Our top tips for your stay in Amsterdam
There are hundreds of museums in Amsterdam but if you only have time for a few, these are our favourites. Book tickets online to avoid the queues!
Van Gogh Museum
Paulus Potterstraat 7. Amazing paintings in a manageable sized permanent collection plus side exhibitions included in the ticket price. Entrance by reservation only. 35 mins walk
Jan Luijkenstraat 1. Reopened in 2013 after a 10 year renovation, this world class museum is packed with Dutch masters. 31 mins walk https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/
Anne Frank Museum
Prinsengracht 263-267. A moving reminder of the atrocities of WW2. Vist the hidden house where Anne Frank and her family hid. Tickets are released on the first Tuesday of the month for the following month – book as soon as you can as the sell out fast. If you’ve not been successful in pre-booking tickets, keep checking as sometimes more tickets are released. Entrance is by reservation only. 6 mins walk
Amstel 51. Spectacular setting and exhibitions that change every 6 months.
A fascinating museum charting the development of the canal belt, told through an audio/visual tour, also suitable for children. In our opinion, this is the most underrated museum in Amsterdam – no pre-booking required and no queues! Our number 1 recommendation!
Private collection in a stunning mansion on the Amstel. By appointment only, no children under 10 years admitted.
Flagship Boat tour
The top rated boat tour in Amsterdam. Departing from Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum. Flagship Amsterdam is the brainchild of three young Dutch entrepreneurs (and wannabe pirates) who own 23 electric boats. True Amsterdam hospitality with drinks on board and enthusiastic local hosts. You can also arrange a private boat tour by prior arrangement. €19,50 for a round trip of 1h.
Stromma Open Boat tour
Damrak 6. Smaller, more private boat than the larger tourist canal boats (max 12 passengers) and travels by eco-friendly and silent electric motor. Closest pick up point at Pier 6 on Damrak (closest pier to Centraal Station). Stromma.nl offers many other boat cruises too (see website) but these are the best. You can also rent them privately by prior arrangement. €22,50 for a round trip of 1h15m.
€60 per hour, min 2 hours. Nassaukade 69 (15 mins walk)
Fun with kids – take the free ferry from behind Central Station (the leftmost one) to the boat. Various tour lengths and departure times. Prebook!
Amsterdam Light Festival
If you come over the Christmas period, be sure to check out the evening canal cruises on the Amsterdam Light Festival circuit in December and January.
Definitely the best way to get around town! These are bikes that don’t make you stand out as a tourist, and they are located just around the corner.
Frederic Rent-a-bike, Binnen Wieringerstraat 23 – from €10 for the day, rates decrease the longer you rent.
The Haarlemmerstraat (at the end of our street) is frequently voted Best Shopping Street in the Netherlands and is known in Amsterdam as the street where you can find anything and everything – especially if it involves food. There are lots of restaurants, cafes and speciality food shops (eg olive oil and vinegar, delicatessens, butcher, fishmonger, cheese shop, chocolatiers, wine merchants, tea and coffee shop, bakeries etc), hardware stores, clothing boutiques, stationers, florists, bike shops, newsagents, cinema – pretty much every kind of shop you can think of.
Other shopping streets in Amsterdam include:
de Negen Straatjes (the Nine Streets) – boutiques and speciality streets on the cross streets between the canals
Herenstraat and Prinsenstraat – cross streets close to the apartment, similar to the Nine Streets
Leidsestraat – high street shops
Kalverstraat – high street shops
Nieuwendijk – high street shops
PC Hooftstraat – designer clothing and jewellery
Utrechtsestraat – restaurants, clothing, homeware
There are two supermarkets very close by:
• Ekoplaza Food Marqt – upscale supermarket offering good quality, organic produce, open every day 8am to 9pm, turn left onto Haarlemmerstraat, on left, 1st block, 1 min walk
• Albert Heijn – the standard Dutch supermarket, open every day from 8am to 10pm, turn left onto Haarlemmerstraat, over bridge on left, 2 min walk
There are shopping bags in the cupboard in the hallway, otherwise you can buy them there.
• Grape District – Haarlemmerstraat 112 – a good selection of very drinkable wines at reasonable prices.
• Chabrol – Haarlemmerstraat 7 – probably the best wine merchant in Amsterdam.
• Saturday 9am-4pm
Noordermarkt – renowned organic farmers’ market (the largest in the Netherlands) together with a craft and flea market (5 min walk)
Lindengracht – general market with non-organic food, clothes, flowers etc (5 min walk)
• Monday 9am-2pm
Noordermarkt – flea market (5 min walk)
Westerstraat – general market (5 min walk)
• Wednesday 9am-6pm
Haarlemmerplein – smaller farmers market, mostly organic (7 min walk)
• Daily 9am-6pm
Albertcuypmarkt in de Pijp – large general market (35 min walk)
Waterloopleinmarkt – flea market (30 min walk)
You can see the whole list of films and times available here.
Some of our favourite cinemas are below:
The Movies, Haarlemmerdijk 159-165 (very close, really old fashioned, nice bar, no popcorn – 2022 currently closed for renovation)
Cinecentre, Lijnbaansgracht 236, near Leidseplein (art house films)
Tuschinski, Reguliersbreestraat 26 (art deco building)
Please note most film are shown in the original language and are subtitled only in Dutch.
• The Herenmarkt playground is around the corner with a wooden climbing frame, swings and sandpit. The Pyramid playground across the Haarlemmerstraat on the Haarlemmerhouttuin is good for variety.
• The Westerpark is a 15 minute walk away and has more playgrounds, several cafes and restaurants and a children’s farm. There is also a large paddling pool in summer. The Woeste Westen www.woestewesten.nl is an amazing wild green adventure playground in the Westerpark, ask us for directions – best to bike there since it’s quite far to walk but it’s really incredible and very much worth going to (free entry).
• The Vondelpark is a 35 minute walk and has more playgrounds, cafes and another paddling pool.
• Amsterdamse Bos is a woodland south of the city with a goat farm and pancake house.
• TunFun is an underground playground if the weather is bad.
• There are many toyshops in the city centre – let us know if you would like recommendations.
• Artis is the zoo. There are plenty of inside areas as well as outside.
• In winter there are ice rinks on Museumplein, Leidseplein and in the Westerpark.
• All the museums cater for children and in particular:
- NEMO (science)
- Scheepvaartmuseum (maritime)
- Tropenmuseum (tropics)
- Van Gogh
- Stedelijk (modern art)
- Anne Frank House (from 10 years old)