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Amsterdam

TRAVEL GUIDE

Amsterdam

TRAVEL GUIDE

The Fodor's Five

The five things you need to know before traveling to Amsterdam

# 1

You need to carefully plan your Amsterdam itinerary and trip timing.

Drawing over 20 million tourists a year, it is no secret that Amsterdam is saturated with cultural delights. The city's most acclaimed attractions, like the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House, are notoriously crowded during peak seasons and hours. To avoid long waits and enjoy a more intimate experience, consider visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon. And, like much of Europe, avoid travel in the height of the summer, if possible.

# 2

Choose a hotel in a local neighborhood to best enjoy Amsterdam.

Selecting a hotel in a neighborhood away from Amsterdam's robust city center enhances your ability to authentically connect with the city’s essence. The more local the setting (i.e., outside Amsterdam Centrum), the more likely you'll be enveloped in the avenues where locals live, work, and socialize. The perceptible differences in Amsterdam’s locales, from the tranquility of Oud-West to the artistic lure of Jordaan, showcase the metropolis’ multidimensionality.

# 3

Do as the Dutch do and ride a bicycle.

Amsterdam's seamless melding of history, culture, and modernity should be explored sans motor. That’s right: the best way to get around this pulsating capital is by the strength generated by your calves. After all, a labyrinth of metropolitan-friendly bike paths snakes through the city, beckoning locals and tourists alike to pedal aside picturesque canals and cafes. And while driving a car in Amsterdam isn't entirely discouraged, the scarce parking availability, congestion, and traffic make utilizing Amsterdam's cycle-friendly infrastructure a no-brainer.

# 4

Scope out the city’s classy, cosmopolitan cocktails bar scene.

Amsterdam is purposely distancing itself from the long-held stereotypes of drunk British stag parties, legal brothels, and liberal drug laws (yes, there is an actual initiative from the city to curb British party tourism as of 2023, and it is called "The Discouragement Campaign." Blunt.)  The capital boasts a diverse and sophisticated nightlife scene extending far beyond its more taboo offerings, including an array of refined cocktail bars spread throughout its eight boroughs, each itinerary-worthy.

# 5

There’s more than stroopwafel and Gouda in Amsterdam.

Despite its hardened stereotypes, Amsterdam's gastronomy scene is more than stroopwafel and Gouda cheese. When visiting, prepare for a sensory symphony, as the city's diverse culinary tapestry provides a compelling fusion of global and local flavors. Whether exploring the bustling food markets or treating yourself to one of the city's Michelin-rated restaurants, Amsterdam is constantly reimagining–and reinvigorating–classic takes on flavors.   

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Top Neighborhoods

Why is Centrum the best neighborhood in Amsterdam?
  • You can see landmarks like the Royal Palace and Oude Kerk
  • Stroll Kalverstraat and Damrak
  • Enjoy a spectrum of dining, from canal-side bistros to rooftop restaurants
  • Experience the vibrancy of Dam Square and the notorious Red Light District
  • A pedestrian-friendly, bike-rich area with copious tram and bus connections

What makes the Museum District so great?
  • You can browse world-class art exhibits at the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Stedelijk Museum
  • Stroll in the lush expanses of Vondelpark
  • Shop in luxury boutiques along P.C. Hooftstraat
  • Dine in upscale restaurants and cafes
  • Admire the blend of modern and historic architecture surrounding the Museumplein

What's there to do in the Jordaan?
  • You can roam the labyrinth of canals lined with historic houses
  • Immerse in eclectic café culture
  • Navigate winding, cobblestone streets
  • Tour the poignant Anne Frank House
  • Extremely walkable and bikeable

What's special about De Pijp?
  • You can dive into a youthful, multicultural vibe
  • Meander the energetic, art-laden streets
  • Hunt for treasures in the outdoor Albert Cuypmarkt
  • Sample international street food
  • Delve into the history of beer at the Heineken Experience

Why visit Plantage?
  • You can relax in tranquil green spaces rich in culture and botany
  • Seek out distinctive boutique finds
  • Indulge in culinary offerings for every budget
  • Explore the historic Artis Royal Zoo and Dutch Resistance Museum
  • Incredibly bikeable and family-friendly neighborhood

Hotels

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Language

Dutch

Nearby Airports

AMS

Electrical Outlets

220v/50 cycles; electrical plugs have two round prongs

Currency

Euro

Local Weather

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Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

Language

Dutch

Electrical Outlets

220v/50 cycles; electrical plugs have two round prongs

Currency

Euro

Nearby Airports

AMS

Local Weather

{{monthAverage.f_high}}° {{monthAverage.c_high}}° {{monthAverage.f_low}}° {{monthAverage.c_low}}°
{{monthAverage.month}}
Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

Amsterdam is only 7 feet above sea level, so the city is always a little damp. There is high humidity in the summer and a fair amount of rain...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

Local Weather

{{monthAverage.f_high}}° {{monthAverage.c_high}}° {{monthAverage.f_low}}° {{monthAverage.c_low}}°
{{monthAverage.month}}
Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

Amsterdam is only 7 feet above sea level, so the city is always a little damp. There is high humidity in the summer and a fair amount of rain...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

Local Weather

{{monthAverage.f_high}}° {{monthAverage.c_high}}° {{monthAverage.f_low}}° {{monthAverage.c_low}}°
{{monthAverage.month}}
Historic Weather: Powered by Dark Sky
Weather info provided is using averaged daily data within the given month of the previous year.

Amsterdam is only 7 feet above sea level, so the city is always a little damp. There is high humidity in the summer and a fair amount of rain...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Amsterdam with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

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Fodor's Amsterdam: with the Best of the Netherlands
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