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Guide to Amsterdam Outdoors

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Amsterdam is a friendly and open-minded city famous for its canals, engineering inventions, ship docks, floating houses, and beautiful mix of old and modern architecture. On a sunny day, it is somewhat obligatory to stroll through the city, relax in the park, or admire the Amsterdam scenery from a new perspective — like on-board a cruise. Whatever you choose, lots of surprising historical facts are waiting to be discovered, along with the views.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Luxury Traveler
  • Thrifty Traveler
  • Trendsetter

11 Places

5 City Tips

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Map

11 Places

Amsterdam Canal Cruises

Boat Tours

Vondelpark

Parks

Flower Market / Bloemenmarkt

Flea & Street Markets

ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo

Zoos

Botanical Garden (Hortus Botanicus)

Gardens

Amsterdamse Bos

Parks

Gaasperplas Park

Parks

Albert Cuyp Market

Flea & Street Markets

Zaanse Schans

Specialty Museums

Eastern Docklands

Neighborhoods

West Pacific Westergasfabriek

Bars & Clubs

Masha K's City Tips

  • Carry an extra layer of clothing with you. The wind has a tendency to pick up suddenly.
  • Follow the locals and rent a bike. Cycling around the city is safe, easy, and efficient.
  • For public transport, buy an "OV-chipkaart," for use on trams, buses, metro and trains. This card can be bought and topped-up at stations, newsstands, and some supermarkets.
  • If you're walking, pay attention to the official bike lines.
  • Amsterdam is an open-minded and tolerant city, in terms of some legalized drugs and the Red Light District. Make sure you enjoy this freedom responsibly and respectfully.
  • Amsterdam Canal Cruises
    Boat Tours
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    The Amsterdam canal network is an essential part of the city's urban planning history. The Canal Belt — three big channels connected by smaller radial streets and canals — was commissioned and developed in the 17th century, and as a result, Amsterdam rapidly grew to three times its original size, and was christened 'Venice of the North.' Climb aboard a boat and admire Amsterdam from the water — the city-scape looks completely different from this perspective!

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Trendsetter
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • An evening boat trip is the most romantic.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 140 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Amsterdam
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lovers Cruise......very boring 10/16/2018
    • Nice to see 10/15/2018
    • Amsterdam Canal Cruises
    Address:
    Stadhouderskade 550
    opposite Heineken Experience
    1072 AE Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    Phone:
    +31 20 626 5636
    Price range:
    $23 - $23
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Vondelpark
    Parks
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    While Vondelpark is the most touristic park in the city, its proximity to the Museum Quarter doesn't detract from its peaceful and beautiful atmosphere. It's great to take a walk here and enjoy some fresh air, admire the sculptures by Pablo Picasso, explore the Blue Tea Room's modernist pavilion, and even take in an open-air theater performance during the summer season.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • LGBT
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Trendsetter
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Join the locals for a morning run here.
    • Vondelpark makes a perfect spot for a picnic break (or nap!) between museum visits.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 596 things to do in Amsterdam
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Place to chill and relax 10/17/2018
    • Piece of heaven 10/16/2018
    • Vondelpark
    Address:
    Van Baerlestraat & Vondelpark
    Museum Quarter
    Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    Phone:
    +31 35 671 7915
    Other:
  • Flower Market / Bloemenmarkt
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    During the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century, the Netherlands experienced an era of tulip mania, when tulip bulbs were actually traded on the stock exchanges of numerous Dutch towns. Today, you can find the distant relatives of these bulbs at the Bloumenmarkt (Flower Market), situated in the center of Amsterdam. Get ready to admire the largest number of beautiful flowers you've ever seen (in spring and summer at least; during winter this place is admittedly less impressive).

