Amsterdam is the perfect city to visit on a short break from the UK! With countless attractions, beautiful canals, intriguing history, and plenty of delicious food and drink on offer, here’s a little guide on what to do during in your time in The Netherland’s Capital City.
Booking Attractions and Experiences
If you walk along Amsterdam’s main streets you’ll no doubt come across many tour operators which offer Canal Cruises, Heineken Brewery Tours and other unique experiences. Tours and Tickets offer plenty of great options and combo tours for visitors. On my visit, we booked a Canal Cruise and Brewery combo tour for just €31.
Things To Do
The Canal Cruise lasts for just over an hour (depending on which tour guide you have), and is a great opportunity to take in the best of Amsterdam. You’ll learn all about the history of each district you pass, it’s people and its buildings. You receive a headset when boarding the boat which you can use to listen to the tour in a variety of languages, meaning you won’t miss out on any vital info!
The Heineken Experience is a must do, even if you’re not a Heineken fan (for those of you who are, we received 3 free pints during the tour). You can walk round the museum at your own pace, with a guide placed in each room to explain different aspects of Heineken’s history and the brewery process. Naturally, there is a great gift shop at the end of the tour, where you can even create your own personalised glass!
If you’re an animal lover like me, then I’d definitely recommend a visit to Artis Zoo (€25). You could honestly spend hours here wandering around the aquarium, reptile and insect house, spending time with the giraffes, seals, lions or elephants and having a mini picnic amongst the grounds. Paired with beautiful sunshine it’s a perfect day out.
Vondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam, and is often bustling with walkers, exercise classes, and families out for the day with picnics. If you have a free afternoon, why not grab yourself a coffee and have a wander and explore the beautiful park.
The Anne Frank House is another must-see spot in the city. And personally, it was one of my favourite ‘experiences’. It is an incredibly moving experience, and the museum and its staff has done an incredible job of making such a vital and moving part of our history relevant in the present, protecting the harrowing stories and experiences of the Frank family (and so many like them) to make sure they are remembered in the future. To walk around the same rooms where the Frank family lived in confinement for so long was a truly indescribable experience. Before starting your tour, you’re given a headset which allows you to walk around the museum at your own pace, listen to the stories, diary entries and historical recording in your own language, and take in everything surrounding you.
One of the most well-visited and famous attractions in Amsterdam is the Van Gogh Museum, inspiring and connecting new generations to the life and times of Vicnent Van Gogh and his stunning artistic masterpieces. Tickets are €19, with under-18s able to enter for free and online tickets allowing visitors to enter both permanent and temporary exhibits around the museum.
Hopefully this guide will help you in your trip planning to Amsterdam and will help you to get the most out of your time in the incredible city.
Where to Stay: Hotel Van Gogh
Where to Eat/Drink: After good coffee and equally good food? Head to Koffie Academie – with delicious cappuccinos and lattes, freshly made sandwiches and breakfast bowls, and a gorgeous atmosphere its one of the best spots in the city for breakfast!