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Amsterdam Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Best Time: March to October Read More

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"Ultimate Party Hub of Europe"

Amsterdam Tourism

Amsterdam is located in the western part of the Netherlands. The city is built around a network of canals and is known for its rich history, charming canals, artistic heritage, and liberal culture. Amsterdam offers a unique and memorable experience for every visitor.

Amsterdam is renowned for its iconic canal system, which earned it the nickname "Venice of the North." Take a leisurely stroll along the canal ring, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and admire the elegant canal houses that line the waterways. Amsterdam is a bicycle-friendly city, and cycling is an integral part of the local lifestyle. Consider renting a bike to explore the city like a true local. There are numerous bike paths and lanes, making it easy and enjoyable to navigate around town. 

Amsterdam's cultural diversity is reflected in its neighborhoods. The city is also famous for its world-class museums. The Rijksmuseum is a must-visit, showcasing Dutch art and history, including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer. The Van Gogh Museum is another must-see, housing the largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh.

No visit to Amsterdam would be complete without exploring its vibrant nightlife. The city is famous for its coffee shops, where you can legally purchase and consume cannabis. Amsterdam also boasts a thriving bar and club scene, with plenty of options to suit every taste, from laid-back pubs to hip nightclubs.

Must Know Before You Travel to Amsterdam

  • Bikes are a popular way to commute:Do not walk on the biker's lane or red lane, as the laws in the Netherlands favour cyclists more than the pedestrians
  • Legal cannabis in coffeeshops: Coffeeshops in Amsterdam do not serve coffee; they serve cannabis which is legal in the Netherlands. You can get coffee from a cafe.
  • Unpredictable Weather: Always carry a wind protector or a rain jacket while travelling to Amsterdam
  • Be careful while walking alongside the canals which don't have fencing.
  • Buy an OV Chip travel card for commuting withing the city
  • The tap water in Amsterdam is safe to drink, so there's no need to buy bottled water.

Top Hotels In Amsterdam

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Nightlife in Amsterdam

The most famous neighborhoods of Amsterdam for nightlife are as follows:
  • Red Light District houses an array of night bars apart from the classical red windows and coffee shops that represent this area. It is among the most popular places for tourists visiting Amsterdam to hang out at night.
  • Leidseplein is a buzzing neighborhood that features a diverse range of smashing Amsterdam bars and clubs located close to each other and is an acclaimed nightlife hub that has something for all.
  • Rembrandtplein is a notable square in the city, recognized for its broad selection of night bars and clubs, including some of the big names of nightlife venues in Amsterdam.
  • Reguliersdwarsstraat embraces the best gay clubs and bars in the city and is next to Rembrandtplein.
You can learn more about places to go and things to do at night here. Also, know more about coffee shops in Amsterdam here

Shopping in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has great diversity when it comes to markets. For luxury, designer shopping - including clothes, bags, shoes and watches - you can check out the area near Museumplein, which has a lot of high-end stores (for both men and women). For slightly cheaper chic stuff, you can go to the lovely area of Jordaan which has a number of small, boutique stores among numerous cafes. If you don't have a lot of time to venture outside the tourist area of Central Amsterdam, you can just walk around and take a look at the stores there, and visit the famous Bloemenmarkt - the flower market. Read more about shopping in Amsterdam here.

Daily Budget for Amsterdam

Amsterdam isn't the most budget friendly city to go to, so even for a decent budget stay, you can expect to spend EUR 50 - 60 per day on sightseeing, visiting museums, transportation, food and the odd beer, shopping and visiting other attractions. A mid range experience of Amsterdam would cost you around EUR 70 - 90 per day, given that you upgrade on your food, shopping, transportation etc. An elaborate trip, eating at expensive restaurants, shopping at brands and so on would probably make your trip cost go from at least EUR 150 to anywhere up till EUR 250 - 300 per day, depending on where exactly you shop and eat.

The Canals of Amsterdam

Some of the most popular photos of Amsterdam are those of its famous canals, which form a wide network throughout the city. Dug in the 17th century, they cover an amazing length of over 100kms, with more than 1500 bridges built over them, giving Amsterdam the title of "Venice of the North" - although the residents proudly claim that the canals here are way cleaner and less smelly than Venice. While the comparison is hard to make, the canals along with the greenery around them give the city a relaxed and almost village-like vibe. 

