Planning a quick jaunt to Amsterdam? I don’t blame you – there’s loads to see and do in the city and, as an added bonus, it’s really scenic too. If you’ve never been before, it’s well worth trying to squeeze some of the Dutch capital’s top attractions into your itinerary – read on to find out what these are.
Friday Night Skate
If you’re an active person, an adrenaline junky or a keen skater, the Friday Night Skate is something you just can’t miss. Held every single Friday night of the year, this is where the city’s skaters get together for a fast-paced skate through the city. The routes change from one week to the next and they’re usually between 15 and 25 km long. So, it’s really something for experienced skaters rather than beginners.
It doesn’t run if the weather’s wet (or if the road is still waterlogged from earlier rain), but aside from that it takes place every single week. The action kicks off at Vondel Park from the round bench in front of Cafe Vertigo and the Film Museum between 20:15 and 20:30 local time. It’s totally free and there’s no need to sign up or anything like that, so you can just turn up and join in with the action.
Check out its top museums
Museums might not sound like the most exciting things to include in your break, but there are several in Amsterdam it’d really be a crime to miss – especially if this is your first visit. Among these are:
- Van Gogh Museum: Probably one of the city’s most famous attractions, this museum houses more works by Vincent van Gogh than anywhere else in the world. Yes, this is where you can see the iconic Sunflowers, but you can also learn more about the artist’s life while you’re here.
- Anne Frank Huis: Another massively famous place to visit, Anne Frank Huis (or Anne Frank’s House) is the annexe where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis. It can get really busy here, so go early in the day or, if extended hours are operating, in the evening if possible.
- Zaanse Schans: This is actually around 10 miles north of the city, but it’s well worth a visit and it’s not at all hard to get to. Head to Amsterdam Central Station and hop on the 391 bus, which runs twice an hour. Once you’re there, you’ll be able to watch people making all kinds of traditional Dutch produce, like cheese and clogs.
See a windmill
Amsterdam isn’t home to that many windmills these days, but a popular one to visit in the city is the De Gooyer Windmill. That’s possibly because you’ll find it right next to a brewery, but whether you opt to visit Brouwerij ‘t IJ as well or not, the windmill’s still a pretty impressive sight. And it’s one of those quintessential Dutch attractions you can cross off your list!
Explore the canals
Ok, so it’s pretty hard to miss the canals in Amsterdam, what with them being all over the place, but they still rank among the city’s top attractions. Why? Well, they’re seriously pretty for one thing, but they’re also an important part of the city’s history and culture. You can head to the Grachtenhuis Museum to learn more about them, but I reckon it’s more fun just to hop on a canal tour.
One of the most scenic stretches is between Leidsestraat and Vijzelstraat – an area known as the Golden Band – which is lined with some amazing houses. You can also get some brilliant views without stepping on a boat. Among the best is by standing on the corner of Herengracht and Reguliersgracht (you can check that you’re in the right place by looking at the numbers on the houses – if you’re on the right side of the street, they’ll all be odd) and looking out over an impressive 15 beautiful bridges.
There’s loads else you can do if you book a cheap place to stay in Amsterdam click here. If you’ve been to the city recently, tell us what you did!