Amsterdam may have a reputation as the capital of vice, but there’s so much more to this city that will surprise first-timers. With a clever urban layout that makes it incredibly easy to explore on foot (and bicycle), spending 24 hours in Amsterdam gives you time to check out many of the city’s iconic attractions. Looking for the ultimate Amsterdam travel guide for your next layover? Here are the best things to do in Amsterdam when you visit…
Go for breakfast… at one of the dozens of restaurants serving Dutch-style pancakes. De Carrousel is a whimsical spot for some of the best traditional poffertjes (small, fluffy pancakes) and waffles in town — the carnival-style carousel only adds to the restaurant’s atmosphere. Alternatively, you can hop onboard the Pancake Boat for all-you-can-eat pancakes and tour Amsterdam’s canals and waterways… it’s as good as it sounds.
Visit the museum quarter… at Museumplein to explore the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and Rijksmuseum (where the hugely popular ‘I amsterdam’ sign once stood before it was removed last year… blame the selfies.) There’s a massive amount of famous art on showcase so don’t expect to see everything in just a few hours. For free entry to all three museums (along with other perks), purchase the City Card day pass — it’s well worth it.
Smell the tulips… at Bloemenmarkt, the only floating flower market in the world, showcasing Netherland’s iconic blooms. If you want to go home with a souvenir or gift, the bulbs already come airport-travel ready.
Bike to Vondelpark… nearby to the museum quarter. It’s the largest park in Amsterdam and a great spot to picnic by the lake, go skating, cycling or just relax in the city’s greenest space.
Head to the city centre… at Dam Square just a few minutes walk from Centraal Station. Although packed with tourists, it’s the historical heart of Amsterdam that shouldn’t be missed.
Grab a pint… at the Heineken Experience, the city’s historic brewery. With four floors of exhibits, artifacts and ohhh yes, a tasting bar, it’s one of the city’s most popular attractions (no surprise.)
Watch the sunset at Pllek… for the most phenomenal city views. Built with old sea containers, Pllek is hugely popular with the locals and features an artificial beach, dining outlets and live music night — perfect for sundowners (or a Dutch hot chocolate in winter.)
Touch the sky… at A’DAM Lookout, an observation deck with panoramic vistas across Amsterdam. If you’re feeling adventurous, hop on Europe’s highest swing at the Over the Edge thrill ride — it’s an unreal experience.
Dine in a trendy spot… at supperclub for one of the most exciting, artistic (and bizarre) foodie experiences of your life. This isn’t your typical dinner theater – expect some pretty wild surprises throughout the evening.
Stroll the Red Light District… from 11pm onwards when the area really comes to life. Home to everything from arcade-bars to museums, breweries, avant-garde theaters and nightclubs, if you plan on having a heavy night, you may want to visit the Hangover Information Center — which is exactly what it sounds like.
Grab a drink… at De Nieuwe Anita, a living room-style space where you have to ring a door bell to enter. It’s not everyday that you experience a bar that feels like someone’s living room, but this is the place to be for the ultimate house-party vibes.
Club all night… at Shelter where a 24-hour license means the party literally never stops on weekends. With techno and house blaring, you’ll enter the venue through a small hatch that leads underground — the whole vibe is pretty mind-blowing.
SEE ALSO… 19 of the Best Places to Travel in 2019
Feature image credit via Facebook | @adamlookout