The most famous canals are the three canals in the centre of the city - Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht and Herengracht, and these are surrounded by a number of pubs, restaurants and cafes. Go a little away from the central area towards the south, and the canals get wider with wide swathes of greenery on both sides, and you can sit on one of the benches along the canal.

You can also rent a boat and take a canal cruise - while this is extremely touristy, it will quickly give you a nice feel of the city from the canals, and is a lot of fun. 

Red Light District

Amsterdam is renowned for its "Red Light District" - the small area in the centre of the city which has a number of windows or glass doors, behind which prostitutes stand and sell their services. There are also a number of sex theatres, peep shows, a sex museum, and quite a few other exotic stores!
Prostitution is actually legalized in the whole of Netherlands, and hence this part of the city is not at all sleazy or scary. You would see a large number of tourists walking around, most of whom are just taking a walk around the area, and the area is completely safe. 

Attitude Towards Soft Drugs

The Dutch are renowned for their liberal and open mindset about most things - and one result of this is the legalization of soft drugs. The Netherlands was one of the first countries to allow legal recreational use of marijuana, and other soft drugs, including mushrooms (or "Dutch Truffles"). Amsterdam is full of "coffeeshops" which don't actually sell coffee, but sell marijuana products - from raw weed/hash (of varying strains) to pre-made joints and "space cakes". There are also quite a few "smart shops" in Amsterdam - which sell other soft drugs like magic mushrooms. Walk in to any of them, and the attendants would happily help you figure out what to try, and how!

History of Amsterdam

Founded in the 13th century, Amsterdam developed as a fishing village around the Amstel river. It saw rapid economic development in the 14th and 15th centuries which saw the coming of it's Golden Age, a period in which the city became the centre of the world's market. The town hall or the Royal Palace is one example of the expansion Amsterdam underwent in this period, and many historical buildings from this time still stand tall in the city today. The golden age came to an end after conflicts with the English and the French, but the city somehow managed to hold it's financial dominance in the continent. Many of the houses seen today in the city centre, date back to the period between the 17th and 18th centuries. The period after saw a great recession and decline in the city's position, and occupation by the French. The mid 19th century then saw the redevelopment of Amsterdam. The industrial revolution played a huge part in this. Many of the neighbourhoods of the working class were built during this period, which saw the subsequent development of the city into what we see today.

Museums in Amsterdam

Amsterdam houses some of the best museums and art galleries in Europe, if not the world. This is not at all surprising, considering the Dutch were one of the most successful people during most of the 17th century. The Museumplien - or Museum quarter - is a large area in the center of Amsterdam with a beautiful central park, surrounded by museums or theatre halls on all sides.

The Rijksmuseum displays a staggering collection of art and artefacts from this age - more than 1million objects! Some of the most famous of these are paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, who had an indelible impact on the art world. There is also a museum completely dedicated to Van Gogh - the famous, troubled artist who once cut off his ear in his anger.

Apart from these, there are also many more small and themed museums across the city - for eg the museum of sex and prostitution (something which can probably only exist in Amsterdam!)

If you are an art or history buff, or if you like modern art/architecture, you will love Amsterdam.

Cycling culture

Amsterdam is often called the "bike capital of the world" - and it won't take you more than 5 mins of walking around to understand that the reputation is well-deserved. Given the relatively moderate climate all year round, and the flatness of the terrain, almost everyone cycles for almost everything - including going to the office, or grocery shopping. You would see much more bikes than cars in the entire city, and a large number of bikes which people use. As a tourist, one of the must-dos here is to rent a cycle during the stay - this is actually the easiest and most fun way to travel in Amsterdam!

Best Time to Visit Amsterdam

How to Reach Amsterdam

How to Reach Overview

Amsterdam is very well connected with the world and the rest of Europe. Two large airlines have their base in Amsterdam - KLM and Jet Airways. Schiphol Airport is located around 10kms south-west of the city, and is very conveniently connected to the city - and also to other major cities in Netherlands - by a wide metro network.

Trains from across Europe, specially nearby Belgium, France and Germany are very frequent. There are a lot of bus services as well from nearby cities such as The Hague and Eindhoven, etc.

How to reach Amsterdam by flight

All major European airlines and several smaller ones offer flights to and from Amsterdam. Being the capital of Netherlands and an extremely popular European destination, Amsterdam has flight connectivity from the Americas, the Middle East, Asia and several African countries as well.

