And there is way more than just cycling around, visiting the red-light district and chartering a boat on the canals.
After introducing you to the hilarious fun part of Barcelona, and the 31 fun things to do in London, we had a look at Amsterdam. “C’mon“, we thought, “this city must have endless awesome and unique things to have fun.”
And oh boy, we were so right.
So, join us! Have a look on all the fun things to do we found for Amsterdam – including Darth Vader!
Accommodation in Amsterdam
At the end of this guide we cover where to stay in Amsterdam.
Do you love AirBnb? Here you can get a 35€ discount on your first trip with AirBnb.
We also found the two best hostels in town and reviewed them for you:
Last update: 06.10.2018
Let’s get the Amsterdam party started.
But make sure you check again the smartest travel packing list with 23 items you CANNOT miss.
1. Hunting Street Art
Amsterdam is a creative city! Go for some street art hunting at the street Spuistraat and area. I am not just talking about graffiti.
There is much more to it.
Have a look on the bikes decoration, tiny public libraries and other small items. Just keep your eyes open.
We could not find any tours offering anything around street art, sorry :(
2. Become a local (5 Secrets)
Personally, we are bored by tourist guides. This is why we share our best-kept secrets for different destinations all around the world with you.
In our secret guide to Amsterdam we introduce you to 5 local spots:
- Lovely hidden Café right at the canals
- a Restaurant for delicious breakfast, lunch & dinner
- local Park to hang out with locals
- Fashion, Design, Art: This concept store will be your lil heaven!
- Escape the heat and party with locals & expats – a must do!
You can download the guide for free or directly download it here:
Not sure? Have a detailed look what’s inside this email guide.
3. SWING on Europe’s highest swing
You know what, this fun thing to do in Amsterdam doesn’t need a big explanation.
It only needs a cool WOW, so here you go.
Oh, and it needs the price. It was around 19€ when we visited.
You can find current prices and schedules here.
Again: You’ve to have a valid ticket to enter!!!
4. Coffee Shop and Ganja Tour (here is a full list!)
Alright alright…so many people asked and yes, it is a cliché thing to do, but here you go. We’ve found this list of all coffee shops in Amsterdam.
There are also super interesting tours covering the background of the coffee shops.
Oh, and here is a tour combining our #3 and #4: Coffee Shops and local food.
Good to know: Coffee shop in the Netherlands means a bar/ café to smoke legal drugs.
These tours are for everyone above 18 years, including retired people. Very interesting as this is part of the culture!
5. Get drunk at a Pub Crawl
That means party and nightlife as well.
You can join many different Pub Crawls and even red light district tours – we come to this later.
One thing: I am not your mommy, but please drink responsibly. You are old enough, though, right?!
6. Have an easy laugh
How about improvised comedy?
The comedy shows are in English, so don’t you worry about your dutch.
The shows are hold every Friday (unless it’s summer break) at CREA Café.
The schedule for the shows? Here you go!
A photo posted by Easylaughs (@easylaughsamsterdam) on
In Amsterdam you have many many museums. For me, my highlights are:
At Rijksmuseum you admire over 400 masterpieces by great artists such as Jan Steen, Frans Hals, Vermeer and of course Rembrandt. See the beautiful doll’s houses, a wealth of silverware, and much more.
Admire one the most famous Dutch Golden Age painting: The night Watch and get impressed not only by its size ( It is 363 cm x 437 cm = 11.91 ft x 14.34 ft). The dramatic static paint will come alive with the use of light and shadow.
Make sure you get your Skip-The-Line Ticket on the phone BEFORE queuing here.
Good to know: download the Museum app for a free audioguide (8 different languages available).
8. Escape Room (with awesome story-telling)
Ever heard of an Escape room?
An escape room is a room filled with riddles and puzzles. Here’s how we had a blast in an Escape Room in Prague
You and your buddies have to solve the puzzle, find the solution and ultimately the key to escape the room. It is perfect activity for a rainy day and outside the box.
The coolest escape room in Amsterdam is Locked Amsterdam.
The behind the room is simple: 20 years ago the Russian submarine K-129 has mysteriously disappeared in the North Pacific Ocean. A journalists studying the incident disappears suddenly and the situation gets serious.
Find out what happened to the journalist, the submarine and make sure you stay a step ahead the Russian secret service…
Have a look at the video below:
How to join?
- get up to 5 more buddies
- Schedule your escape room slot at the official website www.lockedamsterdam.nl
- have fun
9. Free music, Comedy and shows at Vondelpark
Talking about Vondelpark, there is way more you can do besides a lovely picnic.
In summer there is an open-air theater called “Openlichttheater” (Open light theater).
