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The "Can't Miss" Activities and Attractions of Amsterdam

Katherine Goens | Aug 4, 2021

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As an avid traveler, I’ve been to places all over the world. From the sun-soaked beaches of the Caribbean to the mountains of Colombia, yet nothing compares to the enchanting city of Amsterdam.

If you’re looking for a unique, charming city to add to your travel bucket list, bump Amsterdam up to number one. Gorgeous canals, tall, colorful, narrow buildings and world-famous attractions make this city the ultimate vacation spot.

Here are the non-negotiables when it comes to exploring the Venice of the North…


Rent a bike

It’s by far the most common form of transportation and an integral part of the culture. Even if it’s just for a day, you’ll feel like a true "Amsterdammer" weaving through people and enchanting canals. I highly recommend taking a ride through Vondelpark, one of the most famous and beautiful parks in the city. There are plenty of places that offer bikes rentals for hours, days or even weeks. Here’s where I rented mine:

Location: Tesselschadestraat 1E - 1054 ET – Amsterdam (very close to Vondelpark)
Price: Varies
More info: http://a-bike.eu

Vondelpark: No fee for entry. The park is massive with many entryways but the main entrance is off Stadhouderskade and Zandpad


Know the difference between ‘Coffee’ and ‘Koffie’

One will get you a pot of coffee and the other will just get you pot! While Amsterdam is known for their lenient cannabis laws, they have a peculiar way of indicating where to find it. “Coffee shops” are venues where you can buy and/or consume marijuana. “Koffie shops” are true cafes where you can get your non-fat, triple, soy, no-foam latte (although if they don’t judge you for this order, I might). 



Amsterdam is home to so many historically significant museums, it’s overwhelming but in the best way possible. Here are the top 3 that I recommend:


Anne Frank House: This museum takes you on an emotional and powerful journey of the young wartime author. You are exposed to priceless memorabilia such as the Secret Annex and preserved documents.

Location: Prinsengracht 267, 1016 GV Amsterdam 
Price: Under 10 years old free, 9 euro for adults
More info: http://www.annefrank.org

Van Gogh Museum: This museum is dedicated to the work of the famous post-impressionist painter. Here you’ll see many of his various famous paintings including “The Potato Eaters”, “The Bedroom” and “Sunflowers”.

Location: Paulus Potterstraat 7 Amsterdam
Price: Under 18 free, 17 euro for adults
More info: https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en

Rijksmuseum: Only a short walk from the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum is massive in both stature and status. The castle-like exterior itself is mesmerizing and the artwork inside is just as enthralling. The museum contains pieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and more. The famous “I Amsterdam” sign is conveniently located at the back entrance of the museum; so make sure to snap a few pictures.

Location: Museumstraat 1, 1072 Amsterdam
Price: Under 18 free, 17 euro for adults
More info: https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/

Keep exploring!

Amsterdam is also known for some very unconventional, yet exciting attractions. My recommendations are the Red Light District, The Heineken Experience, and Canal Tours.

Red Light District:
Prostitution is legal in Amsterdam, though most of it is concentrated in the RLD. From sex shops to women showcasing themselves in the famous, red-lit windows, the Red Light District is definitely unforgettable. Most people are drawn to the RLD by curiosity and simply want to tour this unique area; there are zero obligations to utilize any services.

Location: Situated between Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Oudezijds Achterburgwal. Any cab and/or native will be able to send you in the right direction if you simply say “Red Light District”

For more information on the do’s and don’ts of the RLD: http://www.amsterdam.info/red-light-district/

The Heineken Experience: A beer-lover’s dream! Enjoy an exciting tour of the brewery dedicated to the country’s most famous beer. The experience allows you to learn how the beer is made, sample hops and learn some Heineken trivia. The tour concludes with a cold, free Heineken at the bar.

Location: Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam
Ticket Price: 12.50 euro for children, 16 euro for adults 

Canal Tours: Amsterdam is arguably most famous for the beautiful canals and for good reason. These canal tours allow you to see the city from a different, breathtaking view. Various tours are available such as kid-friendly, romantic, dinner, lunch, day and night.

Price: Varies

Eat, eat and eat!


Amsterdam has some of the best food I’ve come across but here are some of the most rare yet tasty local options you must try:

This is the ultimate appetizer, especially accompanied with a drink (did someone say Heineken?). They are fried balls of beef or veal typically served with a mustard dipping sauce.

Stroopwafel: The perfect treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. This local pastry is made up of two thin waffles stuck together by a layer of syrup.

Dutch Fries: An absolute must! Move over McDonald’s because these are real French fries. These unforgettable thick cut fries are served in cone-like containers with numerous sauce options to put on top.

Raw Herring: Now this might sound a little unsettling at first, but after one bite you’ll realize why it’s so popular. Served with a pickle and chopped onions, this little snack is delicious. 

About the Author

Katherine Goens

Katherine is a former member of the Seven Corners marketing team. She graduated from Butler University in 2017 with a degree in Strategic Communications and a minor in Spanish. Apart from work she loves to spend time with family and friends, travel, run, and the occasional Netflix binge.

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