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Amsterdam Blog

Thrifting in Amsterdam

Your guide to thrift / vintage shopping in Amsterdam

There’s shopping, there’s thrifting, and then there’s thrifting in Amsterdam! The city’s thrift shops and markets are like living museums, allowing you to sift through items that once belonged to locals. For those seeking sustainable and affordable fashion alternatives, Amsterdam offers a treasure of options.

But let’s be real—not all thrift shops are equal. Some are like finding a diamond in the rough, while others… well, let’s just say they have a bit too much rough and not enough diamond.  Lucky for you, we’ve done some research and come across the best thrift stores and vintage shops in Amsterdam. No scam or overpriced stores on this blog! So this is our selection of where to find the best thrifted stuff in Amsterdam!

1. IJ-hallen

Known for being the largest flea market in Europe, IJhallen is a haven for thrift enthusiasts. Held on weekend per month, so you might want to plan your trip around the next IJhal weekend! During the cold season it is held in a massive industrial warehouse, called NDSM Wharf, during the spring/summer, the market moves outdoors, becoming an open-air market. From clothing and accessories to furniture and antiques, you can find just about anything here. The market opens at 9 AM, so our personal suggestion would be: wear comfortable shoes, bring bags and be there as soon as you can! Check the IJhallen website for the agenda.

2. Waterlooplein Market

Waterlooplein Market is one of Amsterdam’s oldest and most famous flea markets. This market offers an eclectic mix of second-hand clothes, vintage items, vinyls and unique finds… but you will have to get your hands dirty to find the good stuff and do not be afraid of a bit of dust! While enjoying the thrifting you might need some laundry and dry cleaning-related help too. 

3. Candies

Although Candies is a vintage store rather than a thrift shop, it’s worth mentioning for its curated selection of high-quality items. Be prepared for higher prices, but also expect to find some rare pieces that are well worth the investment.

4. Kilo Shop

Kilo Shop has different locations, but the best one is definitely in De Pijp, Amsterdam’s trendiest neighborhood. We love the range of vintage fashion in this store which has everything from 80s style jumpers, fur jackets, summer dresses, sunglasses and high quality second-hand denim jeans. Unlike traditional thrift stores, Kiloshop charges by weight rather than per item.

Thrifting isn’t just about saving money; it is not just about sustainability; it’s about creating a wardrobe as unique as you are. By thrifting in Amsterdam, your wardrobe can become a unique collection of pieces that tell a story. Get ready to upgrade your wardrobe with unique pieces that scream “I thrifted this in Amsterdam!”

Visiting Amsterdam on a budget?

Read more tips on ways to save some money on your Amsterdam trip in our blog. Pro tip is of course a city card that includes all the attractions you want to visit, for example: the Explore Pass Amsterdam. 😊

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Amsterdam Blog

Summer activities in Amsterdam

Find out what there is to do in Amsterdam in summer!

What to do in Amsterdam in summer?

Thinking about a summer trip to the city of canals? Get ready for an unforgettable adventure! Summer in Amsterdam offers endless excitement with its long, (sometimes) sunny days and a calendar full of festivals. Visit the vibrant street markets, walk around the small streets, view the city from the water on a canal cruise, and take in the lively atmosphere. Whether you’re exploring the parks or the nightlife, summer is the perfect time to experience all the charm and beauty Amsterdam has to offer. So, pack your bags and get set for your summer trip to this city!

Amsterdam weather in summer

Most Amsterdammers would agree that the summer is the best time to visit the city! Since there are not that many sunny days, the locals appreciate the rays so much more! The average temperature is around 22 degrees Celsius. Do not get too excited, there are still 9 to 10 rainy days per summer-month on average. It is still hard to predict the Dutch weather, but your chances of nice weather (and even heatwaves) are a lot higher from June to August!

What to bring for a trip to Amsterdam in summer?

I wish I could write that all you need is tanktops and shorts, but there is no guarantee that you will have summer-weather, in summer. Therefor, bring some layers, pack an umbrella, and a raincoat could come in handy too! However, all the tourist shops have got you covered as well. If you ever need protection from the rain it will not be hard to find

How do I get ready for my summer adventure in Amsterdam?

Prepare for the crowds, this is the high season! The kids in the Netherlands have their summer break, like in most of the European countries. Make your reservations for museums, restaurants and attractions in advance to be sure of a spot.

Your Explore Pass lets you reserve activities before you arrive, guaranteeing you can visit attractions on your preferred dates and times. By planning your itinerary in advance, you can relax and enjoy your trip without any worries once you get to the city.

Summer activities in Amsterdam

Festivals everywhere!

Sun’s out, it is time to go out and dance! Whatever you are into, you will find a festival with your type of music in and around Amsterdam.

If you are in Amsterdam in summer, the gay pride canal parade can not be missed! The whole city turns into a open air festival.With music coming from the boats on the canals, the street parties and the parties after dark at the Regulierdwarsstraat, the gay stret.

Read more about the in this blogpost by Tours & Tickets for more insights.

Canal-Side Serenades: The Grachtenfestival

Amsterdam’s iconic canals become the stage for the Grachtenfestival (usually held in mid-August). Over three days, the city’s waterways come alive with classical music performances on floating stages. Pack a picnic basket, grab a spot along the canal bank, and lose yourself in the enchanting melodies.

Let’s go to the beach-each

You probably did not book a trip to Amsterdam to visit the beach, but in a sea-country as small as the Netherlands, a beach is always nearby! From the city, the easiest – and most visited – beach is Zandvoort, now dubbed: Amsterdam Beach. It can get very warm in summer, and this country is build for cold not heat, so the dune beaches of the Dutch coast proof to be an excellent option to cool down. Hop into the beach clubs when the sun is down and dance the summer-night away!

Must-visit attractions this summer

There are some attractions you do not want to miss when you are in Amsterdam, no matter the season. The Amsterdam Icebar proofs to be a destination for every season, it is always winter in there!

The Artis Royal Zoo really alive during summer! Walk around the beautiful park and watch the animals enjoy the nice weather too.