- and other special events.
The schedule varies.
Make sure you check out their website for the agenda of Openlichttheater.
A photo posted by Vondelpark Openluchttheater (@vondelpark_openluchttheater) on
10. Van Gogh Museum
The world famous Van Gogh Museum. This should be your Amsterdam Culture block.
Admire more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 750 letters from the Dutch master. Discover the parallels between Van Gogh and Munch in an exclusive new exhibition.
11. Explore Albert Cuypmarkt
The largest market in Amsterdam takes places every day from Monday to Saturday 9:00 – 17:00.
In fact, it is Europe’s biggest daily street market.
You can find here basically everything from food, 2nd hand, souvenirs, smoothies, art, fashion, and so on.
A beautiful market for spending some time.
Find more information about Albert Cuypmarkt Amsterdam.
A photo posted by Albert Cuypmarkt (@albertcuypmarkt) on
First of all: we love the pun!
And 2nd, we are big fans of local markets! Once a month there is the Neighboorfood fest.
A small hidden gem for the food-lover.
Check out the official website of Neighboorfood here.
They also keep their facebook updated!
13. Ice Ice Baby!
The coolest venue in town, the ICE BAR.
Walk in and get a jacket so you can stand the -45°…well okay, it’s “only” -10°c, still cold!
Come here for a cocktail.
The ambiance is so different from the usual bars, it is definitely worth it.
Important: There is no need to bring any warm jacket. The ICE Bar will provide everything.
14. Windmill Tour (Volendam, Marken & Windmills)
We all love them: The windmills!
Join a day trip to the Windmills just outside the city.
Option A: Bike Tour
There is a 3 hour bike-tour to the windmills, along the canals. It includes as well a cheese-tasting. YUMMY and perfect for a sunny day. It helps to be a bit fit, although you won’t cycle for too long.
Option B: Bus Tour with Canal Cruise
The other, less sporty option is this day trip to the Windmills.
It takes you to Volendam, Marken & Windmills with Free 1-Hour Canal Cruise.
Explore the Dutch countryside and leave Amsterdam behind for a half-day tour with free canal cruise included. See the famous Zaanse Shans windmills, explore the quaint fishing villages of Volendam and Marken and stop at a traditional Dutch cheese farm.
Find more information and prices for the tour here.
We took the photo below in Rotterdam, NOT in Amsterdam. The windmills north of Amsterdam are equally beautiful, but we did not take any good photo there :(
15. Festivals (and there are a lot)
Amsterdam is known for its party-party-party festivals!
It wouldn’t make sense for us to list here now every single festival, as there are more than 300 per year, so check out the official tourism website.
They have all the schedules of every single festival in Amsterdam.
16. Get a drink at Hannekes Boom
When weather allows, this place is just awesome.
It is a small house right at the canal.
Order a drink, take a seat and mingle with the locals. Don’t forget the sun cream in summer!
Photo credit HannekesBoom
17. Heineken Experience
After the epic Pub Crawl and the XTRA cold Ice bar, we LOVE the Heineken Experience. If you are into beer and especially Heineken, go for iiiiiiit!
Come and discover what lies behind the doors of the former Heineken® brewery and learn everything there is to know about the world’s favorite beer.
Get your ticket here and have a beer on us.
I mean, we won’t pay your beer, but cheer for us…CHEERS!!
17. Madame Tussauds Amsterdam
Berlin has one, London has one and do does Amsterdam.
Dance with Lady Gaga, touch Justin Bieber, take your photo with Robbie Williams and be dazzled by George Clooney!
See your favorite stars cast in wax at Madame Tussauds Amsterdam and enjoy interactive photo sets of the stars of the screen, TV, politics, music and more.
What I am I writing…you already know what’s madame Tussaud about, right?!
Get your Fast-Line ticket here to skip the queue.
18. Spend a day in Haarlem
You can cycle to Haarlem, a picturesque village, west of Amsterdam. It is half way to the Atlantic coast and beach. We love it here, and so will you!
The photo below shows a beautiful beach bar next to Haarlem. We included it in the travel guide for Haarlem.
Now that we think about it…
Actually, you can spend a day in Haarlem as well.
It is the local small version of Amsterdam. It gives you an idea of the authentic Netherlands. Because, trust us, when we say: Amsterdam is not the typical Netherlands.
In Haarlem you can cycle to a beautiful beach and get lost in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park.
In the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, you can see many animals:
- roe deer
- fallow deer
- west European hedgeog
- European rabbit
- red fox, and…
Good to know: visit the information point and ask where the wisents are, they can tell you exactly where they are.
