It's the bike capital of the world, and with more canals than you can count. Our 36-hour trip proved it’s a fun city to navigate, with friendly locals and craft beer set under high windmills. Here’s what you need to know for maximizing a 3-day trip!
Take a Tesla Taxi - Surprisingly, you’ll be greeted at Amsterdam’s main airport by dozens of electric Teslas. The city is progressive and has enlisted these upscale, fuel-efficient cars in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint. It’s fancy, inexpensive, green and a great ride!
Ok, the airport models don't have these fancy doors, but they're still real nice. Justin started the trip with a free transfer thanks to the good people at booking.com.
Hop on a Bike - You just so happen to be in the bike mecca of the world! Since there are more bikes than people, pedaling around is an essential Amsterdam experience. Simply grab one for rent (they’re available all over) and explore the city streets. You’ll be able to see more in a day, while also blending in with the locals.
A wooden shoe ON a bike - it doesn't get more Dutch than this.
Cruise the Canals – Being on these waterways provides a stunning backdrop for seeing the sights and attractions. Choose from one or two-hour guided tours that feature interesting city facts along the way. With 165 canals, you could also opt for a cruise with hop-on-hop-off services while you explore areas of interest. For a unique and intimate experience, try an evening dinner cruise.
Try Out the Tram – Get a daily tram pass for less than $10 and easily explore the different neighborhoods and attractions of the city.
Eat & Drink
When in the land of delicious Dutch baked goods, make sure to try both sweet and savory. Local favorites include bitterballen, small bites filled with beef and spices; stroopwafels, chewy waffle-like cookies and the infamous Dutch pastries.
When you need a little pick-me-up, there’s no shortage of coffee shops. Just note that your visit will likely include a slight marijuana smell as its legal in Amsterdam and can be sold along with coffee.
If you prefer a beer, you’re in luck as Amsterdam’s craft beer game is strong. Check out the brews at the popular Brouwerij ‘t IJ with its iconic location underneath the city’s tallest windmill.
For dinner, a Dutch meal is traditionally hearty, so many restaurants offer meat and potato selections on their menus. Seafood is also common with the city’s close proximity to the water. When in Amsterdam, try the herring with pickles and onions.
Have your pick from well-kept canal houses, boutique bed & breakfasts and luxurious apartments, among many hotel options.
The Old Centre is a popular area for tourists to stay. We enjoyed staying here as it’s a short walk from the main sights, with plenty of great restaurants, shopping outlets and nightlife. Here you can find an abundance of accommodations from cheap to fancier; just keep in mind that some may find the proximity of the red light district off-putting.
Grachtengordel West is the neighborhood just west of the Old Centre and is beautifully lined by the canals. It’s pricier with five-star hotels and retreat properties. Head to the street of Raadhuisstraat which is a bit busier for less expensive options.
Grachtengordel South is an increasingly popular area to stay with many restaurants, bars and clubs. Several hotels line the surrounding canals offering both budget-friendly and luxury options.
See & Do
Check out trendy hotspots by walking around the canals and the River Amstel for its famous ‘skinny bridge’. The Canal Ring is a must-see area with majestic canal houses.
Take a walk through the Jordaan neighborhood for a look at charming cafes and great shopping. Outdoor markets are also popular where there's no shortage of Dutch food and flowers.
Amsterdam is also home to multiple world-famous museums. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk. Also popular is the Anne Frank House, the Rembrandt House, the square of Musemplein and the Royal Palace.
Amsterdam is a compact city so in just a few days you can get a good feel for the culture and see all the major attractions!