An Amsterdam activity list is not complete without mentioning a canal cruise. However for summer, opt for the semi-open boat. Soaking in the sun rays and the amazing views!

Terrassen!

As soon as the sun is out, it is time to sit on a terrace. It might be hard to find a spot in the sun, because all the Amsterdammers will be looking for it! But walk around the restaurants and cafés and you will find a cute sunny spot for your people-watching.

Craft your itinerary with Explore Pass savings

Head over to our website’s itinerary section to discover how the Explore Pass helps you maximize your summer adventures. Explore pre-built itineraries or create your own, choosing from a diverse range of activities that suit your interests and budget.

The Explore Pass is your key to unlocking an affordable and unforgettable summer in Amsterdam. This handy digital pass grants you access to over 35 top attractions and tours, including must-see sights like the Rijksmuseum, thrilling canal cruises, and unique experiences like the Heineken Experience.

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Amsterdam Blog

Explore King’s Day in Amsterdam

Are you gearing up for the most celebrated street party of the year in Amsterdam? As April 27th approaches, the Netherlands prepares to paint the town orange for King’s Day, or Koningsdag, celebrating King Willem-Alexander’s birthday.  No matter where you are in the country, this national holiday brings together locals and tourists alike for a day full of outdoor parties and activities.

Celebrate King’s Day in Amsterdam

King's day amsterdam street full of people in orange celebrating

On King’s Day the streets of Amsterdam come alive with a kaleidoscope of people, music, and excitement. Whether you’re wandering through popular squares like Dam Square and Rembrandtplein or exploring the charming canal-lined streets, you’ll be swept up in the infectious spirit of this nationwide celebration.

Amsterdam on King’s Day is an experience like no other. The entire city comes alive, with streets overflowing with over a million partygoers. Everywhere you look, there’s orange confetti, glitter, flags, and painted faces.

Top ways to experience King’s Day in Amsterdam

Locals and visitors alike head to the famous squares such as Dam Square and Rembrandtplein, but the celebrations go far beyond these popular locations. The quaint streets of the canals are also full of people dancing and partying. Besides the 820,000 locals, there are an average of 700,000 additional visitors – a holiday that immerses the whole city into one big party.

But what exactly should you do in Amsterdam on King’s Day?

Join the orange madness: The options are as varied as the party people themselves. However, what most people do is join the crowds. You can take a stroll through the bustling streets, dance to the music with new friends or enjoy tasty treats at the countless open-air food stalls.

Explore the flea markets: One of the highlights is exploring the various street and flea markets, where you might stumble across hidden treasures amidst the festive chaos.

Cruise the Canals: In the afternoon, you’ll witness a unique spectacle as the locals reclaim the city’s famous canals. The canal cruise companies take a break so that thousands of colorfully decorated party boats can crowd the waterways.King's Day Amsterdam canalsIf you don’t have a boat (or a friend with a boat), don’t worry! The corner of Prinsengracht and Amstelveld is a good place to watch the King’s Day boat parade, or you can sit on one of Amsterdam’s 1,500 bridges to see the spectacle from above.

But maybe street parties aren’t your thing. Luckily, Amsterdam has a range of music festivals to suit all tastes. From the pulsating beats of Kingsland at the RAI to the eclectic sounds of Oranjebloesem at the Olympiastadion, there’s something for every music lover. However, you should secure your tickets early, as they sell out quickly.

King’s night in Amsterdam

As King’s Day approaches, the anticipation grows, and preparations are in full swing for another unforgettable celebration in Amsterdam. But the festivities don’t start on April 27, they begin early with the King’s Night, a warm-up to the main event that is awaited with excitement.

On April 26th, the day before King’s Day, Amsterdam throws many King’s Night parties. Cafes, pubs, and clubs stay open late, sometimes until 4:00 in the morning. It’s a chance to start the celebrations early and get everyone excited for King’s Day.

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Amsterdam Blog

Amsterdam travel tips for first timers

You still haven’t been to Amsterdam? Change that as soon as possible. Amsterdam is one of those cities that you have to visit at least once. And it will not disappoint. Before going, here are some things to take into account for your first time trip to Amsterdam.

When to go to Amsterdam?

With 920,000 inhabitants versus 21 million overnight visitors (2019), it is safe to say that I can get a bit busy. Pick your potion: opt for better chances of dry days and get more crowds, or the other way around.

  • Shoulder seasons (April-May, September-October): Pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices make these periods ideal.
  • Summer (June-August): Expect sunshine, lively events, and peak crowds (and prices).
  • Winter (November-March): Cozy cafes, festive markets, and fewer tourists, but colder temperatures and shorter days. Admire the lights during the Christmas period, and special events like Amsterdam Light Festival. Expect more rain.
See the canals with Explore Pass Amsterdam

Where to stay?

  • City Center: Immerse yourself in the action, but be prepared for noise and higher costs.
  • Jordaan or Plantage: Quaint neighborhoods with charming canals and unique shops.
  • De Pijp or Oud-Zuid: Trendy areas with trendy accommodations and vibrant nightlife.
  • Cool experiences: consider canal boats, unique but limited space and privacy.

Read this blog to learn about the different neighborhoods, and what there is to do there.

Getting around

Choose your favourite way of moving around; biking, walking, e-scooters, tram, bus or metro. Amsterdammers prefer their bike. Practice riding in a calmer area before you dive into the city madness. Read more tips about cycling in the bike capital of the world here.

  • E-scooter: if you have a driver’s licence, make an account on Felyx or Check. Do it in advance, because they have to verify your licence. You can find them all over town. Make sure you are aware of the rules of driving in Amsterdam.
  • Public transportation: the provider in Amsterdam is GVB. You can get a ticket inside the tram or at the metro stations, or check in with your bank card. For convenience, purchase a 24-hour ticket, where you have unlimited checking in and out.
  • Taxis: travel by car way using Uber, Bolt or regular city taxis.

What to visit in Amsterdam?