19. Rent a bike and cruise around!
Oh boy, that sounds soooo cliché.
Yes, I know.
Here you have more bike rentals:
Also, did you know many Amsterdameses have several bikes?
One for daily life, and one at night for going out. In case it gets stolen…well, that’s at least, what we’ve been told!
20. Go to the local beach
Actually, you do not need to cycle to Haarlem for the beach.
You can take a ferry from the main train station crossing the big canal. It is an amazing place with a cool interior design, and a nice beach in front.
Even when it’s cold, it’s pretty awesome here.
Bring some hunger and thirst.
Pllek offers a wide variety of good food and drinks.
21. Red Light District Tour
Sure, everybody is curious about the red light district, right?!
You can take a red light district tour directly here. Tours start from 15€ /$16 and it takes 2 hours.
We joined a tour by Ecomama and had a great time. The tour guide had interesting insider stories to tell, and it gives you access to a hidden world.
If you’re not staying at Ecomama, the 5 Star Hostel, then you’ve two choices:
- Change your reservation and go to Ecomama
- or get your tour for red light district online
22. Peep Show
During the red light district tour, the tour joins as well a peep show.
What is a peep show? It is a piecewise presentation of live sex show which is viewed through a viewing slot. The slot shuts after the time paid for has expired.
Well, those are well-invested, curious 1€-2€!
23. A live-sex show
How about watching people having live-sex? Okay okay…this is getting weird, we know.
Let this idea sink in a little bit, after all, you’re in Amsterdam!
The Casa Rosso is the most popular venue for this kind of event.
Don’t feel forced to join just because you’re here. But we actually heard many interesting opinions about Casa Rosso and their venue.
24. Ecosystems of Amsterdam
Okay, okay…this one may sound quite odd (again), but it’s actually really cool and you can learn a lot…well, we just made it sound boring again, right?!
The nature guide in Amsterdam is unique, and interesting for everyone looking for a different kind of experience.
You can find all details about the tour directly with The Nature Walk Amsterdam.
Also, pretty handy, this detailed article about this alternative nature tour by AwesomeAmsterdam.com
25. The sky is the limit
The Sky Lounge is the Amsterdam answer of sky bars in Bangkok and other metropolitan cities around the world.
However, I still think the Amsterdam Swing is cooler (more on #3).
26. Visit the “I Amsterdam sign” – in the early hour!
Everybody wants this cool photo, right?!
However, it is always crowded, and taking a cool photo with only you, well, it is almost impossible!
The iAmsterdam sign is right next to the Rijkmuseum.
Remember it is important to get your ticket beforehand to Rijkmuseum to skip the loooong queue!
Oh and by the way, this is how the sign looks like……..when you’re too late:
27. Live Jazz at Studio K
Studio K is a cinema, restaurants, and venue for so many events, run by students.
Definetly an alternative thing to do in Amsterdam.
Check out the Studio K to see what’s going on when you’re there.
28. Boat Tour (even Pizza Boat Cruise!)
This one is quite obvious. We really liked it, we really recommend it!
There are many different boat tours and cruises. Just have a look at Get Your Guide to find different cruises in Amsterdam.
Here is a list of all the cruises in Amsterdam:
- Food: Burger Cruise with unlimited Drinks
- Sightseeing: 1.5 hour evening canal cruise
- Luxury Version: 4-Course dinner on a cruise
- Romantic: Candlelight Cruise (with unlimited drinks ;) )
Buuuuut…here is the way more fun experience.
Pizza and Booze Cruise
Check out this pizza-and-booze-cruise.
You get hot pizza, unlimited drinks (wine, beer and soft drinks), Audio guide, and even free WiFi. Seriously, this is the cooler option to have a fun night out. I mean, how often do you have the chance to party a bit on a boat in a “gracht” in Amsterdam?!
For sure one of the unique things to do in Amsterdam.
29. Join quirky events in Amsterdam
Enjoy the city like the locals do.
The Roest is the place to be!
You can join
- pool parties here
- DJ sessions
- live concerts
- or simply hang out in the unofficial living room of Amsterdam.
Find the full agenda of Amsterdam Roest here.
Did you ever heard about Geoaching?
It is a game, and a perfect tool to explore different spots around an area.
We even wrote a full article about GeoCaching as the alternative travel guide.
There are endless GeoCaches, hidden all over Amsterdam. Just get the free app or the paid app for the advance nerd – and start. You will be surprised!
There is even a list of GeoCaches around Amsterdam you should check out.
31. Walk around as Darth Vader
Well, okay, we have no idea what this guy in the Darth Vader costume is doing here in Amsterdam…
BUT: It looks like fun.
