Things to do and see in Amsterdam

13 June 2021

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Friendly disclaimer! We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to visit.

The Dutch capital of Amsterdam is a charming European city characterised by canals, low and crooked 17th-century houses, and a plethora of museums. The rich cultural life and a wide range of attractions lend Amsterdam enough excitement, whether you choose to explore it on foot, by bike, or through a canal cruise. By simultaneously giving you both uber city vibes along with a small-town feel, Amsterdam offers the best of both worlds. 

Royal Palace

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The Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace) on Amsterdam’s Dam Square is one of three palaces still in use by the Dutch royal family. When not used for state visits, award ceremonies or other official functions, visitors can explore the magnificent interior and discover the rich history of the building.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Dam, Amsterdam
  • Website: www.paleisamsterdam.nl/en/
  • Timings: November 1st – February 28th: Monday – Sunday 9:00 – 18:00. March 1st – October 31st: Monday – Sunday 9:00 – 21:00.

Artis Royal Zoo

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One of the oldest zoos in all of Europe, Artis Royal Zoo contains multiple species of land and marine animals, as well as an aquarium and a planetarium. The zoo grounds invite for a pleasant stroll among the trees and give the visitors the opportunity to admire a myriad of animals ranging from chimps to elephants.

 

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Amsterdam Exchange Experience

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The famous Amsterdam Exchange index (AEX) throws open its doors to the public with this new attraction taking visitors on an exciting interactive journey from the beginnings of the Dutch East India Company right through to today’s modern electronic trading floor.

 

Useful Info:

Allard Pierson Museum

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Allard Pierson Museum narrates stories of ancient civilisations via informative displays which include artefacts from the Great Roman Empire, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, Etruria, and Near East. This archaeological museum is sponsored by the University of Amsterdam.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Oude Turfmarkt 127-129, Amsterdam
  • Website: www.allardpierson.nl/en/
  • Timings: Tuesday – Friday 10:00 – 17:00. Saturday – Sunday 13:00 – 17:00.

Diamond Museum

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Located in the city centre, the Amsterdam Diamond Museum grants visitors an insight into the development of diamond production (from billions of years ago to modern times), and showcases some rare exhibits such as the incredible Rembrandt Diamond, the Katana and the Ape Skull.

 

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New Church

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The New Church (or Nieuwe Kerk) isn’t just a simple church. It played an important role throughout history, and hosted the inaugurations of multiple Dutch kings and queens; today’s royalty – the Dutch king and queen – exchanged vows here, too. Today, the church frequently hosts various exhibitions.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Dam Square, Amsterdam
  • Website: www.nieuwekerk.nl/en/
  • Timings: Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00.

Concertgebouw

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Built in 1888, the Concertgebouw is a world-famous concert hall located in the city centre. Take a guided tour and discover some of the hidden areas of this magnificent building, such as the backstage and the attic above the Main Hall, while listening to some interesting anecdotes.

 

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Jewish Historical Museum & Jewish Cultural Quarter

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When visiting the Jewish Quarter, make sure to make time for its several attractions – the Jewish Historical Museum, Children’s Museum, the Great Synagogue and the Dutch Theatre (Hollandsche Schouwburg). All of these are located within a short walking distance from one another.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, Amsterdam
  • Website: www.jhm.nl
  • Timings: Monday – Sunday 11:00 – 17:00.

Amsterdam Cheese Company

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The Netherlands are well known for their cheese production and The Amsterdam Cheese Company assembles the best of these cheeses in their stores. Taste different kinds of cheese on the spot to get your favourite, or to gift a loved one. Also, let the experts induct you into the production process of Dutch quality cheeses.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Kalverstraat 132, Amsterdam. Other branches of the Amsterdam Cheese Company can be found at Damrak 84, Leidsestraat 2, Nieuwendijk 180 and Wijde Heisteeg 9.
  • Website: www.amsterdamcheesecompany.com
  • Timings: Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 20:00.



Rijksmuseum

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The Rijksmuseum is the largest and most important museum of the Netherlands with a collection of nearly 1 million objects, including many masterpieces and artefacts from all over the world. Following years of extensive renovations, the Rijksmuseum has reopened its doors with an entirely refreshed layout.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Museumstraat 1, Amsterdam
  • Website: www.rijksmuseum.nl/en
  • Timings: Monday – Sunday 09:00 – 17:00.

The Amsterdam Dungeon

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The Amsterdam Dungeon brings 500 years of dark history to life with 12 shows, 7 actors and 1 terrifying experience. Can you survive the horrific plague during the 80-minute tour? Make sure you don’t get tortured by the executioner Peter Titelmann from the Spanish Inquisition or get lost in the mirror labyrinth. There is also a roller coaster for the brave.