You have come to the right place. There are some essentials that every tourist has to visit when they come to Amsterdam.

  • Anne Frank museum: the house where Anne Frank and her family were hiding during the second world war. This is where she was writing in her diary during that period. Get your tickets on time, because it can be booked up for months.
  • Canals: take a cruise on the waterways that make Amsterdam the city it is. Enjoy a relaxing tour that gives you better understanding of the city.
  • Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum: two art museums, in close proximity to each other that cannot be missed. Learn about the biggest Dutch masters. At these places it is also recommended booking your tickets in advance.
  • Red Light District: a sight to see once, and then maybe you never return again or you want to party there every night.
  • Heineken Experience: did you know this beer was created here?
  • Vondelpark: the prettiest park of the city. When the sun shines, this place is full of people hanging out on the grass fields or jogging, walking, skating, biking around.
  • Albert Cuyp Market: shop and taste flavours from all over the world. Nothing like some market atmosphere!
Hash and Marihuana Museum Amsterdam

Coffeeshop culture

The coffeeshops in Amsterdam are little different from the ones with your selection of hot drinks. In here, you can buy and smoke cannabis and hashish. You have to show legitimate identification proofing you are over 18 years old to enter. These cannabis cafes area place to hang out where you can eat, drink and smoke.

Is weed legal in the Netherlands?

It is not, it is only allowed, or tolerated. The possession of soft drugs for your own use is not an issue. Selling (any type of) drugs, is an offence. You can legally carry 5 grams of weed with you. If you are caught with more than this amount, it will be considered dealing.

Why are they called coffee shops? Selling substances is a little less obvious if the name doesn’t suggest the real purpose of the store. Before there rules were what they are now, the owners had to be more secretive.

Do you want to learn more about this interesting plant? Visit the Hash & Marihuana museum.

Scams in Amsterdam – amster-scam

While Amsterdam is a safe destination, there are some tricks to be mindful of. Like in any big city, pickpockets can be quick to grab some of your euros. Be aware in busy and touristy areas and keep your surroundings.

  • Money transfer and ATMs: Avoid ‘independent’ ATMs, for example Euronet and Travelex. They have high fees and will take way more money than an ATM from a normal bank would. Stay on the lookout for ‘Geldmaat’, the yellow ATMs. These are controlled by the big banks and can be trusted.
  • Cheap bikes: The most typical Dutch scam if we have ever seen one! It might seem tempting to buy a bike from someone on the street for a very low price, but it is not worth the risk. The bikes that are sold on the streets are obviously stolen. Since this is one of the oldest crimes, the police is very strict about it. Buying a stolen bike is a criminal offence.
  • Street dealers: Street dealers are making money by selling low quality drugs, laced with other products. In previous years there have been some dangerous mixing in the drugs sold on the streets. The government was warning tourists about the dangers of white heroin being sold as cocaine. So just stay away from drugs, kids.

Day trips from Amsterdam

Explore beyond the rings and visit some quaint old Dutch towns. Choose for a catered package where you follow along, enjoy the views and learn about the Dutch culture. Or, you can create your own trip using the public transport system.

  • Countryside and windmills: visit the most picturesque Dutch villages.
  • Rotterdam, Delft and the Hague: tour to new cities, from modernity to classic.
  • Utrecht: board the intercity train, departing every 10 minutes, and within 30 minutes you will arrive in the student city Utrecht. That feels like a smaller Amsterdam (but don’t say that to the Utrechters).

Why go to Amsterdam?

We can write an infinite amount of blogs about why you should visit this city. The house boats, canals and merchant houses are some of the views that you will never get tired of. There are lots of nice cafes and interesting food to try (read more here). The people are friendly, the parties wild. So, what’s keeping you?

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Amsterdam Blog

Hidden gems in Amsterdam

You are not like other tourists! You want to experience authentic Amsterdam. Dam square? You don’t need to see that. Rijksmuseum? So cliché. No, you are here to walk off the beaten track. Beyond the well-trodden paths of tourists lie hidden gems, secret spots, and unique experiences waiting to be discovered by you! Let us assist in finding the true hidden gems of Amsterdam.

 

 

Visit these places soon, before the TikTok-ers find their way there too! In this blog, we’ll delve into the lesser-known side of Amsterdam, unveiling the city’s best-kept secrets and highlighting some crazy and unique activities that will make your Amsterdam adventure truly unforgettable and so much more underground and interesting.


Biking to unexplored gems in and outside Amsterdam

Of course you have to ride a bike when you are in the city of a million bicycle spokes. Navigating through the center is an experience alone, but you are there with the other tourists. For bike rides to tranquil areas make your way outside of the center, into adventure.

Ouderkerk aan de Amstel: This cute village is loved for the churches and monuments. Enjoy scenic views along the Amstel river while you make your way to this village. A countryside experience, just a 30 minute bike ride from the center!

Weesp: Officially part of Amsterdam since 2022. You will hardly find any tourists in this neighborhood. Explore this historic city with amazing waterways, monuments and windmills. Truly worth your visit if you are looking for a relaxed, more country-side feel.

Guided Tour outside of the center: join a bike tour that takes you away from the touristy streets and into the local neighborhoods. Take a Fatbike Amsterdam Tour and let the guides take around to find the hidden gems of Amsterdam. While simultaneously, looking cool on the scooter-style fat bikes.

Secret Book market in the Red Light District

The small cobblestones streets in the Red Light District provide plenty of adventure. A sight to see at least once, with the famous windows, coffeeshops and the erotic theatre Casa Rosso – so much to do. And therefore, it accumulates a lot of tourists to the area.

There is one spot, an oasis of inside this hectic center, that mass-tourism didn’t discover yet. Enter the Oudemanhuisport. A courtyard that belong to the buildings of the University of Amsterdam. Walk around to browse the stalls where you can buy second  hand books.

Do you love reading? Explore the five story large bookshop Scheltema at Rokin. There’s also a book market on Spui every Friday.

Location: Oudemanhuispoort

Hidden art gallery: What Is Happening Here?

There has never been a location more properly named than this one. On one of the party streets, this huge gallery takes you from the hustle into another dimension. It is completely free to enter, as they run on donations. Dare to enter this secret experience and explore art that engages all your senses.

Not just the art, but also the building is impressive. The location used to be a old bank, where the queen had her own vault. Walk around, get lost in the vaults and witness art as never before. If you are lucky, you can even join a hidden party in the basement.

Location: Regulierdwarsstraat 73

Festival without the crowds: Our House

Are you the new headliner for Tomorrowland? Or just interested in learning more about this genre of music and its history? Step inside our House museum. As educational as it is fun. With amazing light shows and unmatched acoustics. Enjoy a museum that feels like a festival, but without the crowds!

Location: Amstelstraat 24-26

Art house movie theatres

Maybe catching a movie was not on your list of things to do when you’re in a different city, but seeing amazing architecture is, right? These movie theaters fit right in. You do not even have to sit down for a screening, just having a drink or bite is a whole experience in these monumental or interesting buildings!

  • Lab111: one of the most unique venues you will find, as it is inside a former laboratory. Explore the different rooms, eat a fresh pizza and drink amazing cocktails. Even the toilets are fun!
    Location: Arie Biemondstraat 111
  • The Movies: At one of the coolest streets in the city enter this theater where they play movies. I wish they made that clear in the name, but that’s just me. It is Amsterdam’s oldest movie theatre and dates all the way back to 1912. Enjoy the Art Deco interior and have look at the monumental venue.
    Location: Haarlemmerdijk 159 – 163
  • Rialto: For arthouse movies with a special aim towards non-western cinema, Rialto on the Ceintuurbaan in the Pijp is a pearl of a location. Founded in 1920 by a film enthusiast, the classic charm has never left the building.
    Location: Ceintuurbaan 338
  • Kriterion: established in 1945 by a group of students as a self-supporting student organization. The original purpose was to provide employment for students who had lost their jobs during World War II. Over the years, Kriterion has evolved into a cultural and social hub, hosting not only film screenings but also various events, debates, and activities.
    Location: Roetersstraat 170

Unique attractions in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is rich in not just hidden gems but also one of a kind attractions. Some of them already found the limelight of tourism, but still worth your time if you are looking for a unique experience.

Red Light Secrets Museum

Truly Amsterdam and one of a kind. This small museum tells you all about the history of the famous Red Light District and what it is like to work there now. You can even sit behind a red lit window yourself! Walk through the rooms and listen to the story of Angela, a former prostitute. Or as she calls it: a sex therapist.

Location: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 60h

Ripley’s Believe it or Not

Ripley’s is certainly one of those unusual places in Amsterdam that you will not soon forget. With real shrunken heads, the world’s longest fingernails and art made on rice kernels, it is safe to say that this place is unlike anything else. Not so much a secret of Amsterdam but not a cliché.

Location: Dam 21

Kattenkabinet – Cat Cabinet

Calling all cat lovers: this is your new favourite museum! Admire artworks and artifacts of cats, felines and only that inside a historic canal house. Explore the relationships between cats and humans throughout the years, as reflected in the artworks in the museum.

Location: Herengracht 497

Electric Ladyland

Have you ever been? Brighten up your trip by entering the Electric Ladyland. A place full of color as it is dedicated to the world of fluorescent art. Psychedelic vibes and immersive creations draw you in from the moment you step into the building.

Location: Tweede Leliedwarsstraat 5

Sup the Amstel River and the city canals

Experience the quintessential canals! Try stand up paddle boarding on the Amstel river and – if you feel comfortable – make your way to the city centre. See the city from your paddel board. Encouter party boats, canal cruises and people chilling all along the canals. 

You can book this fun way to explore Amsterdam via Canal Sup or other paddle board rental places.

Discover these hidden gems and unique attractions in Amsterdam and make the most out of your trip!

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Amsterdam Blog

What neighbourhoods to visit in Amsterdam?

A guide to the must-visit areas of Amsterdam.

Get to know the city, one neighbourhood at the time! In this city where you can walk from area to area, the different cultures are still present in every new hood. Explore the different flavours in the city.

Amsterdam is made up of 518 neighbourhoods, inside 110 districts, that are made up of 25 areas and 9 city districts. We are focusing on the ‘area’s’, but we will just call them neighbourhoods.

Grachtengordel

The canal belt that circles the city is comprised of two neighbourhoods: Grachtengordel- West en -Zuid. One of the most iconic areas of Amsterdam, crowned with being a UNESCO World Heritage site. This wonderful area has a network of canals, bridges and the charming 17th-century canal houses. It contains the three most famous canals; Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht.

The Grachtengordel was built in the golden ages, when Amsterdam was a major trading center. The canals were used for transportation and commerce. The canal houses were built for the wealthy merchants and artisans. It has always been an affluent place of prestige and luxurious living.

We would recommend enjoying the canals and this area in general by taking a canal cruise. Learn about the area while enjoying the views from the water.

Boutique stores and cafes can be found at the nine streets. Walk around and see what catches your fancy. Every now and then a café finds its way through the TikTok algorithm which creates a big hype. Don’t be surprised to see long lines in these streets at for example Fabel Friet and Chun Café.

For a fun night out visit Rembrandtplein with many bars, coffeeshops and clubs. This is also where you can embark on a once in a lifetime adventure at the Amsterdam Icebar.

Although the Grachtengordel is very populair amongst tourists, there are still some hidden spots! Disscover local retailers and quaint cafes all along the wining streets.

Must visits:

  • Cruise the canals
    Sit back and admire the Canal Belt.
  • The Amsterdam Icebar
    Can you brave the cold? This unforgettable experience lifts your Amsterdam trip to a new level.
  • Escape Club
    The biggest club in the city on the vibrant Rembrantplein.
  • Willet Holthuysen
    See what those beautiful merchant houses looked like from the inside back in the Golden Ages.
  • Foam
    Renowed photgraphy museum.
  • Anne Frank House
    Visit the actual house where Anne Frank and her family were hiding from the Nazi occupations. Perhabs the most famous museum in the country, therefor; always busy. Timeslots are booked up months in advance.

De Pijp (Rivierenbuurt de Pijp, Zuid)

At the south city of the city centre, just outside of the canal ring, walk into the pipe – De Pijp. De Pijp is a diverse and lively neighbourhood with a multicultural atmosphere. Famous for the Albert Cuyp Market, where you can sample international cuisines and shop for unique trinkets. Enjoy this melting pot of cultures. The area is also home to the Heineken Experience, numerous parks, and a vibrant nightlife scene, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

What once was a working-class neighbourhood is now one of the most sought-after areas in the city. This trendy area has an abundance of hipsters. It is the perfect spot for your Sunday brunch. There are many local restaurants and cafés to choose from. Vegetarian people and vegans will have no trouble jumping into a random place, since the whole area is super veg-friendly. De Pijp is the hot spot for all foodies alike!

This is also one of the best places to admire the artistic movement of the Amsterdam School. An architectural style famous in the. characterized using bricks and decorative facades in brick or natural stone.

(image: AmsterdamSights)

Must visits:

  • Heineken Experience
    The tastiest way to learn about the Netherlands favourite beer brand.
  • Albert Cuyp Market
    Eat your way around the most well-known market in the city, open every day except Sundays.
  • Marie Heinekenplein
    Home of the Vegan Junk Food bar among others.
  • Sarphatipark
    People, dog and duck watching. This cute park is loved by the locals.
  • Rialto
    100-year-old cinema with arthouse movies.

De Wallen, red light district (Centrum-west)

Go on an exploration on the naughtiest area of Amsterdam. This is a place where most tourist will go at least once. But don’t look at de Wallen as just an attraction. Sure, it has the red-lit windows with sexworkers, coffeeshops and bars and lots of tourists, but there is much more to this area.

Visit the area during the day when it is a little less busy, to be able to take in the cute narrow cobblestone streets, the bridges and the canals. Walk through Chinatown and hop into some of the eccentric stores. Besides the naughty shops, there are some truly interesting stores to be discovered.

Must visits:

  • Red light Secrets Museum
    Discover what the industry is really like and how the city of Amsterdam regulates safe prostitution.
  • Hash and Marihuana Museum
    When in Amsterdam…
  • Oude Kerk (Old Church)
    Visit the oldest church of Amsterdam, dating back to the 13th century.
  • Onze lieve heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic)
    Secret catholic church built in the time when Catholicism was outlawed in the Netherlands.

NDSM-Terrain

Cross the IJ with the free ferry to the NDSM wharf. The NDSM Werf (Wharf) is a former shipyard turned into a creative and cultural hotspot in Amsterdam. Located in the northern part of the city, this industrial area has undergone a transformation into a vibrant community with a focus on arts, culture, and alternative lifestyles. The crossing is an experience, with your 15-minute ferry ride you get to see some interesting buildings.

One of the most notable features of the NDSM Werf is its extensive collection of street art and murals. The area has become an open-air gallery with colorful and large-scale artworks covering walls, buildings, and even some of the old shipyard structures.

Inside the NDSM building, find many studios of various artist. You can explore various art studios, galleries, and creative spaces. Keep an eye out for exhibitions, performances, and events that might be happening in the area. Monthly, this is where you also find part the biggest vintage market of Amsterdam; the IJhallen.

Must Visit:

  • STRAAT
    Visit the street art and graffiti museum, quickly becoming one of the most beloved attractions in the city.
  • Pannenkoeken cruise
    Departing from NDSM, cruise along the IJ river while endulging on as many pancakes as you can eat.
  • Blast Galaxy
    Pay for entrance only and play limitless arcade games.
  • Pllek
    Hip bar and restaurant made from ship containers. It is possible to dip into the river from here and lay on the fake beach!

Oud-West (West)

West is the best! This area is more of a residential area and therefore often overlooked by tourists. Take your advantage, as you can be the more locally aware tourist now! Mingle with the locals and live like an Amsterdammer.

The Oud-West neighbourhood emerged in the early 20th century as Amsterdam expanded westward. The neighbourhood’s architecture reflects this era, with a mix of ornate Art Deco buildings, traditional Dutch brick houses, and modern apartment complexes. Oud-West has retained its distinctive character, blending the old with the new, creating a dynamic and appealing urban environment.

Walk along the Bilderdijkstraat and find bars and restaurants catered to every taste preference. Like the (Italian!)-award winning pizzeria nNea, some vegan hotspots like Soil of Amsterdam or a Polish brunch at Kazik. Its is al possible here!

Must visits:

  • De Hallen
    This former tram-depot is transformed into a food hall, cinema, a market and art exhibitions.
  • Ten Kate market
    A small street market for fresh fruits and vegetables. One of the best falafels in town is found here!
  • Lab 111
    Former pathological-anatomical laboratory turned into theater for movie geeks.
  • Zevenlandenhuizen
    Seven houses built in the style of different countries.

(image: Gemeente Amsterdam)

Museum quarter (Oud-Zuid)

High end shopping, world-class dining and the most famous museums are found here. The affluent area of Oud-Zuid is famous for the ‘old money’ inhabitants.

As the name suggests, the Museumkwartier (museum quarter) is where we find some of the most renowned museums of Amsterdam. Located in the heart of the city’s cultural hub, it includes the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Van Gogh Museum, MOCO and the Diamond museum amongst others.

Find Vondelpark next to this neighbourhood. Amsterdams most famous park. Bustling with activities in summer, from picnics and student meet ups to free comedy on the Vondel theatre. There are a few places to have a drink, or drinks, in the park as well. Surrounded by greenery!

Must visits:

  • The museums, of course!
    Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, MOCO, Diamond and Stedelijk.
  • Bols Experience
    Discover the world of Dutch Genever brand Bols and create your own cocktails.
  • Vondelpark
    Stroll around this beautiful park, enjoy watching people, canaries (really), ducks and geese.
  • P.C. Hooftstraat
    For luxurious shopping, or just window shopping.
  • Concert Hall
    Famous for its exceptional acoustics, this is the place to visit for classical or jazz music enthusiasts. Also hosts free lunchtime concerts weekly.

Jordaan (Centrum-West)

Nestled in the western part of the city centre, the Jordaan is a picturesque neighbourhood known for its narrow streets, canals, and artistic vibe. Formerly a working-class area, Jordaan has transformed into a bohemian haven with trendy boutiques, vintages shopping, art galleries, and cozy cafes. A hipsters dream!

The area was built in the first half of the seventeenth century, when Amsterdam was expanding rapidly. The money was all put into the houses around the canal belt, so there was not much left for de Jordaan. The smaller, cheaper built houses attracted a working-class population. Learn more about this and other historic neighbourhoods in this blog.

Nowadays, it is one of the most expensive places to live in the city. The old school character has remained. Wander around this area, where every alley is more beautiful than the other.

Must visits:

  • Vincent meets Rembrandt
    Listen to the story of the two most famous Dutch painters and see their artworks come to live all around you.
  • Cafe Winkel 43
    The best Applepie in Amsterdam. It is quite a claim, but they live up to it!
  • Noorderkerk
    The most important church of de Jordaan.
  • Noordermarket
    Locally loved sunday market in front of the church with local sellers.
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Amsterdam Blog

Eating your way through Amsterdam

Food to try in Amsterdam, a foodies paradise.

The Netherlands might not be known for its cuisine but good food can in fact easily be found, especially in the capital! What are some food items you can not miss when you visit Amsterdam? And where can you find them?

Albert Cuypmarkt

The biggest market in Amsterdam has (duh) the most food options. Visiting the market gives you an insight some of the best dishes from all around the world. And they are done right! There are stands with falafel as well as bao, there are fried octopus balls and cannoli. Take a tour around the world, in the Pijp!

For some more local flavours try out the fish stands. The Dutch love getting their fish from the market, and here at Albert Cuyp they really know how to prepare it! Try out Kibbeling, fried cod fish with a delicious spice blend. If you are more daring you can try herring! Herring is typically eaten raw with unions and pickles. It’s a delicacy, which means not everyone loves it as much as the other.

Another market favourite is the Stroopwafel. A blog about food in the Amsterdam is not complete without mentioning the famous cookie. With its popularity came a lot of merchants. You can find many stroopwafel stores around Amsterdam harking in tourists. However, when the Dutch eat their fresh Stroopwafel, it has to be one from the market!

Oliebollen

As soon as October hits, the oliebollen stalls are starting to pop up at squares all around the country. Oliebollen are fried dough balls with or without raisins and are a new years eve staple.

It is a tradition to eat so many oliebollen on the 31st of December, that you can not fathom them anymore until next October comes.

The cold winter months feel so much better with the occasional (daily) oliebol! Eat them with powdered sugar and switch them up for an appelflap or apple beignet (fried dough with apple) every once in a while. This is Dutch cuisine at its finest. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

Rijsttafel

Indonesia was a Dutch colony until 1949. After the liberation and the war many Indonesian Dutch people moved to the Netherlands, and they brought their food with them. This is why you will find many Indonesian restaurants in the country. Indonesian cuisine is diverse and packed with flavour. To try out different dishes opt for the Rijssttafel. Even though that the food is Indonesian, the rice table is a staple in the Netherlands. Share small Indonesian dishes with your choice of fried or white rice.

Febo

Ready for a quick snack? At Febo you can get all the Dutch highlights right from the wall. It has it all: frikandellen, kroket, kaassouflé. Or even a normal burger and fries. If it is fried, it is at FEBO! After a night of partying, this is where you want to indulge. Insert a coin in the snack wall and the door with your snack of choosing will open. It is an experience in itself.

Fun fact: the name FEBO comes from the street where the first location was ever opened; the Ferdinand Bolstraat – named after the famous Dutch painter from the golden ages. All Dutch heroes coming together.

Bitterballen

As of most things on the Dutch food list, this ball is a deep fried treat as well. The smaller brother of the kroket, the bitterball has a crunchy exterior and soft meat ragout on the inside. Bitterballen can be found on any terrace. They are a great dish to share.

Bitterballen go hand in hand with some Dutch golden goodness, it is beers best friend. Satisfying your needs for a fried treat when you have consumed some alcohol whilst keeping your stomach fulled so you wont get too intoxicated. What an invention!

Stamppot / hutspot

Another winter dish. Stamppot literally translates to mashed pot and that actually sums it up. Boiled potatoes are mashed with vegetables of ones choosing. The classic hutspot is mashed potatoes and carrots. Stamppot favourites are kale and endive, but you can vary as much as your creative brain lets you.

Stamppot was the perfect solution to find eat something that is filling and cheap. Top it with gravy, dijon mustard and a fine smoked sausage, and you have a comforting warm bowl of mash. It might not sound or look the most appealing, but this dish warms up our cold cold winters.

Food to try in Amsterdam

Going for an Amsterdam food trip? Discover more than just cheese and in most countries illegal substances. Go out and explore the best food options in Amsterdam!

Get your Explore Pass and discover the best of Amsterdam!

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Amsterdam Blog

Things to do in Amsterdam in autumn

Discover what Amsterdam’s autumn has to offer.

What to do in Amsterdam in autumn?

Are you planning a visit to the city of canals in autumn? Make sure you prepare well! The season has a lot to offer, but you need to do some research to make the most out of it. For lots of tourist this is the best time to visit. Lesser crowds, the autumn foliage and colours, activities and still some lovely sunny days – what is not to love? Let’s get into your autumn trip to Amsterdam!

Amsterdam weather in autumn

The weather can still be pleasant in the autumn months with an average temperature of 14.7 degrees Celsius. At night it gets colder, down to around 7 degrees Celsius. The downside of these months is the rain. Although rain is romantic and good for the plants, it is not ideal when you want to spend some time outside. Do as the Dutchies and keep a close eye on your weather app! One of the favourites is Buienradar – which shows you a radar of when it is going to rain.

