Amsterdam Travel Guide: Unveiling the Charms of the Netherlands' Capital

Charles Nagy Jul 28, 2023
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Table of Contents
  1. i amsterdam
    1. i Amsterdam City Card
    2. Museums
    3. Cycling
    4. ParksandGardens
    5. Red Light District
    6. Anne Frank House
    7. Amsterdam Hotels

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. 

i amsterdam


Living and working in Amsterdam for five years, I've fallen even more in love with the city and this country. The Dutch people are known for their hospitality and friendly, laid-back culture. They are hardworking and enjoy life to the fullest. The Dutch are very tolerant and open-minded, welcoming visitors from all backgrounds. They have a strong focus on education, with excellent universities throughout the country. Additionally, they embrace art and culture as part of everyday life, making it easy to experience traditional and modern works of art alike. In general, the Dutch are highly respected for their progressive approach to society and their commitment to equality among genders and ethnicities.

The Netherlands has much more to offer than just beautiful cities and villages. From Dutch food like cheese, stroopwafels, and poffertjes, to deep-rooted traditions like Sinterklaas and King's Day, Dutch culture is truly unique. History lovers will find plenty to explore here, with a rich heritage full of castles, monuments, and other historic sites. And if you're looking for outdoor adventure, there are endless cycling paths and trails throughout the country that offer a stunning backdrop for exploration. No matter what your interests are, the Netherlands has something for everyone.

Though small in size, the Netherlands is a leader when it comes to progressive values. From its commitment to sustainability to its dedication to equality among genders and ethnicities, the Dutch people have a special appreciation for life that shines through everywhere they turn. 

The Netherlands is known for tulips, windmills, canals, clogs, and coffee shops, but there's also much more to this wonderful country than people realize. As I wish I can touch on everything in one article I'm going to focus on Amsterdam.


Amsterdam is full of energy, history, and culture. In Amsterdam, you can find countless museums and galleries, iconic architecture, hip nightlife spots, plenty of restaurants to choose from, and incredible shopping.

When you arrive be prepare to receive a warm welcome - and some surprisingly good English! Although Dutch is the official language of Holland, nearly everyone speaks English fluently due to it being taught in schools and its global prevalence. And if you see someone scratching their head when you attempt to speak in Dutch, simply switch to English and they'll quickly understand! You might even be surprised at how eloquently they answer back.

Amsterdam is a place that has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a city escape or are interested in exploring the culture and traditions of the Dutch people, you can find something to do in Amsterdam for all ages.

i Amsterdam City Card

To get an authentic experience of Amsterdam, I highly recommend getting an Amsterdam City Card. There are many different types of cards you can get and the cards give you access to a variety of attractions and discounts at restaurants, shops, and museums throughout the city. Plus, it's great value for money!

Personally, if you are visiting Amsterdam I strongly recommend purchasing the I Amsterdam city card if you plan to explore the beautiful city. With this card, you will save money and still have unlimited use with access to public transportation, museums, canal cruises, and attractions. There is a great deal of reliable and efficient transportation available in this city. The card is super helpful for those who are not cyclists.


Despite living here for almost 5 years, I have yet to explore many of the museums. Here are some of the most popular museums and some of my personal favourite that will keep you dry if you're visiting Amsterdam on a rainy day.

  • Museum of the Canals (Grachtenmuseum Amsterdam) - also known as the Canal Museum. It's a 45-minute walking tour through a beautiful old canal house. This museum is great for children and adults.

  • Anne Frank House - this museum is a must if you're in Amsterdam. It's an emotional journey back in time to the world of Anne Frank and her family. I'll speak more about this latter on in this article.

  • Rijksmuseum - this is the Netherlands' largest art museum, located at Museum Square. You can explore centuries-old masterworks by Rembrandt and Vermeer. I also really love the beautiful garden around the museums.

  • Van Gogh Museum - this is one of the most visited museums in Amsterdam. You can explore Van Gogh's paintings and drawings, as well as learn about his life story.

  • Moco Museum (Moco Museum Amsterdam) - this museum is dedicated to modern art and contemporary artists. It also houses works from Banksy, Andy Warhol, and other renowned street artists.

  • NEMO Science Museum - this museum is a must for children, where they can explore science hands-on. Amsterdam is an amazing destination that shouldn't be missed when visiting the Netherlands.



Cycling is an essential part of Dutch culture. You will see locals biking around the city and it's a great way to explore. You can rent a bike from any of the many rental companies in Amsterdam, or there are plenty of places where you can pre book your bike. In the city, you can also rent scooters and E-Bikes. Please be mindful when you are riding your bike and always have your lights on when it's dark. If the police stop you for not having lights on your bike the fine can get up to €90.

You can also rent a bike from OV-fiets (bike sharing), but you must first download the NS application and register for free. For public transportation schedules to and from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, this application is also useful.

The Fietsenstalling Stationsplein located in Amsterdam Central Station offers OV-fiets (bike sharing) for bike rentals. This is the largest underground bike parking facility in the world, and it just opened in January 2023. It's cool to check out, if you do go make sure to check out the mural along the wall. The metro and tram can also be picked up at Amsterdam Central Station. Most places and neighbourhood's are accessible by tram or metro, so that's a convenient place to start.

There are scooter sharing apps like Felyx that you can download to your smartphone. Use the app to locate a scooter near you. It's a convenient way to get around since these scooters are available throughout the city.

