1. PANCAKES AMSTERDAM
One of the local foods you must try in the Netherlands, Poffertjes. It is the mini sized pancake with some butter and sweet sugar powders on it. There are some other types of poffertjes with different toppings as well. When you order a coffee, you will be served with a mini stroopwafle, which is also the famous snack from the Netherlands. Pancakes Amsterdam has several branches, but only Westermarkt branch, right next to Anne Frank house, serves poffertjes among them. You can pay only by cards, and toilet is not free of charge.
Address : Prinsengracht 277, 1016 GW Amsterdam
Opening hours : daily 8:00-20:00
From Anne Frank house to cute and cozy Tulip museum, there are many hidden cafes and restaurants on every street at Jordaan district. Located near the center, this district is becoming more and more popular these days among young people. On a sunny day, you can freely sit down at the terrace cafe near the canal, and enjoy a cup of coffee. If you are planning to visit Anne Frank house, the queue is very long and you must book a ticket online in advance.
3. DE 9 STRAATJES
Right across Joordan district, you can reach de 9 straatjes, which is 9 streets in English. There are many cute small shops around this area. Even when you don't buy something special, you can still walk and look around feeling the unique atmosphere of Amsterdam.
4. DAM SQUARE
Situated in the center of Amsterdam, Dam square is one of the most lively places in Amsterdam by day and night. There is always something going on here with musicians, artists, and performers. Dam square is surrounded by several famous spots like Royal Palace of Amsterdam, De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam, and the famous department store, De Bijenkorf.
5. THE PANTRY
The pantry is the restaurant where you can try the home made meal of the Netherlands. Decorated with wooden furniture and plates on the wall, it has a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. The must-try menu here is hutspot, which is a traditional local food made of potatoes, carrots, onions and served with a meatball or sausage. You can order as a three course meal which varies from 20.95 euros to 30.25 euros depending on the food.
Address : Leidsekruisstraat 21, 1017 RE Amsterdam
Opening hours : daily 11:00-22:30
There are many local street markets in Amsterdam. Bloemenmarkt is one of the markets you must visit. They mainly sell flowers, seeds, and plants. There can be less things to buy for tourists, but still, it is a good place to feel the ambiance of the Netherlands where people love flowers and you can see flowers very often everywhere. The market is not that big, so you can simply walk along the street feeling their culture.
Address : Singel, 1012 XN Amsterdam
Opening hours : Mon-Sat 9:00-17:30 / Sun 11:00-17:30
7. REMBRANDT HOUSE MUSEUM
This museum was originally the house of Rembrandt, who is the most representing painter in the Netherlands. You can use the free locker and free audio guide which will help you to get to know more about Rembrandt and this museum. You can see his bedroom, kitchen, and also the workroom, and there are interesting programs like printmaking and color combination classes.
Address : Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK Amsterdam
Opening hours : daily 10:00-18:00 / Closed on April 27th & December 25th / until 17:00 on December 24th & 31st
Admission Fee : 13 euros / Students 10 euros / 6-17 years old 4 euros / free under 6 years old / free with museum card or I amsterdam card
8. MAGERE BRIDGE
Magere Brug means thin bridge in Dutch. Constructed in 1691, the bridge is painted in white, and added with modern lights on it. The bridge is also something to see, but the sunset view reflected on canals from this bridge is the most amazing.
9. THE SEAFOOD BAR
If you are looking for the seafood restaurant with good quality and quantity, this is the right place. They have several branches which allow you to access this restaurant easily from where you are. You might have to wait in the long queue if you visit without reservation, so we recommend you to make a reservation online in advance. You can see alive king crabs, and various kinds of fresh seafood on ice. The most popular menu is Mixed grill which is served with different kinds of grilled seafood. The mixed grill on the photo is for 1 person, and they serve quite a big quantity with great taste. A disposable apron is given so that you don't have to worry about making your clothes get dirty.
Address : Spui 15, 1012 WX Amsterdam (address of Spui branch)
Opening hours : daily 12:00-23:00
10. SKYLOUNGE AMSTERDAM
The skylounge bar located in a high floor at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam. You can look down the night view through the big window at the bar. They play lively music and turn on pink lights making this place more attractive and fun. From beers, to wines, cocktails, and non-alcohol drinks, you can also order some small foods. People quite dress up here so we recommend you to dress up a bit to go here as well, to have more fun night in Amsterdam.
