What to see and do in Amsterdam
Best time to fly to Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a fantastic place to visit all year round. However, the most popular season for tourism is in the summer months of June to August, when the weather is relatively warm, and visitors can enjoy plenty of open-air activities and events.
A quieter period to visit Amsterdam is between November and February. Airline tickets to Amsterdam are typically cheaper during this period, but the temperature will be lower, and we recommend travelers pack an umbrella as rainfall is more frequent than at other times of year.
With this in mind, the best time to book flights to Amsterdam, Netherlands, is probably in either April or September. In those months, it is warm enough to enjoy outdoor exploring, but the high season hasn't quite kicked off yet, so travelers can still enjoy relatively crowd-free exploring.
Getting around Amsterdam
Exploring Amsterdam by bike is one of the most popular ways to get around the city. Travelers can rent a bike for around 10 euros a day. Walking is another great option to discover the city for yourself.
The public transport system in Amsterdam is also very convenient. You can purchase a public transport chipcard (called an OV-chipkaart). Once topped up, you can use this card for travel on trams, buses, metros, and ferries. The card is valid for up to 5 years – just in case you need another excuse to visit Amsterdam again.
Finding good car parking in the city center can be tricky, so we suggest skipping the car rental in favor of cycling or using the Dutch public transport system.
Things to do in Amsterdam
The chameleon city of Amsterdam has many faces. It does highbrow with ease, giving you blockbuster art from homegrown icons like Rembrandt and Van Gogh – with the Van Gogh Museum being a favorite among locals and travelers alike.
But the city also has a colorful culture, from its brown cafés (the name for traditional pubs) to the renowned red-light district.
If you're looking to learn about the city's history, visit Anne Frank's House for a somber glimpse into the past.
Take a wander through the city center to see Golden Age architecture and traditional canals that will make you wish you had time to explore every cobbled street in the city.
The best markets in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is also a paradise for anyone who likes mooching in outdoor markets.
Waterlooplein Markt is the flea market to top all flea markets, but there are also other local markets if you are looking for antiques, art, and old books.
Albert Cuypmarkt, the largest and most popular outdoor market in Amsterdam, is a multicultural melting pot of spice and color.
Up for a bit of sensory overload? The fabulously fragrant flower market Bloemenmarkt is the place to go! You didn't really think we'd talk about Amsterdam without mentioning tulips, did you?
What to eat in Amsterdam
Vlaamse frites might just be the best thing about Amsterdam. These hot, crunchy French fries are smothered in mayonnaise, and you can find them in the wide range of cafes and frituur's (fast food restaurants that serve fried food) around the city.
And if there's one thing that we know to be true, it's that the Dutch know good cheese when they see it. There are several towns in the Netherlands famed for their cheese (hello Gouda and Edam!).
Raw herring is another local flavor that's love-it-or-leave-it. But perhaps the biggest 'homegrown' surprise on the food front is the rijsttafel. This is an Indonesian banquet - literally meaning “rice table” - and is a dish influenced by Dutch colonial history.
Places to eat and drink in Amsterdam
Enjoy your Dutch frites with a local beer at any of the countless outdoor cafes, where you can enjoy breathtaking canal views and endless people-watching.
We also recommend dropping by the Foodhallen for some tasty touring and to sample another Dutch delicacy: bitterballen.
Bitterballen are delicious, meat-filled croquettes that are often served alongside beer in bars and eateries.
That said, there is seemingly no end to restaurants and bars in Amsterdam, Netherlands. You’ll find excellent food and drink options at almost every corner.