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Must Sees in Amsterdam?

I'm planning on spending 2-3 days in Amsterdam (is that enough?). 

What are some must see attractions? Also, if you know of any good local restaurants, please share!

4 Answers

top answer by
Sabine from Amsterdam

Hi Stef,

Lot of things to do and see in Amsterdam, but be sure to not only do the tourist stuff! Sure it is good to see the Anne Frank HouseVan Gogh Museum and red light district, but also just rent a bike, leave your map in your bag and just bike a round! Don't be afraid to go out of the touristy center. This is the way to explore the city and get to know it and its locals. 

If you are going to the Redlight District you will find NO locals, only tourists go here. The only nice place that I would go in the Red light District is Mata Hari. This is a really nice bar.

Where you will find locals is the neigbourhood De Pijp. This is just behind the Heineken Experience. Just go barhopping there. Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, south side of the Vondelpark is the fancy area where most rich people live :-). Just nice to bike around and watch people. 

A real new hipster heaven is Foodhallen in westside of town. It is like a fancy foodcourt with a great bar, nice food and lots of locals. Go there for dinner, every evening is packed!

Also cruise around de Negen Straatjes to find a nice restaurant for lunch or dinner. Lots of it! Don't stay near the Dam Square , Damstraat or Red Light district for dinner, all tourist traps!

Also don't skip east part of town, where there are some great new bars and restaurants coming up. de Biertuin, (beer garden with the best chicken and a great terrace) Bar BukowskiSmokin' Barrels (burgers and lobster) are all really cool hip places for a drink or dinner. 

If you must visit a museum I would recommend to go to Rijksmuseum Amsterdaminstead of Van Gogh Museum. This is a really beautiful building with beautiful well-known art and also has Van Gogh paintings. 

Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Anne Frank House (attraction)
  2. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  3. Mata Hari (restaurant)
  4. Amsterdam Oud-Zuid (attraction)
  5. Foodhallen (restaurant)
  6. Negen Straatjes (attraction)
  7. Dam Square (attraction)
  8. de Biertuin (attraction)
  9. Bar Bukowski (restaurant)
  10. Smokin' Barrels (restaurant)
  11. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  12. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Jeff from Richmond

Stef, I think 2-3 days is enough to get a decent taste of what Amsterdam has to offer, although it really depends on what you're looking for.  If you want to check out some famous museums, the red light district, take a canal tour...yeah, 2-3 days would be just right.  

Amsterdam has a very diverse selection of food, but I never found a place that I was blown away by.  A lot of people say that the best restaurants are in the red light district.  The cool thing is that you can walk up to almost anyone and ask for directions or recommendations and they're super friendly.  Also, the public transportation is pretty easy to use if you want to save money.  My recommendations are Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum which are near by each other. The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (which has a lot of Monet's work) is right there as well but I've never been.  Canal tour...sure why not, it's a cool way to learn some about the history.  But after that, just spend your time walking around.  Go check out Dam Square and then afterwards hit up In De Wildeman for a beverage.  They've got all different types of amazing beer and the it's just a perfect, traditional pub.  They've got a chalkboard with all the beers on tap, their price and their alcohol %, which is important b/c they sell any where from 4% -23% beers.  Once you've done that you can head over to the Red Light District.  It's a must both during the day and night. The Red Light District is an cool part of town that just so happens to have prostitutes in many windows, but there not doing anything crazy and no one's going to approach you or anything like that. Also, I'd also recommend checking out the The Grasshopper if you want to experience what a coffee shop is like but not forced to par take.  It's pretty commercialized but it's an easy recommendation b/c they serve food, alcohol, sodas and of course weed but no ones going to look at you funny if you just go in an have a drink.

So that's an example of a pretty conservative 2-3 day Amsterdam tour. You'll find so many things to do just by walking around that you should allow a lot of time for that, it's a really fun and busy place. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Anne Frank House (attraction)
  2. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  3. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  4. Dam Square (attraction)
  5. In De Wildeman (restaurant)
  6. The Grasshopper (restaurant)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Joyce from Tiel

If you would like a boat tour I could recommend Reederij P. Kooij near the Amsterdam Dungeon (which I not recommend) and the smallest restaurant of the city; Pannenkoekenhuis "Upstairs" Pannenkoeken is typical Dutch food and the restaurant is awesome, there are only 4 tables and you've had to go upstairs on a really tiny stairs!

Also worth visiting and really a place to come to rest is Begijnhof or Vondelpark. I saw Sabine recommend Foodhallen already, and its really the place to be at the moment! You can combine it with Ten Katestraat (not open on Sunday).

The musuem I liked the most is Amsterdam Museum, its about the history of Amsterdam. You can also visit Amsterdam Public Library for an amazing view over the city (it's free!) 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Reederij P. Kooij (attraction)
  2. the Amsterdam Dungeon (attraction)
  3. Pannenkoekenhuis "Upstairs" (restaurant)
  4. Begijnhof (attraction)
  5. Vondelpark (attraction)
  6. Foodhallen (restaurant)
  7. Ten Katestraat (restaurant)
  8. Amsterdam Museum (attraction)
  9. Amsterdam Public Library (attraction)

answered by

It should take you 3 days to visit Amsterdam. Must see attractions.. just take a walk along the canals. And take a look at the Red Light DistrictA place to party is the Rembrandtplein, lots of clubs like Escape. And there are some good restaurants in the neighbourhood the Pijpenkabinet & Smokiana and the Marie Heinekenplein.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Red Light District (attraction)
  2. Rembrandtplein (attraction)
  3. Escape (attraction)
  4. Pijpenkabinet & Smokiana (attraction)
  5. Marie Heinekenplein (restaurant)

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