 

Useful Info:



Van Gogh Museum

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The Van Gogh Museum goes well beyond the traditional permanent collection. The exhibition Van Gogh at Work is the culmination of seven years of fastidious research into his oeuvre and development as an artist. More than 200 paintings, works on paper, sketchbooks and letters by Van Gogh and his peers offer manifold insights into the fascinating creative processes behind his paintings and drawings.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Museumplein 6, Amsterdam
  • Website: www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en
  • Timings: Sunday – Thursday 9:00 – 17:00. Friday 9:00 – 21:00. Saturday 9:00 – 18:00.

Hermitage Amsterdam

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The Hermitage Amsterdam is the Dutch branch of the world-famous Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Located on the banks of the Amstel River, the Hermitage Amsterdam is an exhibition space and cultural education centre with a focus on Russian history and culture.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Amstel 51, Amsterdam
  • Website: www.hermitage.nl/en/
  • Timings: Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 17:00.

Frans Hals Museum

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Haarlem’s Frans Hals Museum is home to the largest collection of paintings by Frans Hals in the world. Hals, the most famous Haarlem painter of the Golden Age, specialised in portraits. In addition to paintings by Hals, the museum has works by his predecessors and his contemporaries, as well as furniture, ceramics, glass and silver.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Groot Heiligland 62, Haarlem
  • Website: www.franshalsmuseum.nl
  • Timings: Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 – 17:00. Sunday 12:00 – 17:00.

Amsterdam Museum

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The Amsterdam Museum tells the compelling story of the growth and heyday of the Dutch capital. Discover seven centuries of the city’s history- once a small settlement on the banks of the Amstel, and now a bustling, diverse metropolis. The rich collection of works of art, objects and archaeological finds brings to life the fortunes of the Amsterdamers of days gone by.

 

Useful Info:

Anne Frank House

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The Anne Frank House is the hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her famous diary during World War II. Now a museum, it recreates the war and holocaust years. Quotations from the diary, photographs, films and original objects belonging to the people in hiding and those who helped them all serve to illustrate the events which occurred at this location. Anne’s original diary is on display in the museum as well.

 

Useful Info:

Museum of the Canals

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A visit to Het Grachtenhuis (the Canal House) is the perfect way to learn more about the history of Amsterdam’s canal ring. The museum looks at the 17th-century city expansion projects that led to Amsterdam’s ring of canals which received UNESCO world heritage status in 2010. After seeing the interactive displays, you’ll look at Amsterdam in a whole new light when wandering through the city’s streets or taking a canal cruise.

 

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EYE Film Institute Netherlands

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If you love films and cinematography, be sure to visit the EYE Film Institute Netherlands. Located in a new ultramodern building along the IJ waterway, this museum is home to an internationally renowned collection of films covering the whole history of cinema. The museum’s extensive programme includes exhibitions and events examining the history of film and contemporary cinematographic developments. It screens classic and art-house movies on a daily basis.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: IJpromenade 1, Amsterdam
  • Website: www.eyefilm.nl/en
  • Timings: Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 19:00.

NEMO

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NEMO is the largest science centre in the Netherlands. With five floors full of exciting things to do and discover, this is the perfect place for anyone with an inquisitive mind. Exhibitions, theatre performances, films, workshops and demonstrations: you will smell, hear, feel and see how the world works.

 

Useful Info:

The National Maritime Museum

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The National Maritime Museum invites its visitors to discover how the Dutch culture has been shaped by the sea. The building has been completely restored and modernised, the courtyard now being covered by a glass roof. The museum includes a restaurant, a waterside terrace and even a replica of the Dutch East India Company ship “Amsterdam” moored outside.

 

Useful Info:

Madame Tussauds Amsterdam

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You won’t see so many celebrities gathered together anywhere else. From film stars to sporting heroes, from the Golden Age to modern times, national and international artists, Madame Tussauds truly has something for everyone.

 

Useful Info:

Heineken Experience

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The former Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam offers some 3000 square metres of special exhibition space. Learn more about Heineken’s rich history, the tradition and craft of brewing, and the people behind this multinational company at this monumental building located at the Stadhouderskade. Good to know: two drinks are included in the admission price.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Stadhouderskade 78, Amsterdam
  • Website: www.heinekenexperience.com
  • Timings: Monday – Thursday 10:30 – 19:30. Friday – Sunday 10:30 – 21:00.

Singel Flower Market

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The Singel Flower Market is one of Amsterdam’s most colourful attractions. The small shops are located inside a row of floating barges- a holdover from the days when flowers arrived in Amsterdam every day from the countryside by boat. At the flower market, you’ll find tulips of every colour- either in bouquets or as bulbs to plant at home.

 

Unravelog Tip: If you plan to buy bulbs to take out of the country, be sure they have a “customs cleared” stamp on the packet so you won’t have trouble at the border.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Singel 630 – 600, Amsterdam(On the Singel canal between the Koningsplein and the Muntplein.)
  • Timings: Monday – Saturday 09:00 – 17:30. Sunday 11:00 – 17:30.
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