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Kit from North Chicago asked

Must-see things and restaurants in Amsterdam?

Am taking my mother - and sister-in-law to Amsterdam for only 3 days in mid-November.  Budget is not a concern, and we'd like to know what has to be seen, and how best to see it.  Am not interested in the Anne Frank house, but good restaurant recommendations will be gratefully received.  Thanks!

Amsterdam (Netherlands)

12 Answers
top answer by
Sally from Los Angeles

I ate some amazing food in Amsterdam and have some good recos for you!

Restaurant Blauw: hands down the best Indonesian food I've ever had - and I've been to Indonesia. You can order a sampler that lets you try all 15-20 dishes. Make reservations! 

Vers Gesneden Friet for great fries in Jordaan.

Sir Hummus: Israeli hummus with veggies and pulled beef - really good stuff. 

Pancakes! Amsterdam: a must for dutch pancakes. Tends to get crowded so get here early 

fa. pekelhaaring for higher end Italian! 

V.O.F. Nieuw Albina: if you're adventurous and would like to try surinamese food, this is a great place! basically dutch / Indonesian / caribbean fusion. No English menu unfortunately but you can ask for help

Scandinavian Embassy for really good quality coffee

Foodhallen: cafeteria / food market with tons of good options. De ballen bar serves good bitterballen (you must try bitterballen when you're there) - sad i missed this place but food halls are pretty good no matter which city you visit 

Winkel 43 - dutch apple pie - really good according to a friend

In terms of to-do's, I recommend renting a boat on the canal rather than a guided tour. Super fun. Also Vondelpark, the red light district (a bit strange but worth seeing), IAmsterdam SignNegen Straatjes, and if you like museums, I've been told Rijksmuseum Amsterdam is the best one in the city.

I spent around 3 days in the city (but was in the the less touristy part with a friend who lives there) if you want to read about it:

Have fun!

Comments (1)

I love Foodhallen!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Restaurant Blauw (restaurant)
  2. Sir Hummus (restaurant)
  3. Pancakes! Amsterdam (restaurant)
  4. fa. pekelhaaring (restaurant)
  5. V.O.F. Nieuw Albina (restaurant)
  6. Scandinavian Embassy (restaurant)
  7. Foodhallen (restaurant)
  8. Winkel 43 (restaurant)
  9. Vondelpark (attraction)
  10. IAmsterdam Sign (attraction)
  11. Negen Straatjes (attraction)
  12. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
comments (1)
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answered by

Three days is plenty of time in Amsterdam. You will be able to ride a bike, see the Van Gogh MuseumAnne Frank House and Wynand Fockink or House of Bols, the Cocktail & Genever Experience for the gin experience. 

You should check out Indonesian Restaurant Puri Mas for some of the best Indonesian food I've ever had (and I've been to Indonesia). Also, when they say hot, they truly mean hot - so opt for the mild if you're not into super spicy food. 


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Mentioned in this answer:

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answered by
Sabine from Amsterdam

Hi Kit, 

I would recommend renting a bike to get yourself around. It might seem dangerous as we Dutchies like to go really fast on our bikes, but I am sure you will manage. 

Don't be afraid to get lost, you always encounter the best places if you don't know where you are or where you re going :-). Just toss your map and cycle around!

Amsterdam isn't big, so you could also just walk everywhere. I wouldn't do any hop on hop off tour or anything like that. 

First go to Haarlemmerstraat with a lot of nice local shops and move along to my favourite canal Brouwersgracht. Continue on to Noordermarkt and the rest of the Jordaan neighborhood. Just zigzag your way through the canals and little streets. There is a coffeebar, cafe or nice lunchroon on every corner. Move on to Negen Straatjes which are the side streets of a part of the canals, full of boutiques, shops and cafes. Also visit neigboorhoud De Pijp. Near Albert Cuypmarkt, Sarphatipark and Gerard Doustraat. This is also a great area. I would recommend going to Utrechtsestraatas well. This is a great street full of restaurants, bars and nice little shops. 

For museums defitaly go to Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Here you will find all Dutch art under one beautiful newly renovated roof.

Go to the West area of town around De Clercqstraatand Bellamyplein . Here you will find Foodhallen, kind of an indoor foodcourt, but then with nice food, a huge bar and just a general good atmosphere. It is always really busy though! Also nearby is Café Panache which has great food, drinks and atmosphere. No tourists here :-). 

