Amsterdam Canals

A Guide to Amsterdam

The streets of Amsterdam will transport you to the city’s Golden Age as you are surrounded by beautiful architecture, quaint cafes, and some of the best museums in the world.  Check out some of our favorite places on your next journey to the canal-filled heart of The Netherlands.

Where to STAY In Amsterdam

Central Amsterdam Garden Apartment

This lovely apartment is located in Amsterdam’s picturesque Jewish quarter (an area certainly worth exploring on its own), away from the throngs of tourists but still a comfortable 20 minute walk from all of the city's major sights.

Amsterdam Museum Suites

If you’re looking for a charming & central hotel look no further than Amsterdam Museum Suites.  The hotel is a historic mansion, just steps away from shopping & museums.

THINGS YOU MUST SEE in Amsterdam

Jordaan

Dreaming of romantic canals & quaint cobblestone streets?  Look no further than Jordaan.  This neighborhood is popular with locals and tourists alike and for good reason.  Between the beautiful scenery and both local pubs and more upscale bars and restaurants, there is no shortage of ways to spend your day.  Our first time visiting Jordaan we made the mistake of not venturing far enough into the neighborhood.  We recommend using Café Thijssen as your starting point and wandering around from there.  

If you’re in Jordaan on a Saturday be sure to check out Lindengracht Market. Make sure you come hungry - there are over 200 food stands!

Eastern Docklands

Looking to escape the crowds of central Amsterdam?  Venture out to KNSM Island and explore the beautiful parks, take in the modern architecture, and get lost in the galleries and home good shops.  The island is located on the edge of the Eastern Docklands district and is a 30 minute walk from central Amsterdam. For architecture lovers, be sure to check out Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ on the way back.  Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is a contemporary music hall and is a 10 minute walk from Amsterdam Central Station.

Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum features a unique collection of items representing Dutch art and history from the years 1200-2000.  If you are interested in works from artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer, the museum is well worth a visit.

Vondelpark

If you’re fortunate enough to have a sunny day, venture out to Vondelpark.  The park covers over 120 acres and includes a sculpture garden, tea room, and open air theatre.  

Where to EAT & DRINK in Amsterdam

Staring At Jacob

Staring At Jacob is a lovely brunch spot with a cool atmosphere and great food.  Located near Vondelpark and the museum district, this is the perfect place to start your day.

Scandinavian Embassy

Another restaurant that epitomizes Amsterdam’s breakfast culture, Scandinavian Embassy is the perfect place to jump start your day with delicious yet low-key breakfast and coffee. After eating be sure to check out the beautiful park, Sarphatipark, bordering the cafe.

Bakers and Roasters

Bakers and Roasters is a New Zealand inspired breakfast cafe featuring phenomenal coffee along with healthy and delicious takes on breakfast and lunch classics. We tried the homemade granola bowl, Power Breakfast (egg white scramble, brown rice, black beans, and grilled chicken), and turmeric/lemon/carrot/green apple smoothie, all of which were original and energizing!

De Culinaire Werkplaats

For a truly unique experience reserve a table at De Culinaire Werkplaats.  The entire restaurant is designed in the vision of what dining will be like in the future.  There is a set menu, diners track their own wine consumption, and cleaning up takes a hands-on approach.  We had the most amazing food here.  The menu at the time was based off of Dutch artists and best of all dessert was served as one of the main courses!

Café Thijssen

If you are in the mood to spend hours chatting, eating, and listening to music, look no further than Café Thijssen.  We stumbled upon this cross between cafe and neighborhood bar on our way to dinner and ended up spending hours relaxing and enjoying beer and cheese.  The local and friendly vibe makes it a great spot for just one drink or an entire evening.

Vesper

Although a James Bond themed cocktail bar may sound cheesy, Vesper is anything but.  Offering amazing drinks prepared by friendly and very knowledgable bartenders, this is the perfect place for a classy pre-dinner drink. Those looking for a classic will love Vesper’s Manhattan, while for something more adventurous there is a well-crafted list of specialty cocktails.  

GETTING AROUND Amsterdam

The best way to see Amsterdam is by foot! Stroll around the lovely canals and get lost. If you are going somewhere far the Tram is also very easy and inexpensive.  There is also a free and quick ferry from the Central Station if you decide to explore North Amsterdam.  

To get to and from the airport we recommend using Uber.  

DAY TRIPS From Amsterdam

If you have a few days in Amsterdam there many wonderful day trips to choose from.

Rotterdam

Looking for something different yet equally unique?  Venture to Rotterdam. Rotterdam was nearly destroyed in World War II and has since been rebuilt. The city is known for it’s bold, daring and vibrant architecture.

Bruges

Bruges is often referred to as a fairytale town.  There are plenty of romantic cobblestone streets, idyllic canals, and charming churches to explore. From Amsterdam you can reach the city by train or bus a little under three hours.