Address : Oosterdoksstraat 4, 1011 DK Amsterdam
Opening hours : Sun-Tue 11:00-25:00 / Wed-Thu 11:00-26:00 / Fri-Sat 11:00-27:00
One of the most popular cafes in Amsterdam now, Toki. When you walk along the very quiet and peaceful street, you suddenly see this modern cafe. You can see many local people doing homeworks, working with laptops, and having conversation. Not only the coffee, but also the cakes like banana cakes and carrot cakes are the most popular. If you visit in the late afternoon, the cakes might be already sold out so we recommend to visit here not too late.
Address : Binnen Dommersstraat 15, 1013 HK Amsterdam
Opening hours : weekdays 7:30-18:00 / weekends 9:00-18:00
2. ZAANSE SCHANS
A windmill village, 30 minutes away by train from Amsterdam. You can reach here by bus or train. When you take a bus, it takes longer than the train but they will drop you closer to the village, while you have to walk a bit from the train station when you take a train. You can explore the windmill museums and also the wooden shoes' factory. There are a few souvenir shops where you can buy cute souvenirs of tulips and wooden shoes. When you enter the windmill museum De Kat, you can get very close to the wings of turning windmill. If you have enough time, it is a good idea to rent a bicycle to see the village or there is also a cruise tour in Zaanse Schans. If you are simply visiting here without any activities, it is still relaxing and peaceful and 2 hours will be quite enough.
How to go : Take the train from Amsterdam Centraal towards Uitgeest, and get off at Zaandijk Zaanse Schans. Walk 15 minutes from the station (departs every 15 minutes) / Take the bus 391 from Amsterdam Centraal towards Zaanse Schans (departs every 15 minutes)
Zaandam is a small city near Amsterdam, with a cute nickname 'Lego City'. It is just 10 minutes away by train from Amsterdam, and you will pass by here if you take the train to Zaanse Schans. It is small, so you can simply and quickly look around the train station on the way to Zaanse Schans or on the way back to Amsterdam. The buildings you should not miss are the train station and Inntel hotel Zaandam which remind you of your childhood playing with legos.
How to go : Take the train from Amsterdam Centraal towards Uitgeest OR Alkmaar, get off at Zaandam station (departs every 15 minutes)
4. DE HALLEN
Multi cultural space, De Hallen, has full of things to do. You can visit a movie theater, or enjoy shoppings at cute small shops inside, or grab some foods. There is a food court called Food Hallen in De Hallen, and you have various choices from Asian cuisines to local foods.
Address : Hannie Dankbaarpassage 47, 1053 RT Amsterdam
5. RIJKSMUSEUM & I AMSTERDAM SIGN
The most famous art museum in Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, which was found in 1808. You can see famous paintings in front your eyes including 'Night Watch Gallery' by Rembrandt, paintings of Vincent Van Gogh and Johannes Vermeer. The museum is very big but well organized and there are artistic details on the every corner. Many small cafes are hidden in the museum as well and there is a beautifully decorated library inside which is definitely a photo spot too. There is a free cloakroom to help you enjoy more. Right in front of Rijksmuseum, there is this famous I AMSTERDAM sign, so do not forget to take a photo here.
Address : Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam
Opening hours : daily 9:00-17:00
Admission Fee : 17.50 euros(19 euros from 2019) / free under 18 years old
Humphrey's serves only one menu, 3 course meal. They serve the Netherlands' home-made meal at a very reasonable price with the high quality. The interior is very cozy and there are enough seats inside. You can choose one appetizer, one main dish, and one dessert among a few menus and these three course meal is only 27.50 euros.
Address : Nieuwezijds Kolk 23, 1012 PV Amsterdam
Opening hours : Sun-Thu 17:00-22:00 / Fri-Sat 17:00-22:30
Price : 27.50 euros for 3 courses meal
7. A'DAM LOOKOUT
You can reach A'Dam Lookout observatory by taking a free ferry from Amsterdam Centraal and it takes only a few minutes. This is the perfect place to look down the city. When you buy an entrance ticket and queue up to go in, they take photos of you with the green screen on the background. Later on, you can check out your photos photoshoped with background of Amsterdam and if you want, you can purchase them at the souvenir shop or just simply download them for free on the website. When you take the elavator, they have a simple but fun show as if you are in the spaceship. On the observatory deck, you have this stunning view, and also a mini bar where you can buy a beer enjoying the music. The highlight of this observatory is the air swing chair which is absolutely thrilling and one of the unforgettable experience in Amsterdam.
