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.
- 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
- Experience the Dutch East India-style feast known as rijsttafel ("rice table") ...
- ... at one of the city's best Indonesian eateries.
- Find out what authentic Dutch cuisine consists of.
- Taste the multicultural flavors of former Dutch colony Suriname at a Surinamese restaurant.
- Try one (or more) of Amsterdam's irresistible fine chocolatiers.
- Browse the food specialty stores, cafes and restaurants on Haarlemmerstraat.
- (You can consult this list of foods to try in Amsterdam as you browse.)
- Knock famed Indonesian coffee kopi luwak off your bucket list at Hofje van Wijs Tea & Coffee.
- Learn to craft the delicate confections known as macarons at Poptasi Pastry.
- Chow down on the best fries in town at Vleminckx Sausmeesters.
Live Music & Entertainment
- Hear how the Dutch national opera company bewitches audiences with its repertory of operatic classics and contemporary works.
- Take a trip back in time with the retro charm of squatted bar, music and events venue De Nieuwe Anita.
- Get comfy in a cafe and listen to some live jazz on a lazy Sunday.
- Hear live acts at one of Amsterdam's best venues for live music.
- Party where the locals do at Rembrandtplein.
- 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.