things to do in holland amsterdam

Last Updated on: 12th June 2024, 04:51 am

In this guide, I will take you through a list of exciting things to do in Holland Amsterdam, Netherlands. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the city, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. From iconic historic sights to charming parks, from picturesque canals to hidden gems, this city has it all. So, let’s take a look at some of the top attractions you can explore in Holland Amsterdam.

Things to Do in Holland Amsterdam

1. Exploring Historic Sights

Amsterdam is renowned for its rich history and abundance of historic sights. During my visit to Holland Amsterdam, I discovered some of the city’s must-see historical landmarks that offered a glimpse into the city’s past.

The Anne Frank House

One of the top historic sights in Amsterdam is the iconic Anne Frank House, located in the Jordaan neighborhood. This is where Anne Frank, a young Jewish diarist, and her family hid during World War II. Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the secret annex where they lived in hiding and learn about the family’s daily life and experiences during that time. It’s an emotional and thought-provoking experience that I highly recommend.

UNESCO-listed Canal Ring

Another unmissable historic sight in Amsterdam is the UNESCO-listed Canal Ring, an impressive feat of engineering dating back to the 17th century. You can take a stroll along the waterfront or hop on a boat tour to explore the canals and admire the elegant canal houses and charming bridges. The canal ring is truly one of a kind, making it a must-visit spot in Holland Amsterdam.


If you’re interested in art history, you can’t miss the Rijksmuseum, home to masterpieces by Dutch Masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer. The museum’s collection spans over 800 years of Dutch art and history, offering an in-depth look at Dutch culture and society. Take your time strolling through the galleries and admiring the works of art.

“History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

-John F. Kennedy

2. Diving into Art and Culture

As a hub for art and culture, Holland Amsterdam is home to some of the world’s most renowned museums and galleries. The city’s vibrant atmosphere and diverse population have contributed to a dynamic art and cultural scene that is unlike any other. Whether you’re a seasoned art lover or simply looking to broaden your horizons, Amsterdam has plenty to offer in terms of art and culture.

Must-Visit Museums

Two of Amsterdam’s most popular museums are the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum. The Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s works, including iconic pieces like “Sunflowers” and “Starry Night.” The museum provides a unique insight into the artist’s life and the inspiration behind his works. The modern art at the Stedelijk Museum provides a blend of classic and modern art. From Kandinsky to Appel, the Stedelijk Museum is a feast for the senses.

If you’re interested in contemporary art, head to the MOCO museum to experience thought-provoking exhibitions that showcase works by some of today’s most innovative artists.

The Art Scene in Holland Amsterdam

The art scene in Holland Amsterdam is vibrant, diverse and thriving. You’ll often find pop-up galleries and exhibitions set up around the city as well as permanent spaces that showcase unique works of art and exhibitions from emerging artists.

“Amsterdam is truly a hub for cultural exchanges and dynamic experimentation in arts and culture.”

Art and Culture in Holland Amsterdam

As a center of art and culture, Holland Amsterdam has been a melting pot of unique styles, cultures and influences. It’s the kind of city where you can expect the unexpected and discover something new around every corner.

3. Strolling through Picturesque Parks

As much as I love the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, I also appreciate the tranquility of its picturesque parks. One of my favorites is Vondelpark, the city’s largest park and a perfect spot for a picnic or outdoor activities. With picturesque paths and ponds, this park is a great place to escape the city’s noise and enjoy some fresh air. Don’t forget to stop by the iconic Vondelstatue and the Openluchttheater, a stunning open-air theater that hosts a variety of performances.

Another gem is the Hortus Botanicus, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, located in the Plantage district. With its lush vegetation, beautiful flowers, and serene atmosphere, the Hortus is a wonderful place to unwind and enjoy nature’s bounty. I especially love taking a guided tour of the gardens to learn more about the various plant species and their fascinating histories.

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

4. Indulging in Dutch Cuisine

No visit to Holland Amsterdam is complete without savouring some delicious Dutch cuisine. Whether you’re a foodie or not, trying traditional snacks is a must. The cuisine is diverse and offers something for everyone to delight their taste buds.

Street Market Snacks

There’s no better way to experience Dutch food culture than sampling street market snacks. Head to local street markets and try some traditional bites such as stroopwafels. Made of two thin waffles with caramel syrup in between, this delicacy will melt in your mouth. Additionally, bitterballen, deep-fried meatballs served with mustard sauce, are another flavourful snack to try.

Raw Herring

Raw herring is a must-try for those looking for an authentic Amsterdam food experience. Dutch fishermen catch the fish locally, and it is eaten raw with onions. It may sound strange, but it is very popular among the locals, and many consider it a delicacy. Don’t miss out on trying raw herring when exploring Holland Amsterdam!

Dutch cuisine Holland Amsterdam

“Dutch cuisine is a true reflection of the country’s culture. It is a unique blend of traditional and modern flavours with an emphasis on fresh and sustainable ingredients.”