Don't forget to skip the east part as well! Go to de Biertuin and eat some great chicken and Amsterdam brewed beers on a lovely heated terrace with the locals. After that go for a drink to Henry's Bar or Bar Bukowski

In the 'middle eastern' part of town at around Javastraat you will find more and more nice stores, cafes and restaurants opening. Such as Walter's - The Walter Woodbury Bar and Wilde zwijnen.

Some more restaurant tips I will copy paste from one of my previous answers on restaurant recommendations: 

The one I absolutely love is Rijsel! Basic, pure cuisine, but of really high quality. They are famous for their rotisserie chicken. You so need to reserve around a month in advance though (yes, it is that good :-)). 

I also really like The Lobby Restaurant & Bar. This centrally located restaurant has a great atmosphere all types of people go here and the food is amazing. 

Restaurant ANNAis a really good (star quality) restaurant in the middle of the red light district. 

If you like steak, go to one of the Café Loetje restaurants. There are several in town. They have the best steak ever! Really ever! So tender and the gravy is heavenly. It is always really busy here every day of the week, you can't reserve at most Loetje Restaurants. 

AND important!:

If you are here on the 15th of November, you are just in time for Sinterklaas! Although he and his helpers (black Pete) might seem weird to you, this is a huge part of our culture. He is kind of like Santaclaus, but then even more important and popular :-). 

Sinterklaas will arrive in Amsterdam on the 15th and there is a big parade in the city center. Check out the schedule and route here

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Haarlemmerstraat (attraction)
  2. Brouwersgracht (attraction)
  3. Noordermarkt (attraction)
  4. Jordaan (attraction)
  5. Negen Straatjes (attraction)
  6. Albert Cuypmarkt (attraction)
  7. Sarphatipark (attraction)
  8. Gerard Doustraat (attraction)
  9. Utrechtsestraat (attraction)
  10. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  11. De Clercqstraat (attraction)
  12. Bellamyplein (attraction)
  13. Foodhallen (restaurant)
  14. Café Panache (restaurant)
  15. de Biertuin (attraction)
  16. Henry's Bar (restaurant)
  17. Bar Bukowski (restaurant)
  18. Javastraat (attraction)
  19. Walter's - The Walter Woodbury Bar (restaurant)
  20. Wilde zwijnen (restaurant)
  21. Rijsel (restaurant)
  22. The Lobby Restaurant & Bar (restaurant)
  23. Restaurant ANNA (restaurant)
  24. Café Loetje (attraction)
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answered by
Megan from Geilenkirchen

Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder is a hidden church just down from the Oude Kerk Amsterdam in the Red Light District. It takes about an hour to go through, but it's such a special part of Amsterdam. I've been there probably 5 times with various family groups. The Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam is also more than meets the eye. It takes 1-2 hours to go through, but it was the Amsterdam town hall before it was a palace and the interior is beautiful. The De Slang Snake House is free to see from the outside. There is a lot of street art in the area that is fun to take pictures of. Unfortunately some of the art is being removed, but you might get to see some of it before it's gone. Nearby is the Begijnhof, a quiet courtyard that was once only open to religious ladies. It's also free to see during the day. There is another hidden church here, while the apparent church in the center has a relief of a Pilgrim above it's door. If you have time to leave for a half day, I recommend Zaanse Schans (Marker G), which has a bunch of windmills right next to each other, a clog making shop and a few other typical Dutch things. It's about a 20 minute train ride from Amsterdam Centraal.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (attraction)
  2. Oude Kerk Amsterdam (attraction)
  3. Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam (attraction)
  4. De Slang (attraction)
  5. Begijnhof (attraction)
  6. Zaanse Schans (neighborhood)
  7. Zaanse Schans (attraction)
likes (1) thanks
answered by
Vince from Sarasota

Just returned from Amsterdam, We were there for 4 days.

Here are my recommendations:

The  restaurants that I would recommend are:

1) New King; a Mandarin restaurant with authentic very reasonably priced restaurant in the Centrum and near the Red District. 

2) The expensive Japanese restaurant in the lobby of the Hotel Okura Amsterdam.

3) Ciel Bleu Restaurant for drinks and appetizers at the same hotel on the 23rd Fl. with spectacular views of the city. 

4) The bar on the 11th fl. of the Double Tree Hilton for drinks and scenery.

