Things to do in Amsterdam
With its picturesque canal network, rich history and vibrant cultural scene, the capital of the Netherlands is one of the world’s most unique city destinations. And here it's as much about how you explore the city, as what you see in it.
Cycle your way around
There are over 800,000 bicycles in Amsterdam. That’s more bikes than people! Cycling in Amsterdam is a way of life, made easier by the city’s unbeatable network of cycle routes and flat landscape. Amsterdam regularly comes out on top in lists of the world’s most cycle-friendly cities.
Cruise the canal
Created in the 17th century to keep the sea at bay, Amsterdam’s UNESCO protected canal belt is the quintessential picture-postcard vision of Amsterdam, and an unbelievably pretty sight by both day and night - when the bridges are lit up by fairy lights and the whole area takes on a magical feel.
Often cited as Amsterdam’s most charming neighbourhood, wandering into the Jordaan feels like stepping back in time. Originally a working class area, the Jordaan’s narrow streets and quaint buildings now make up one of Amsterdam’s most desirable quarters, dotted with independent art galleries, antiques shops, courtyard gardens and atmospheric bars and restaurants.
Anne Frank's House
Reflect on the atrocities committed against the Jewish people during World War II at the Prinsengracht house where diarist Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for two years after feeling persecution in Germany. The front of the house is now a thought-provoking museum but the back annex has been preserved to give an idea of what life was like for Anne and the families she hid with.
Small but beautifully formed, Amsterdam’s zoo – one of the oldest in Europe – works hard to make the most of its canalside site in Oost. There’s the usual collection of animals – big cats, elephants, giraffes, apes – but there’s also an impressive aquarium, a planetarium, and Micropia, the only microbe museum in the world.