Address : Overhoeksplein 5, 1031 KS Amsterdam
Opening hours : daily 10:00-22:00
Admission Fee : Regular ticket 12.50 euros / 5 euros additional fee for the observatory swing
8. PULITZER'S BAR
This elegant and mysterious bar is a perfect place to have a drink, relaxing the fatigue from the trip. Renovated in 2016, it shows off upgraded interior than ever. Located in a popular area, you will feel isolated from outside world once you enter here and this place invites you to the whole new world. There are romantic terrace seats during the summer, and indoor seats are cozy and warm during the winter.
Address : Pulitzers Bar, Keizersgracht 234, 1016 DZ Amsterdam
Opening hours : Sun-Thu 15:00-25:00 / Fri-Sat 15:00-26:00
1. CT COFFEE & COCONUT
Located on the southern part, this cafe delivers a very relaxing atmosphere. It has three floors which allow you to freely sit down wherever you want. From the breakfast menu to brunch, coffee, snacks, you have various choices. As you can imagine from the name of this cafe, there are many drinks and desserts made of coconuts.
Address : Ceintuurbaan 282-284, 1072 GK Amsterdam
Opening hours : 8:00-23:00
2. STEDELIJK MUSEUM
Just across Rijksmuseum, there are Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum. If you like Van Gogh's paintings, you can visit Van Gogh Museum which is one of the most famous museums in the world, but if you are more interested in modern art, you can visit Stedelijk Museum. From the outside, Stedelijk Museum is very interesting and even when you don't have the basic knowledge about arts, you can easily enjoy here. There are many famous paintings as well including the ones of Lichtenstein, Van Gogh, Chagall, and Mondrian. They presents interactive art which will totally amaze you. You can put your clothes in the cloakroom for free here.
Address : Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam
Opening hours : daily 10:00-18:00 / until 22:00 on Fridays
Admission Fee : Adults 17.50 euros / Students 9 euros / free under 18 years old
3. THE AVOCADO SHOW
One of the most popular restaurants among local people, The Avocado Show! As you could imagine from the name of the restaurant, the main ingredient here is avocados. There are various interesting menus which you have not tried yet. They do not take the reservation and the queue is quite long. So we recommend you to visit here a bit before or after lunch time. The most popular menu here is Poke Bowls, which is served with rice, sliced avocados, added with mango or wasabi base. Another interesting menu is the avocado burger, which avocados replace the bread on top and at the bottom.
Address : Daniël Stalpertstraat 61, 1072 XB Amsterdam
Opening hours : daily 9:00-17:00
4. ALBERT CUYP MARKET
Albert Cuyp market has most of types of things you can imagine in the market. From meat to seafood, flowers, souvenirs, and local snacks, this is the perfect place to shop many different things with the most local atmosphere. You can try the freshly made hot stroop waffle here, which is the most famous local snack, with different kinds of sweet ingredients on top of it.
Address : Albert Cuypstraat, 1073 CC Amsterdam
Opening hours : Mon-Sat 9:00-17:00 / Closed on Sundays
5. AMSTERDAM CANAL CRUISE
You might have noticed that there are many city tour buses in many cities in Europe. However, in Amsterdam, you can see more canal cruises. There are many different canal cruise companies, so you can choose the right company depending on your schedule and location. If you bought a city card or holland pass, you have a chance to try for free or get some discounts. The tour in the cruise lasts for one hour, and the audio guided tour is provided in various languages.
6. MANNEKEN PIS
Manneken Pis is the statue of a bedwetter boy in Brussel, but in Amsterdam, it is the famous french fries' shop. They make fresh french fries every day with the potatoes from Zeeland. The small size is already quite big, so you can order small or medium size to share. There are many different sauces you can add on top of fries, and the most popular one is Manneken pis sauce with some spices.
Address : Damrak 41, 1012 LK Amsterdam
Opening hours : Sun-Thu 10:00-24:00 / Fri-Sat 10:00-25:45
Written and Photographed by Yuna Lee