Best Things to See & Do in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Having lived in Amsterdam for close to 3 years I have often given friends and family a list of things to do and places to see if they are visiting the city for a short time. I thought- why not add it to the blog for anyone out there who wants an insiders view on where to go. Just print it out and take it with you on your travels!

Top Tourist Things to Do in Amsterdam

1. Ryks Museum: Make sure you see the Vermeers, Rembrandts and Impressionists!

Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands

ryks museum

2. Van Gogh Museum

Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands


3. Anne Frank House Museum: (the queue here is always ridiculously long so try to go early in the morning and on a weekday if you can)

Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands (Opens 9am)

anne frank museum amsterdam

4. Keukenhof (Tulip Gardens): This is at least an hour bus ride out of the center of town but a lovely day out. Check to make sure that it is still open as it is seasonal. The miniature village is also near here so you should do them together on the same day. 2160 AB, Stationsweg 166, 2161 AM Lisse, Netherlands.

Keukenhof garden tulips

Best Places to Eat in Amsterdam

1. Suriya (Indian Cuisine- make sure to order the butter chicken here- it’s the best I’ve had in the world and I've had many! This is probably my favorite Indian restaurant of all time. Slightly upmarket and has a lovely atmosphere) This place is not far from Albert Cuyp Market and is only open for dinner.

Ceintuurbaan 147, 1072 GB Amsterdam, Netherlands (open 5pm to 1am)

suriya restaurant amsterdam

2. Restaurant Blauw Amsterdam (Indonesian Fusion, order the ‘’rice table’’ it is a mix of goodies and includes goat meat skewers which is my favorite thing on the menu here. I'm a Capricorn and not one for eating goats but these are super tasty)

Amstelveenseweg 158-160, 1075 XN Amsterdam, Netherlands (open 6pm to 10.30pm)

restaurant blauw amsterdam

3. Seafood Bar (This is very close to the Van Goh and Ryks Museum and would also be open for lunch. The seafood is really fresh and fabulous here. I love their cold platter, which is an excellent lunch choice.

There is another one at a location in the center of town too that serves the exact same menu so choose according to where you are site seeing.

Location near Van Goh & Ryks (Van Baerlestraat 5, 1071 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Location near center of town high street (Spui 15, 1012 WX Amsterdam, Netherlands)

seafood bar amsterdam
seafood amsterdam

4. Pancakes Amsterdam Negen Straatjes (Casual cheap and cheerful place underground, Samar loves this place. It is very close to the Anne Frank House so a good option for lunch when you are finished there).

Berenstraat 38, 1016 GH Amsterdam, Netherlands open (9am-6pm)

5. Patisserie Holtkamp- Fabulous Bakery- their cheesecake here is the BEST you will have in your life in my opinion. Get the cheesecake with the red berry topping on it. Everything else here is also really good if you want to pick something up to go and take it to the canal or park. It is a close walk to the Heineken Museum.

Vijzelgracht 15, 1017 HM Amsterdam, Netherlands


6. Bakers & Roasters– this is a sit down place near the Heineken Museum. Everything here is fresh and fabulous. It is run by New Zealanders & Australians (so they will be nicer to you than the Dutch!) It is only open for breakfast and lunch. Best thing on the menu was the smoked salmon on potato fritters. Their desert slices on the counter out the front are definitely worth a try. In particular their white chocolate macadamia slice and their rocky road slice. Coffee is good here too!

Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 54, 1072 BH Amsterdam, Netherlands (open 8.30am-4pm)

bakers and roasters amsterdam
bakers and roasters

7. Café Hoppe- if you want a Dutch experience this a lovely place to stop and have a glass of prosecco, beer and some bitterballen (deep fried breaded Dutch savory snacks filled with cheese and other goodies). This place also serves the magical cheesecake from the Holtkamp Bakery I mentioned before! Sit at the back for a canal view or people watch out the front.

