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Local guide showing a tourist around Amsterdam on a sunny day

Top Things To Do In Amsterdam

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Wondering what to do in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a gabled gem teleported from the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age and embellished with quaint coffee shops, humble markets, cozy restaurants, and stylish stores all chilling out along the iconic canals. The things to do in Amsterdam range from the classic to the cutting-edge. You could soak up centuries-old architecture, browse a floating flower market, sample Dutch delights at an old cheese shop, or visit cool cocktail bars and tiny tasting rooms in the trendy Jordaan. No matter where your Amsterdam tour takes you (whether by foot, boat, or bicycle) you won’t ever be far from phenomenal food, treasure-packed museums, and an intoxicating nightlife scene.

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Tourists posing near the Amsterdam city sign on a sunny day
The five faces of Amsterdam

The things to do in Amsterdam can differ greatly depending on where in the city you are. Amsterdam-Centrum is a hotspot of historic landmarks, cozy pubs, and narrow canals; edgy Amsterdam-Noord, once used for heavy industry, is today a haven for the city’s cool kids and artists. Leafy Amsterdam-Zuid is home to high-end boutiques and wealthy neighborhoods, while Amsterdam-Oost, loved for its residential vibe, is lined with beautiful 19th-century buildings. Diverse Amsterdam-Wes, on the other hand, is a street food nirvana with a global gastronomy scene and plenty of exciting things to do.

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Tourists relax in a lush green park on a sunny day in Amsterdam
Highlights and hidden gems

From artistic attractions like historic architecture and the Van Gogh Museum to the provocative red-light district and nightlife scene, there are countless reasons the city lures so many types of travelers to its tightly-packed streets. You won’t need to search high and low for famous things to do in Amsterdam, but it’s the lesser-known landmarks and hidden gems loved by locals that make the city such a memorable destination. A private tour with a local is the perfect way to uncover the true spirit of the city (and experience some of the best things to do in Amsterdam in the process).

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Amsterdam local introducing a tourist to delicious street food in their city
The best of Dutch delicacies

For anyone visiting the city, sampling Dutch delicacies should make the top of your list of things to do in Amsterdam. Sit-down dinners in upmarket restaurants are great, but Amsterdam’s most iconic bites are ideal for on-the-go snacking on a tour of the city. Small, crunchy bitterballen, cubes of fresh Dutch cheese, and crispy thick-cut fries – all typical local cuisine – are served in perfect tasting portions at the city’s humble markets brimming with simple street food. Save a little room for later, because one of the best things to do in Amsterdam is downing a beer at a centuries-old pub.

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