City Guide


  • Netherlands map




Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, and one of the most historic cities in Europe. Flat and blessed with a clear, crisp atmosphere, most of its attractions lie within easy walking distance. The city is perfectly navigable by foot or bicycle.

Visitors will find that a culture of art appreciation pervades Amsterdam. Indeed, two of the city's museums are dedicated to world-famous Dutch painters, namely the Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt House. The Rijksmuseum holds a collection of 17th-century Dutch artists, including Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Vermeer. These museums, along with the Diamond Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, are located around Museum Square (Museumplein) - which is also home to the US Consulate and the famous Concertgebouw symphonic hall.

In keeping with the city's rich history, the very home in which Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during the 1942 occupation is open to visitors. Her famous diary is preserved and on display. Other popular sites include the Hermitage Amsterdam, The Jewish Historical Museum, The Resistance Museum, and the Museum of the Tropics.

Amsterdam's reputation as a liberal party city attracts many tourists as well. Visitors tend to explore the Red Light District (De Wallen), where legalised prostitution and the sale of marijuana draw revellers from across the globe. The Amsterdam Sex Museum is not for the squeamish or easily offended.

Travellers can make the most of their time in Amsterdam by purchasing an I Amsterdam card, which will give them free access to public transport, as well as discounts on museums, attractions and restaurants. The card is available at several tourist offices in the city, at some museums and online.

Almond Blossom, Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum is a definitive tourist attraction in Amsterdam. Situated in a modern building, the simple architecture subtly underscores the artist's colourful and extraordinary work. The museum houses the largest collection of Van Gogh's work in the world, comprising more than 200...  see full details

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum opened in 1885 and is best known for its collection of 17th-century Dutch Masters, such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen. The most notable of these paintings is Rembrandt's masterpiece The Night Watch, which has pride of place. The museum...  see full details

Stedelijk Museum

Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art

The Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art closely traces art-world developments that took place in the second half of the 20th century. Art lovers should note that it showcases the most impressive collection of modern art in Amsterdam. The institution's permanent exhibition focuses on De...  see full details

Rembrandt House

Rembrandt House

The museum provides insight into the life and times of the famous Dutch master, who lived in this house between 1639 and 1658 - which was the pinnacle of his career. Rembrandt went bankrupt in 1656 and a list of his possessions was...  see full details

Abraham de Vries - Portrait of the regents of the Amsterdam city orphanage in 1633

Amsterdam Museum

Housed in a lovely 17th-century building and formerly an orphanage, the museum explores Amsterdam's development from a small medieval settlement into a thriving modern city. Its galleries showcase the progress made in each century, particularly Holland's Golden Age. Visitors can enjoy a showpiece of...  see full details

Red Light District

Red Light District (De Wallen)

No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without a stroll around the Red Light District (De Wallen). The area's prostitutes are part of a legal and regulated industry that includes compulsory health checks and taxable income. Tourists also visit the district to admire its...  see full details

Dutch Resistance Museum, Amsterdam

The Dutch Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum)

Nazi Germany occupied the Netherlands between May 1940 and May 1945. The museum covers how the invasion affected the Dutch population's everyday lives, as well as the resistance movement. Visitors will learn details about the movement's extraordinary espionage activities, and view maps, photographs, weaponry, everyday...  see full details

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis)

Although the Royal Palace is the official royal residence, it's mainly used for functions and is but one of the royal family's three palaces. Visitors should check the calendar on the official website to ensure it isn't closed for an event during their...  see full details

Keukenhof, Amsterdam


Keukenhof is one of the country's top attractions and the best reason to visit in the spring. The huge garden is home to millions of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, and is a sea of colour and fragrance. Visitors will also see many works...  see full details

Maritime Museum, Amsterdam

National Maritime Museum

Het Scheepvaartmuseum (the National Maritime Museum) gives visitors a glimpse into the country's seafaring past. The exhibit covers four centuries of history and includes paintings, ship models, antiquarian maps and navigation instruments, creating one of the world's most extensive collections of maritime memorabilia. Visitors will...  see full details


Heineken Experience

As one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Netherlands, the Heineken Experience is not to be missed. Housed in the original brewery, guests will learn about the Heineken Company's history and its unique process, visit cutting-edge interactive exhibits and enjoy free beer...  see full details

Coffeeshop, Amsterdam

Amsterdam Coffeeshops

Coffeeshops are one of Amsterdam's most iconic features. They openly sell cannabis and welcome their patrons to smoke it on the premises. 'Cafes', on the other hand, sell cakes, tea and coffee. Coffeeshops range from the laid-back and mellow to the loud and psychedelic....  see full details

Keizersgracht Canal, Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canal Tour

Amsterdam's canal tours are an essential experience for visitors. The UNESCO-listed features were crucial to the city's transport and defensive strategies in the 17th century but, today, are a pleasing way to appreciate the historic and picturesque destination. Tourists who are interested in tours...  see full details

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam


The Concertgebouw (literally, 'concert building') is one of Amsterdam's top-rated tourist attractions. Widely regarded as one of the world's finest concert halls, it is easily comparable to the Vienna Musikverein or the Moscow Conservatory. Classical-music lovers in particular will enjoy the superb resident orchestra...  see full details

Vondelpark, Amsterdam


Amsterdam's Vondelpark allows visitors to experience the city as locals do. The relaxed and beautiful public space dates back to 1865 and features several notable attractions. These include an impressive statue of Joost van den Vondel (the author for whom the park is named),...  see full details

Amsterdam Sex Museum

Sex Museum Amsterdam

Along with a certain fame for legalised prostitution, Amsterdam is also home to the world's oldest sex museum. Open since 1985, the institution has grown from being a shaky idea, to becoming one of the most popular museums in a city full of...  see full details