Amsterdam's Top 20
Collected by Travis Marshall, AFAR Local Expert
Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam’s State Museum reopened in 2013 after a decade of renovations, and it is oh so worth a visit! Weave your way through the museum's vast assemblage of historic art (there are over 8,000 pieces!) to check out works from Dutch masters...
Gabriël Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at the Van Gogh Museum. Sunflowers, The...
Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands
One powerful and emotional experience in Amsterdam that shouldn’t be missed is a visit to the Anne Frank House. This home, where Anne Frank wrote in her diary while she, her family, and four others hid from the Nazis during World War II, has...
Singel, 1012 DH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Since 1862, fresh flowers and plants have arrived by barge from the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam. While this assemblage of flora still shows up daily, it comes by van, not boat, to the Bloemenmarkt, the world's only floating flower market. Here,...
IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Step inside the Eye Film Institute to discover an homage to international cinema replete with interactive displays and perched like an ivory spaceship ready for launch on the northern bank of the IJ River. The striking facility, accessible via a...
Begijnhof 29, 1012 WT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Escape the bustle of the city by ducking into the quiet courtyard garden of Begijnhof. Located just a few minutes on foot from the Koningsplein and the Singel canal, this tranquil oasis dates back at least as far as the 14th century. Look among...
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147, 1012 RJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam’s Royal Palace sits on Dam Square at the heart of the city. Though it remains a working palace—it’s where King Willem-Alexander was crowned in 2013—the Dutch royal family only uses it occasionally and the rest of the time it’s open to...
Herengracht 427, 1017 BR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Exploring Amsterdam aboard a canal boat is an iconic way to see the sights, with myriad tours and cruises plying the 65 miles of waterways that lattice the city. From many spots you can join simple, hour-long cruises with narrators describing...
Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, 1011 PL Amsterdam, Netherlands
For centuries, Amsterdam has been home to a large Jewish community and the Jewish Historical Museum documents that experience from the Jewish migration here during the Spanish Inquisition in the 1600s to their persecution during WWII. The museum...
1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beloved by locals and popular with tourists, the Vondelpark is a 120-acre oasis of green in buzzing Amsterdam, southeast of the Leidseplein. Opened in 1865 as the Nieuwe Park, it was later renamed after 17th-century Dutch playwright Joost van den...
Dam, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands
The central hub of downtown Amsterdam is Dam Square, and it’s been at the heart of the city’s history since the 13th century. Today, the open-air public space is ringed by shops and restaurants and packed with people, including street...
Distelkade 21, 1031 XP Amsterdam, Netherlands
Most visitors spend their time in Amsterdam’s historic center, but don’t overlook the up-and-coming Amsterdam Noord, the district just across the IJ River. A free ferry from Central Station makes it easy to visit. Check out the EYE Film Institute...
The Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, or Our Lord in the Attic, was one of the city’s secret Catholic churches from the era when the religion was banned after the Protestant Reformation, starting in 1578. The church was built on the top floor of a...
Amstel 51, 1018 EJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Hermitage Amsterdam is an offshoot of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. There are two permanent exhibits. One details the relationship between the two cities; the Dutch helped Czar Peter I build St. Petersburg in 1703, for...
Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at Stedelijk Museum. The modern art...
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