Exploring Amsterdam: The Ultimate Travel Guide

by | Jul 19, 2022 | Destinations, Europe, Travel Guides | 0 comments

Exploring Amsterdam is a fantastic experience you should add to your travel itinerary. Its characteristic canals (UNESCO World Heritage) surrounded by narrow, low, and crooked 17th-century houses make it one of Europe’s most charming capital cities most travelers want to visit. Despite its full-scale city size, Amsterdam maintains its small-town feel thanks to its vibrant culture and numerous entertainment options.

With over 50 museums, of which many are famous across the globe, this city is a real treat for art-lovers: highlights include the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum.  Use my travel tips from this Amsterdam travel guide to plan your trip!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Best time to visit

Summer is the most popular time for tourists to visit Amsterdam. To avoid crowds, come in April–May or September.
The spring season is characterized by mild temperatures, while golden trees indicate autumn.

The peak tourist season occurs in April and May. Regardless of the season, be prepared for rain. Locals use websites like buie.nl to predict when the weather is down to minutes.

Amsterdam is a popular tourist destination in the summer, so expect long waits at popular attractions. Regarding accommodation, summer is also the most expensive time of year.

As the temperature drops in the autumn and winter, so do hotel prices and tourist numbers. Museums and cafes are the perfect indoor attractions during this time of year. Seeing the city blanketed in snow is a spectacular sight. If the winter happens to be particularly cold, you can ice-skate on the frozen canals. Some cafes set tables and chairs straight on the ice.

Getting to Amsterdam

getting around Amsterdam by bike

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is a modern, efficient, and traveler-friendly airport. 90 airlines depart from Schiphol to over 250 destinations worldwide. The easiest and cheapest way to travel from the airport to Amsterdam is by train. The train station at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is located directly below the airport. During the day, trains leave at least every 15 minutes for Central Station (less frequently at night). Purchase your ticket at the NS service desk or ticket machines.

Getting around Amsterdam

netherlands clogs

Taxi

You can take taxis to and from the airport when the trams stop running late at night or when you’re running late. During peak traffic times, however, public transport might get you there even faster. At tourist hotspots, you can hail a taxi or catch one at designated cab stands. 

Public transportation

A GVB day or multi-day ticket is the most convenient way to travel. In Amsterdam, you can choose from 15 tram lines, 41 bus lines, 7 ferry connections, and 4 metro lines to reach various destinations. These tickets are available at GVB Tickets & Info and tourist offices.  

Electricity

The Netherlands use the 220-240 Volt (50 Mhz) system that’s common everywhere in Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. But since electricity plugs often still differ, visitors from some countries (e.g. the UK, Australia, Switzerland, Ireland) need to bring a plug adaptor.

Currency

In Amsterdam, as well as in all the Netherlands and many other countries of the European Community, the accepted currency is Euro (EUR, €), no other currencies are commonly accepted, so you will have to change your dollars, sterling, yens, etc to Euros.

Things to do in Amsterdam

Anne Frank House

During World War II, Anne Frank wrote her famous diary in the Anne Frank House. In this location, you can find quotes from a diary, photos, films, and original objects owned by the people in hiding and those who helped them. Anne’s original diary is on display in the museum as well. As a museum, it recreates the holocaust and war years.

Pro tip:  If you plan on visiting Anne Frank House we recommend purchasing tickets at least 3 weeks in advance or when the tickets come out on the 1st of the month before the month you plan on visiting.

 

anne frank museum in Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum is the largest and most important museum in the Netherlands. After extensive renovations, the Rijksmuseum has reopened with a completely revamped layout. More than 1 million objects are displayed, including many masterpieces and artifacts worldwide.

Pro tip:  We highly recommend booking skip-the-line tickets for Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum along with any other major attractions.

Where to stay

Jordaan street Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a lot of hotel options for all budgets. Jordaan is the city’s most affluent neighborhood and home to world-class hotels and restaurants. For first-time visitors, the city’s center is a great place to stay. To help you out, here are a few of our favorite hotels in Amsterdam.

Pavilions Amsterdam, Hotel Toren – 4-star hotel in the canal district

The Dylan Amsterdam – a luxurious boutique hotel in a stunning location

Banks Mansion – 4-star boutique all-inclusive hotel

We hope that this travel guide has helped inspire you to visit Amsterdam.  If you have any questions about the city reach out to us.

Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Luxury Travel Advisor

Laurie is the owner of Pura Vida Vacations, a boutique travel agency specializing in customized European vacations and river cruises.  She has helped curious travelers plan vacations that allow them to Immerse in a destination and unwind while reconnecting with family & friends.   Reach out to her for a free consultation today!

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