    Good for
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • If you'd like to take tulip bulbs home with you, check the import regulations for your country so you don't get stuck at customs!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #136 of 596 things to do in Amsterdam
    • Nice stroll 10/15/2018
    • Beautiful! 10/10/2018
    • Flower Market / Bloemenmarkt
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Mon - Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    Other:
  • ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo
    Zoos
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    Artis is not just a zoo — it's also an aquarium, butterfly pavilion, planetarium, and several historical buildings rolled into one. It's a truly unique experience to see so many exotic animals against a backdrop of such beautiful Dutch architecture.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The zoo is in the center of the city and is easy to reach by bike, on foot, or by public transport.
    • Every September, the zoo gives visitors 25% discount on their entry tickets. This is in memory of the 19th-century ticket price, when the general public paid just 25 cents.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #32 of 596 things to do in Amsterdam
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Trip to see the giraffes 10/17/2018
    • Amazing 😉 10/17/2018
    • ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo
    Address:
    Plantage Kerklaan 38-40
    1018 CZ Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    Phone:
    +31 20 523 3670
    Price range:
    $28 - $28
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Other:
  • Botanical Garden (Hortus Botanicus)
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    Hortus Botanicus is more than just a nice garden with the most beautiful and rarest of plants. Since the Netherlands has always been a great trading nation, the Bontanical Garden is also the site where many botanical breakthroughs have taken place. For example, the western tradition of drinking coffee started here, with a single plant that was brought from Arabia and cultivated in Amsterdam. The same thing happened with the oil palms, which were cultivated here and then shipped to South East Asia to form the giant plantations found there nowadays.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Guided tours run every Sunday and are highly recommended.
    • The tropical greenhouses are a great place to warm up during the winter season.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #76 of 596 things to do in Amsterdam
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A quiet retreat for lunch, butterflies and foliage 10/15/2018
    • Great experience! 10/14/2018
    • Botanical Garden (Hortus Botanicus)
    Address:
    Plantage Middenlaan 2a
    1018 DD Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    Phone:
    +31 20 625 9021
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Amsterdamse Bos
    Parks
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    Literally a forest in Amsterdam (but not exactly a wilderness), Amsterdamse Bos is a vast territory — with so many activities on offer that time may very easily run away from you. Explore the goat farm and sample the products made there, take an excursion on a boat, go swimming in the pools, and wrap it all up with a relaxing visit to the spa. And if none of those take your fancy, it's also perfect for bike rides!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Try to see a live performance in the open-air theater — it's magic! Check online for details about upcoming events.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #24 of 596 things to do in Amsterdam
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful forest 10/08/2018
    • Chilled afternoon after visit city 09/30/2018
    • Amsterdamse Bos
    Address:
    Bosbaanweg 5
    Amstelveen
    1182 DA Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    Phone:
    +31 20 545 6100
    Other:
  • Gaasperplas Park
    Parks
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    If you happen to find yourself in southeastern Amsterdam, then Gaasperplas Park, a small green area with a lake and clean sandy beaches, makes for a lovely outdoor escape.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • LGBT
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The Planetarium of Amsterdam is also situated here. It's a good rainy day alternative.
    • In summer, don't be surprised if you see nudists relaxing next to the lake. It's perfectly normal here.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #115 of 596 things to do in Amsterdam
    • Reggae Lake Festival 08/29/2018
    • My garden next door 08/20/2018
    • Gaasperplas Park
    Address:
    Gaasperplas
    South-East
    1108 Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
  • Albert Cuyp Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    Occupying an entire street, Albert Cuyp is perhaps the most popular and largest market in the city. You can find almost everything here, from fresh local fruits to clothing and shoes. I highly recommend arriving with a healthy appetite, and sampling foods while you browse — from waffles to Dutch strawberries to freshly made smoothies, there's something to suit every taste here.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Come in the morning when it's not as crowded.
    • The market is open Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #78 of 596 things to do in Amsterdam
    • Worth a visit 10/15/2018
    • All the Dutch foods 10/15/2018
    • Albert Cuyp Market
    Address:
    Albert Cuypstraat
    Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    Phone:
    +31 6 26574378
    Hours:
    Mon - Sat
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Other:
  • Zaanse Schans
    Specialty Museums
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    Dive inside the Flemish paintings at Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum of Dutch culture. Windmills, Dutch Golden Age residential architecture, workshops, and ateliers... It's all there for the exploring. Plus, you can learn about the country's famous cheese-making and traditional Dutch crafts, all in an idyllic landscape not far from the city.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • The train from Amsterdam takes just 17 minutes to get here.
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 22 things to do in Zaandam
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • This is Holland! 10/17/2018
    • Cute, fun place! 10/15/2018
    • Zaanse Schans
    Address:
    Schansend 1
    1509 AW Zaandam
    The Netherlands
    Phone:
    +31 75 681 0000
    Other:
  • Eastern Docklands
    Neighborhoods
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    Known as the 'architectural laboratory of Amsterdam,' the former shipping docks were relocated to the west in the 1970s, and the city council decided to establish a housing area in their place. Today, the Eastern Harbour neighborhood is an interesting mix of well-preserved original buildings and contemporary architectural landmarks.

    Good for
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Trendsetter
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are lots of good cafes and bars on the embankment here.
    • This is an excellent place for walks!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #156 of 596 things to do in Amsterdam
    • Well worth discovering 07/18/2018
    • New Town 06/24/2018
    • Eastern Docklands
  • West Pacific Westergasfabriek
    Bars & Clubs
    See more photos
    Masha K Says:

    A former factory site, West Pacific Westergasfabriek is now a popular cultural spot, featuring a beautiful city park, historic factory buildings, workplaces, and a range of film, theater, and exhibition venues. Events like art and photography fairs take place in the former Gashouder (a gas cistern), and there are plenty of interesting shops and galleries to browse while you're here too.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveler
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Free WiFi is provided in the park, making it a great workplace for business travelers.
    • Don't miss the excellent local bakery here!
    • It's worth coming here for a specific event, rather than just to walk around. Check the calendar online.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #163 of 319 Nightlife in Amsterdam
    • Great location, excentric staff, poor service and a very average menu that never changes 01/05/2018
    • Not the best 10/03/2017
    • West Pacific Westergasfabriek
    Address:
    8-10 Haarlemmerweg
    Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    Phone:
    +31 20 581 0425
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