From its famous coffeeshops to Anne Frank House, Amsterdam’s culture and far-reaching history make it a popular city destination. Experiencing the Dutch capital’s highlights in one day is possible, but organization is key. Here are a few tips to make the most of your time in the city.
Start your day in Amsterdam’s Museumplein, a cultural hot spot boasting landmarks including the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. Discover the life and work of the post-impressionist master, or take a turn around the Rijksmuseum for insight into 800 years of Dutch history. Though a morning visit will help you avoid crowds, skip-the-line tickets are a good choice when you have limited time. If you’re a history buff, or if you want multiple sightseeing options, choose a city pass that includes access to the main museums plus several other attractions.
Many of Amsterdam’s sights are located around the center. Whether you’re curious about the city's culture or keen to experience its cycle paths, you have options. A hop-on hop-off bus or boat tour is good for those short on time, as it allows you to personalize your itinerary and see such stops as the Anne Frank House and Dam Square. Other activities include zipping between landmarks on a bike tour, gaining insight into the city’s heritage on a walking tour, or sampling Dutch cuisine on a food tour.
After a busy day of sightseeing, relax on the canals, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admire the city by dusk. Choose a cruise with food and indulge in a 4-course dinner or kick back with fast food as you unwind with drinks and waterside vistas. In winter, take advantage of the canals' prime views of the Amsterdam Light Festival. After dinner, if your feet aren’t too sore and you’re curious about Amsterdam’s Red Light District, take an after-dark tour to learn about the area's sex industry in a welcoming environment.