Maybe it’s Darth Vader spending some free days in Amsterdam, not sure. Either way, fun!
32. Food trucks, buddy!
Quite new, and trendy right now all over Europe.
There are now as well food trucks festivals in Amsterdam.
You can find the dates of the “rollende keukens” (rolling kitchens) here.
UPDATE: 33. Anne Frank Walking Tour
This may not be an entertaining activity, but certainly one we highly recommend.
The NEW Anne Frank walking tour. If you are not visiting the usually crowded Anne Frank House, then this is the tour to go.
Good to know: For actually visiting the famous Anne Frank House, you have to book on the official website. Tickets are made available only exactly 2 months before.
Update 34. Dining in the dark
This is quite self-explanatory, isn’t it?
Dining in the dark has become quite trendy. And you can try it here in Amsterdam as well.
The CTASTE is such a place, and the most popular one in Amsterdam.
This photo made by us shows how we imagine a dinner in the dark looks like.
Important: You have to book your table. It is always busy.
You can book directly CTASTE here.
Updated 35. Neighborhood Markets
Now, this one we especially enjoyed!
There are so many different neighborhoods around Amsterdam, and each one is unique.
You can find all the Amsterdam Markets with the official tourism board.
80 Things to do in Amsterdam – a handy list
Obviously there are so many things to do in Amsterdam.
We had a look around and collected some of the coolest collections. Over all you can find more than 80 things to in Amsterdam.
Just browse to get some ideas.
Tip 20 Things to do in Amsterdam – A cool guide to show you 20 things to experience in Amsterdam. There are quite the basics included, but a great introduction to get an idea.
8 Free things to do in Amsterdam – Who doesn’t love free stuff? The Telegraph gives you an introduction on how to enjoy Amsterdam for free.
20 essential tips for Amsterdam – In case you are not familiar with this magazine, the TimeOut magazine is always an awesome resource for finding local and unique tips.
Cassie from Ever In Transit also shares her 25 coolest things for Amsterdam. A comprehensive guide, recommended for the 1st-timer in Amsterdam.
City Guides to Amsterdam
The Amsterdam guide of Little Black Book is a fantastic resource you cannot miss.
Many different restaurants, bars, cafés – and most of them have a design background.
Amsterdam Curated puts together the events and agenda of the city.
You can find the coolest events in town. A smart way to join the local events tourist don’t even hear about. Check out Amsterdamcurated.com right here.
For every curious traveler, we also found 14 incredible secrets you did not know about Amsterdam. Confession time: There are some we also did not know at all!
Our favorite printed guides are:
Where to stay in Amsterdam?
The city is covered with different options to stay.
We found the two best hostels in town and reviewed them for you:
Ecomama Hostel is recommended for solo-travelers. The Cocomama hostel is the best hostel for couples in Amsterdam.
AirBnb and Apartments:
Traveling in a group and want to sty on your own? Airbnb is a popular option.
My personal recommendation for an apartment is Keizersgracht Suite 471.
It has the perfect location, next to a canal with lovely views, and a top design I enjoy.
Wanna more options? Click here for the full list of the best apartments in Amsterdam.
You can find thousands of hotels in Amsterdam. So many, that it can be difficult to choose one.
I would go for one of the smaller ones like Mr. Joordan Hotel.
Conveniently located, Mr. Joordan is a modern and clean hotel. They have a quaint common area where you can grab a free coffee and meet other travelers.
How to get around Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is a really walk-able city. Yet, you have almost every single option for transport you can imagine.
- even ferries
My best recommendation for getting around Amsterdam easily and fast is the Public Transport Ticket.
Experience Amsterdam stress free with an unlimited travel card for all public transport networks. Purchase a ticket that best suits your plans – valid for a day or a multi-day ticket.
Using your ticket is easy and convenient.
Simply check in on boarding a tram, bus or metro, and then check out when you exit or disembark the vehicle. The ticket will be validated on first use and can be used for unlimited travel until the end of its validity.
Summary: Fun Things To Do in Amsterdam
Seriously?! You are still here?
We just gave you the most amazing Hostel in Amsterdam and a huge list for having fun in Amsterdam.
- +28 fun things to do in Paris including boat parties , pizza picnic and crêpes
- 4 best outdoor cafés in Amsterdam
- our secret guide to Amsterdam – free to download
- 29 fun things to do in Lisbon, Portugal
We hope this big summary of activities around the most popular dutch city is helpful.
Would you like to add anything?
Do you have another cool idea for spending time in Amsterdam? Then leave a comment below.
We are always keen to improve this article and add more and more!
And now, have fun!
– – –
Pinterest is your friend