Amsterdam is such a cool city. Not only is the city itself beautiful, with its canals and narrow, yet uber tall houses, it has such a fun ambiance, the style and art is unique and individual, the cafes and restaurants are incredibly funky.
If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam soon, here are our tips on how to get around, where you should eat, stay and play, and the basic Dutch words you need to know before you go.
How To Get Around
From the airport – There are a few different options to get from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam city centre, including train, bus or shuttle. The shuttle is the most convenient, taking you directly to your hotel, but is also the most expensive. The train is probably the best option, as the station is located in the airport and you can easily buy tickets at pop-up ticket machines. The train ride is approximately 20-30 minutes to the city.
Around the city – The tram is really easy to catch and can take you all over the city. We’d recommend purchasing a multi-day ticket, so that you can pop on and off the tram whenever you’d like.
Alternatively, follow the crowd and hire yourself a bike. You’ll see more people riding bikes, than you do cars in Amsterdam. They even have a special bike track which you can ride on, which makes you feel super safe.
With that in mind, the city is relatively small, so it’s super easy to walk around and won’t take you long to get to one tourist attraction to the next. When you’re walking, just make sure you remember to give way to bikes – the locals really dislike it when tourists get in their way!
Make sure you also take a trip in a canal boat, which is another fun way to get around the city. They’re not too expensive either!
Where to Stay
citizenM – There are two citizenM hotels in Amsterdam, Amsterdam citizenM and the citizenM Schiphol Airport. The Amsterdam citizenM is located just a five minute tram ride away from the city centre, and the airport hotel is approximately a 20 minute train ride away. These modernistic hotels are in the low to medium price range.
Pulitzer Amsterdam – Located right in the centre of the city centre, Pulitzer is a funky, contemporary and arty luxury hotel, which boasts views of the canals. The hotel is in the medium – high price range, depending on what room you’re after.
Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam – A stylish and sophisticated luxury hotel, in the heart of Amsterdam’s city centre. The hotel is in the medium – high price range, but if you’re looking to splurge, it’ll be perfect for you.
Where to Eat & Drink
Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx – Located in Amsterdam’s city centre, Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx have the best and most famous fries in Amsterdam. They have over 25 different sauces to choose from, but the mayonnaise, sambal and joppie sauces are definitely worth trying.
MaMa Kelly Amsterdam – With a remarkably quirky pink interior, MaMa Kelly Amsterdam is one of the most Instagrammable restaurant decors you’ll find in Amsterdam. The restaurant has a unique menu, serving lobster or chicken as their signature dishes. There aren’t many options here for vegetarians, but if you don’t mind, the restaurant is well-worth coming to just to check out the decor. Make sure you book prior, as it’s said to be very hard to get a place if you don’t have a reservation.
Market 33 – Market 33 is a stylish hawker style food haul, which showcases some of the best eating spots in the city under one roof. You’re spoilt for choice with a selection of cuisines from Vietnamese to Middle Eastern, and of course, a wonderful bar area.
Door 74 – Door 74 is a super cool speakeasy bar where you have to knock on a random unmarked door to be let in! Come here for an evening of delicious cocktails and funky music.
Pluk Amsterdam – A super cute and very Instagrammable cafe, Pluk Amsterdam is the perfect spot to go to for a coffee and cafe break, breakfast or lunch. With a focus on healthy food, Pluk has everything from breakfast bowls to matcha cakes.
What To Do & Where To Go
Rijksmuseum – The Rijksmuseum is the national Dutch museum which is dedicated to art and history and tells the story of the Netherlands from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
Price: €17.50 for an adult ticket
Anne Frank’s House – Visit the house where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis in the second world war. The house has been transformed into a museum where you can go to discover her story.
Price: €9.00 for an adult ticket
Van Gogh Museum – The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam holds world’s largest collection of works by famous dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.
Price: €18.00 for an adult ticket
Canal Cruise – Take a boat around the canals to really see the city. You’ll get a great perspective of the Amsterdam houses and discover the history of this stunning and interesting city.
Price: Approximately €11.00 for an adult ticket
Jordaan – A cool area to walk around. Lovely bars, cafes and shops here.
De 9 straatjes (the 9 streets) – Great for stumbling upon independent boutiques.
Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk – Again, great shopping areas. Lots of quirky places to eat and drink too.
Bloemenmarkt – The world’s largest floating flower market.
Vondelpark – Have a picnic in Amsterdam’s largest urban park.
Rent an Amsterdam Bike – Cycle around the city, just like the locals.
Price: Approximately €10 a day
Eat Street Food – Waffles, fries, stroopwafels and poffertjes, you’re spoilt for choice.
Price: Depends what you have and where you go, but it is a cheap way of eating in Amsterdam.
Red Light District – Interesting to have a walk around.
Cheese Museum – The city is full of cheese shops, head to the museum to enjoy some cheese tasting.
Westergasbafriek – Used to be the city’s gasworks, but now is home to one of Amsterdam’s most exciting creative hubs, and includes a range of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Haarlem – Only 20 minutes away from Amsterdam’s city centre, Haarlem is a super cool neighbourhood to check out, full of independent shops, cafes and bars.
Bollenstreek – If time allows head to Bollenstreek, the stunning world famous tulip fields.
Words & Phrases to Learn
In Dutch: Hallo
Pronounce it as: hah-low
Saying: Good night
In Dutch: Goede Nacht
Pronounce it as: hoo-deh-nah-t
In Dutch: Alsjeblieft
Pronounce it as: ah-sheh-blee-ft
Saying: Thank you
In Dutch: Dank Je
Pronounce it as: dah-nk yeh
In Dutch: Ja
Pronounce it as: yah
In Dutch: Nee
Pronounce it as: nay
Saying: Do you speak English?
In Dutch: Spreekt U Engels?
Pronounce it as: spre-ehkt uh en-gels
To help you out, we’ve create a short Dutch language cheat sheet for you. Save it to your phone and take with you on your trip to Amsterdam!