I definitely recommend the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam to see the best Dutch Masters paintings including numerous Rembrandt and few Vermeer.

Also the Van Gogh Museum has the most of his masterpieces in the world.

Be careful and watch for the millions bikers who are dangerous and reckless and won't stop for anyone.

A boat tour of the canals is a must. Forget the Anne Frank House and the long lines.

Dress warm; it was and will be COLDDDDDD!!!!!!


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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. New King (restaurant)
  2. Hotel Okura Amsterdam (hotel)
  3. Ciel Bleu Restaurant (restaurant)
  4. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  5. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  6. Anne Frank House (attraction)
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answered first by
Chryssa from Copenhagen

Hello Kit,

I would definitely recommend a canal cruise in Amsterdam, or even better a dinner canal cruise. It is a nice way to explore the city while enjoying a dinner :) 

Check the Amsterdam 4-Course Dinner Canal Cruise 

PS: i am working at tourboks,com so i would be glad to help out further if needed.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)
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answered by
Kuber from Mumbai, India


There are some very good answers here but I couldn't find anyone recommending EYE - Bar Restaurant for sunset drinks and/or snacks/meal. It is the most beautiful Sunset you will ever see.

  • Amsterdam is below sea level (they are the world's best engineers—especially with building dams and have built a dam in the sea to restrict water from flooding Amsterdam!) and because of this you get a unique perspective when you look at the horizon.
  • This, mixed with the beautiful sky and a lovely, creative set of buildings that they have made on the opposite side (the sun sets behind those short buildings—Amsterdam doesn't have buildings taller than 3-4 floors, typically) makes for the best sunset ever!
  • The EYE is also a Film Institute (Eye Film Institute) and there is often some event happening there. 
  • For the Sunset, I would recommend sitting outside.
  • However, the inside feels like you have entered a restaurant in a Big Budget Hollywood Bond Film set. 
  • You will have to take a short 2 min boat ride to reach The EYE. 
  • The Shell building next to The EYE is also very creative—like most things in Amsterdam. 


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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. EYE - Bar Restaurant (restaurant)
  2. Eye Film Institute (attraction)
answered by
Jacqui from London

Hi Kit! 

We've been to Amsterdam about five times and stayed in hotels, hostels and a canal boat (through Airbnb). 

Besides the canal boat, the best accommodation we stayed in was the Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark. They are clean, safe, and very reasonably priced. The location is also great - it's a little way from Amsterdam Centraal, but it is right beside Vondelpark and you can get there very easily via the trams or on a bike. They also do bike hire, and have a shed for if you hire your own bike elsewhere. This is a great area for the nightlife of Leidseplein and to get to the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and Van Gogh Museum early (which you need to do to avoid long lines). 

Last time I went, we hired a canal boat and drove ourselves around the city on the canals. It was fantastic! We even pulled up to a couple of water-side pubs for a beer. 

Here are some of my posts about Amsterdam to give you an idea of what to expect, what you can do, and what things cost:



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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amsterdam (city)
  2. Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark (hotel)
  3. Amsterdam Centraal (attraction)
  4. Vondelpark (attraction)
  5. Leidseplein (attraction)
  6. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)
  7. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
answered by
Bryony from Chelmsford, Essex

the bulldog, its a chain of "coffee houses" xx

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answered by

Already a lot of good tips, but I'd like to recommend as well the raw herring sandwich. Really delicious and you can find them all over the place.

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answered by
Sean from Hudson Valley

Before I went to A'dam I wasn't much of an impressionist art lover.  Still, figuring it might be a while before I returned I saw as much as I could.  That's why I was surprised just how blown away I was by the Van Gogh Museum.  I'd never seen his work before (other than photos). Now, I'll never forget it. 

The Anne Frank House is quite moving, too.  However, the line can be long, unless you reserved entry on line.

All that being said, the first thing I'll do when I return is take a long, leisurely stroll along the canals.  It's peaceful, beautiful, and gives you a real feel for the city.  

As far as eating is concerned, don't leave without stopping a street-side kiosk for some HERRING.  It's the Amsterdam thing to do!  If you're texturally sensitive where food is concerned, skip the bun and just eat it with a toothpick. 


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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Van Gogh Museum (attraction)
  2. Anne Frank House (attraction)
answered by

The Museum of the Resistance was wonderful, as well as the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (attraction)

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