Amsterdam Cycling

Parks and Gardens

Parks and gardens in Amsterdam are well known for their beauty, variety, and charm. Each one has something special to offer, from the diverse wildlife to the peaceful atmosphere they create. Whether you're visiting Vondelpark or Plantage Park, take some time to explore and discover the hidden gems. Here are some of my favourite.

  • Vondelpark - this is the most popular park in Amsterdam and it's a great spot for cycling. It has wide pathways and plenty of trees for shade. The scenery here is gorgeous, so make sure to bring your camera!

  • Amsterdamse Bos - this large park south of Amsterdam is a great place for cycling. There are miles of trails to explore, as well as a large lake. In addition to people-watching, this park offers a wide variety of activities for all ages. I recommend doing the Fun Forest as a really fun activity. Make sure you book in advance because it fills up quickly. Ziplining is incorporated into the treetop ropes course. 

  • Westerpark - the Westerpark is a great spot for a picnic, or if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This park is also home to several festivals throughout the year, such as Parckpop and Milkshake Festival.


Red Light District

Many traveler's come to Amsterdam to explore The famous Red Light District which has been around since the 12th century and is one of Amsterdam's most popular tourist destinations. It is now one the most favourite places for tourists and one of the best ways to people watch. Around 300 window brothels, coffee shops, and sex shows are located in this area. It's also an important part of the city's culture, so respect the area and its people.

If you take a canal cruise, most likely you will pass through the Red Light District. It's a fascinating way to explore Amsterdam and see the area from the outside and get a sense of Amsterdam's unique character. Amsterdam is not a very big city but there are plenty of city tours and canal cruises to choose from. There's even a Red Light District city tour or the Red Light District museum.

Red Light District at Night

Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam isn't your average tourist attraction. Nestled in the heart of the city, this museum serves as a poignant reminder of World War ii and a tribute to Anne's legacy. To make the most of your visit, purchase tickets ahead of time – you don't want to miss out on such an important piece of history. Keep in mind that you go inside the house and spend a few hours there. The house has small areas. You may want to skip the house if you are afraid of small spaces. 

Once you're done exploring the museum and learning about Anne's story, there's plenty more to do in its bustling surrounding area. Enjoy a traditional Dutch lunch at one of its many restaurants, soak up some culture at one of the nearby galleries, or purchase souvenirs from one of its stylish boutiques – trust me, it will be a visit you won't forget for many years to come!

anne frank house

Amsterdam Hotels

When it comes to hotel accommodations in Amsterdam, the choices are plentiful. Whether the budget is a priority or you're looking to treat yourself to some luxury, there is something for everyone. Along the picturesque canals travelers will find budget-friendly hotels with friendly staff and ample amenities; while slightly further off the beaten path there are modern hotel options that provide an overall upscale experience. Luxury properties have come into their own in Amsterdam, particularly around the iconic Museum Square, offering visitors an unparalleled stay filled with top-notch features that will remain memorable long after checking out. Those seeking something truly unique should consider boutique options located right in the city center; whether you're looking for inspired decor or sumptuous furnishings, there's no shortage of choices for even the most discerning traveler.

Top Three Luxury Hotels

  • Pulitzer Amsterdam – A luxurious 5-star hotel, offering tastefully decorated rooms overlooking one of the main city's canals Prinsengracht.

  • Andaz Amsterdam - Also located on the Preinsengracht. This luxury hotel offers a modern and stylish interior and exquisite views of the city.

  • Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam - Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the Waldorf Astoria is a luxurious five-star hotel with a stylish interior and impeccable service. Located on another main canal the Herengracht.

Top Bed & Breakfasts

  • PH93 Amsterdam Central - Eclectic and unique B&B in the heart of Amsterdam. Located right next to Central Station.

  • RoomWest - This cozy B&B is located in the trendy area of the West and offers comfortable and stylish rooms. An excellent place to stay during your visit to the vibrant city of Amsterdam

  • Rust. Bed & Breakfast - With one of the best hosts in the city, Rust B&B offers comfortable and stylish accommodation at an affordable price. You wont be disappointed.

Top Three Budget Hotels

  • Volkshotel – Located in the East side of Amsterdam, this hotel offers a stylish and modern interior design at affordable prices.

  • Ibis Amsterdam Centre - A budget-friendly hotel located in the Amsterdam city centre, this hotel is a great option for those looking for comfortable and modern rooms at an affordable price.

  • Clemens Hotel - Located near the Rembrandtplein in the city center, this hotel offers comfortable and modern rooms at a reasonable rate.

Amsterdam is a one of a kind destination that should be on everyone’s must-visit list. Despite being an incredibly popular tourist destination, the city has managed to keep its small-town feel and charm intact – with its cobblestone streets, picturesque canals, bike-filled alleys, and much more.

When you visit this beautiful city, be sure to take the time for appreciating the art of Van Gogh Museum or the Anne Frank House; go for a cruise along its canals; spend some time in Vondelpark getting lost in your thoughts; stroll around Dam Square or explore vibrant markets full of local products. Moreover, don’t forget to savor some Dutch cuisine! Thus, if you're looking for a unique travel experience without sacrificing modern amenities and luxuries - Amsterdam does not disappoint. So make sure that you book early for flights and accommodation to get the most bang for your buck and make memories that will last forever. Kick back and relax as you explore the beauty of this fascinating city and all it has to offer - book early, relax and enjoy!

Table of Contents
  1. i amsterdam
    1. i Amsterdam City Card
    2. Museums
    3. Cycling
    4. ParksandGardens
    5. Red Light District
    6. Anne Frank House
    7. Amsterdam Hotels

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only.