Amsterdam is honestly one of my favorite cities I’ve visited so far. It’s got great history, but it still feels modern, accessible, and fun! If you’re planning to go, here’s some things that are helpful to know ahead of time and that I recommend:
Trams are the best – they run almost non-stop and get you close to pretty much everything. Add this great transit system with your Google Maps and you’re all set. You can buy multi-day passes for a fairly inexpensive price too and use them for your whole trip.
Buy museum tickets ahead of time – It really will save you TONS of time. Even if you think you’re visiting the VanGogh museum at a “non-busy” time, there will always be a line. Get those ahead-of-time tickets and save your two hours. We also didn’t visit the Anne Frank House this time around, but if you want to, book those tickets as far in advance is possible. People were waiting in a line that went all the way around the block!
The weather is really unpredictable. It might rain for 30 minutes and then be gloriously sunny and hot for another hour and then rain again. Pack layers and keep an umbrella handy for that sudden downpour.
Take a walking/biking tour. – Amsterdam has lots of different neighborhoods, and a walking tour is a great way to see at least a few. Each one has its own distinct vibe and is worth exploring! There’s even an entire island community created by artisans that you can visit called the NDSM Wharf!
Take a boat tour. – I recommend Those Dam Boat Guys because they offer tours on smaller boats (max 10 people) and you can bring food and drinks. Somehow seeing Amsterdam from the canal is a whole different experience than walking or trams, so I highly recommend it.
Want good photos? Wake up early. – That cool IAMSTERDAM sign? People start checking it out earlyyyyyy. If you want a good photo with it and nothing else, you’re talking 5:30am folks. But believe me, it’s worth it. This tip really goes for any major tourist attraction of a city!
Don’t make the bicyclists mad! They say the most dangerous thing in Amsterdam are the bikes, and even worse are tourists on bicycles. Even if you think you’re keeping an eye out, there will inevitably be one on your trip that comes out of nowhere! Stay alert!
Explore – There’s always new places to go and with all the canals and narrow streets you’ll inevitably stumble on something awesome.
Anything I missed that’s helpful for visiting Amsterdam? Let me know in a comment!
From this post:
- Those Dam Boat Guys
- IAmsterdam sign
- VanGogh Museum
- Anne Frank House
- Sandemans New Europe Walking Tours
Other posts on Amsterdam: