If you are going to travel to Amsterdam for the first time, then in this article you’ll find useful information in order to organize a program with top things to do.
Some call Amsterdam the Venice of the North and they aren’t wrong. It’s certain that you’ll love the houses with the triangular roofs and you’ll adore the blossoming backyards of the houses with all kinds of flowers.
I have told that before. Amsterdam gives life to our fairytales. Those ones which had houses made of candies and walks into lush green meadows. It’s easy to walk all over it and see its sights.
HOW YOU’LL GET FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE CITY CENTER
There are three ways to be transferred from and to the airport. You can use train, bus or taxi.
The easiest way is to get the train. In Netherlands the trains are rapid, clean and the most important are “on time”.
The airport’s signposts will lead you down to the arrivals hall and from the docks 1 and 2, you’ll get the train which will take you to the Central Station of Amsterdam. The journey lasts about 20 minutes and costs 5, 40 Euros.
It’s outside the main airport arrivals building. Actually, the ticket is a card which costs 5 Euros. You can buy it from the machines that are available at the airport. Also, you can pay a larger amount and you’ll have more drives in the city.
The drive is depending on the traffic and lasts 35 minutes.
Alternatively, you can have a card online that will include all days of your stay and is valid for all transportation means. If you want to order it, have a look here.
If you are a family or a company of at least four persons, the taxi will make your transport to the hotel easier. You only have to pay attention that the “TAXI” has the bright sign on the roof and the official blue license plates.
The drive from the airport to the city center costs 39 Euros.
TRANSPORT BY WELCOME PICK-UPS
You may book in advance your transportation by car from the airport through Welcome Pick-Ups. In the Arrivals hall, the driver will be waiting for you holding a sign. He’ll offer you a bag with a bottle of water and a city map. The cost from Schiphol airport to the city center is as much as a taxi. 39 Euros.
You may have some extra charges for the lug gages (valid for a regular taxi too), the transportation late at night and during holidays. If you need more information or if you want to book your transportation, have a look here.
WHAT TO SEE IN AMSTERDAM – TOP THINGS TO DO
If you want to store the map, click on the star on the right side of the title. The map will be stored in “your places” in googlemaps.
AMSTERDAM ROYAL PALACE
It is situated in the Dam square and it’s one of the country’s four palaces. It was built in the 17th century and specifically in 1665. The palace has been renovated and is open for the tourists who desire to visit it. If you need more information, then have a look at its website.
If you want to avoid the queues and enjoy your wandering in the palace with an audio-guide, have a look here.
Open daily 09.00 a.m-17 pm
VAN GOGH MUSEUM
Even if you are not a fan of the art of painting you couldn’t but visit the Van Gogh Museum. The greatest painter of all time. The museum gathers more than a million visitors every year.
You may admire more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 750 letters of the Dutch painter. The museum has also a gift shop and you can buy Van Gogh souvenirs.
I propose to buy the tickets in advance and online and you’ll skip the line and the hassle.
Open daily 09.00 am-18.00pm
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NETHERLANDS (RIJKSMUSEUM)
Rijksmuseum is dedicated to arts and to history. It is housed in a wonderful 19th -century gothic architecture building and it is decorated with renaissance items. It is located on Stadhouderskade Avenue opposite the Van Gogh museum. It is known for 17th– century paintings collection (Dutch golden century) and for creators such as Vermeer, Rembrandt and Jan Steen.
Open daily 09.00 am-17.00 pm
ANNE FRANK HOUSE
Anne Frank House is a museum that hides in it her whole life story. In its spaces and rooms is unfolding Frank’s family story. You’ll see the bookcase that used to hide the entrance of the crypt where the family was hiding. You’ll also see the famous little Anne diary and much more.
Open daily 09.00am-22.00pm
A WALK IN JORDAAN
Jordaan’s district was built in 17th -century and initially was the region of the working class. Today it’s famous thanks to the atmosphere and the wonderful alleys that connect the three main canals. Here, you’ll find beautiful restaurants, stores, and café and art galleries. It is situated in the center of Amsterdam and a stroll up there is worthwhile.
