one of the most bike-friendly cities that boasts plenty of bike paths that make getting around an easy and enjoyable experience.

The city also boasts ancient castles and world-class museums to discover. You can also explore the quaint cobbled streets filled with al-fresco restaurants and cafes.

The city’s low-rise buildings and architecture give it a more intimate feel compared to other metropolitan cities on the continent. But under the surface is a modern, forward thinking city that combines the buzz of a major commercial hub with a laid-back attitude.

If you visit Amsterdam, you will undoubtedly want to take some snaps of the scenic views. And the city is certainly not short of them. From the stunning canal architecture to the  picturesque and colourful buildings, we list the must-see spots and landmarks.

Popular Attractions and Landmarks

One of the first trips on the itinerary should be the A’DAM LOOKOUT, which offers 360º views of the historic town centre and the surrounding harbours. There you will also find an interactive exhibition and a panoramic restaurant/ bar/club. For the more adventurous, the venue also boasts Europe’s highest swing at almost 100 meters.

For those looking for a relaxed adventure can head to the Castles & Gardens region located Southeast of the city centre where you can also enjoy picturesque lakes and explore scenic villages. Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot is worth a visit for a day-trip, dating back to 1280 it boasts stunning surrounding gardens.

A trip to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without a canal cruise. And with 165 canals, it’s a great way to explore the rich history of the city and take in the scenic views and cultural landmarks. Amsterdam’s canal ring was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010.

After you’re done cruising the canals, you can head to Keukenhof Gardens, this stunning landscape is a popular attraction that stretches for 32 hectares and boasts 7 millions flower bulbs.

Art and Culture

The city is home to some world-class museums, with one of the most visited being the Rijksmuseum, boasting over 800 years of history where you can find the works of Van Gogh.

For Art lovers, a visit to the Stedelijk museum is a must. The museum boasts 150 years of the finest modern art, with works by Picasso, Pollock, Warhol and more. Other popular places to visit are the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum and Amsterdam museum.

Popular Areas

Dam Square is one of the most popular areas of the city and lies in the historical centre of Amsterdam close to the main train station. Featuring popular attractions such as the Royal Palace, Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and National monument. Here you will also find plenty of restaurants, food stalls and shops.

Leidseplein (Leiden Square) is a lively square located in the centre of the city. The area boasts plenty of al-fresco cafes, restaurants and bars. There are also lots of entertainment options with movies, theatres, comedy and street performances.

The Red Light district is another popular destination with tourists and is located in the oldest part of Amsterdam. The area comes alive at night and there are many tour groups that offer walking tours, which may be the best way to explore the area.

Food & Drink

If you are feeling adventurous and want to sample a local delicacy, then you have to try broodje haring; a fish served with pickles and onion, which can be found at Haringhandels (Herring Carts) across the city centre.

Another popular local snack is the Bitterballen; deep fried meatballs with a crispy batter served alongside a helping of mustard, which can be found on the menu of most pubs. You also have to try the chunky fries called frites or patat, which are usually served in a paper cone with condiments. If you’re looking for something sweet, try the local favourite Oliebollen, which are delicious deep-fried dumplings coated in sugar.

For hearty local cuisine, head to The Pantry for delicious meatballs and mash, or a fillet of Sea Bass.

Supplied: The Pantry


For a relaxing afternoon head to Amsterdanse Bos (Amsterdam Forest); a huge urban space and one of the largest city parks on the continent. Here you can take a stroll, bike-ride or enjoy a picnic. There is a 14 km bike lane that can show you the best parts of the forest.

Shopping district

You will not be short of shopping options in Amsterdam. If you are looking for the big brands and labels, you will find them at Kalverstraat, which is the most popular shopping destination in the city. For luxury brands head to PC Hooftstraat, where you will also find boutique shops. You can also visit the Albert Cuypmarket; claimed to be the longest street market on the continent.

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