What to pack if you’re coming to Amsterdam in autumn?

Layers, layers, layers. The weather in Amsterdam is unpredictable, especially these months. Bring t-shirts as well as warm sweaters. A rain coat and shorts. You just never know. Do not forget your umbrella! Since Amsterdam is a very walkable city and it is best enjoyed by doing so or by biking, also bring a pair of comfortable shoes.

How do I prepare for my trip to Amsterdam in autumn?

Make reservations in advance. Although this season is less busy than the summer months, it is still crowded. The Dutch schools have a break in autumn and many Dutch day tourist like to come to Amsterdam during that period. Reserve your restaurants, museums and other attractions in advance to make sure you can visit the places you want!

With your Explore Pass you can book your activities before arriving, so you will be sure that you can visit that attraction on the date that you want – and at the right time to be ready for your brunch appointment! Make your itinerary in advance and you don’t have anything to worry about when you arrive to the city.

What are fun festivals in Amsterdam in Autumn?

Do not think that once the summer season is over, with the many festivals and open air parties – so is the festival lifestyle. There are many festivals, parties and gatherings going on in this season. Spoiler alert: the biggest event in Amsterdam takes place in October!

Amsterdam Dance Event

The most famous festival of the city is held in autumn. Every year in October electronic music lovers, DJs, producers and industry professionals make their way to ADE. Besides the many parties to chose from, there are also panels, workshops and networking events. During ADE you can party from Wednesday to Sunday, from morning to … morning. With all the worlds biggest DJs gathered in one city, it might be hard to choose which parties you would like to attend.

Read more about ADE in this blogpost by Tours & Tickets for more insights.

Museumnacht – museum night

Night at the museum goes wild! This event was founded to bring young people to the museums in the city. The museum night is a highly populair event for young and older people. The venues are open from 19:00 to 02:00 and one ticket gives you entry to all participating locations! Join a pub quiz, try out futuristic meals, make your own art, join guided tours or dance with the Girl with the Pearl. The options are endless! Click here for more.

Supervillans Halloween festival

Take your scariest, sexiest or funniest costume out of your closet – it is Halloween in Amsterdam! At the Westerunie, in Westerpark, you can attend a creepingly fun Halloween festival. There are three areas and six stages, so there will always be a place you and your friends can dance the night away. Shake your booty with the villains of Amsterdam, click here for more.

What are fun autumn activities in Amsterdam?

Visit must-see and quirky Museums in Amsterdam

A list of activities in a culture rich city like Amsterdam is not complete without bringing some museums into the mix. Stop at museumplein to visit Rijksmuseum, van Gogh and MOCO. The three favourite art museums in town. For a good laugh (while learning something too) visit Ripley’s on Damsquare. Close to this venue you can find Madam Tussauds and BODY WORLDS. Both have human figurines, but they are not quite like each other. At BODY WORLDS you will learn all about the human body by seeing it inside out!

Are you into street art but is the weather not cooperating? Visit Straat museum at the NDSM Wharf. This huge ship shed has been transformed into a giant wall of fame. The art is changed often and made inside the museum. So you could even spot an artist at work!

Amsterdam Canal Cruise

See the changing colors of the leaves on the trees from the water. When it is raining, you will be dry while still exploring the city. Is a one hour cruise too short (I think most people can stay on the Amsterdam canals forever) – opt for a wine and cheese, pizza or dinner cruise. Here you will get to enjoy the wonderful views of Amsterdam from the water, with a delicious treat in hand!

Guided e-bike tour

Check your weather app and plan a bike trip with the most fun tour guides we have met! The Fatbike tour is different than others, since you will riding the coolest e-bikes around. No autumn wind can get you down with the pedal support of these bikes. You can easily reach speeds up to 25km per hour. Visit areas outside of the city centre and learn more about the culture of the city.

Now you know how to prepare, what to do and where to go for your Amsterdam trip in autumn. All there is left to do is book your stuff! The easiest way? By ordering your Explore Pass of course! Check out our itineraries to have an idea how the Explore Pass helps you make this trip more affordable. Enjoy your trip!

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Amsterdam Blog

Comparing Amsterdam City Passes: Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Trip

When exploring a vibrant and culturally rich city like Amsterdam, having a city pass can be a savvy way to save money and make the most of your visit. With several options available, it’s important to choose the pass that aligns with your interests and travel style. If you want to know the features and benefits of various Amsterdam city passes keep reading, we will help you select the perfect one for your unforgettable Amsterdam adventure.

Why purchase a city card?

A city card promises discount to attractions and museums in said city. These passes bundle activities together for easier and cheaper exploring. The most popular attractions will be listed with lots of other options. If you know you are going to visit the included attractions, it will likely be a profitable option for your trip!

Besides the discounts that city cards offer, they make choosing activities easier. Most cards have made a selection where you can choose from, making it convenient to pick and choose the best of that list.

I AMsterdam City Card

The I Amsterdam City Card is a time-based card, you can choose six options, from 24 hours to 120 hours. It is a comprehensive pass, offering free entry to numerous museums and attractions, as well as complimentary public transportation. It is ideal for avid museum-goers and those looking to experience a wide range of cultural sites.

Pro’s: many attractions + public transport included

Cons: Time-based; you might have to rush to get your money’s worth
List of options can be overwhelming and confusing: not everything is free

Go City All-Inclusive Pass

Go-City has two options for your Amsterdam exploration: the All Inclusive pass and the Explorer Pass.

With the Go City All-Inclusive Pass, you can enjoy unlimited access to a selection of attractions, tours, and activities. Since it has a limited duration, either 2-, 3 or 4 days, you need to plan your activities within the chosen timeframe. This might be challenging if you want to explore at a leisurely pace.

The Go City All-Inclusive Pass is an option for tourists aiming to embark on day trips from Amsterdam or explore the Keukenhof Gardens during spring. It is slighty more expensive than the IAmsterdam card.