The house-museum of Rembrandt is on 4-6 Jodenbreestraa and here is where the great painter lived and worked among 1639- 1658. In 1639 bought it and lived with his wife Saskia von Ulenburch who untimely died of tuberculosis. In 1658 Rembrandt went bankrupt, put his home and his work of art collections in the auction and he moved to a rented small house in Rozengracht where he lived till his death.
Open daily 09.00am-18.00pm.
In 1865 Vondelpark opened and named after the 17th -century writer Joostvanden Vondel whose statue is in the park. Here there are also several cafés, restaurants, the film museum, and an open theatre. It has many entrances and you can get there by using the tram. If you use the line one you’ll come off at the stop Stadhouderskade. If you get lines 1, 2,7,10 in Leidseplein. The park is beautiful and it’s full of ponds, small bridges and many flowers. Ideal place for a picknick.
If you find yourself in Amsterdam during spring time, don’t miss to visit the park Keukenhof. It is located outside the city and is a paradise on earth. You shouldn’t miss it.
NATIONAL NAUTICAL MUSEUM
It’s just 15 minutes walk from Amsterdam Central Train Center. In front of it, there is a replica of an 18th– century Dutch merchant ship. As the Netherlands is an exclusively nautical country, a visit to this museum is essential to help you understand its history.
It is open daily 09.00am-17.00pm
MADAME TUSSAUDS MUSEUM
If you are a fan of the wax museums, then Madame Tussauds museum in Dam square is one of the must to see. It is often updated according to the people of the moment and it’s a fun experience for younger and older people. In the interior the photographs who welcome you take pictures. If you want you can buy them. You may also take pictures.
CRUISE IN CANAL
Amsterdam has more canals than Venice so you must have a mini boat cruise in its canals. It’s a beautiful experience and you’ll have the chance to see the city sites from a different angle.
You may choose the hour of the day you prefer and enjoy your drink musing.
Or the photo museum. The space is exclusively dedicated to the art of photograph. Here, exhibitions of great artists and young photographers are organized. There is also a small and very nice café where you can take a rest after your tour.
VISIT IN HEINEKEN BREWERY
Having a tour in Heineken museum you can easily learn all the secrets of beer. In the old brewery you’ll learn everything about the homonymous beer which is made of only four natural ingredients. You’ll also discover the brand’s sponsorship activities in Formula 1, the UEFA Champions League and the Rugby World Cup. At the end of your tour you’ll definitely chink glasses with your new friends.
SHOPPING IN AMSTERDAM
On the Kalverstraat pedestrian street you’ll find department stores and small boutiques. If you prefer special purchases and vintage clothes you’ll have to visit NegenStraten area.
In Dam square you’ll meet the well-known department store Bijenkorf where you’ll find a vast variety of clothes, accessories, cosmetics and household use products.
If you like the open markets, then you should visit DePijp at the east side of the city. There, you’ll find food and clothes. Do visit also the “floating”Bloemenmarkt, the flowers market in Singel.
At the end, do not omit to savour and buy cheeses. In these stores you can try a variety of tastes as well as the smoked Gouda which I adore. Taste it and you’ll remember me.
WHERE YOU CAN STAY IN AMSTERDAM
Downtown Amsterdam in Dam square the hotel Nadia is located. The Westermarkt Tram stop is just 2 minutes away from the hotel. The central train station and most of the sights are too close. The hotel offers breakfast and free Wi-Fi.
AMSTERDAM DOWNTOWN HOTEL
It’s just 5 minutes away from Leidse square and the flowers market. It’s for non-smoking persons and has comfortable rooms. If you are a big company it offers bigger dormitories. It doesn’t serve breakfast, however the staff can suggest you different café and restaurants. The Keizersgracht Tram stop is 200 m away and is connected to the central train station
I hope this guide with all you should know about your first visit in the Dutch capital was useful for you. Nevertheless, if you still have questions I would be happy to answer in the comments.