Excursions, tours and activities in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city where you can enjoy many experiences: from visits to the most famous museums to beer tasting, from canal cruises to bicycle tours.
Search Hotels, B&B and Apartments

If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam, you will have realised that this is a truly lively and multifaceted city where you can do many activities, both during the day and at night. From museum visits to discovering the Royal Palace, romantic canal cruises to coffee shop tours and red light districts, the Dutch capital has a wide range of entertainment on offer.

Amsterdam is the capital of bicycles, Heineken beer and bruin cafés, the typical Dutch pubs. In addition to this, there is an entire district dedicated to museums and a medieval old town that is home to the famous Dam Square with the National Monument. Not to forget sites such as the Anne Frank House, the Tulip Museum and NEMO, the science museum designed by Renzo Piano.

For those exploring the city for the first time, but also for those returning, Amsterdam always has a lot to discover and a lot to experience. With this article, we want to help you build your own itinerary by suggesting which stops you absolutely must not miss.

Visit the museums of Amsterdam

Museum lovers, and art lovers in particular, will find many interesting sites in Amsterdam. In particular, it is the area known as the Museumplein, or ‘Museum Quarter‘, that holds the most famous museum sites, as the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Moco Museum are all located here.

Another stop not to be missed is the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace) on Dam Square, a place that was once a centre of commercial activity. The neoclassical building was first the town hall and later the residence of the royal family.

Unique sights and museums

Not everyone knows this, but Amsterdam is also the birthplace of one of the world’s best-known beers: Heineken. You can discover all its secrets by visiting the Heineken Experience, an interactive tour that will take you through the history of the most famous Dutch ‘blonde’. The route actively involves every visitor through a variety of experiences and at the end, a great tasting session is reserved for everyone.

If you are also in Amsterdam with children, don’t forget to visit Madame Tussauds, the world’s most famous Wax Museum. Here, you can take photos in the company of celebrities but also sing a duet with Adele or mix tracks at the console with well-known DJs such as Tiësto, Hardwell or Martin Garrix.

Finally, those who want to experience something truly out of the ordinary should not miss a visit to the Body Worlds museum, which houses an exhibition known as ‘The Happiness Project’ created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens. Here you can admire almost 200 anatomical samples of human bodies and discover the effects that happiness has on our bodies and souls.

Canal Cruises

Booking a cruise along the canals of the Dutch capital is one of the best ways to see the city from a different point of view. Many tours are organised during the day and vary in price depending on the duration, itinerary, type of boat and the service on board.

You can observe the main points of interest during a cruise on board an electric boat while an audio guide explains many anecdotes about the city. Alternatively, there are also comfortable boats that will take you to Amsterdam’s most iconic sights in just over an hour.

Another option is to take the cruise at night to admire the city and the Skinny Bridge fully lit up. In some cases, you can complete your experience by including in the tour an aperitif of beer (or non-alcoholic drink) and snacks or a romantic dinner with background music.

Tours and sightseeing

The best way to discover Amsterdam is via a guided bike tour. Pedalling you can explore not only the old warehouses on the Westelijke Eilanden (Western Isles) and the fascinating drawbridges, but also the trendy neighbourhoods of Jordaan and De Pijp. You will then pass by Leidseplein Square, a neighbourhood full of theatres and street artists famous for its lively nightlife. For a short relaxing break, you will stop at Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest park.

To fully get to know the history of this city, we recommend you book a walking tour that touches on the main sites related to World War II and the Dutch resistance. Thanks to a guide, you can learn more about Anne Frank, the Jewish Quarter, the Portuguese Synagogue, the Jewish Historical Museum and the Auschwitz Monument.

A trip to Amsterdam is not complete without exploring the red light districts and entering one of its famous Coffee Shops. A safe and fun way to do this is via a guided tour that will take you on a stroll through the red light district and then make a stop at some of the oldest Coffee Shops. In this way you will discover how the Dutch capital has built its reputation as a ‘liberal’ city when it comes to sex and drugs.

Excursions in the surroundings

The surroundings of Amsterdam also hold fascinating towns and sites of great interest. Those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city can visit Giethoorn, a place where cars are banned and where time seems to have stood still centuries ago. In addition to touring the city’s canals and admiring the different types of boats in operation here, you can taste excellent local products and shop in traditional boutiques. The visit then continues with the discovery of the Enclosing Dike (Afsluitdijk), an almost 32 km long dam built years ago to control the Zuiderzee (or Ijsselmeer lake) which is considered one of the most important Dutch engineering works.

Another interesting visit in the surrounding area is to the 17th century village of Zaanse Schans, famous for its windmills and numerous Dutch clog workshops. Also included in the tour is a stop at a still functioning mill where you can discover how the mills were once used to produce cocoa powder and other foodstuffs. The day then proceeds to Volendam, a town with a lively harbour and numerous boutiques selling typical local clothes.


Amsterdam Canal Cruise

Amsterdam Canal Cruise

Canal cruises are a great way to explore Amsterdam. The boats have indoor and outdoor seating. Romantic evening trips.
Clubs and Nightlife in Amsterdam

Clubs and Nightlife in Amsterdam

Amsterdam's nightlife takes place around Dam Square, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein where numerous Bruin cafés, discos, pubs and clubs can be found.
Traditional Dutch Food and recommended restaurants in Amsterdam

Traditional Dutch Food and recommended restaurants in Amsterdam

Eating in Amsterdam is really easy, eating well is not. Here are some tips and advice on what to eat and where according to budget and neighbourhood.
Amsterdam by bike

Amsterdam by bike

Have fun exploring Amsterdam by bike and experience the feeling of being a local. Bike rental centres are practically everywhere.
Bruin Cafés

Bruin Cafés

Bruin Cafés are traditional places where you can breathe in the authentic Amsterdam atmosphere. The name comes from the dark wood interior and blackened walls.
Best Amsterdam Coffee Shops

Best Amsterdam Coffee Shops

Soft drugs are tolerated in the Netherlands and on every corner of Amsterdam you will encounter Coffeeshops, where locals and tourists consume cannabis.

How to save on transport and entrance fees

City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.

Amsterdam: City Card with Free Entrance & Public Transport
Amsterdam: City Card with Free Entrance & Public Transport
Discover Amsterdam with the official I amsterdam City Card. Visit world-class museums and attractions for free, get unlimited access to Amsterdam's public transport, and enjoy a free canal cruise.
From 60,00 €