Pro’s: fun options like a pedal boat

Cons: not many attractions included

Go City Explorer Pass

The Go City Explorer Pass lets you chose a set number of attractions, 3 to 7, to visit. This pass suits those who want to explore at their own pace and have a few key attractions in mind.

This approach takes out the stress of trying to fill your days with as much activities as you can, to make your time-bases pass worth it. However, if you anticipate on exploring more than 7 options, you might find the Go City All-Inclusive Pass or I amsterdam City Card to be more suitable choices.

Pro’s: flexible time-wise

Cons: not many attractions included

Explore Pass Amsterdam

The Explore Pass is the new pass to shake up the scene! The pass has a point system and comes in a 50, 75 or 100 Explore Points pass. Once it is activated it is valid for a year. It is the cheapest option of the bunch.

There are some attractions in Amsterdam that every tourists has to see at least once, therefore, they can sell out quickly! With the Explore Pass you order discounted tickets for the most popular attractions months in advance, securing your spot.

It offers a selection of Amsterdam’s top attractions, encouraging immersive experiences beyond typical sightseeing. It includes 24-hour access to the Hop on Hop off sightseeing bus, to easily move around the city. This pass balances convenience and personalization. Pre-booked experiences eliminate queues, offering more time to enjoy sites like the Van Gogh Museum without hassle.

Pro’s: fully digital
Free hopping on and off the Amsterdam sightseeing bus for 24 hours
Create your itinerary in advance to be sure of a spot

Cons: point system can be confusing

Museumkaart

Must Dutch citiziens are familiar with the Museumkaart. It is an anual subscription that allows you unlimited visits to around 500 museums in the Netherlands.

If you’re a museum enthusiast planning to spend extended time in Amsterdam, the Museumkaart might be your ideal choice. It offers unlimited entry to numerous museums across the Netherlands, making it perfect for those who want to delve deep into art and history.

Pro’s: free entry to around 500 museums all around the Netherlands

Cons: the card will be send to an adress, which takes 5 days to arrive. It makes more sense for habitants.
You need the physical card to enter the museum.
Only has museums, not attractions.

Amsterdam Museum aan de Amstel 2-min (1)

Which Amsterdam city card is the best?

Choosing the right Amsterdam city pass depends on your preferences and travel style. The Explore Pass prioritizes flexibility and lets you tailor your experience, the I Amsterdam City Card offers a comprehensive package, the Go City Pass allows for customization, the Museumkaart is a god option for art enthusiasts and the Explore Pass offers an easy to use system and lots of options. Evaluate your interests, duration of stay, and preferred attractions to find the pass that suits you best. With any of these passes, you’re sure to unlock the treasures of Amsterdam with ease.

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Amsterdam Blog

24 hours in Amsterdam with the Explore Pass

Enjoy your day in Amsterdam to the fullest

Amsterdam is filled with amazing attractions, museums and other activities. When you are only in Amsterdam for 24 hours, you have to set priorities. You’ll want to see the absolute highlights and with Explore Pass you can do so at a great discount.

For 24 hours the Explore Pass with 50 Explorer Points can give you a great experience in Amsterdam. You can choose between 35 different attractions, museums and tours in the city to explore. Here is our recommended selection if you only have 24 hours in Amsterdam, which will use up all 50 of the Explorer Points.

An iconic canal cruise in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is famous for its canals and a cruise along these waterways is a must-do for any visitor to the city. Whether you choose the classic 1hr Canal Cruise or the Semi-Open Boat Cruise, is up to you. For warmer weather, such as in spring and summer we recommend the Semi-Open, while the classic Canal Cruise will give you a great experience on colder and wetter days.

Both cruises are operated by LOVERS Canal Cruises, who have been sailing through the Amsterdam canals since the 1950s. Both cruises take you along the iconic calls of Amsterdam, including the Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht. Though each cruise is unique to avoid congestion on the canals, you will see plenty of bridges, merchant houses and churches along the way.

The largest street art museum in the world

One of the newer museums in Amsterdam is the STRAAT Museum and it is quickly becoming a statement location for the city. The STRAAT Museum is the largest museum dedicated to street art and graffiti in the world. Set inside an old industrial shipyard, the art inside is as monumental, rough and radical as the building itself.

The art on display is constantly changing, with new pieces constantly added to the collection. The pieces on display were all created on location often during regular opening hours of the museum. The art inside the museum is as big as street art pieces are outside on the streets, only here you can learn more about the context within which the art was created.

Explore the city by bus

As you make your way through the city, you may want to give your feet a break between activities. A great to move between attractions and activities in Amsterdam is with the Hop-on Hop-off bus from City Sightseeing Amsterdam. With multiple stops around the city centre, you can make your way around Amsterdam.

You can hop-on and off as many times as you want over the course of 24 hours. You can start at Amsterdam Central Station and take the bus around the city centre to parks such as the Oosterpark and Vondelpark, or to neighbourhoods such as the Jordaan and the Pijp. With the free City Sightseeing Amsterdam app, you can see exactly when the next bus will arrive near you.

The Vondelpark is a favourite place for both locals and visitors of Amsterdam and the most famous park in the city. The streets of the Jordaan are lined with indie boutiques, cosy pubs and hip eateries. At the Pijp, you can try typical Dutch food and snack at the Albert Cuyp Market such as haring, stroopwafels and poffertjes.

The national museum of the Netherlands

For a true Dutch experience, a visit to the Rijksmuseum has to be on your must-do list. The national museum of the Netherlands is the largest art museum in the country and is home to a collection that tells the story of 800 years of Dutch art and history. The entire collection contains over one million pieces of which around 8000 are on display at the Rijksmuseum.

Amongst the pieces on display are world-famous works by Dutch masters including Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent van Gogh, Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer. Not-to-miss artworks on display are Rembrandt’s Night Watch and Vermeer’s Milkmaid. And the building itself is a work of art as well, with stained glass windows and mosaic floors.