Amsterdam is world famous for the canals that permeate the city, for the intense traffic of bicycles, for the colorful flowers and for the free spirit of its residents and visitors. Five days is enough time to experience what the compact Dutch capital has to offer, but it’s important to get organized. Check out below must-see tips to enjoy the city well.
Day 1 – Enjoy The City’s Museums
Like every major European city, Amsterdam has its museums as its strong point. In the Dutch capital, the three main ones are gathered around the Museumplein – the Museum Square. You can start the day by the largest and most traditional, the Rijksmuseum, which was reopened in 2013 after a closed decade for renovations. Focused on art and history, it houses a collection that includes Dutch masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. If hunger hits the exit, the museum restaurant has good choices of light dishes like salads and sandwiches. Before heading to the next museum, admire the façade of the building, inaugurated in 1885, and its gardens, which hosts temporary exhibitions. If you can not resist a classic travel photo, it’s also time to pose at the I Amsterdam sign, which is opposite the Rijks.
Nearby is the Van Gogh Museum, always with long queues at the entrance. To not have to wait like everyone else, the tip is to buy the ticket over the internet and schedule for a less crowded time – after 4pm it can be a good one, if it is Friday, it stays open until 10pm and the night is the best one ordered . If you want to buy gifts with pictures of the painter’s works, the shop inside the museum has more variety than the one located in the square.To close the cultural program around the Museumplain, the Stedelijk, of modern art and design, is much less crowded and can be enjoyed more calmly. At dinner, the museum’s restaurant is funky – depending on the day, you can roll up a party there. If you prefer more frugal meals, do as the Dutch do and buy a salad in the Albert Heijn supermarket and eat sitting on the grass.
Day 2 – Enjoy The Canals Of The City
It’s no exaggeration when they say there are so many channels all over Amsterdam that you run the constant risk of getting lost. Water is a constant element in the city’s similar streets and one of its main attractions. In the hottest seasons of the year, there are even swimming competitions on the canals, which attracts sportsmen and women of all ages.But if you are not a swimmer and do not want to venture out for a few laps, there are a number of boating options. You can choose one or more to get to know the city from another point of view.
The more traditional tours last about an hour and can have different routes, leaving the front of Centraal Station or the Leidseplein. The boats are comfortable and covered, protected from cold or rain. For those who prefer to make good photos during the tour, better choose one with an outside area. Almost all of them offer audio in more than 10 languages, including Portuguese. On the sightseeing menu, there are nightly travel options, with romantic dinner included and up to a full day sampling beers and wines inside a boat.
Another interesting ride is to take a free ferry that leaves behind the Centraal Station and cross the IJ lake. On the other side is the exotic building of the EYE Film Institute and the Oeverpark, as well as a beautiful view of the city center.
Day 3 – Adventure With The Means Of Transportation Symbol Of The Country
Few activities make a tourist feel closer to an Amsterdam resident than to bike around the city. Endowed with bike lanes in all neighborhoods, the Dutch capital has more bicycles than cars running and is proud of it. To face rush-hour bike traffic, you need to be a more experienced rider and get to know a bit about the city’s geography-be careful not to get lost with so many channels!-but one exit is to rent one and pedal in one of the many parks of the city. The famous maios is the Vondelpark, which is close to the Museumplain and the Leidseplein, the center of Amsterdam’s tourism.
In Vondelpark, you will find ponds with ducks, fountains, gardens, artworks in the middle of the lawn, cafes, restaurant and even a hostel. If you get hungry during the tour, the old ‘t Blauwe Theehuis (The Blue Tea House) houses a bar and restaurant in the middle of the park. You can park your bike bag outside and then continue the ride. To close the day, Leidseplein is close by and features bars, restaurants and shops to suit all tastes.
Day 4 – Street Fairs Bring Crowds
Markets and street fairs are another strong point of Amsterdam. The largest and most traditional is the Albert Cuyp Markt, in the district De Pijp. On any day of the week, you can find food from different regions of the world, breads, cheeses, drinks, fabrics, clothes, beauty products, bicycle equipment and more. It is also a meeting point for street performers and event venues such as bazaars and gastronomic festivals. Depending on the time and day, stocking can make it a bit tiresome to stroll through the pews. If you get tired of muvuca or do not want to eat standing up, just walk into some of the perpendicular streets and choose one of the many cafes or restaurants in the neighborhood, one of the most trendy in the city, to relax and savor something calmer.
Another classic market in Amsterdam is the Flower Market, which sells flowers and seeds – tulip, but also other species. As it is not allowed to bring in the bag, some stores offer delivery of bulbs and seeds in other countries, at salty prices. The oldest flea market in the city, the Waterloopleinmarkt is open from Monday to Saturday and has many choices of clothing and antiques. In the central area, the Nieuwmarkt takes place next to the medieval De Waag towers, near the Red Light District and Chinatown.
Day 5 – Several Options For Brewers On Duty
Beer lovers have a lot to experience in Amsterdam. Land of the internationally famous Heineken, the town also houses small breweries and pubs dedicated to local drink or the neighboring Belgium. In the building where the first Heineken factory was built, built in 1867, today is a museum dedicated to beer, the Heineken Experience. Over four floors, the visitor takes a tour of the history of beer, attends interactive exhibits, learns to have a draft beer and is entitled to tasting.
For those who prefer a more local and artisan experience, smaller breweries like Browerij ‘t IJ have a variety of labels with limited manufacturing. From Friday to Sunday, IJ offers tours for visitors, but any day of the week it is possible to have your best beers in a garden located on the edge of IJ, under a friendly windmill. At the end of the afternoon, find a place at one of the shared tables outside and feel like a local drinking good beer accompanied by small portions of snacks. If you still want to taste good beers at night, the De Prael is in the center, in a space with neat decoration and a menu with more elaborate dishes. With more labeling options, including other nationalities,