Made up of shimmering canals interlinked with white drawbridges, you’ll find beauty in the townhouses and open green spaces of Amsterdam. Soak up the atmosphere in the lively squares and stack up the pancakes in a cosy café. It’s a glowing city all lit up at night, too.
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Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most iconic cities. Packed with great culture, Amsterdam is perfect for either a weekend break or a longer stay. There’s so much to explore and discover that it can be difficult to fit everything in to the time you have. Use our guide to help you get the most out of your trip to this fascinating Dutch city.
Walk in the footsteps of Dutch royalty with a tour of the Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Dam Square. Learn more about the history of the building and the capital itself, as you explore the lavishly decorated, chandelier-filled interior at your own pace with an informative audio guide at your disposal.
A moving but must-see experience is a visit to Anne Frank House. It’s hard to imagine what life was like hiding from the Nazis in the family’s Secret Annex but the collection of audio clips, photographs and salvaged documents help bring Anne’s story to life. Ticket queues can be very long, so it’s worth booking ahead.
Friday night is a good time to visit the Van Gogh Museum for a late viewing combined with music and cocktails. All the classics are here, including Sunflowers, The Bedroom and The Yellow House. And if you’re feeling peckish, there’s a great café with a lovely view across Museum Square.
Set on Museum Square, the huge Rijksmuseum displays 8,000 artworks over four floors. The Dutch Masters are the main draw, with the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh all showing here. There’s a great free app you can download which explains the paintings as you go round and has an interactive game for kids.
The Heineken Experience does what is says on the tin – it’s beer and history combined in a fun tour of the old brewery. Bringing everything to life are the interactive features, like the quirky 4D film and a simulation game to pour the perfect pint. The tour ends with drinks on the rooftop bar overlooking the city.
Hang out with the stars at Madame Tussauds' Amsterdam and get your photo taken with the incredibly lifelike wax sculptures of world leaders, sports heroes, musicians and A-listers. Check out the new, interactive I Am Art attraction and become a part of famous artwork by Dutch artists like Van Gogh.
Visit historic Dam Square to marvel at the impressive architecture of the Neoclassical Royal Palace and the Gothic, 15th-century Nieuwe Kerk church. Street performers congregate here ready to entertain, and the busy square is also home to Madame Tussauds' and countless thriving bars and restaurants.