Amsterdam culture can certainly seem alluring to travelers from all over the world, from its natural beauty and profound history to its stunning serenity and famous waterways. But be sure to pump the breaks before rushing out to explore it, and read up on these tips sourced from the handy TripAdvisor Travel Forums. These travelers provide valuable do’s and dont’s that are sure to make your Amsterdam experience as exhilarating and spectacular as the city itself!
- Don’t pay in the Ferries to the north bank of the harbour, they are free of charge.
- Don’t forget to watch out for cyclists when crossing the bicycle lanes- cycling is the city’s religion!
- There are many great restaurants in Amsterdam. In general, try to avoid restaurants in touristy locations due to the high prices.
- If you can’t walk another step or are the lazy kind, see Amsterdam from the canals and take a relaxing break from walking the streets of the city.
- You don’t have to spend too much time or money on food if you don’t want to… Herring spots are scattered throughout the city. This snack comes with pickles, onions and bread. Look out for small kiosks with Dutch flags on the sides.
- Don’t go to the Magere Brug during the daytime, it’s better to visit it in the evenings. Also called The Skinny Bridge, it is beautifully illuminated and very popular with couples and photographers. The bridge has been the backdrop for many films; the most famous is undoubtedly the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever.
- A stroll through the Flower Market is a stroll through booths with souvenirs, flowers, etc. Don’t be surprised if you spend a little money here!
- Get a transportation pass. There are 1, 2, 3, and 4 day passes available. And don’t forget you MUST swipe your card both on entering and leaving. Failure to swipe on leaving will shut down your card permanently.
- If you go to the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, you don’t have to dress up, especially if you’ve had a busy day around the city.
- When visiting Museumplein, don’t miss the Diamond Museum, small, but a gem among the three “giants” in this area.
- If you want to visit the Anne Frank House (Anne Frankhuis), don’t sleep in!! Try to get there as soon as possible in the mornings, and always be prepared to queue.
- There are many tours being offered at the Royal Palace Amsterdam, but I don’t think the long tour is worth it- the short tour provides a good but brief overview and will only take 1-2 hours.
- When visiting the Rijksmuseum, don’t forget to buy your ticket online ahead of time, especially if going on a weekend! Start at the top and work your way down and expect to be here at least 1/2 day. Don’t be intimidated by the scale of the collection: the museum halls are well-organized, so just visit whichever sections interest you the most.
- Don’t go to the Red Light district with children. While there are interesting things to see and nice restaurants, the neighborhood is best for grown-ups only.
- If you visit the Royal Palace and are in a wheelchair or cannot climb stairs, don’t be shy and ask a security guard to take you in the elevator. The visit to Anne Frank House or the Maritime Museum, however, may not be very good for people in wheel chairs as they are not very accessible.
- Don’t forget to check the calendar of events in advance to see if something interesting is showing in the EYE Film Institute Netherlands during your visit to Amsterdam. It is a unique, futuristic building, which always has a great variety of films, premieres, festivals and exhibits on its calendar. I recommend coming here at the end of the day, when you can see the city illuminated across the harbour through the EYE’s panoramic windows.
Now that you’ll be an Amsterdam pro, go out there and explore this captivating city!