5. Exploring Vibrant Markets

One of my favourite things to do in Holland Amsterdam is exploring the vibrant markets that are bursting with life, colour, and character. The markets are a great way to see the city and experience a unique side of Dutch culture.

One of the most famous markets in Amsterdam is the Albert Cuyp Market. Open for over 100 years, this lively market is located in the De Pijp neighbourhood and offers a diverse range of goods and produce. From fresh fruit and vegetables to clothing, jewelry, and souvenirs, you can find everything here at very reasonable prices. Be sure to try one of the local specialties, the stroopwafel, a sweet, caramel-filled waffle that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Another market that’s worth exploring is the Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market. Located on the Singel Canal, the market is a feast for the eyes with beautiful blooms in every colour imaginable. Here you can find tulip bulbs, fresh flowers, and plants, as well as fun souvenirs to bring home.

Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir or simply want to soak up the lively atmosphere of the city, Amsterdam’s markets are not to be missed.

6. Cruising the Canals

Visiting Amsterdam can’t be complete without enjoying a charming canal cruise. See the city from a unique perspective and admire the picturesque canals and iconic bridges. The pristine canals of Amsterdam were built in the 17th century and have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

You can choose from a variety of canal tours, including guided tours or private boat rentals, to experience the beauty of the canals at your own pace. Bask in the serene atmosphere while creating unforgettable memories on your trip.

If you’re looking for an enlightening experience, book a guided canal cruise to delve further into the history and culture of Amsterdam. The tour guides possess knowledge of local history and provide nuggets of fascinating information as you pass significant landmarks.

Amsterdam canals

Book a canal cruise that suits your preferences and schedule. You won’t regret it.

7. Discovering Hidden Gems

Exploring Amsterdam’s hidden gems is a must-do when visiting Holland Amsterdam. One of my personal favorites is the charming Jordaan neighbourhood. Its narrow streets, traditional architecture and quirky boutiques create a unique atmosphere that should not be missed.

Another hidden gem is the Begijnhof, a secluded courtyard surrounded by historic houses. This peaceful oasis offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take a stroll through its tree-lined paths and admire the quiet beauty of this tucked-away gem.

If you’re looking for an offbeat activity, visit the Electric Ladyland, a museum dedicated to fluorescent art. This innovative museum showcases fluorescent minerals, interacting with light and of course, the art of Nick Padalino. It’s a fascinating and unusual experience that will leave you feeling creatively inspired.

8. Enjoying Nightlife and Entertainment

As the sun sets, Holland Amsterdam becomes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. The city’s diverse entertainment options cater to everyone’s tastes and preferences, making for an unforgettable experience.

Trendy Bars

Known for their cozy atmosphere and good music, Amsterdam’s trendy bars are perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic nightcap with your loved one. Some of my favorites include the Tales & Spirits, Door 74, and Pulitzer Bar, which offer artisanal cocktails and delicious bar bites.

World-class Clubs

If you’re looking to dance the night away, don’t miss out on Amsterdam’s world-class clubs. De School, Paradiso, and Melkweg are sure to impress with their top-notch sound systems and renowned DJs.

“Amsterdam has a nightlife that’s second to none. Whatever you’re into, you’re sure to find it here.”

– Armin van Buuren

Live Performances

Experience the best of culture at the Royal Concertgebouw, a renowned concert hall that has hosted some of the world’s most celebrated musicians. For a different vibe, head to the Boom Chicago theater for a hilarious comedy show.

After-hours Venues

Amsterdam is also home to many after-hours venues, such as Doka and Fest, which offer a more underground vibe and stay open until the early hours of the morning.

Whether you prefer a cozy bar or a world-class nightclub, Holland Amsterdam’s entertainment scene has got you covered. So, put on your dancing shoes and get ready to experience the city’s electric nightlife.

9. Taking a Bicycle Tour

If you want to experience Holland Amsterdam like a local, then join a bicycle tour. Amsterdam has a reputation as one of the most bike-friendly cities globally, and it’s easy to see why. With hundreds of miles of bike lanes and a flat landscape on offer, exploring the city on two wheels is an excellent way to get around.

Many tour operators offer guided bicycle tours of Amsterdam, taking you on a journey through the city’s fascinating history and incredible sights. Alternatively, you can rent a bike and explore at your leisure, immersing yourself in the unique cycling culture of Amsterdam.

With parks, canals, historic streets, and hidden gems, Amsterdam has a lot to offer, and there’s no better way to experience it all than on a bicycle. So, grab your bike and get ready to discover Holland Amsterdam’s most exciting attractions.

Why choose a Bicycle Tour?

So why should you choose a bicycle tour over other forms of transport? Firstly, cycling is an environmentally friendly option that allows you to reduce your carbon footprint while exploring the city. Additionally, it’s an excellent form of exercise, and you’re likely to burn some calories while enjoying the beautiful sights Amsterdam has to offer.

Bicycle tours are also an excellent way to meet new people and make new friends, as you’re likely to be part of a group. This option is particularly attractive to solo travellers looking for company while exploring the city.