Spui 18-20, 1012 XA Amsterdam, Netherlands

cafe hoppe amsterdam

8. Restaurant Red: Steak and Lobster Place (fancy with a good atmosphere) for a romantic dinner out

Keizersgracht 594, 1017 EN Amsterdam, Netherlands (open 12-3pm, then 6pm-12am)

restaurant red
restaurant red

9. Restaurant Jottum- Spanish Tapas in the Jordaan area (dinner only), great potatas bravas, chorizo and sangria. Cute Atmosphere too.

jottum restaurant amsterdam

Eerste Anjeliersdwarsstraat 17, 1015 NR Amsterdam, Netherlands (open 5.30pm-10pm)

10. Chocolaterie Pompadour- If you are in the nine streets for shopping there is a café that has the best hot chocolate of all time here and their cakes are great too. Has a charming French vibe Huidenstraat 12, 1016 ES Amsterdam, Netherlands

Chocolaterie Pompadour
Chocolaterie Pompadour amsterdam

Best Places to Shop in Amsterdam

1.  The Nine Streets (Area): This a series of the 9 streets in the canal area that are known for their boutiques it starts at Runstraat, 1016 GK Amsterdam, Netherlands and ends at Raadhuisstraat. Perfect area to wander around to get a feel for the city and to pick up some non-touristy gifts.

2. Antiek Centrum: If you are into Antiques- this place has some great little pieces that are much more reasonably priced than what you would find in LA. I love this place and went there a lot to find old pretty jewellery boxes. It is almost like going to a free museum because of all the cool stuff here.

Elandsgracht 109, 1016 TT Amsterdam, Netherlands (closed on Tuesdays!)

antiek centrum

3. Hester van Eeghen- Shoes, they have some really interesting high quality shoes in beautiful colors of leather (and matching hand bags), very expensive but something you won’t be able to buy in LA. (located near the west side of the canals)

Hartenstraat 37, 1016 CA Amsterdam, Netherlands

hester van eeghen

4. Markets: Albert Cuyp Market (a long street with lots of cheap and cheerful things here. Good if you want some in-expensive souvenirs to take home). Nice just for a stroll around. If you are here also have a quick look at Sarphatipark which is around the corner from here.

Albert Cuypstraat, 1073 BD Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sarphatipark, 1073 Amsterdam, Netherlands

albert cuyp market amsterdam

5. The Noordermarkt: There is a weekend market in the Jordaan which is also lovely to stroll through. The Jordaan area is very charming and has many restaurants and little boutiques. If you haven’t already booked a hotel this would be a fun place to stay near here.

(The Noordermarkt is a square and also the name of the market)

Herenstraat 39, 1015 BZ Amsterdam, Netherlands

6. Hotel Droog- If you are near central there is one little street that is nice to see. It has a few great shoe stores, vintage shops and my favorite little French food/teas/candles there. The girl who works here is really sweet too. This shop is across the road from Hotel Droog (Hotel Droog is actually a shop with cool modern homeware, they sometimes have pop up stores here too, very trendy). There is an amazing chocolate store called Puccini on this street too- best chocolates you will ever have!

Hotel Droog- Staalstraat 7B, 1011 JJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

droog hotel amsterdam
droog hotel store amsterdam

Puccini Chocolates- Staalstraat 21

puccini chocolates amsterdam

Het Hanze Huis- Beautiful traditional shop with teas, sweets etc- Staalstraat 20

Het Hanze Huis amsterdam
Het Hanze Huis

7. Shopping Street- Haarlemmerstraat 89 1013 EL Amsterdam This is also a nice street to walk down if you have time left over, it is a long street with many shops, boutiques and cafes here.

8. If you want chain stores (zara, h&m etc) that are like a London High Street (but I don’t think are anything special) they are at Kalverstraat 66-72, 1012 PG Amsterdam, Netherlands


If you are interested in decor here is a link to an earlier blog post about where to shop for home decor in Amsterdam






Nicola BerkowskiComment