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50 Things to Do in Amsterdam

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It was a breeze to compile this list of 50 activities for visitors to Amsterdam; the vibrant city is densely filled with entertainment for everyone, from museums, monuments and cultural attractions to cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs.

Dutch History & Culture

  • Trace the footsteps of Anne Frank in the fabled achterhuis (back room) at the Anne Frank Huis.
  • Gaze up at the Dutch National Monument, the country's chief World War II memorial, on stately Dam Square.
  • Learn about the Dutch resistance effort at the Verzetsmuseum, voted the best historical museum in the Netherlands.
  • Stroll the narrow streets of De Wallen, a history-filled enclave best known as the Red-Light District.
  • Take in the Old World atmosphere of the lively and beloved public squares that dot Amsterdam ...
  • ... and be sure to idle at Dam Square in particular, flanked with awesome attractions.
  • See one of three palaces that the Dutch royal family has at their disposal: the Royal Palace on Dam Square.
  • Explore the past, present and future of the Dutch capital at the Amsterdam Museum.
  • Learn how a settlement on the Amstel River became the dense cityscape that it is today at ARCAM - Architecture Center Amsterdam.
  • Slip into the most peaceful nook in all of Amsterdam at the Begijnhof.

Fine Arts & Media

  • Peer above the crowds for a peek at De Nachtwacht, the star of the show at the treasure-filled Rijksmuseum.
  • Traipse around the former studio and residence of Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn at the Rembrandt House Museum.
  • Admire the textured brushstrokes of impressionist master Vincent van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum.
  • See the Netherlands' answer to modern and contemporary arts stalwarts like MoMA and the Centre Pompidou: the spectacularly renovated Stedelijk Museum.
  • See how the other half lived - the 17th-century aristocracy and patricians - in a canal house museum.
  • View the spectacular temporary exhibits of the Hermitage, the Amsterdam output of this world-class Russian museum.
  • Have some film-related fun at the architecturally incredible EYE Film Institute.
  • Covet the camera skills of the pros at Huis Marseille, a photography museum housed inside a converted canal house.
  • Explore the world of media art and other future-forward pursuits at Mediamatic.
  • Delve into the history of body art across cultures at one of my personal favorite Amsterdam museums, the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum.

Family Fun

  • Join the lively crowds at Amsterdam's second most popular attraction, the history-laden Artis Royal Zoo.
  • Check out the kid-friendly exhibits of the National Maritime Museum, such as a full-scale model of a tall ship.
  • Get up close with faraway world cultures at the Tropics Museum.
  • Have fun with science inside the "hull" of Science Center NEMO.
  • Learn how an authentic Dutch windmill works at the Sloten Windmill.
  • Experience Jewish history and culture from a kid's perspective at the children's branch of the Jewish Historical Museum.
  • Watch historical horror stories from Dutch and world history that both entertain and educate at the Amsterdam Dungeon.
  • Tuck into special kid's pancakes at the Pancake Bakery.
  • Find more tips for visitors with children here at this list of kid-friendly activities ...
  • ... and this one, with even more more opportunities for family fun.

Food & Restaurants

Live Music & Entertainment

Vice

  • Tour a former Heineken factory to see how the world-famous brew is produced at the Heineken Experience.
  • Visit the Cannabis Cup festival, held annually in late November ...
  • ... and see why coffeeshops like Barney's ...
  • ... and Dampkring deserve all those accolades.
  • Sip one of the most expertly prepared cocktails in the world at Door 74.
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