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Amsterdam
Travel Guide

Amsterdam featuring heritage architecture, night scenes and a city

Wander around a fairy-tale lattice of canals and captivating neighborhoods, where old-world charm is fused with modern luxury and world-famous nightlife.

Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital city and an important European hub with a rich and multicultural character. Explore the historic harborside and admire the distinctive 19th-century architecture of the tall, narrow buildings that huddle over meandering canals. Forming a U-shape around the historic port, the city’s medieval center features charming façades that front boutique stores, art galleries, coffee shops and atmospheric bars.

The city’s best-known area is its Old Center, which is crisscrossed with arched stone bridges and cobblestone streets. Explore Dam Square and its historic landmarks, including the neoclassical Royal Palace, the Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and the National Monument that honors victims of World War II. The square is adjacent to the city’s notorious Red Light District. The neighboring districts of Plantage and the Canal Ring feature beautifully preserved buildings from the 17th and 19th centuries, as well as leafy parks and tree-lined canals. Check out the Jewish Heritage Museum and the Amsterdam Botanic Gardens nearby Waterlooplein. A short walk will bring you to the Artis Zoo and a selection of fascinating museums. Popular museums are Stedelijk, the Van Gogh Museum and Hermitage Amsterdam.

Discover the renewed district of Jordaan, where a former working-class neighborhood transformed into a chic area for galleries, cafés and shops. Further south from here is Amsterdam’s Museum Quarter. Stretch out on the grassy lawns of Vondelpark with a cold beer or peruse the stalls at Albert Cuyp Market. Grab a table in the hip De Pijp district to experience fantastic multicultural cuisine.

Explore the city on a scenic canal boat tour or rent a bicycle to experience the streets the true Dutch way. Don’t miss trying local sweets, such as stroopwafels and licorices. Amsterdam has a fast and reliable public transit network that is comprised of buses, trams and trains. Reach the picturesque harbor city by plane to Schiphol Airport, on a cruise ship or via intercity train from several major hubs in Europe. Visit in summer to experience the city’s lively peak period or in winter to enjoy the romance of the snow-dusted Old Center.

Amsterdam Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Amsterdam

Hotel Mai Amsterdam
Hotel Mai Amsterdam
4 out of 5
30 Geldersekade, Amsterdam, NH
The price is $77 per night from Jun 30 to Jun 30
Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Amsterdam Chinatown, Body Worlds, and Rembrandt House Museum. Dam Square and Madame ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (126 reviews)
A bit disappointing but turned out alright
"Well the overall stay was lovely, initially we had booked a standard double room but we realised the view outside the window was a brick wall, so we decided to upgrade. The upgrade was lovely but the roof didn’t have a bath- just a shower. The standard room had a bath and shower which was a bit disappointing. ..."

Reviewed on Feb 8, 2021

Hotel Mai Amsterdam
Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
4 out of 5
Schiphol Boulevard 701, Schiphol
The price is $139 per night from Jul 17 to Jul 17
Situated in the business district, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from World Trade Center Schiphol Airport and within 9 mi (15 km) of Van Gogh Museum and RAI ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (990 reviews)
Great Hotel
"Super Great Option!!!!"

Reviewed on Mar 20, 2021

Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District
Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District
4 out of 5
Noorderstraat 46, Amsterdam
The price is $89 per night from Jun 29 to Jun 29
Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Spiegelkwartier and Heineken Experience. Rijksmuseum and Albert Cuyp ...
4.2/5Very Good! (980 reviews)
A bit disappointing
"This hotel was ok. Location was great. A bit disappointing in the staff and condition of the hotel. We had stayed here 8 years ago and it was much better then."

Reviewed on Sep 11, 2020

Mercure Hotel Amsterdam Centre Canal District
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Cityden Up Amsterdam South
Cityden Up Amsterdam South
4 out of 5
Professor J.H. Bavincklaan 3, Amstelveen
The price is $75 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Situated in the business district, this aparthotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Amsterdamse Bos, Wagener Stadium, and Amstelpark. Vondelpark and RAI Exhibition and ...
4.2/5Excellent! (685 reviews)
"Excellent reception staff. Good location for us. Spacious room."

Reviewed on May 6, 2021

Cityden Up Amsterdam South
Cityden The Garden Amsterdam South
Cityden The Garden Amsterdam South
4 out of 5
Stroombaan 1, Amstelveen
The price is $80 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Located in Stadshart, this aparthotel is 1.3 mi (2.2 km) from Amsterdamse Bos and within 6 mi (10 km) of Johan Cruyff Arena and Van Gogh Museum. Rijksmuseum ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (294 reviews)
"The hotel was very clean and stuff very attentive. We had a great time. We were using the bikes to get around that you can rent directly at the front desk. It takes about 30min to get to the city center by bike. Very pleasant ride.The hotel is a €20 Uber ride from the airport. Highly recommend."

Reviewed on Apr 24, 2021

Cityden The Garden Amsterdam South
The Wittenberg
The Wittenberg
4 out of 5
Nieuwe Kerkstraat 157, Amsterdam, North Holland
Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Dutch Resistance Museum, Artis, and Hermitage Amsterdam. Rembrandt Square and ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (95 reviews)
"Excellent location and staff"

Reviewed on Feb 9, 2021

The Wittenberg
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Amsterdam

The first thing to do when you arrive in Amsterdam is to get an OV chip card, which can be topped up with money to cover all your tram, bus and metro journeys. Some areas of the city can be reached by ferry, while trains will take you to destinations further afield. Make sure you rent a bike at least once, so you can travel just like the locals do, along the city’s many famously flat bike paths. Visit the Gemeente Vervoerbedrijf (GVB) website. Browse Amsterdam rental cars.

Best time to visit

Spring through fall offer moderate temperatures in Amsterdam. You will need a jacket in the evenings, but daytime highs in the warmest months of July and August will be a pleasant 72 F (22 C). These are also the most popular months to visit. Come between mid March and early May instead to see the colorful tulip fields near the city in full bloom, but do keep in mind that this time of year is cooler.

Popular places to visit in Amsterdam

Top things to do in Amsterdam

Reviews of Amsterdam

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
3227
5 - Excellent 70.59724349157733%
4 - Good
1132
4 - Good 24.764821702034567%
3 - Okay
177
3 - Okay 3.872238022314592%
2 - Disappointing
29
2 - Disappointing 0.6344344782323342%
1 - Terrible
6
1 - Terrible 0.1312623058411726%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 25, 2020

I love you Amsterdam.! I will visit you again and love you despite how much others make me feel otherwise about you.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Apr 25, 2020

I have planned this trip my whole life. I have relatives in Friesland and Groneigen and my grandparents and mother were born in the Netherlands. Although we have not it to the Netherlands yet due to the coronavirus the checked off sites I visited

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Apr 14, 2020

Very disappointed the museums were closed due to COVID-19, but did get to take a canal tour, Brussels trip, and tour of the countryside. Will be back soon to see the museums, my sole purpose for going to Amsterdam.

5/5 - Excellent

Ocprtony

Mar 27, 2020

My favorite place in the world! A must visit if you have not been here

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Mar 22, 2020

I really hope to come back some day and enjoy the city. I'm sure it's wonderful. All of the museums shut down, and now the country is basically under lock down, so we just had bad timing.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Mar 20, 2020

This is what the tourist industry calls a 3 day city. you can see most of the major sites in three days. Too much emphasis on weed and the bike lanes, plus tram lanes, plus cars make it very challenging with kids.

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