Amsterdam is often at the top of people’s European travel destinations. This vibrant city can feel like a fairytale, with a coffee shop on every corner. With its notable museums, historic architecture, as well as beautiful canals, this small town located in the western Netherlands is ideal for those who like to wander and explore. Whether you want to stay in the city or roam into the Dutch countryside for a quick day trip, you will feel like you are walking around a fairytale setting anywhere you travel in beautiful Amsterdam.
A Must-See Museum
Heads up, museum lovers! Amsterdam is known for their many exhibits, as these places showcase art, history, and inspiration to all visiting cultural aficionados. The Rijksmuseum is Amsterdam’s most popular museum. This striking gallery showcases the history of the Netherlands. Rijksmuseum is a must-see spot, as travelers from all walks rave about the beauty of both the interior (including all the striking displays) and exterior. Stop by the café if you have time (this place is vast—you have been warned), and grab a delicious Dutch breakfast.
The Towns of Zaanse Schans, Edam, and Volendam
via @marsmancorinne’s Instagram
Need a vacation while on vacation? Take brief respite from the city and zip over to the Dutch countryside of Zaanse Schans, Edam, and Volendam. This day trip takes you into a series of charming towns, where you can sample fresh cheese from the factory in Edam and watch skillful craftsmen create a traditional Dutch shoe, the clog, right before your eyes. On your way back to busy Amsterdam, make sure you leave time to snap a photo of the gorgeous windmills scattered along these countryside neighborhoods.
Xtra Cold Icebar
Need a quick break from all the corner coffee shops and cafés? Head to Xtra Cold Icebar, Amsterdam’s premiere ice bar (yes, everything is made of glass, from the inside of the building to the glasses). This iced-out bar is colorful and vibrant—it provides a completely unique drinking experience from start to finish. Temperatures are kept at 14 degrees Fahrenheit, but don’t fret if you get cold easily; the bar provides an insulated jacket for you. You’ll feel like you’re on a different plant—or at least a different continent—and can’t we all use a little escape?
Keukenhof Gardens, also known as “The Garden of Europe,” boasts about 80 acres of land and 7 million different flower bulbs planted each year. The best time to visit this massive flower park is in the vibrant springtime, when the tulips are blooming. This site is an excellent stop for visitors with a penchant for flowers, outstanding architecture, and gorgeous landscapes. The pictures will speak for themselves!
Amsterdam Light Festival Night Boat Tour
via @amsterdamwelcome’s Instagram
While Amsterdam is known for their canals and boat tours, the Light Festival Night Boat Tour is a dramatically different (and dazzling!) experience. This particular tour allows you to cruise through Amsterdam while enjoying the one-of-a-kind light festival on the waters around you. Good news for Christmastime travelers; this attraction is extra special during the holidays, as the surrounding buildings and historical landmarks are lit up and beautifully decorated.
via @bestevanamsterdam’s Instagram
Be in the heart and center of Amsterdam in Dam Square. This open walking space is the hub of the city, with trams and other transportation leading you to your next stop. Experience city life with the hustle and bustle of the crowds while simultaneously strolling (slower than the commuters) around to the nearby shops, cafés, and restaurants. Live street performers and other street-side performers add to the liveliness of this historical hub. Grab a coffee and a seat, and enjoy people watching; there is always something going on.
European trekkers will find everything they’re looking for in beautiful Amsterdam: quaint & tranquil scenery set against the backdrop of a modern city. Find yourself in a present-day fairytale in this Dutch town, while also traveling back in time by visiting historical landmarks.