1.       Anne Frank House and the Westerkerk (A2) - You should not miss the Anne Frank House. It is such a moving experience. It is generally advised to book online via this link. Failing that it may be best to get in line to visit the house during the last hour as the queues tend to be shorter then. Do not miss going up in the Westerkerk bell tower. If you are up for the climb, there are some GREAT views of the city from there.

 

2.       Museums : Amsterdam has some world class museums including the Van Gogh & Rijksmuseum, both recently re-opened after extensive refurbishment. The Stedelijk and Scheepvaart (Maritime History) Museums have also both opened again after years of renovations. The newly opened Film museum across the IJ river from Centraal Station is great and has a lovely café overlooking the water. Lots of info about the many musems in Amsterdam here:  Museums and Galleries

 

3.       Canal Boat Tour   -   There are several companies offering boat tours.   It is a great way to get an overview of the city and it is a very different view of the city than walking around or on the trams.   Peope often ask which are the best ones and the Rederij Kooij on Rokin has a good reputation www. rederijkooij.nl/en/ .  Also the ones on Damrak up from Centraal Station are good mainly as they are cheaper than the likes of Lovers . Some of the tours are hop-on hop-off, like the Canal Bus (www.canal.nl) so you can use the tour to get around town.   Some also are good for a 24 hour period, not just the day the ticket is issued. For those who prefer something a little less touristy, the cruises offered by https://www.canal.nl/en/canal-hopper are in smaler boats and can be chartered if there is a group of you.  You can also rent your own boat if you feel like being captain for a few hours. Mokum Boat ad Boaty.nl will supply you with a small electric powered sloop.

 

4.       Coffeeshops (if you indulge in other than coffee) – Amsterdam is famous for its liberal attitude to soft drugs and for some a visit to a coffeeshop is a must. Even if you do not Indulge, some of the trendy houses are great places to get an actual cup of great coffee and people watch. www. coffeeshop. freeuk.com/ is a good site with reviews and locations of these establishments.

 

5.       Public Parks . Amsterdam has a plethora of green spaces. Probably the best known of these is the Vondelpark because of its close proximity to the Leidseplein but there are many others such as the Westerpark, Rembrandtspark, Oosterpark and local smaller one such as the Sarphatipark in De Pijp area. Grab yourself a bottle of wine, some bread and cheese and have a picnic on a sunny day. In the Vondelpark there are often free concerts during the summer http://tinyurl.com/ogsfgol

 

6.       Amsterdam’s Market culture – There are many open air markets in Amsterdam  http://tinyurl.com/pprpdhc   from the famous Albert Cuyp to the flea market on the Waterlooplein where you can bag cheap souvenirs and oddities. Also many people like to wander along the flower market on the Singel.

 

7.       Red Light District (RLD) – The RLD has been there reputedly since the 15th century when most of this area (De Wallen)  was a haunt of sailors from ships moored close by. The area was very different in those days as a lot of the canals have been filled in  Amsterdam actually has more than one RLD. The world famous one is a five minute walk from Centraal Station. Given the substantial police presence it is a safe place to be night or day. It can get very crowded on weekend evenings. You can take guided tours of the RLD such as Randy Roys or Omy, which can explain the history of the area in detail.

8.       Chinatown – Centred around a street named Zeedijk, adjacent to the RLD, this is the place to go if you are looking for authentic Cantonese food. Not as big as say the ones in NYC or London though but still good for food. The Zeedijk also has a number of brown bars, some of which are the oldest in Amsterdam.

 

9.       Get on yer bike ! – Probably the best way to get around and the most popular by the locals is by bike (fiets in Dutch). There are many bike rental laces in the city and from around €10 per day you can rent anything from a traditional bike to a tandem made for two.

http://www.iamsterdam.com/en-GB/exper...

10.   Dam Square  - Such a hub for SO many visitors, 24 hours a day. Several times a year there are carnivals or festivals there in the square and you can also visit inside the Royal Palace. Please remember though that the National Monument in the Square is a memorial to the victims of WWII so try to be respectful and not drop litter all over it.

 

11.   Aalsmeer Flower Auction (Outside Amsterdam to the South) - Come see where 75% of ALL the cut flowers in the world are auctioned off. It is a self-guided tour where you will see 100's of thousands of flowers being whisked about to and from the auction rooms. It is truly amazing. You will really need to get up at the crack of dawn though as most of the proceedings are over by 0900. http://www.floraholland.com/en/about-...

 

12.   Gastronomy – Although traditional Dutch food does not have that good a reputation and can actually be difficult to find, Amsterdam has a multitude of  fine restaurants many of which either have Michelin stars or are highly recommended by the guide. You can eat practically any type of food in the city with the Jordaan and De Pijp probably having the highest concentration of eateries.

http://www.iens.nl/ is a decent review sites.

13.   Visit the Zoo – The Artis Zoo in Amsterdam is a great place to wander around on a Sunny day.

 

14.   Drink Beer – Amsterdam has countless bars, from Brown Bars stained by hundreds of years of cigarette stains to trendy new bars like Bo Cinq and Little Buddha. If you fancy visiting somewhere that brews their own then try the Brouwerij 't IJ or De Prael amongst others. Maybe a cocktail is your bag. Try NJOY or the bar at the American Hotel. 

 

15.   MUSIC There are many music venues in Amsterdam from the Arena to the 200 person hall in the Paradiso. The new Ziggo Dome has housed concerts from Madonna to The Who. You can rock the night away at the Last Wateringhole by the Leidseplein or jazz it up in Café Alto.

http://www.iamsterdam.com/en-GB/exper...

16. Recommended sources for research:   These are good resources for prior research on things to see and do.

  • Amsterdam page on Holidayen and  Android: Useful for itinerary planning
  • Comprehensive details on Wikivoyage are very useful for first time visitors
  • Triposo travel guide on Android App Store