How to reach Amsterdam by road

Renting cars in Europe is another popular way of getting around, especially if you plan to cover multiple cities. The roads all across Europe are a joy to behold. Routes and connectivity between Amsterdam and other cities is very well established, just like routes taken by buses.

How to reach Amsterdam by train

Rail services are very popular all across Europe. They are considered to be the most convenient modes of transport, not taking too much time and also providing a cheaper alternative to air travels. Direct trains from cities like Paris, Berlin, Brussels, London, Manchester, and almost all other European cities are available.

How to reach Amsterdam by bus

Bus systems are well connected in Europe. They run between Amsterdam and other nearby Dutch cities such as Hague, Haarlem, Rotterdam, Utricht and internationally from many cities in Germany such as Cologne and Frankfurt, Paris in France, Brussels in Belgium, and even from London in the UK.

Local transport in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has an elaborate and well-connected public transportation system. Various parts of the city are connected via buses, trams, ferries and also the metro, all of which use the OV Chipkaart smart card system. You can use the IJ ferries or use the canal system to cruise around the city. The centre of Amsterdam is best covered on foot, or even better on bicycles. Cars are not recommended due to narrow roads and expensive parking.

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FAQs on Amsterdam

What is the best way to reach Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is very well connected with the world and the rest of Europe. Two large airlines have their base in Amsterdam - KLM and Jet Airways. Schiphol Airport is located around 10kms south-west of the city, and is very conveniently connected to the city - and also to other major cities in Netherlands - by a wide metro network.

Trains from across Europe, specially nearby Belgium, France and Germany are very frequent. There are a lot of bus services as well from nearby cities such as The Hague and Eindhoven, etc.
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How much does a package cost for Amsterdam?

The packages for Amsterdam start at INR 39193 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the top hotels in Amsterdam?

There are 1562 in Amsterdam which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Amsterdam are Park Mansion Centre, Garden Suite Centre, Breitner House, Jordaan Suite bed and bubbles, De Hoedenmaker, Amsterdam Dream. You can see all the hotels in Amsterdam here

What are the things to do in Amsterdam?

The top things to do in Amsterdam are Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Vondelpark, Canal Cruise, Red Light District, Beer Tasting. You can see all the places to visit in Amsterdam here

What are the places near Amsterdam?

The top places near to Amsterdam are Utrecht which is 34 km from Amsterdam, Rotterdam which is located 57 km from Amsterdam, The hague which is located 52 km from Amsterdam, Delft which is located 54 km from Amsterdam, Eindhoven which is located 110 km from Amsterdam

What is not so good about Amsterdam?

Very expensive - stay, food and drinks - all. Can be awkward if visiting with parents.

What is the local food in Amsterdam?

There are various popular local foods in Amsterdam, some savoury, some sweet, some cheesy and some meaty. One dish that's highly recommended though is the raw herring. This is a sweet raw fish, served with onions and pickles. Desert lovers will find heaven in Amsterdam, with mouth-watering stroopwafels (basically syrup waffles) and poffertjes. Cheese is another local favourite with varieties of it being used across different dishes. And drop is a form of Dutch liquorice, one of the most popular snacks for in the country.
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What is the best time to visit Amsterdam?

September to November, during the fall season, is the best time to visit Amsterdam. The relatively mild weather conditions combined with fewer crowds make it an ideal time to visit the Tulip capital. The weather conditions can be erratic on some days, but they’re never bad enough to affect your trip. The most crucial factor is that the excessive crowds from the summertime have receded and you get to explore the city, without having to wait in long lines and without hustling for space. The next best time to visit Amsterdam would be during Spring in April and May. This beautiful season, however, experiences a surge in tourists owing to the blooming tulips. Summer is the peak tourist season and the city is filled with domestic as well as international tourists, making it slightly challenging to go about with your sightseeing activities. The days are bright and sunny, and the nightlife is also at its peak during this season. Winter is the low season for tourism in Amsterdam. The days are dull and gloomy, and the frequent winds may make it seem colder than it is.
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Who should visit Amsterdam?

A great city for history buffs, museum and art lovers. Also fantastic for its famous nightlife - a lot of students from nearby Germany come here only to party. Also wonderful if you want to experience a distinctive but cosmopolitan culture.

What is famous about Amsterdam?

Awesome history and museums. Great for nightlife and those looking to try out soft drugs. Beautiful, relaxing parks and distinctive culture.

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