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!
A fascinating museum charting the development of the canal belt, told through a 45 minute audio/visual tour, suitable for all ages. Our number 1 recommendation. No need to prebook and no queues! Herengracht 386, 19 mins walk http://www.hetgrachtenhuis.nl/
Private house of the Six family with an incredible collection of art and artfacts. Free guided tours on weekday mornings led by an art historian. Visits by appointment only, apply via the website months in advance. Amstel 218, 30 mins walk https://collectiesix.nl/
Van Gogh Museum
Amazing paintings, manageable sized collection. Entrance only with prebooked tickets.
Paulus Potterstraat 7, 35 mins walk http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/
Reopened in 2013 after a 10 year renovation, this world class museum is packed with Dutch masters. Jan Luijkenstraat 1, 31 mins walk https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/
Anne Frank Museum
A moving reminder of the atrocities of WW2. Vist the hidden house where Anne Frank and her family lived. Tickets released on the first Tuesday of the month for the following month – book as soon as you can as tickets sell out fast. If you’ve not been successful in pre-booking tickets, keep checking as sometimes more tickets are released. Admission by reservation only.
Prinsengracht 263, 6 mins walk http://www.annefrank.org/
Specatular setting and exhibitions that change every 6 months.
Amstel 51, 29 mins walk http://www.hermitage.nl/
Photography museum with changing exhibitions. Good café for a pitstop and pretty garden. Keizersgracht 609, 28 mins walk https://www.foam.org/
Definitely the best way to get around town! These bikes don’t make you stand out as a tourist, and they are located around the corner at Binnen Wieringerstraat 23 – from €10 for the day, rates decrease the longer you rent. Take a flyer for our special discount.
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 incredibly 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 Tours
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.
Self-drive Boat Rental
€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.
You can see the whole list of films and times available: www.filmladder.nl/amsterdam
Most films are shown in the original language and are subtitled only in Dutch.
Some of our favourite cinemas:
The Movies, Haarlemmerdijk 159-165 (art deco, nice bar, no popcorn, art house films – reopening in 2023 after extensive renovations)
Filmhallen, Hannie Dankbaarpassage 12 (next to the foodhalls, in an old tram station)
De Uitkijk, Prinsengracht 452 (tiny 1 screen cinema with 2 levels)
EYE Film museum IJpromenade 1 (iconic space age building, great restaurant too)
Cinecentre, Lijnbaansgracht 236, near Leidseplein (art house films)
Tuschinski, Reguliersbreestraat 26 (art deco building)
Haarlemmerstraat / Haarlemmerdjk (at the end of our street) has been voted Best Shopping Street in the Netherlands and is known 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 (delicatessens, butchers, fishmonger, cheese shops, 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 (Nine Streets) – 3×3 grid of cross streets between the canals, independents boutiques, cafés, flagship stores
Herenstraat and Prinsenstraat – cross streets closer to the apartment
Nieuwendijk / Kalverstraat / Leidsestraat – high street shops
PC Hooftstraat – designer clothing
Utrechtsestraat – restaurants, clothing, homeware
There are two supermarkets very close by:
Ekoplaza Food Marqt – upscale supermarket offering good quality, organic produce, open Mon-Sat 8am to 9pm, Sun 11am to 7pm.
Turn left onto Haarlemmerstraat, end of the 1st block on the left, 1 minute walk
Albert Heijn – the standard Dutch supermarket, open every day from 8am to 10pm, turn left onto Haarlemmerstraat, over bridge on left, 2 minutes walk
There is a shopping bag in the hall cupboard, otherwise you can buy one there.
Grape District – a good selection of very drinkable wines at reasonable prices.
Haarlemmerstraat 112 https://www.grapedistrict.nl/
Chabrol – probably the best wine merchant in Amsterdam.
Haarlemmerstraat 7 http://www.chabrolwines.com/
Noordermarkt – 5 mins walk
Renowned organic farmers’ market (the largest in the Netherlands) together with a craft and flea market, antiques and vintage clothes
Lindengracht – 4 mins walk
General market with non-organic food, clothes, flowers etc
Noordermarkt – 5 mins walk
Flea market, antiques and vintage clothes
Westerstraat – 6 mins walk
Haarlemmerplein – 8 mins walk
Smaller farmers market, mostly organic
Daily 9am-6pm except Sundays
Albertcuypmarkt in de Pijp – 35 mins walk
Large general market
Waterloopleinmarkt – 25 mins walk
• 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 sometimes in the Westerpark.
• All the museums cater for children and in particular:
- NEMO (sciene)
- Scheepvaartmuseum (maritime)
- Tropenmuseum (tropics)
- Van Gogh
- Stedelijk (modern art)
- Anne Frank House (from 10 years old)