Holland Amsterdam’s Best Bicycle Routes

With so much to see and do in Amsterdam, it can be daunting to plan a bicycle route. However, several paths cater to different interests, such as sightseeing, cycling in parks and cruising along the canals. One of the most popular routes is the ‘Amsterdam City Route’, which covers iconic attractions like Dam Square, the Rijksmuseum, and the Vondelpark.

If you prefer to cycle in parks, then try the ‘East Amsterdam Route’, which takes you through the stunning Oosterpark and along the Amstel River. For a picturesque canal ride, choose the ‘Southern Amsterdam Route,’ which features the Amstelkade and beautiful houseboats lining the waterways.

No matter which route you choose, a bicycle tour is an amazing way to experience Holland Amsterdam. So, put on your helmet, hop on your bike, and get ready to fall in love with what this beautiful city has to offer.

10. Exploring Surrounding Areas

If you have some extra time, venture beyond Amsterdam and explore the surrounding areas. Take a day trip to the picturesque windmills of Zaanse Schans, where you can see historic windmills and learn about traditional Dutch crafts like cheesemaking and clog carving. You can also take a boat tour to see the colorful tulip fields in the spring.

Another charming city worth visiting is Haarlem, located just a short train ride from Amsterdam. Here, you can admire the historic architecture of the Grote Markt, the city’s central square, and explore the vibrant markets selling locally-made crafts and fresh produce. Don’t miss the chance to admire the stunning artwork at the Frans Hals Museum, which houses an impressive collection of Dutch Golden Age paintings.

Haarlem vs. Amsterdam – A Quick Comparison

City Haarlem Amsterdam
Population ~160,000 ~875,000
Attractions Frans Hals Museum, Grote Markt, Teylers Museum Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum
Architecture Historic, traditional Dutch buildings Varied, including modern and traditional buildings
Nature Surrounded by greenery, parks and gardens Canals and waterways

Surrounding Areas

Both Haarlem and Amsterdam offer their unique charms and are worth exploring. Whether you prefer the historic architecture of Haarlem or the bustling city life of Amsterdam, there’s something for everyone in these urban centers and their surrounding areas.


As a professional copywriting journalist, I hope that this guide has provided you with some valuable insights into the various exciting things to do in Holland Amsterdam, Netherlands. Whether you are interested in exploring the city’s rich history and culture, enjoying some delicious Dutch cuisine, or indulging in the vibrant nightlife scene, there is something for everyone in this captivating city.

From picturesque parks and bustling markets to historic sights and hidden gems, Amsterdam is a city full of surprises waiting to be discovered. Whether you choose to explore the city by foot or by bike, or take a relaxing canal cruise, you are sure to be enchanted by the city’s charms.

So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Holland Amsterdam, Netherlands. I assure you that it will be an experience that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Thank you for reading this guide, and I hope that it has inspired you to embark on a journey of discovery in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Happy travels!


What are some historic sights to explore in Holland Amsterdam?

Some historic sights to explore in Holland Amsterdam include the Anne Frank House, the UNESCO-listed Canal Ring, and the Rijksmuseum.

What art and cultural attractions can I visit in Holland Amsterdam?

In Holland Amsterdam, you can visit attractions such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, and the MOCO contemporary art museum.

Are there any picturesque parks in Holland Amsterdam?

Yes, there are several picturesque parks in Holland Amsterdam, including Vondelpark, the city’s largest park, and the peaceful Hortus Botanicus.

What are some traditional Dutch dishes to try in Holland Amsterdam?

When in Holland Amsterdam, be sure to try traditional Dutch snacks like stroopwafels and bitterballen. Don’t miss out on the raw herring, a popular Dutch delicacy.

Are there any vibrant markets in Holland Amsterdam?

Yes, Holland Amsterdam is known for its vibrant markets. The Albert Cuyp Market and the Bloemenmarkt are popular options offering a diverse range of goods and produce.

Can I go on a canal cruise in Holland Amsterdam?

Absolutely! Enjoy a leisurely canal cruise in Holland Amsterdam and admire the beauty of its canal network and iconic bridges. Guided tours and private boat rentals are available options.

What are some hidden gems to discover in Holland Amsterdam?

Venture off the beaten path in Holland Amsterdam and explore the charming Jordaan neighborhood and the serene Begijnhof courtyard surrounded by historic houses.

Is there a nightlife scene in Holland Amsterdam?

Yes, Holland Amsterdam offers a vibrant nightlife scene with trendy bars, world-class clubs, and live performances at the Royal Concertgebouw. Comedy shows at the Boom Chicago theater are also popular.

Can I take a bicycle tour in Holland Amsterdam?

Yes, you can join a bicycle tour and experience Holland Amsterdam like a local. Explore the city’s bike-friendly streets and discover hidden gems. You can also rent a bike and explore at your own pace.

Are there any surrounding areas near Holland Amsterdam worth exploring?

If you have extra time, consider taking a day trip to the picturesque windmills of Zaanse Schans or visit the charming city of Haarlem, known for its historic architecture and vibrant markets.